Heading to Spain for two weeks? Good for you! It’s a beautiful country with exquisite architecture, stunning nature, and some of the best wines in Europe. Whether you’re looking to go on hikes, party day and night, or explore the historically important sites, this itinerary has got something for you!
From Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona to the museums of Madrid – this two-week itinerary covers all the best sights in Spain!
Spain is connected with public transport pretty well, and you can follow our entire itinerary without renting a car. In fact, it will be easier to follow without a car, since I have a few local flights in mind.
High-speed trains connect the major cities, and they’re much faster than driving on your own or taking a bus. Also, local flights are a great alternative to trains – a five-hour train journey is usually a 50-minute flight, and plane tickets are sometimes cheaper than train tickets.
Timezone: The timezone in Spain is CEST (Central European Standard Time). That’s about 8 hours ahead of PT, and six hours ahead of EST.
Currency: The official currency used in Spain is Euro. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to use any other currency, but ATMs do accept foreign cards.
Language: The official language of the country is Spanish/Castillian. Catalan is spoken in the Catalonia region, and it’s recognized as an entirely separate language – so not just a dialect. Basque is spoken in the Spanish Basque Country and Galician in Galicia. It’s estimated that some 30% of the people speak English, and it’s especially common among young people.
Visa: US residents don’t need a visa for stays in Spain that are up to 90 days. Here’s a list of all the countries whose nationals are required to have a visa to enter Spain.
Credit Card Acceptance: Credit cards are widely accepted in Spain, with Visa and MasterCard being the most popular option. Discover cards are rarely accepted, and American Express cards are somewhere in the middle. You can pay with cash (Euros) almost anywhere in Spain.
Electricity: The standard voltage in Spain is 230V, just like in the rest of Europe. If you’re from the US, you will need adapters for all your electrical appliances and chargers.
If you want to follow this itinerary, it’s best to plan your trip to Spain so that you arrive in Barcelona and depart from Madrid. Barcelona international airport is in the southwest part of the city, about a 20-minute drive from the Gothic Quarter. If you want to be in the center of action in Barcelona, it’s best to look for accommodation in that neighborhood.
Depending on when you land and just how tired you are when you arrive in the city, there are a few different things you can do. But even if it’s late and you just want to rest, don’t miss out on the chance to get some tapas – it’s the most popular dish in the country, and it’s something you’ll likely eat more than once on this trip. Follow it up with some Sangria and then you’re free to go get some rest.
Up for exploring Barcelona immediately upon your arrival? Even better! If you’re early enough to catch one of the walking tours, that’s a pretty nice way to kick off your stay in the city – but don’t do a Gaudi tour. That’s day two of this itinerary; for now, stick to the Gothic Quarter, La Rambla, the Raval, and the museums.
The Picasso Museum is one of the best in the city, with a generous collection of works by the famous artist. Go see the Columbus Monument, visit Mercado de La Boqueria (public market), and tour Camp Nou.
When you’re done with the initial tour of the city, you can head to one of the countless restaurants for drinks and some well-deserved carbs. And if you’d like even more entertainment, every night is Flamenco night in Spain! In any case, make sure you get a good night’s sleep since day two will have you roaming around the city the entire next day!
It’s day two of your tip in Spain, and it’s a good time as any to go out on a proper Gaudi tour of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi was a Catalan architect, known all over the world for his unique designs. The majority of his works are right there in Barcelona, and they’re so amazing that you absolutely must walk around the city and see all of them!
La Sagrada Familia is the most famous building designed by Gaudi, so let’s start there. Make your way to the spectacular Basilica and admire it in all its glory. Walk inside to see the intricate details on the ceiling and columns, as well as all the gorgeous stained glass that adorns the unfinished basilica. That’s right; La Sagrada Familia remains unfinished, more than a century and a half after its construction began.
Next on the Gaudi tour are Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. They’re just a few blocks apart from one another, on opposite sides of Passeig de Gràcia. Both buildings are considered historical landmarks, and they’re exquisite on the outside and the inside. Plus, they make one thing obvious about Antoni Gaudi – the man really did not like sharp corners, did he?
Head south towards the beaches to see two more examples of Gaudi’s architecture. Hotel Gaudi is representative of his early style, while the lampposts at Pla da Palau are much more extravagant. Go to the beach if you want, or stop by a café to grab something to eat, and then make your way to Park Güell.
Everything about this park is phenomenal, from the mosaic-covered buildings to the Gaudi House Museum, which happens to be the former residence of the famous architect.
Other buildings by Gaudi in Barcelona include the Güell Pavillions, Casa Vicens Gaudí, and Bellesguard Tower. They’re all worth a quick visit if you have enough time.
