Famous landmarks abound in Spain and the rich Spainish history seems to be around every corner turned. It is this deep history that features a host of historic monuments telling the tale of Old World Spain. Coupled with Spain’s many other attributes, this destination is definitely a compelling one. Famous tourist attractions in Spain can be cataloged into several different groups. Dining and shopping are huge draws for tourists from around the world. Spanish beaches are another magnetic draw appealing to sun lovers. Both skiing and golf offer even more to do, yet it is the many famous landmarks in Spain that have the strongest appeal.
The capital city of Madrid holds many of Spain's most impressive and well-known attractions and landmarks. These range from the beautiful Palacio Real and its surrounding gardens to the amazing Prado Museum. Whether you are in town for the famous nightlife or want to take a tour of the local history, Madrid has attractions that will be interesting to any visitor.
Many of the world-famous cities in Spain are attractions in their own rights. Barcelona is an essential part of a Spanish vacation. The city offers great insight into Spain’s history through mysterious Gothic quarters, historic buildings, and monolithic churches. Architecture here highlights the work of Gaudi, the designer who installed La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and many more architecturally fascinating buildings throughout the city. Alhambra is another city that functions almost like an attraction. The Alhambra Palace, situated in Granada, is as important to Spain as the Great Wall is to China. It is the most important (and most visited) of all tourist attractions in Spain. Often called the Red Palace, this essential historic Mecca has evolved over time under both Muslim and Christian control. Alhambra is characterized by adjoining buildings added over centuries, each permeated with history, art, and culture, with roots leading back to the Arabic Nasrid empire, the last ruling Muslims in Spain.
Spain was once part of the Roman Empire and today has remnants of this impressive history. Exploring the Roman ruins in Merida might well be one of the only things to do in Merida, but the area is littered with fragments of history, offering a look at one of the many famous landmarks in Spain. The best time to visit is during the last months of summer when special live events happen throughout the amphitheater and theater.
Requisite tourist attractions in Spain include the Guggenheim in Bilbao, a building exhibiting the wildly fantastic imagination of architect Frank Gehry. The iconic structure has a truly magnificent ensemble of shapes canopied by unconventional titanium configurations passed through by a dissecting bridge.
Toledo, just south of Madrid, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most magnificent and famous landmarks in Spain. Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance design intermingle creating a backdrop so enchanting it is immortalized in a renowned painting by El Greco. More historical attractions include the Mezquita Cordoba, which belies its modern day purpose as a Catholic church with original architecture revealing its inception as short-lived Christian church and than a mosque filled with sky-high pillars and arches, most evidently of Arabic conception, that lead the way to the beautiful Catholic sanctuaries within. History at the Mezquita Cordoba backtracks to 796 AD and is closely tied to the Umayyad dynasty in Cordoba.
Religious history is also evident in the many attractions of Spain, which include the Seville Cathedral. The Seville Cathedral is easily the biggest of its kind, featuring a dense wall of holy saints encapsulated into a beautiful golden altar. Built in the sixteenth century in Seville, it houses the grave of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus.