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One Week in Spain Itinerary for culture & history lovers

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Spain is such an interesting country to explore. It has a varied landscape, fascinating culture, and a food haven that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. We have curated this one week in Spain Itinerary for culture and history lovers out there!

You might already know, Spain is huge, and squishing everything in 7 days in Spain may not be feasible, but a glimpse of the north and south of Spain is totally possible. So we have included 7 itineraries here in this post.

So let’s get started.

Perfect One Week in Spain Itinerary for culture & history lovers: What can you do in Spain for 7 days?

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7 days in Spain itinerary: Best of the north and south of Spain

  • Day 1 – 3: Arrive and explore Barcelona
  • Day 4: Montserrat day trip
  • Day 5: Seville 
  • Day 6: Day trip to Granada 
  • Day 7: More of Seville, return to Barcelona

The first 7 days in Spain itinerary is an in-depth exploration of 2 major cities of Catalonia and Andalucía, with possible day trips 

Spain one week itinerary with top cities 

  • Day 1 – 3: Arrive and explore Barcelona
  • Day 4 – 5: Madrid
  • Day 6 – 7: Seville 

The second Spain one week itinerary comes with the top 3 visited cities in Spain like a 2 day in each city kind of deal

One week Spain itinerary: Best of Catalonia  

  • Day 1 – 3: Arrive and explore Barcelona
  • Day 4: Girona day trip
  • Day 5: Costa Brava
  • Day 6 – 7: San Sebastian 

The third 7 days in Spain itinerary is the best of Catalonian cities in northern Spain

One week in Southern Spain: Best of Andalusia 

  • Day 1 – 2: Arrive and explore Seville
  • Day 3: Day trip to Granada
  • Day 4: Day trip to Cordoba 
  • Day 5: Day trip to Ronda
  • Day 6: Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera Day Trip
  • Day 7: Gibraltar 

Fourth is Southern Spain Itinerary 7 days which comprises the best of the south of Spain – Andalusia region – can be done as a Spain road trip

One week in Central Spain: Madrid, Valencia and beyond 

  • Day 1 – 2: Arrive and explore Madrid
  • Day 3: Day trip to Toledo
  • Day 4: Day trip to Segovia
  • Day 5 – 7: Travel to Valencia, spend 2 – 3 days

One week in Coastal Spain from Barcelona (warm months)

This is a perfect Spain one week itinerary for exploring the Mediterranean coast. The coast comprises of Costa Brava, Costa Dorada, Costa Blanca, Costa Cálida and Costa del Sol. 

  • Day 1: Arrive and explore Barcelona
  • Day 2 – 4: Drive to Costa Brava and explore its towns including Girona
  • Day 5: Break in Barcelona
  • Day 6 – 7: Spend 2 days in Costa Dorada

One week in Coastal Spain Andalucia (all year round)

This one week in Andalucia itinerary is great to visit all year round! 

  • Day 1 – 2: Arrive and explore Malaga
  • Day 3: Drive to Torremolinos and soak in the sun
  • Day 4 – 5: Marbella and Fuengirola (stay in Fuengirola, if you like)
  • Day 6 – 7: Spend 2 days in Nerja, return to Malaga on day 7

Map of Spain with sightseeing attractions

One week in Spain itinerary is such a short time, but if you are strategic you can cover the best of the northern (Catalonia) and the southern (Andalusian) region in a relaxed, in-depth way. Both cities are rich in culture and history.

Historically both Catalonia and Andalucía have had different dynasties and rulers and their influence is evident in their way of life, food, and architecture.

As you travel from north to south – you will experience and feel this change in culture, food, and people. Many people love the Andalusian states for a laid-back travel style, unique architecture and cuisines, affordable food, and accommodation.

But Barcelona in Catalonia steals the show (most of the time), because of how rich and big the city attractions are from art nouveau gems to football, the Gothic quarter, shopping, and a metro city image.

We will take you to the largest city in Catalonia and the largest one in Andalucía in this 7 day Spain Itinerary. This country is one of the most intriguing in terms of history and fascinating culture which you won’t see anywhere else in Europe.