Your third day in Spain is a great time for a quick day trip to Figueres! The charming town is about an hour and a half outside Barcelona, and it’s easy to reach with trains and buses. It’s a great place for some cultural enrichment, thanks to all the excellent museums in the town.
Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dali and home to the Dali-Theater Museum, which was designed by Dali himself. The famous artist had a massive impact on the surrealist movement during his time and remains one of its largest exponents to this day. Although he moved to surrealism later on in his career, his earlier works were mostly influenced by Renaissance and Impressionism.
There’s also a Salvador Dali monument nearby that’s worth checking out, as well as several other museums. The Toy Museum of Catalonia is interesting even for adults, the Technical Museum of the Empordà is perfect for a #throwbackthursday, and Museu de l’Empordà features some more fascinating paintings and sculptures.
If you’re up for spending some time in nature, there are several places worth checking out just outside Figueres. Butterfly Park Empuriabrava and Aiguamolls de l’Empordà nature preserve are both in the Gulf of Roses, with truly beautiful nature. Otherwise, just head back to Barcelona.
Barcelona is very close to Spain’s Balearic Islands, and it would be a shame not to spend at least a day or two in one of these spectacular places. It’s up to you whether you want to go to Ibiza or Mallorca – in either case, it’s about an hour-long flight from Barcelona and to Valencia, where we’re heading after the islands. Ferry rides are not worth it because they take more than 7 hours.
Mallorca and Ibiza are both spectacular islands that feature beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, and crystal clear sea. Ibiza is the better destination for younger people who are looking to party all night long since the nightlife there surpasses the nightlife pretty much everywhere else in Spain. Mallorca, on the other hand, is a much more well-rounded tourist destination.
With ample hiking opportunities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and some of Spain’s best wineries, you might just consider ditching the itinerary and spending the rest of your time in Spain on the island.
No matter which island you decide to visit, take day four to rest and relax. Spend your day on the beach, go swimming, maybe do some hiking, and book a winery tour in the afternoon!
If you’re in Mallorca, I would highly recommend heading to Drach Caves early in the day. The underground caves are an astonishing place; they feature multiple interconnected paths that take you to the largest underground lake in the world.
There are quite a few stairs to climb, so I’d recommend wearing sneakers for this excursion. A tour of the caves can be completed in a couple of hours, so you still have the entire day to explore Palma and its surroundings!
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island, and it’s known for quite a few things. From the spectacular sandy beaches to ancient castles, there’s plenty of sights worth checking out in Palma. Bellver Castle is one of the first places to visit in the city – the circular castle is situated on a wooded hilltop, offering phenomenal panoramic views of Palma.
It’s also the home of the city’s history museum, and you can stop by if you’d like to learn more about the rich history of Palma de Mallorca. Other notable sights here include the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, Banys Àrabs, Llotja de Palma, and the Tren Soller wooden train.
All of the attractions mentioned here are close to one another, and it’s possible to visit them all in a single afternoon.
If you opted to visit Ibiza instead of Mallorca, I won’t leave you hanging! The island is much smaller, so it’s possible to explore more of it in the same amount of time. The north side of the island features natural caves, a lighthouse, and the wonderful Cala Xarraca beach popular for snorkeling and natural mud baths.
As for the city of Ibiza, there’s a few places that are worth checking out. Puig des Molins is a museum and archaeological site that combines a Phoenician necropolis with exhibits that feature items found in the tombs, making it the perfect destination on the island for people interested in history and archaeology.
It’s also worth it to visit Castell d’Eivissa, Portal de ses Taules, and Museu Puget for a good mix of art, architecture, and history.
I would recommend a quick trip to the western side of the island in the evening. Head to San Antonio Sunset Strip for some of the best sunset views of your life. You can end the evening in one of the many clubs here, or just head back to Ibiza city.
Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain and you get to spend a couple of days there! You can get to Valencia from both Ibiza and Mallorca with a short flight, and I’d recommend that over buses and ferries any time as it will save you at least 8-9 hours of travel. This is a big city with a lot to see and do in the area, so we’re spending two days here!
We’ll kick off the first day in Valencia with a thorough exploration of Ciutat Vella (Old Town), starting with Torres de Serranos. The massive Gothic towers are a part of the city walls, and you can climb them for some beautiful panoramic views of the city.
The next must-visit spot is Jardí del Túria, a big park with lots of greenery, flowers, a playground, and sports courts. When you’ve had enough of this oasis in the middle of a city, make your way back to the old town and go to Valencia Cathedral.
The Gothic-style cathedral dates back to the 13th century, and it’s said to be the home of the Holy Grail. You can climb to the top of the tower here if you’d like to enjoy some scenic views of Valencia. From there, start heading southwest towards the Valencia Central Market, but make one stop first.
