Europe Spain 10 Days in Spain: The Perfect Spain Itinerary

10 Days in Spain: The Perfect Spain Itinerary


There’s just something about Spain. Everything about the country is extremely inviting to travelers looking for new experiences, foods, and sights. With a culture all its own and a remarkable blend of histories, no two places in Spain are quite the same. 

Of course, that makes it tough to decide what to do in Spain in 10 days. How do you pack in all these different experiences and make it to all the best places to visit in Spain in just 10 days? Well, you start right here with our Spain itinerary and let us guide you through the planning process for your trip. That way, you can quit worrying and jump right to counting down the days until you arrive.

Best Time to Visit Spain

One of the many things you need to work out when planning your trip is when to visit. The best time to visit Spain is somewhat hard to pin down, as it’s strongly tied to your preferences in terms of weather and crowd levels.

Many seem to think that summer is the obvious choice for a trip to Spain. Longer days and sunny skies can be perfect for sightseeing and outdoor dining. But don’t underestimate how hot Spain can get in summer or the problems that destinations like Barcelona have with overtourism. Summer is also when locals often take their holidays, amplifying the feeling of too many tourists.

A more enjoyable time to visit Spain is the shoulder season, either side of summer. By visiting in spring (April through early June) or fall (September and October), you’ll skip the crowds and sweltering heat of the high season. In their place, you should find perfect weather for sightseeing and more reasonable lines at major attractions.

If you’re looking for a winter escape, Spain may well be your answer. It’s noticeably warmer than most of Europe at this time, so you should have no problem sightseeing in the cool weather or finding more affordable accommodations. However, certain attractions may have reduced hours in winter.

How to Get Around Spain

Though you may not realize it before visiting Spain, it’s a fairly large country. With an itinerary like this one, you’ll be doing your fair share of travel to get from one place to another, and you have multiple options for how to do it.

For the most freedom in following and personalizing your itinerary, renting a car is the way to go. With a rental car, you can leave whenever and go wherever you want. Of course, that freedom comes with the responsibility of navigating unfamiliar locations and finding parking places. If you plan to drive, ask all your hotels whether they have parking available and whether it’s free.

Recommendation: To get the best rate on a rental car, check out This site searches and compares prices from all major rental companies in Spain, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best possible price.

Driving isn’t for everyone, though, which is where Spain’s public transportation comes in. Spain’s high-speed train network, Renfe, easily rivals those of its neighbors in Western Europe. You can hop aboard intercity trains and actually get from point A to B much faster than you could by driving. Of course, you’ll pay for that convenience.

A far more budget-friendly approach to traveling around Spain is to take the various bus companies that connect the country. The bus is generally much cheaper than the train, but it’s the slowest means of transport by far. A better alternative in some cases is a carpooling service like BlaBlaCar, which helps you cut costs without wasting too much time on the road.

Where to Stay in Spain

Just as important as figuring how to get from one place to the next is working out where to stay in Spain. The right accommodation can not only save you time and money, but also dramatically increase your enjoyment of the trip. Nothing sours a holiday quite like rotten accommodations.

It goes without saying that you should book well in advance if you plan on going to Spain during the high season. If you plan far enough ahead, you’ll have your pick of accommodations, whatever your budget or preferred style.

The best places to stay in Spain aren’t limited to budget hostels or high-end hotels. You can find all sorts of places to stay, although you may need to search for them on different websites. Hostelworld is where you can find backpacker-style accommodations with dorms and private rooms. You can also check out our lists of the best hostels in Madrid and Barcelona. lists all types of accommodation, including hotels, apartments, guesthouses, and bed-and-breakfasts. With a huge selection for each destination on this itinerary, you won’t have trouble finding places to stay on If you want to enjoy a more local experience, staying with others or in a fully furnished apartment, Airbnb is the place to look.

In case sifting through pages of listings doesn’t appeal to you, we’ve included recommendations for accommodation at each stop on your Spain itinerary below.