Our first one week in Spain itinerary sample is perfect for first time visitors, as it allows you to experience both the regions in the country. (I call this one week in Spain itinerary as one that involves chasing Columbus stories and here’s why)

Port Vell and Christopher Columbus Stories
Port Vell in Barcelona

I started the trip to Spain with Barcelona, looking for Columbus stories. Disappointed, I left to find those pages of history in Portugal with their proud – Age of Discoveries chapter. 

Visited Seville, where my Columbus stories were answered. And then when we returned to Barcelona – there was a different perspective and appreciation for the city.

Read to find out more as we provide you with not one, but 7 – one week in Spain itinerary samples to plan your trip. 

READ: 15 Most beautiful places to visit in Spain

How many days do you need in Spain? Is 1 week enough in Spain?

If you wish to explore 2 major cities or selected regions, you can do so in one week in Spain itinerary. To make the most of your one week, book the entry tickets to the city’s iconic attractions in advance. Popular cities in Spain are notorious for long queues.

If you are exploring 2 different regions (like Catalonia & Central, Central & Andalucía, or Catalonia & Andalucía), we recommend using a combination of public transport, guided walking tours/bikes, or day tours to make the most of your trip and time.

For exploring the southern region of Andalucía, road trips are a popular option, but we used a combination of public transport and day tours.

One week in Spain Itinerary – Planning for your trip to Spain 

To start exploring Spain, begin with a favorable-fare-friendly city to land in. For some, it could be Barcelona and for others Madrid. For the purposes of this itinerary, we will use Barcelona as the starting point.

From all major cities in Canada and the United States (North America basically), fares to Barcelona were cheaper, and the price difference between the two was about 100 odd dollars. A visit to Barcelona – Catalonia’s largest city and capital is a must.

Sagrada Familia - One week in Spain Itinerary

Day 1 of Spain Itinerary– Arriving in Barcelona Spain

Most flights to Barcelona will land in the city by noon, which means you will have half a day to explore. Barcelona International airport or El Prat airport is located about 13 kilometres away from the city center. Here are 3 options to get to the city center or your hotel.

1. Metro Train – Take a metro train to the city center for 4.20 euros. Barcelona public transportation is very efficient and connects the city very effortlessly. (The Airport Metro line is called L9 Sud).

If you plan on using transit extensively it is worth purchasing a pass for 2-3 days. We saved quite a bit doing this on our first trip to Barcelona (also useful if your hotel is located further away from the city center). Buy your Barcelona metro pass here.

2. Aeroport Bus – Take an airport bus (Aeroport bus from terminal 1) to the Plaza Espanya and the metro from there to your destination (or walk if it’s located nearby). It takes about 40 minutes. We utilized this service on our first day in Barcelona. Book your bus tickets here.

3. Taxi – Private taxi to your hotel. You can reserve your private airport transfer here.

Whichever method of travel you choose or wherever you go, be mindful of your belongings. Keep them close to you, keep zippers closed, don’t get distracted by a fight or drama nearby.

Stories of theft and pickpockets are real. But we didn’t lose a thing. Remember – Purse close to you and closed, leave it cross body if you are wearing one. Don’t pay heed to distractions around you. More Barcelona tips here.

Hotels in Barcelona 

For 2-4 days in Barcelona, staying near the center or where metro connectivity is great will be super convenient.  We stayed at the Hotel Garbi Milenni, near the city center and the Plaza Cataluña station was pretty close by. 

  • Hotel Garbi Milenni – This hotel was in a good location and near main sightseeing attractions.
    • A 4-star hotel, with spacious room and modern amenities. Free wifi. The hotel has a rooftop pool – hot tub
    • Convenient location to metro and sightseeing.
    • Book your stay here.
  • Hotel Alimara – This is another hotel we stayed in, during one of our visits.
    • It is located away from the center, but still conveniently accessible due to the metro. Nearest station Mundet.
    • The hotel had a restaurant on site which was useful, especially that one night when it rained cats and dogs in Barcelona. 
    • Book your stay here. 
  • Search for more hotels in Barcelona 
  • Looking for Airbnbs instead? Click here for top picks – best airbnbs in Spain

Exploring on day 1 in Barcelona – Because you only have half a day to explore today, we recommend taking it easy. On our first day in Barcelona, we went to Las Ramblas the famous street in Barcelona, and checked out what the buzz is all about. It is a pretty nice boulevard with lots of cafes, souvenir stores, hotels, and tours lined up.

