GUEST POST BY ROMI R.
Spain has the ability to make every traveler feel special. The allure of the beaches, the sophistication of cities and the passionate blend of the cultures feel like an invitation to a secret world of pure pleasure. The second-largest country in western Europe is culturally and geographically diverse. The various tribal influences are visible throughout the country, but the Romans and Muslims from North Africa, Moors’, played the biggest role in Spain we see today. Each left behind a little piece of history, tradition, and culinary skills. Ten days in Spain will be just enough to experience the best of it all!
What’s The Best Time to Visit Spain?
The weather in Spain changes from region to region because of the different landscapes of the country. Keeping in mind the benefits such as festivals and the good weather combined with the disadvantages of crowds and hotel rates, the best time to visit Spain is from March to May. You can witness Semana Santa in Seville, good weather, fewer crowds, and lower accommodation rates.
Avoid tourist crowds in July and August. Spain has a problem with over-tourism in the summer. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a spring trip, September to November is a good alternative to get the best out of your 10 days in Spain. La Mercè festival in Barcelona happens in September. There are over 100 events – from concerts to circus performances! November has “Dia de Todos Los Santos”. The whole country celebrates the dead, but in Granada, you can even attend a concert at a cemetery!
A Few Facts About Spain
Spain is a constitutional monarchy
The government in Spain has a monarch as head of state and the prime minister as head of government. The current King of Spain is Felipe VI. Spain is a member of the European Union and the country’s official currency is the Euro.
Spain produces about half of the world’s olive oil
1.2 million tonnes of olive oil comes out of Spain in one year, with the latest numbers showing up to 1.7 million! Double that of Italy, and four times that of Greece. Spain produces half of the worlds and two-thirds of all European Union olive oil. If you want to taste it yourself, try Hacienda el Palo Oils or Dominus Early Harvest.
Spain is the birthplace to the world’s greatest artists
The painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright, Andalusian Pablo Picasso. The Catalonian surrealist painter Salvador Dali. The painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona, Joan Miró. Antoni Tàpies, Juan Gris, Miquel Barceló, Francisco de Goya, Joaquín Sorolla, Diego Velázquez, Murillo, Francisco de Zurbarán, El Greco… the list goes on!
Spain is crazy about football
Spanish love football (US: Soccer) and their national team won the 2010 FIFA World Cup as well as 1964, 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championship. The country itself has a registered number of over 20,000 football clubs, most notable include FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid.
Spanish is not the only language in Spain
Spanish or Castilian is the official language in Spain, but regions have their own languages. There are the Roman languages of Galician and Catalan, as well as the Basque (Euskara), the only pre-Indo-European language in Europe!
How to Get Around Spain?
Map distortion makes you believe Europe is much smaller, but once you’re there you can see that traveling can chew up a lot of your time. You can rent a car in any city in Spain. Renting a car allows the freedom to plan your 10 days or 10 nights Spain itinerary according to your schedule.
BlaBlaCar is a popular mode of transport in Europe. A carpooling car service gives you the comfort of a car but significantly lowers your costs as you don’t need to worry about gas, toll fees, and rental deposits. If you’re looking for speed, Spain has a high-speed train network. The best part about taking high-speed trains or AVE (Alta Velocidad) is the distance you can cover in a short time. You can reach Barcelona from Madrid in under three hours!
Bus companies cover the whole country, and they are the best budget-friendly option for a trip to Spain. You can plan your route on websites such as Movelia or a fantastic company that covers all of Spain – ALSA. Of course, the fastest option is taking the plane. Air travel is affordable all over Europe so you can find a very cheap flight and be in your next city on your Spain travel itinerary in under an hour!
Accommodation in Spain
Working out where to stay in Spain is just as important as getting around it. Getting the right accommodation can make or break your trip. The golden rule is that you don’t want to think about your accommodation while you’re traveling, because if you’re thinking about it, it means that there is something wrong!
Book in advance if you plan on going to Spain during the high season because you’ll have a choice of accommodation, no matter your budget or style. You will save a lot of money! What’s great about all the best places to stay in Spain is that you are not limited to budget hostels or high-end hotels. You can find all types of places to stay in Spain, although you may need to search for them through different websites.