The Perfect 10-Day Spain Itinerary

This itinerary uncovers the very best things to do in Spain. Following our guide, you’ll journey from the nation’s capital, Madrid, down to the intoxicating Andalusian city of Seville. After a stop in Granada to take in the Alhambra, you’ll head to the cultural dynamo that is Valencia before finishing up in beloved Barcelona. 

This trip will take you across much of Spain, showing you all the variety and complexities of the Iberian Peninsula. You’ll soon find that this is a wonderful first glimpse into the country and undoubtedly be eager to return for more.

However, before we get to our Spain itinerary, we just wanted to remind you to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave home without it.

SafetyWing offers travel insurance for only about $10 a week, making it a no-brainer to get. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:

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SafetyWing is, of course, not the only option available. Two other popular alternatives are World Nomads and Heymondo.

OK, now here’s our Spain travel itinerary, which will show you how to plan your 10 days in Spain so that you experience as much as possible.

Madrid cityscape and aerial view of of Gran Via shopping street, Spain
Bertl123 /

Day 1: Madrid

Your journey through Spain begins in its capital city, Madrid. Despite being a modern center of culture and home to its fair share of grandiose landmarks, Madrid is quite an underrated destination. This is a great place to start familiarizing yourself with Spain and its way of life.

As good a place as any to start in Madrid is the Puerta del Sol, a lively square in the city center. As you get a sense of the city’s bustling energy, head to the other prominent square nearby, the Plaza Mayor. This square in Madrid’s old quarter is surrounded by grand buildings with portico arcades running through them.

Continuing on, you’ll soon reach the Royal Palace of Madrid, which has over 3,000 rooms inside! You can walk around the gardens or tour the interior of this royal residence. Just across the way, the Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple moved here, provides quite the visual contrast to the palace. Both sites give you direct access to Gran Vía, the striking boulevard running through much of Madrid.

To escape the noise and bustle of the city, you can stroll around the massive grounds and gardens of Parque del Buen Retiro. A walk in the park can also take you to the Prado Museum, a world-famous art museum full of masterpieces by artists from the Spanish Golden Age, as well as the Italian and Flemish schools. This is definitely one of the highlights of Madrid. Lines for the Prado Museum can get quite long, though, especially in summer, so it’s a good idea to purchase your skip-the-line tickets in advance here.

Best places to stay in Madrid:

Further reading:

Statue of Philip III at Mayor plaza in Madrid in a beautiful summer day on in Madrid, Spain
S-F /

Day 2: Madrid

On day two, you have the chance to tailor this itinerary to your interests. Madrid has plenty more cultural attractions and activities that you could spend the day exploring, but so do the surrounding parts of Spain. There are some fantastic day trips from Madrid, so the choice of one or a few of the following is yours to make.

  • Reina Sofía Museum: Madrid’s vast Reina Sofía National Art Museum is full of works by 20th-century Spanish artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, showcasing the depth of talent in Spanish art.
  • Santiago Bernabéu Stadium: Football is beloved in Spain, and there’s no better place in Madrid to experience that passion than at the home ground of Real Madrid. You don’t need to show up on game day, as you can tour the stadium – including the dressing rooms and presidential box – on just about any normal day.
  • Segovia: A classic day trip from Madrid, the ancient city of Segovia delights with its historic sites. See the spectacular Aqueduct of Segovia – an ancient Roman structure that somehow still stands – or walk the streets of the traditional Jewish Quarter. Don’t miss the mighty Alcázar of Segovia, where you can tour the castle rooms and experience sweeping views from the tower.
  • Toledo: If you want to see a city that has fully retained its historic character, a day trip to Toledo is a great idea. Go inside the city walls and walk its narrow medieval streets to find the two huge landmarks that dominate Toledo’s skyline – the Primatial Cathedral of St. Mary and the Alcázar of Toledo. You can also find remnants of the historic Christian, Jewish, and Arab communities throughout the city, reflecting its multicultural past.

Recommendation: To get the most out of your second day in Madrid, consider this full-day tour to Toledo and Segovia. You’ll get to admire all the main attractions of these two cities and visit the Alcázar of Segovia, which is said to have inspired Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle. This tour is perfect if you don’t have much time but still want to visit all the best of Spain.