La Rambla in one week in Spain Itinerary
La Ramblas

One end of the boulevard leads you to the port (Port Vell) and the other end opens at the Plaça de Catalunya where most tours commence and it is one of the prime squares in the city.

After a quick stroll at Las Ramblas, take the metro or bus to reach the Bunkers del Carmel (also called MUHBA Turó de la Rovira). Bunkers as the locals call it was an anti-aircraft base set up during the Spanish civil war in the 20th century, and after being abandoned, locals use it as a hang-out place.

Barcelona Views from Bunkers
Barcelona Views from Bunkers

There is no entry fee to the site and you are pretty much on your own – exploring, hiking, climbing, picnicking, and whatnot. The place gets pretty crowded in the evenings, but watching the sun go down at the Bunkers is worth all the climb and wait.

From Las Ramblas to Bunkers, take the metro line L4 La Pau, and then you either hike and it is quite a climb. Or wait for a bus (no 119, 22, 24, V19) to take to you to the entrance of the Bunkers.

If you are planning to spend the evening there, carry some soft drinks, snacks and don’t forget your camera!

The Bunkers is pretty safe and we stayed there until 09:30 pm and then returned to Las Ramblas for dinner. On a weekday, most restaurants are open until 11:00 pm, so it was perfect for us.

Views from Bunkers
Views from Bunkers

Day 2 of Spain Itinerary – Exploring Barcelona’s Iconic Attractions

Day 2 in Barcelona will be jam-packed with sightseeing activities.

For the next 2 days in Barcelona, we recommend purchasing a hop on and hop off sightseeing bus tour to make exploring easy. We took the same tour and it helped us to explore more of the city in less time. Buy your sightseeing bus tour here.

After breakfast, head to Sagrada Familia. Sagrada Familia is the most visited landmark in Barcelona and one of the locations from where you can easily redeem your sightseeing bus tour.

Arrive early at the Sagrada Familia using the metro. The metro is located right outside the famed church.

Views of Sagrada
One of the sides of the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Views in one week in Spain Itinerary
Outside Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is the pride of Barcelona and an art nouveau creation of Catalan hero Anthony Gaudi. You will hear a lot about Gaudi in Barcelona, and this is just the beginning. The Sagrada Familia is an incomplete church, with plans to complete the project by 2024, on the centenary death anniversary of Gaudi.

Sagrada Familia’s construction began in the late 19th century and it was planned to be built as one of the finest churches without state support, and only through donations.

Gaudi was the second architect to be assigned this project and he made extensive design plans to support it. His untimely death (tram accident) and the loot caused by the Spanish civil war of 1939, destroyed those design documents. And since then many architects were assigned the task of completing the church.

Interiors of Sagrada
Interiors of Sagrada Familia

We highly recommend taking a guided tour of the Sagrada Familia because the interiors are very beautiful and unlike any other European churches we have seen. There is strict security at the church gates and the place gets crowded by visitors as well.

We recommend getting your tickets ahead of time and online. Tickets will have an entry time slot on them. We chose the morning – 09:30 am for entry so that we could complete the guided tour and then take on the bus tour after, to see the rest of the city. Buy fast track entry tickets to Sagrada Familia.

Up next, head to the El Born Cultural Center (excavated city ruins from the 1700s on display in a museum) and the Arc de Triomf Barcelona. The Arc de Triomf Barcelona was a triumphal arch built in the late 19th century to welcome guests to the Barcelona World Fair. 

Arc de Triumphe in One week in Spain
Arc de Triumphe views

Casa Mila and Casa Batlló are next. Casa Milà was the last known creation of Gaudi. This modernist building was quite ahead of its time, with a self-supporting stone façade, twisted wrought iron designs, and an underground garage. Casa Mila is also known as ‘La Pedrera’ or the stone quarry. 

Both Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are located in the Passeig de Gràcia, known as the expensive street in Barcelona. This is a good neighborhood to shop for luxury brands, go on a stroll, and eat lunch. 

Explore Casa Batllo after lunch. It is one of Gaudi’s finest creations. Interiors are incredibly stunning with beautiful glasswork, wrought iron, wood, ceramic tiles, and stone ornaments. Casa Batllo was built for the Batllo family, and due to the modernist art designs, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Book your tickets to the Casa Batllo here.