La Lonja de la Seda is on the way to the market, and the imposing building is truly an astonishing sight. The details in the stonework are exceptional, the gardens are well-kept, and the building truly is one of the best examples of secular Gothic architecture.
Other notable sights close by are Torres de Quart, Bullring of Valencia, and the Valencian Museum of Ethnology. If you keep circling the Old Town, you’ll eventually pass by each of these. When you’re done exploring the old town, go grab dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area, or just head back to your accommodation.
Your second day in Valencia is a great opportunity to explore some of Spain’s spectacular nature. If you’re not into hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, you can just spend it on the beach soaking in the sun. And if you are into alpinism and everything it includes, head to Parc Natural de la Serra Calderona.
The easiest way to reach the nature preserve is a taxi ride – subway and buses will only get you so far, and you’ll still have to take a taxi to the park entrance.
The nature preserve features some of the best hiking trails in Spain, from easy walks to challenging ascents that will take up your entire day. This park also features multiple observation decks, a monastery, and ruins of a medieval Islamic castle.
Another option is Parc Natural e l’Albufera, just south of the city. It features a freshwater lagoon with plenty of opportunities for a picnic, boat tours, and scenic nature views. In any case, day seven is a great chance to relax and recharge while enjoying Spain’s extraordinary nature.
In the evening, you can catch a show at Valencia’s futuristic theater. The building alone is a spectacular sight, and what goes on inside is a real treat for lovers of performance art. Plus, the theater sits in a massive landscaped park right next to the aquarium where you can see sharks, dolphins, and even beluga whales.
It’s the largest aquarium in all of Spain, and a quick visit is definitely worth it if you can squeeze it into your itinerary.
When you’ve had enough of Valencia’s lovely sights, head back to your accommodation and pack – day eight is time to head to Seville, the largest city of Spain’s Andalusia region.
Valencia and Seville are connected by flights and trains, so it’s your choice how you want to get from one city to another. The tickets cost the same, and in some cases, plane tickets are actually cheaper than train tickets. Not to mention that it will take you about an hour to get to Seville if you’re flying, compared to a six-hour train ride.
Seville is a city of phenomenal historic architecture that’s a mix of Moorish and Gothic styles. To see all the famous sights, it’s best to book a free walking tour. They’re two and a half hours on average, and they will take you to all the most popular places in the city. The best free walking tour of Seville starts at Plaza del Salvador and ends at Plaza de España.
Local guides will take you to see the Church of the divine Salvador, remains of the Roman Temple, and meet Saint Isadoro of Seville – the patron saint of the internet. The walking tour will also take you to see the City Hall, through the Santa Cruz neighborhood, to the Seville Cathedral, the Royal Tabacco Factory, Patio Banderas, and finally to Plaza de España.
After the tour, feel free to do whatever you like. If you got to Seville early, you can walk around some more or just do some shopping. In any case, make sure to get plenty of rest for day nine.
The walking tour of Seville was a great way to get acquainted with the city. Now it’s time to get serious about it – head to the Royal Alcázar of Seville first thing in the morning. The Moorish royal palace is utterly stunning, with the 16th-century tiles, ornate arches, and all the fountains in its vast gardens. Don’t miss out on a proper tour of the place – the interior is even more beautiful than the exterior!
After a trip to the palace, head to Archivo de Indias. The museum inside has an archive of the Spanish Empire with quite a few sculptures, but there are very few explanations in English. You don’t have to go inside the museum, but just don’t miss out on the chance to see the beautiful Renaissance building that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Next, go past the Seville Cathedral and to the La Giralda Bell Tower. The view from the top is perhaps the best panoramic vista of Seville, and it’s unskippable. Other notable attractions in the area feature Plaza del Cabildo, Hospital los Venerables, Casa de Murillo, Plaza de Santa Cruz, and Rosina’s Balcony.
That’s it for exploration of Seville. The next two days are reserved for some spectacular day trips, but it’s best to stay based in Seville for now.
You can get to Granada by train, in some two hours and 30 minutes. It’s a lengthy journey, but the train is the best and quickest option.
Granada is an old Moorish city in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and it’s best known for the Alhambra Palace. The Medieval complex is such a fascinating sight that you should absolutely go out of your way to see it in person. It will take about 3-4 hours to really explore the ancient palace, and consider that when purchasing the train tickets.
The Alhambra was originally constructed as just one small fortress in 889 CE, and after that, it remained unchanged until the 13th century. The Palace complex is still one of the best examples of Islamic architecture in Spain and wider, attracting millions of visitors on an annual basis.
Other worthwhile sights in the city are Catedral de Granada, San Jeronimo Monastery, Basilica de San Juan de Dios, and Mirador San Nicolas. There are also several observation decks and lookout points on the city hills, and if you have enough time definitely visit at least one of them – the views of Granada are outstanding.