Plaza de Espana is an architectural ensemble located in the Maria Luisa Park in Seville, Spain. It was built as the main building of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.
Anibal Trejo /

Day 3: Seville

Down in the region of Andalusia, we arrive in the superb city of Seville. Thanks to its exciting mix of Spanish and Moorish architecture, as well as its cultural traditions of flamenco and tapas, Seville easily wins over most visitors.

You’ll want to see the Royal Alcázar of Seville pretty much as soon as you arrive. This incredible palace and its gardens are an extraordinary sight, and Game of Thrones fans will recognize filming locations like the Patio de las Doncellas. Just across the street is the enormous Cathedral of St. Mary of the See, once the city mosque and now the third-largest church in the world. Climb its bell tower, La Giralda, for unparalleled city views.

Recommendation: To get the most out of your visit to Seville, book this guided tour. You’ll not only learn about the history of the palace, cathedral, and bell tower, but also skip the long lines. The tour is super cheap, so there’s no downside!

Back at street level, it’s nice to wander Santa Cruz, a neighborhood lined with traditional homes and orange trees. Finding your way to the major pedestrian thoroughfare of Avenida de la Constitución, you’ll soon pass the Royal Tobacco Factory and other buildings of the historic University of Seville.

Before you end your day, walk along the leafy boulevards of Parque de María Luisa and visit a photographer’s dream, the Plaza de España. This square’s ornate pavilion was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and still enchants visitors today.

Best places to stay in Seville:

Further reading:

Triana barrio facades in Seville Andalusia Spain
Tono Balaguer /

Day 4: Seville

There’s still much more of Seville to explore. To start the day, make a beeline for the Mushrooms of Seville, a modern architectural addition to the city. Once you’re done climbing over this beehive-like pavilion, head down the road to the Seville Museum of Fine Arts. Inside this old convent, you’ll find many masterpieces created during Seville’s Golden Age of painting.

Another important cultural pastime of Seville is bullfighting, which you can learn more about at the Real Maestranza Bullring. You can see not only the historic arena but also a museum about the sport. When you cross the road from the bullring, you can walk along the waterfront of the Guadalquivir River down to the Torre del Oro, once an important watchtower for the city.

Having spent so much time on one side of the river, you can now cross over and explore the Triana neighborhood. You’ll have no trouble finding flamenco bars, where you can experience this powerful art form of music and dance. Afterward, hunt down some tapas in Triana or the city center.

View of the famous Alhambra, Granada, Spain.
Lukasz Janyst /

Day 5: Granada

Next on our itinerary is a short stop in another Andalusian gem, Granada. Though you could spend several days discovering all the sights of Granada, there’s really only enough time on this trip for a single day here.

Start your day in the city center at Granada Cathedral. This colossal building stands out from a mile away and feels just as daunting from inside its hallowed, echoing halls. From there, you could head through the old Islamic bazaar (Alcaicería), see the Royal Chapel of Granada, or roam the streets of the whitewashed Albaicín neighborhood.

With just one day in Granada, though, you’ll spend most of your time at the world-famous Alhambra. Immense enough to be its own town, this hilltop fortress is where you’ll see most of Granada’s most incredible spots. An excellent example is the gardens of the Generalife, full of fountains, hedges, and panoramic terraces.

However, the star attraction of this former Moorish palace complex is the Nasrid Palaces, thanks to their exquisite Islamic design and reflecting pools. Make sure to purchase tickets well in advance, even if you can only get nighttime tickets, as a visit to the Nasrid Palaces is a must in Granada.

Best places to stay in Granada:

Further reading:

View on Peniscola from the top of Pope Luna's Castle , Valencia, Spain
Maylat /

Day 6: Valencia

Journeying north, your next stop is Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. While Valencia doesn’t have the same level of name recognition as other destinations on this itinerary, you won’t regret visiting.

To mix things up, begin your visit in the beautiful art nouveau building of the bustling Central Market of Valencia. When you finish browsing foods like jamon and chorizo, step out into the city’s historic center and walk over to the Lonja de la Seda, a UNESCO-recognized architectural wonder.