Casa Batllo in Barcelona
Casa Batllo

In the evening, head to the Park Guell for a gorgeous sunset experience and a stroll in Barcelona’s finest parks. Park Guell was designed by Gaudi as a housing oasis surrounded by greenery and stunning mosaic art.

Park Guell was meant to accommodate up to 40 families in a housing facility, which never happened. They were meant for the affluent families (or richer classes) away from the masses, diseases, and industrial residues of the city center.

Views of Park Guell
Views of Park Guell

Today Park Guell is a wonderful place to relax and be in the midst of nature. To enter the park, there is no entry fee. But to enter the designated monument area and yea that’s the place you see the colorful tower and mosaic tiles, you have to pay an entry fee of 11 euros. There is an Anthony Gaudi museum located in the park as well.

Again line-ups are crazy for this cultural site as well. So book in advance and we recommend choosing an evening time slot so that you can enjoy it without having to rush back. Book your fast track entry ticket to the Park Güell. 

Day 3 of Spain Itinerary – History or Soccer Lover?

On day 3 of your Spain Itinerary, continue with the hop on and hop off tour to explore the other side of Barcelona – the likes of the Montjuic mountain and Mount Tibidabo.

montjuic and the magic fountain
Montjuic and the magic fountain

Option 1: Use the hop on and hop off bus tour and utilize the entire day to explore Montjuïc and popular sports sites. This is perfect for football lovers as you can explore Camp Nou and the Olympics stadium, and spend time at amusement parks and villages. Book here for Camp Nou experience and tour.

There is an art museum – Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), which is worth exploring too. You can finish the day by watching the magic fountains of Montjuic. Montjuic is the tallest mountain in Barcelona and the site of the 1992 Olympics (Barcelona Olympic Park at Montjuïc).

Option 2: The second option is to use the hop and hop-off tour to explore the Montjuic areas, without intimately exploring them. That way you will be done at noon-ish and you can get down at the Plaza Cataluña, to explore the Gothic Quarter in the afternoon. Here is an afternoon tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Gothic Quarter Lanes in One week in Spain
Gothic Quarter Lanes

Option 3: The third option will allow you to intimately explore La Ramblas, the Gothic quarter, and Park Vell. And if you ask us, we enjoyed this option as it is more relaxed. In the morning you can head to La Ramblas and embark on a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.

The Gothic Quarter has some of the Roman ruins still intact, for you to explore. The Barcelona Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia can also be explored in this tour. It is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. 

This tour lasts 2.5 hours and after that, you can stop at any of the restaurants for lunch. Try chicken paella (there are fast-food chains located near the La Ramla stretch as well). Book this walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Historic La Boqueria Market Barcelona
La Boqueria

There is a historic marketplace – La Boqueria – that is worth checking out and you can also binge eat there for lunch, snack or supper. After a good lunch (or late lunch), go on a stroll to kill those carbs and stroll towards the port.

Port Vell is a wonderful oasis where you can take sunset river cruises, walk or just relax by the sea. Here is an option for a sunset cruise with live music. Book your cruise here, departing from Port Vell.

Port Vell is home to Cristobal Colon, a statue of Christopher Columbus pointing at the sea (or believed that it was pointing at the New World). I was surprised to see only one monument was dedicated to this fleet.

Cristobal Colon
Cristobal Colon near Port Vell

Barcelona doesn’t talk a lot about sea discovery. There is a port museum near the Colon that is worth checking out.

Did you know – Columbus remains have been traveling the world since he died. Spooky right? He was buried in Valladolid, Spain. Then moved to Seville Spain in his family mausoleum. Dominic Republic was his home for a bit and then his bones were moved to Havana Cathedral. Currently, they are resting in the Seville Cathedral. 

Day 4 of Spain Itinerary – Montserrat or Costa Brava and traveling to Seville South of Spain

For day 4 of the Spain itinerary – here are a few options. The next destination in the one week in Spain itinerary is the southern city of Seville.

To explore Seville, you can either fly or take an overnight train.


Flying to Seville – If you are flying to Seville, it will take you less than 2 hours to arrive in the city. Round trip flights start at 50 USD. If you go this route, you can add a quick day trip to the Abbey of Montserrat.

Morning tours leave at 09:00 am and you will be back in town by 12:00 pm. Book this half day tour to Montserrat.