Whether you’re looking for a budget, backpacker accommodation, a guesthouse or a hotel Booking.com has the biggest selection of hostels, bed & breakfasts, and hotels for all budgets. The prices of accommodation in Spain start at 15€ (around 16USD) for a shared dorm. You can find private hotel rooms for as low as 50€ (around 55USD) or go all out and find luxury hotels for 150€ (around 165USD).
With a huge selection in each of these destinations, you won’t have trouble finding a place to stay. We’ve tested accommodation in Spain for you, so if you want our recommendations for the best hotels, read our Madrid and Barcelona itineraries.
10-day itinerary Spain
Whether you come for fiesta or siesta, it’s useful to plan a 10 day Spain itinerary. Deciding what to do in Spain in 10 days can be difficult. There are so many places to visit, food to taste and people to meet. Luckily, we have done it all for you, just relax and let Spain introduce a new chapter of unforgettable memories. Here are our suggestions for your Spain itinerary, 10 days:
Day 1 – Madrid
Start your 10 day trip to Spain with the capital. The city with 250 sunny days a year, majestic plazas and historical significance will surely be a fantastic start to your Spain itinerary. Madrid is the highest capital in Europe, sitting at 646 m above sea level. Don’t worry, you won’t get altitude sickness! Once you’re all set for accommodation, explore the city.
Head to Puerta del Sol plaza to take some photos. Visit the Prado Museum and scope the area around it, relax at the Botanical Garden of Madrid. Walk across the Calle Mayor to find souvenirs or a high-quality Spanish wine. Try the local cuisine. Spanish people have dinners very late at night, around 10 or 11, so make sure you plan ahead! Explore the fantastic nightlife, try the Discoteca Azúcar or La Imperdible.
Day 2 – Madrid
Once you recover from your night out, try some churros at Chocolatería San Ginés. Continue your sightseeing at the historic square Plaza de la Villa and Catedral de la Almudena, but save some time for the Royal Palace of Madrid. With 3,418 rooms filled with valuable art and antiquities, take some time to bask in its glory. Once you’re done at the palace, try one of the traditional dishes such as cocido madrileño – a traditional Spanish stew or huevos rotos – a potato dish excellent as an appetizer to Spanish tapas.
Visit The Temple of Debod, the shrine dedicated to the god Amun dating back to the 2nd century. Finish your day at Gran Via. For an excellent dinner try Taberna La Bola, it’s been in Madrid since 1870! Check out the detailed Madrid itinerary and accommodation suggestions on our one day in Madrid itinerary.
Day 3 – Toledo
Take a bus or a train and in less than an hour, you will reach the magnificent Toledo. Situated on top of the Castilla-La Mancha plains, the city is an homage to architectural wonders such as the Moorish Bisagra Gates. Spain is home to so many artists it seems as though every city has a few to brag about. Toledo was home to El Greco, and you can visit Museo del Greco. Spain has probably seduced you by now, but if you need some extra assurance, go see the Toledo Cathedral.
Taste Toledo’s unique cuisine. Toledo has been inhabited by Christians, Arabic, and Jewish people so the food reflects all the cultures. You can also try the suckling pig, a Toledo classic! Try the Taberna El Botero for moderate prices and fantastic food. For the stunning views, end your day at The Alcázar. Walk around the town at night, when all the cathedrals light up and it seems as though you are visiting a new place. Get some sleep and prepare for the next day.
Day 4 – Cordoba
Cordoba, the city of enthralling history, a must-see in Spain. The city was under Roman rule, then Muslim rule and then recaptured by Christians. It was the biggest city in the world at one point and you can witness the remains of all this history to this day. Go to Mosque-Cathedral Mezquita early in the morning, explore the Historic Center and the Jewish quarter. Walk along the romantic main promenade and eat at the Paseo de la Ribera, an area of restaurants, perfect to absorb the energy of the city.
Save the best for last, the Torre de la Calahorra, The inside of the tower is presented with audio storytelling in each room to help the visitor understand the history of this magnificent place. Enjoy the exceptional views and head back to the city.
For a detailed guide on places to eat and sleep in Cordoba, read our Cordoba one day itinerary.
Day 5 – Seville
Head to the very south for the birthplace of Flamenco and tapas – the small portion dishes. On your first day take the time to explore the Santa Cruz district. Explore the narrow streets with the elegant balconies, decorated facades, and the hidden garden spaces. Take photos at Plaza de España. Head to the gorgeous and one of the must-see places in Spain, the Royal Alcázar of Seville. The royal palace with fountains and gardens that will surely make you fall crazy in love with Spain.