Heading past the city fixture of Plaza de la Reina, venture over to Valencia Cathedral. Inside this Gothic cathedral, you can see a chalice said to be the Holy Grail itself. The views from its bell tower, El Miguelete, aren’t bad either. From there, find the Serranos Gate, a gargantuan set of towers once part of the city walls.

To finish off the day, wander the neighborhood of El Carmen to soak up its bohemian atmosphere. You’ll come across all sorts of bars and restaurants inside converted palaces here. There’s no better way to round out the day here than with a dinner of Valencian paella, the city’s signature dish.

Best places to stay in Valencia:

Further reading:

Fountain Rio Turia on Square of the Virgin Saint Mary, Valencia Cathedral, Basilica of Virgen the Helpless.
Brian Kinney /

Day 7: Valencia

While we’ve seen the historic side of Valencia, there’s much more to the character of the city than that. This is immediately obvious when you reach the City of Arts and Sciences, a vast, hyper-modern complex of cultural venues and architectural gems. Popular favorites include the aquarium (Oceanogràfic) and planetarium (Hemisfèric), which are ideal for families.

Right next to the City of Arts and Sciences and curving around the historic center is the Jardín del Turia. Believe it or not, this used to be where the Turia River flowed through Valencia, but it’s now a perfectly landscaped park that offers a nice break from the city.

There are several ways you could spend the rest of your time in Valencia. The city is home to countless great museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia, the College of High Silk Art (which covers the city’s historical silk trade), and the Prehistory Museum of Valencia. Alternatively, take it easy with the sun and surf at Malvarrosa Beach.

For more information on what to do, where to stay, and how to get around, check out our detailed Valencia itinerary.

Park Guell by architect Gaudi in a summer day in Barcelona, Spain.
S-F /

Day 8: Barcelona

Your last stop on this trip through Spain is Barcelona. This ever-popular city on the coast of Catalonia is the perfect place to end your Spain trip on a high note.

Start downtown with the first of Barcelona’s many surreal buildings designed by famous local architect Antoni Gaudí, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera). Climb to the rooftop of Casa Milà to see its terrace full of Gaudí-style sculptures. 

Continuing through the downtown area, past the lively Plaça de Catalunya, you’ll soon be on La Rambla, the city’s main leafy boulevard. La Rambla will eventually take you to the atmospheric Gothic Quarter, the city’s historic center. You’ll catch plenty of impressive sights as you walk its medieval streets, including the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia and the picturesque Bridge of Sighs

Another popular tourist spot in this part of town is La Boquería, a market full of fresh produce and traditional food. It’s also not far from the Palau Güell, a Gaudí-designed mansion that you’ll want to see inside and out. From there, make your way across the historic center to celebrate another creative Spanish mind at the Picasso Museum. With thousands of his pieces exhibited here, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger collection of art by Picasso.

End your day with a trip down to La Barceloneta, the city’s fun beachfront neighborhood. Whether you lie on the sand, go for a stroll, or get a drink while you watch the sunset, it’s the perfect place to unwind.

Best places to stay in Barcelona:

Further reading:

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. This impressive cathedral was originally designed by Antoni Gaudi is still being built since 1882.
Mapics /

Day 9: Barcelona

There are still some of the best things do in Barcelona to uncover on your second day here.

You really can’t escape Gaudí in Barcelona, nor would you want to once you see Park Güell in the foothills near the edge of the city. This park is best known for the Dragon Stairway and mosaic-covered viewing terraces designed by Gaudí. Here you’ll also find the home where the acclaimed architect lived for almost 20 years, now the Gaudí House Museum.

Not all of Gaudí’s works were completed, the most famous example being La Sagrada Família. Unfinished for over 100 years, this basilica church is a beautiful sight regardless, especially inside its dazzling nave.

Recommendation: Book a skip-the-line ticket for La Sagrada Família, as the lines can get insanely long. You can also buy your ticket to Park Güell in advance here.