Traveling by overnight high speed train – If you plan on taking an overnight train, you have the whole day to yourself. For beach lovers, this is a fantastic option to add a day trip to Costa Brava. Costa Brava is also home to the finest Dali museums. 

Costa Brava is 2.50 hours from Barcelona and you can enjoy a day of sun and sand before departing for Seville late at night. The train journey to Seville takes about 10 hours. Book a day tour to Costa Brava from Barcelona.

Day 5 of Spain Itinerary – Warming up to Seville 

Day 5 in Seville starts with breakfast or brunch in Seville. For today, we recommend checking out only the city highlights and then enjoying a flamenco show and dinner in the evening.

Plaza de Espanya Seville
Plaza de Espanya Seville

Area wise Seville is not huge like Barcelona and things are cheaper here as well. For accommodation in Seville, stick to a central area as it will be convenient to travel to sightseeing areas and take tours.

We stayed at the Hotel Madrid Seville, located on the cusp of the city center.

So for the first day in Seville, explore the 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites of Real Alazar Palace, Seville Cathedral, and General Archives of the Indies. This will easily occupy the majority of your day after you arrive in Seville.

(Let’s say 12:00 pm to 05:00 pm with 2 hours in Real Alazar Palace, Seville Cathedral, and then an hour at the archives).

If you took a flight to Seville, you can start your day early by exploring the same attractions – the earlier you go better. And then in the late afternoon, take a boat tour.

Real Alcazar Palace
Alcazar Palace

The Royal Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace in Seville and one of the most visited sites in the city. The palace was on the site of an Abbadid Muslim fortress, a Moorish palace of the 10th century (built by the first Caliph of Andalucía).

This stunning palace was the home for the Christian king Peter of Castile, after their conquest of Seville in the 14th century. Many remnants of the palace are a testimony to the past Moorish rule and amalgamation of the Christian way of life. 

Interiors of Real Alcazar Palace
Interiors of Real Alcazar Palace

The interiors of the palace are adorned with ornate doors and ceilings, with beautiful gardens and fountains. You can easily spend up to 2 hours here exploring the royal palace. Remember to secure your tickets online here.

Located very close to the Real Alcazar are the Seville Cathedral and the beautiful Giralda tower. Seville Cathedral or the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is a grand Roman Catholic cathedral and the LARGEST cathedral in the world.

The site of the Cathedral belonged to a mosque of the 13th century and for many years it was known as a “Christianized Mosque”. 

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral

A lot of additions were made to the structure and they were made in Gothic style in the 16th and later in the 19th century. Christopher Columbus is buried here. 

The church bell tower is the Giralda, with a height of 343 feet (105 m). It was a former minaret of the mosque that stood here. It was converted into a bell tower for the cathedral after the Reconquista. You can visit both Seville Cathedral and the Giralda Tower using this fast track ticket. Check out the priority access ticket here.

The Archivo General de Indias or General Archive of the Indies is located in the same complex. It contains archival documents illustrating the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines. 

Click to Buy > Combo ticket to Alcazar, Seville Cathedral, and Giralda Tower 

In the evening, relax by taking a food tour. We have tried tapas in Barcelona and Seville and Seville steals the show – such affordable food and a tapas/food walking tour is the way to go if you have not done tapas before. 

Tapas in Seville
Tapas in Seville

You can add a tapas and flamenco tour as well. Flamenco is a bohemian-gypsy art-form or dance, based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain. Seville is a good place to experience flamenco while enjoying tapas – both an Andalucian creation. 

  • Flamenco and food tour > Here is a 3-hour food and flamenco show, with a lights tour in Seville. Click here to view more.
  • Flamenco and drink > This is a one-hour flamenco show with a welcome drink. Book your tour here.
  • Tapas and Wine Tasting > Here is a 3-hour tapas and wine tasting tour. Book your tour here.

Day 6 of Spain Itinerary – Explore more of Andalucia – Granada 

Day 6 is set aside to explore more of Andalucía. We recommend taking a day trip to Granada today to explore the second most visited palace in Europe – the Nasrid palaces of the Alhambra.

Seville to Granada is 3 hours drive, one-way by rental car. Trains will take close to 4 hours. We recommend driving there or taking a day tour that includes a guided exploration of the palaces. 

