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Spain see + do

The variety of the attractions in Spain means that itineraries can satisfy everyone from the beach bum to the gourmand, the history buff to the design fiend. Most visitors land first in Madrid, the buzzing capital, known for its nonstop nightlife and world-class art museums. From here, you can tour the ancient cities of central Spain like Toledo, Segovia, and Ávila. Or, zip down to Andalucía on the high-speed AVE train for the passionate flamenco and fascinating Moorish architecture of Seville and Córdoba.

Barcelona, Spain's most cosmopolitan city, is a must for lovers of contemporary art and design. The Catalan capital blends Mediterranean charm with looming Gothic steeples, cutting-edge style, and the fanciful architecture of Modernisme (the Catalan interpretation of Art Nouveau). Nearby, you can escape to the ruggedly beautiful coasts of the Costa Brava or the slate-roofed villages of the Pyrenees.

The northwestern swath of the country is "green" Spain, a region of lush mountains, small villages, and incredible coastal scenery that contrasts sharply with the better-known Spanish images of bullfighting and flamenco. Head north for hiking in the Picos de Europa national park or to explore the quiet towns along the Cantabrian coast. Turn your compass east to sample the vibrant Basque Country, where Bilbao's spectacular Guggenheim Museum and the delectable cuisine of San Sebastián await.

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Rioja Wine Tours, Rioja

A must-go destination for oenophiles, the Rioja region was turning out serious vintages even back in the 1970s and '80s, when the rest of the country was still...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
Real Football, Madrid

Anyone who even nominally follows soccer is in awe of Real Madrid, and if you're lucky enough to be in town for a game (half the weekends from September to May,...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid

The go-to gallery for Goyas; including two of the artist's self portraits, as well as paintings by Ribera and Velázquez. But it's not only the...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Port America's Cup, Valencia

When Swiss team Alinghi announced that Valencia had won the bid to host their 2007 America's Cup defense, there were citywide celebrations. But the new...more

see the Valencia guide
Editors' Pick
Poble Sec

Few visitors venture into Poble Sec, the largely residential "dry village," so named because it lacked any water supply until the 19th century. The narrow...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Poble Nou

Poble Nou is flat, with wide boulevards and low-rise housing. Gentrification of this former industrial neighborhood has come in the form of Diagonal Mar, a...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, Seville

Bizet's Carmen met her fate in the red-and-yellow Real Maestranza bullring, where a statue of her now stands. This elegant ring, flanked by stables and a...more

see the Seville guide
Editors' Pick
Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

For centuries, religious pilgrims have walked from various points across the country to reach this city, in Spain's northwestern region of Galicia. It's said...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation, Palma, Mallorca

Set in the hills just outside the city of Palma, the artist Joan Miró and his wife, Pilar, opened the foundation in 1981 as a place to promote art in all...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Penedès Wine Country, Catalonia

The Penedès region, southwest of Barcelona, has been making wine since the Romans arrived 2,000 years ago. Its rolling hills are home to some of the...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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