Visit the Museo del Baile Flamenco for a detailed look into the history and culture of flamenco. Try all the tapas and wine you can! Visit the Lonja Del Barranco Market for a gourmet afternoon or stroll through Calle Mateos Gago. Find a flamenco show or go out dancing to the early morning hours at Sala Cosmos.
Day 6 – Seville
Sleep in, as you probably had the time of your life last night. Once you’re up, have a popular Sevillan orange juice. La Cacharreria de Sevilla (Carlos Cañal location) has breakfast, fresh orange juice or a fantastic coffee! Nurse your hangover there and visit another museum such as Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla is a contemporary art museum or Museo Arqueológico de Sevilla for a quick history lesson. Stop by for a snack and hit Plaza de Toros bullring.
Not all Spain is into bullfights, in fact, many people are against it, but it’s probably not going anywhere in Seville. Check out the Metropol Parasol, an interesting wooden structure consisting of six mushroom-shaped parasols, and a very modern site in Seville. Don’t miss a sunset drink at La Terraza de EME. Check out the detailed Seville itinerary for best tapas and coolest hotels at our one day in Seville Itinerary.
Day 7 – Granada
Take the bus to reach the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the charming Granada or “pomegranate”. You will find it everywhere. The Romans governed the region, then Moors took over and increased the progress of Granada. Finally, the Roman Catholics took over again. Similar history to Cordoba but with its own set of beauty, Granada is one of the best places to visit in Spain. Just a visit to one of the most visited sites in Spain, the Alhambra palace and fortress complex will convince you you’ve made the right choice coming here.
Try Plato Alpujarreño for lunch, a traditional meal from Granada. Visit the Cathedral, of course, but also see the Chapel of Granada. Explore the old Jewish neighborhood of Muslim Granada, Garnata al-Yahud (i.e. Granada of the Jews) and have dinner in the charming streets of Realejo. Fly into the magnificent Barcelona for the rest of your Spain trip itinerary.
Day 8 – Barcelona
A seductive blend of sun, sand and soulful vibrance of life will have you captivated from the moment you arrive. How many days in Barcelona is enough? You could spend weeks here, but three days is perfect to get the best of it! Start your first day with a visit to Casa Batlló, the popular house of Anton Gaudí – the famous architect of the Catalan Modernism movement. Check out his other famous project, the Casa Milà.
Stroll through La Rambla street and have a bite at Mercat de la Boqueria, a renowned food market. There is a choice of fruit, vegetables, meat, pastries, sweets, whatever your heart desires. Check out Mirador de Colom (Columbus Monument), and spend your afternoon on a Las Golondrinas Boat Tour for perfect views and wonderful photos. To end your first night in Barcelona, try one of the many nice Tapas bars in the Gràcia quarter, around Plaça de la Virreina.
Day 9 – Barcelona
After your breakfast, grab a coffee at Plaça Reial. Enjoy people watching and when you’re ready, visit the Catalonia Museum to educate yourself on the lively history of the area. Barcelona has a beautiful Aquarium, it’s fantastic to see it with your kids! On your second day, continue exploring Gaudí’s work and visit Sagrada Familia, an unfinished work of art. Although there is still construction, most of the building is accessible to the public. Spend your afternoon in the Barri Gotic or the Gothic Quarter. Check out the Cathedral! Test out the fantastic Barcelona nightlife, after you warm up with your obligatory tapas and wine.
Day 10 – Barcelona
Try not to cry because it is the last day of your ten days in Spain. The best way to end your trip to Spain is to spend your day at the beach. You’ve seen all the top places to see in Spain and now you can relax and drink more wine! Go to Barceloneta, a splendid beach and the waterfront promenade. You will see a lot of topless women, as it is quite normal in Spain. After your beach day, ride on the cable to the Montjuïc hill for one last view of the dazzling Barcelona. End your trip with a magical night show of lights, sounds and water at the grand staircase down the hill.
If you’re looking for recommendations for great accommodation or the best day trips you can take from Barcelona, we got you covered.
Logistical Tips and Tricks
Organize your trip in five easy steps!
BOOK A FLIGHT!
Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!
BOOK A ROOM!
To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.
GET A CAR!
If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.
INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!
Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.
FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!
Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.