Heading back toward the city center, find the Arc de Triomf. Pass through this majestic 19th-century archway to the Parc de la Ciutadella. In addition to its lovely green space, this park is home to Gaudí’s Cascada Monumental fountain, the Parliament of Catalonia, and the Castle of the Three Dragons, one of the main centers of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona.

A great way to finish the day is with a trip up the hill of Montjuïc by cable car. Go up for the views of the port and coast, though you can also go inside the Castle of Montjuïc to see its military museum if you have time.

Top view on Barcelona street - La Rambla
Lerner Vadim /

Day 10: Barcelona

With plenty of other places to visit in Catalonia, Barcelona is an ideal starting point for day trips. Whether you explore the countryside, the beaches, or other cities in the region is up to you. To give you ideas, we’ve listed some popular day trips from Barcelona below.

  • Montserrat: This mountain range outside of Barcelona is great for hiking and general sightseeing. It has plenty of trails for all skill levels, offering your pick of peaks to hike and rocky scenery to enjoy. For a gentler walk, seek out the St. Mary of Montserrat Abbey and visit the statue of the Virgin Mary that’s said to perform miracles. You can reach Montserrat by train or on a guided tour from Barcelona. The tour includes tapas and wine tasting at a 10th-century castle, Oller del Mas.
  • Girona: Catalonia is not short on beautiful cities, as shown by the historic Girona. Known for its charming riverfront views, the city also boasts enchanting medieval walls, an atmospheric Jewish quarter (El Call), and the striking Girona Cathedral. You’ll happily get lost among its streets, even though it’s nowhere near the size of Barcelona. Girona is also another filming location that Game of Thrones fans will want to see up close. You can book a guided tour to Girona from Barcelona here.
  • Sitges: Spain’s most famous beaches and coastline tend to be much farther south, but you can’t argue with the beach town of Sitges. With multiple beaches within easy reach, Sitges is quite a popular resort destination. If you want a break from the tourist atmosphere, simply walk around the town’s idyllic historic center. The big decision is whether to stick around to revel in the town’s lively nightlife.
Typical street in Vejer de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain.
KikoStock /

Day 11+

The idea of this 10-day Spain itinerary is to take you through as much of the best of Spain as possible in that time frame. We’ve shown you the destinations that you simply can’t miss, but there are plenty more great places out there. If you have time on your trip to visit more places in Spain, consider some of these other amazing destinations.

  • Andalusia: Even after you’ve visited Seville and Granada, there are countless other great cities and towns you can visit in Andalusia. This fantastic region in the south of Spain is just bursting with cultural, historical, and beautiful places to visit – including the ancient Roman and Moorish landmarks of Córdoba, the dynamic coastal city of Málaga, little Ronda with its magnificent bridge, and all the beaches along the Costa del Sol.
  • San Sebastian and/or Bilbao: The two major cities in Basque Country up north couldn’t be more different. San Sebastián is a stunning beachfront city with Belle Époque architecture; Bilbao is full of big cultural institutions and strikingly modern buildings like the Guggenheim Museum. What they have in common is their celebrated food and bar scene, so you could spend all your time in these cities eating and drinking if you wanted.
  • Mallorca: To see a different side of Spain, consider a visit to Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands. While it may be best known for its beachfront resorts and habit of attracting young partiers with resort towns like Magaluf, Mallorca is full of sights and character all its own. Among its rugged countryside and seaside coves are scores of quaint villages begging to be explored. Of course, let’s not forget the main city, Palma, which mixes cultural attractions with a good dose of shopping and bars. 

That’s everything you need to know for seeing Spain in 10 days! We hope planning your trip to Spain is a breeze now. The hard part will be waiting until you get there!



  • Good itinerary, but Im from Spain and I think that you should include more Northern places such us Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral, or the Basque Country.
    Barcelona is a great place to stay and there are lots of things to do but I think that 2 days are enough.
    But it is a very good itinerary.

  • Francisco

    i have a question, on your best estimate how much would this whole itinerary cost?? i have been wanting to go to Spain but i would like to know approximately how much to take.

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