Delicious tapas on every street corner, daily siestas, the beautiful language and rich history… I think most people are already sold on the fact that Spain is one of the most desirable destinations on the planet. In fact, Spain receives more visitors every year than any other country on Earth apart from France and the United States, welcoming a whopping 65 million foreign tourists in the year 2014! Bustling nightlife, world-class resorts, dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sights and a phenomenal climate are some of the secrets behind Spain’s success. But in case you’re still not convinced that you should drop everything and start planning your Spanish adventure right now, these 13 incredible Instagram images are sure to change your mind.
No trip to Spain would be complete without visiting the country’s bustling capital, Madrid. Take your pick from any of the world-class museums, pristine parks, historical buildings and plazas or just stroll down the Gran Via (pictured here) and admire the architecture while getting a little shopping done.
2.The Costa Brava
Can’t decide between medieval towers, charming villages and stunning Mediterranean beaches? Luckily, when in Spain, you don’t have to choose! The Costa Brava is a perfect day trip from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona and has something for everybody.
3.Marbella, Costa del Sol
Oh really? What do you mean your streets don’t look like this? The cities and towns of Spain are filled with gorgeous, narrow streets, like this one from Marbella in the Costa del Sol.
If you find yourself unsure of whether to visit a fairytale-like castle or a 500-year-old gothic-roman cathedral, don’t worry Spain won’t make you choose! In Segovia, you can see both in one afternoon, in addition to a quaint downtown and a massive aqueduct built by the Romans.
Everyone knows your trip to Spain didn’t really happen unless you’ve Instagrammed a picture of Barcelona’s iconic Parc Güell. This unconventional yet gorgeous park is one of artist Antoni Gaudi’s (a world-famous Spanish architect) most photographed works of art. Even if the park itself isn’t beautiful enough, it also offers stunning views of the city extending all the way to the Mediterranean.
6. Northern Spain
A trip to Spain’s northern region might leave you wondering if you’ve somehow driven too far and ended up in Ireland. The northern coast is filled with lush, green, rolling hills and towering sea cliffs that rival the Celtic nation. This region is a completely different take on what you probably pictured Spain to look like.
7. Northern Spain, again!
This one looks like something out of a movie. Also located in northern Spain, the Basilica de Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga (that’s a mouthful of a name!) nestled away in the mountains is definitely worth hiking up to.
This list of pictures would be incomplete without at least one (if not more!) images of Seville in southern Spain. With beautiful buildings and structures dating back hundreds of years (including the city’s cathedral – the 3rd largest in the world and the 1st largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world) as well as narrow streets filled with hidden gardens and plazas, Seville is an absolute must-see for any traveller.
Getting tired of all the old, historical sites? Head over to Valencia for a more futuristic experience at the City of Arts and Sciences. Afterwards, stroll over to the beach or grab some paella in this famous dish’s birth city.
10. Palaces all over Spain
Forget Buckingham Palace… Spain is home to dozens of old palaces, every one grander and more stunning than the last. In fact, the royal palace in Madrid is the largest palace in Western Europe with around 3,000 rooms! The palaces of Spain are often surrounded by decadent gardens with fountains, hedge mazes and classic sculptures that will transport you to ancient Greece.
Toledo is definitely a must-see while visiting Spain. This ancient city set on a hill overlooking the surrounding plains is just an hour from Madrid and is known for its medieval Arab, Christian, and Jewish influences in its charming walled city.
Granada is another city that you can’t miss while in Spain. The main attraction is the Alhambra, a Moorish complex of palaces placed on a hill overlooking the city. You can easily spend hours (even days!) exploring the complex and its gardens, but once you’ve finished up there, be sure to wander the old neighbourhoods dating back hundreds and hundreds of years, right back to when the North African Moors inhabited this ancient city!
For this final image, I leave you with a picture of the colourful town of Villajoyosa on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast. The relaxing, charming city is the perfect spot to unwind outside of the bigger city crowds, its rows of colourful houses right near the beach also make for a great Instagram pic too!