Spain is one of the most famous European holiday destinations attracting up to 83.7 million tourists per year. It is to see why it is such a hotspot for tourism, boasting gorgeous weather, great food, and an abundance of incredible cities to explore.
When visiting Spain, it’s easy to stick to the most popular and well-known places like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville. But why only see the most famous cities? Spain has so many more beautiful and exciting hidden gems waiting to be explored. Here’s a roundup of the coolest and different places you need to add to your bucket list.
Salamanca is an often-overlooked city. Located just two hours away from Madrid, it offers an entirely different atmosphere to the bustle of the capital. Known for its university, Salamanca has quite a youthful vibe to it. Filled with a variety of bars, cafes, and shops as well as plenty of historical landmarks, it’s the best of both worlds.
Why is Salamanca one of the coolest places to visit?
Well, it’s home to some truly unique architectural features. For example, it has two cathedrals that are fused together to create a singular building with the perfect combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles.
One of the most fun things you can do when visiting the city is by taking a trip to the university to find a tiny frog sitting on top of a skull. Not only that, but the university’s facade features carvings of both the Salamanca Astronaut and an ice-cream-eating gargoyle! The Casa de las Conchas is another wacky building with its entire front decorated entirely with carved shells.
Found in Southern Spain in the region of Andalusia, Córdoba was a prominent Roman city and an Islamic center during the Middle Ages. It’s home to some of the most notable features of Moorish architecture in the whole of Spain.
The city is full of cultural and historical places to visit. It is the only city in the world with four UNESCO-world heritage sites. The most famous attractions are the Mezquita-Cathedral, the Roman Bridge, and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.
Whether you’re a history fan or just looking for somewhere new to explore in Spain, then Córdoba is for you.
It’s often overlooked in favor of other Andalusian cities like Seville and Granada. Still, it has such a fascinating history and beautiful architecture making it one of the coolest cities to visit.
Toledo is one of Spain’s oldest cities, situated on a hill above Castilla-La Mancha. It used to be Spain’s capital before Madrid, so it is key to Spain’s heritage. Toledo is home to some of the most beautiful buildings, such as Toledo’s cathedral. The country also houses one of the largest bells in the world!
What’s great about Toledo?
Home to arguably one of the most confusing street layouts in the world, it’s a city perfect for those who truly just want to get lost and explore. Having been ruled by multiple cultures, it is the perfect fusion of Judaic, Islamic, and Christian architecture and influence.
Another thing Toledo is known for is marzipan!
The city is filled with this tasty, sweet treat, and you will find it throughout its streets in a variety of wacky shapes, including a pig, bear, or moon!
If you’re after a more traditional Spanish trip featuring sun, sea, and sand, then San Sebastián is the place for you. Located in the mountainous region of País Vasco, the city is home to an abundance of beaches (including Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta) framed by a beachfront promenade.
San Sebastián contains coastal landscapes and mountainous surroundings with the best of both worlds. The Monte Igueldo lets you take advantage of this scenery, offering you a high vantage point to look out over the city, its beaches, and mountains.
What makes San Sebastián unique?
San Sebastián is known for its cuisine, so what’s not to love? Pintxo bars are dotted throughout the city, offering traditional Basque-style tapas for you to enjoy. Suppose you find it hard to choose from the abundance of options available. In that case, tours are also available if you want to make the most of the variety of culinary delights available.
The city also has more Michelin stars per square meter than any other city in the world, with three restaurants having the highest accolade of three Michelin stars!
San Sebastián is foodie heaven having some of the best seafood, a whole host of fantastic restaurants to try, and its own style of tapas!
Setenil de las Bodegas
An honorary mention goes to Setenil de las Bodegas in the province of Cadíz. While not technically a city, this town is undoubtedly one of the coolest places in Spain.
How is Setenil de las Bodegas one of the coolest in spain?
Well, the whole town is quite literally living under a rock. Its houses are carved into the overhanging rock, making it one of the most distinctive settings in Spain. The town itself runs along the course of the Río Trejo and is very much built into the nature that surrounds it. It’s worth a visit if you want to see somewhere truly unique.
It’s known for meat products such as chorizo and pork and renowned for its pastries. There are a variety of bars and restaurants in Setenil de las Bodegas that’s thought to be some of the best in the Cadíz region. If you find yourself in that area of Spain, then this town is certainly one of the coolest places you’ll find.
Visit these cool cities in Spain right now!
Spain is home to a diverse range of cities that offer so much to explore. Whether you want to explore Spain’s vast history and heritage or want to see the quirky side of the country, there is something for everyone. Regardless of what you want out of your trip, Spain is home to some coolest and most beautiful cities. If you’re thinking of planning your next trip to this fabulous city, then consider some of these cool options!
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