Alternatively, you can stop by Parque de las Ciencias – the science park features a viewing tower with some equally stunning panoramic views.
High-speed trains can get you to Córdoba in some 45 minutes from Seville, making it the perfect destination for a day trip.
The main attraction in the city is the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. Everything about is fascinating, from the ornate pillars to the beautiful frescos, and a tour of the interior is a must. It functions as a catholic church nowadays, so women don’t have to cover their heads if they wish to enter.
Very close to the massive place of worship you will find the San Rafael de la Puerta del Puente monument and the Roman Bridge, both of which are worth checking out. A walk through the Jewish Quarter is also a must since it’s quite a stunning neighborhood.
Other notable attractions in Córdoba are Plaza de la Corredera, Templo Romano, Plaza de las Tendillas, Palacio de Viana, Casa de Sefarad, Patios Cordobeses, and Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs. Don’t go back to Seville until you’ve checked out at least half of the places mentioned here!
And before you grab the train back to Seville, consider visiting one of the countless olive oil plantations in the area. Córdoba is the olive oil capital of this country, with vast plantations just outside the main city area. Tour one of them and don’t skip on the local oil – it’s better than anything you can buy at your usual supermarket!
Head back to Seville when you’ve explored everything, and start packing – the next day we’re heading to Madrid, and we’re staying there until it’s time to fly back home.
We’re near the end of this two-week journey through Spain! Madrid is the final city in this itinerary, and three days is enough time for some of the city’s top sights. The museums, the manicured parks, hilltop fortresses, and spectacular architecture are just some of the wonderful sights waiting in Madrid.
It’s a good idea to get the 72-hour Madrid card if you can get your hands on one. You’ll get access to the hop-on-hop-off bus, free entrance to some of the city’s best museums, and discounted entrance to more than 30 different tourist attractions. If you want to visit the museums and tour the stadium, the city pass will save you some money for sure.
For your first day in Madrid, I would recommend a simple walking tour just to get you acquainted with the city. Go see Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace of Madrid, Sabatini Gardens, the Temple of Debod, Plaza de España, El Oso y el Madroño, and the San Miguel Market. Don’t go to the museums or El Retiro Park – that’s what we’re doing the next day!
Something else you could do on your first day in Madrid is tour Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Real Madrid’s home stadium is one of the most famous football venues in the world, and it’s truly spectacular. Tickets include a trip to the Real Madrid C.F. Museum, any temporary exhibitions, and panoramic views of the inside of the stadium.
The penultimate day in Spain is reserved for a museum tour of Madrid. The capital of Spain is home to two extraordinary museums – the Prado Museum and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Both feature a vast collection of works by famous artists from Spain and elsewhere, and you can see some of the most famous works of art ever made.
Prado houses Las Meninas, Christ Crucified, and Adam and Eve, to name just a few of the extraordinary paintings in the museum. As for the Reina Sofia museum, suffice it to say that it’s the home of Picasso’s Guernica. Plan at least two or three hours for these two museums – if you’re actually into the art, that’s more like two-three hours per museum.
Next, head to El Retiro Park – the vast 19th-century park looks and feels like you’ve wandered out of Madrid and into Narnia. It features a boating lake, a rose garden, and countless statues and fountains. There’s even an artificial mountain in the park! And let’s not forget about Palacio de Velázquez – another museum featuring exhibits on contemporary art.
Additionally, there are quite a few bars and restaurants and the park, so feel free to sit down for drinks and enjoy the views. If it’s late enough you can even grab dinner here, before you head back to your place ahead of your last day in Spain!
How much time do you have before your flight home? If it’s just a couple of hours, go on a final walk around the city, grab something to eat, and head straight to the airport. It’s quite far from the city center, and it will take you a while to get there.
But if you have several hours to kill, I’d recommend visiting Casa de Campo. If you thought El Retiro Park was huge, wait until you see this one. Compared to Casa de Campo, El Retiro is nothing more than a tiny plot of land. To be perfectly honest, Casa de Campo is more of a national forest with several massive parks, a zoo, an aquarium, and a pretty expansive lake. There’s even an amusement park here with some really thrilling rides.
In addition to that, Casa de Campo is also home to several hiking trails. The most popular one is a loop hike around the southern park area, which can be done in about three hours. There are even a few hills to climb in the park, and doing so will reward you with some beautiful views of Madrid. That’s one of the best ways to end your thrilling 14-day adventure in Spain, so that’s it for this itinerary!
I would have loved to fit in Gibraltar, Malaga, and Toledo somehow, but 14 days is simply not enough to see all of Spain! But keep those in mind for your next trip to this magnificent European country!
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.