Granada Views
Granada Views

If you are taking a day tour to Granada, you will explore the Moorish salons, courtyards, and pavilions. A guided tour is included in the Moorish palace that was built for the Nasrid emirs (in the 13th and 14th centuries).  Other than the Nasrid Palaces, take a stroll at the Generalife – the summer pleasure gardens of the Emir. 

Granada’s historic Albaicín quarter of the Moors is a stunning narrow street filled with fragrant flowers. Stop at the city center of Granada for lunch, and then explore the old center.

In the evening as you depart from Granada, you will see spectacular panoramas over the Alhambra fortress with the hilly backdrop of Sierra Nevada. Book this day tour to Granada from Seville 

You can swap day 7 for day 6. We included Granada on day 6 so that you can explore Granada at ease and utilize the morning in Seville to explore other neighborhoods, before flying out.

Day 7 of Spain Itinerary – More of Seville South of Spain

On day 7 of your one week in Spain itinerary, explore more of Seville. You can customize day 7 based on your return flight (same day to Barcelona or flying out of Seville).

Plaza de Espanya Seville
Plaza de Espanya Seville

Begin your sightseeing with a visit to the most beautiful World Exposition plaza that we have ever seen – the Plaza de Espanya. Seville’s history is marked by developments in the 20th century with the 2 large trade expositions one held in 1929 and one in 1992.

Plaza de España was built to host the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. It was built on the site of Parque de María Luisa, with mixed elements of the Baroque, Renaissance Revival, and Moorish Revival style, making it truly a unique reflection of Andalusian culture. 

Entry to the plaza is completely free. You can easily spend a couple of hours here, admiring and photographing the square. 

Plaza de Espanya in Seville
Plaza de Espanya in Seville

There are many interesting World Expo pavilions that you can check out. These exhibition buildings were constructed along the Guadalquivir River.

So other than the Plaza de España, there are pavilions from the regional Spanish states along with Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, and the Americas. They were built as permanent sites and today these buildings house archival material. 

A Salón del Descubrimento de América was established during the exposition that showcased documents, maps, and other objects related to the discovery of the Americas, including a manuscript that belonged to Christopher Columbus and Santa Maria – Columbus’s ship replica. 

Triana neighborhood, located on the west bank (left side) of the Guadalquivir River, is a bohemian colorful quarter of Seville. This area is excellent for lunching and for finding hidden gems in the city. Also, perfect photo spots can be found here.  

Triana Views
Triana Views

Triana is sprinkled with history, flamencos, tapas, and everything Andalusian. It is not grand like the Alcazar palace or the cathedral nor super crowded like the Santa Cruz quarter or Barrio Santa Cruz, but it’s the colorful houses, small cafes, mosaic tiles, and the Isabel II Bridge that will melt your heart. Isabel II Bridge (also called Triana Bridge) connects the neighborhood to the city center. 

Spend your afternoon in Triana in and around their Plaza Altozano. In the evening, take a river cruise on the Guadalquivir to bid adieu to the charming city of Seville. Book a yacht cruise – Guadalquivir river. 

READ: Detailed guide to Seville in 2 days 

One week in Spain Itinerary (Sample 2) – 3 Major city highlights Barcelona, Madrid, Seville

You can modify the above 7 days in Spain itinerary to include Madrid – the capital city.

Barcelona views from Park Guell
Barcelona views from Park Guell

Here is how it will look.

Day 1 -3 is the same as above. Arrive and explore Barcelona. Here is a detailed 3 days in Barcelona itinerary

Day 4 – 5 Take a flight to Madrid. The flight takes 1.50 hours, fares start at 110 USD. Stay in a centrally located area to explore the city’s highlights. Depending on when you arrive and leave for Seville, you will have 1.50 to 2 days in Madrid, so we recommend that you explore the iconic landmarks in Madrid on day one.

One of the popular attractions in Madrid is the Royal Palace of Madrid – a massive 3500 room royal residence, it is the largest palace in the whole of Europe. A guided tour costs around 4-5 euros and you can explore the staterooms in an hour.

The Spanish royal family lives outside of the State palace (The Palacio Real de Madrid). 

Madrid beautiful cities in Spain

Another must-visit is the Plaza Mayor, which is a major public space in the heart of the city. Being a capital city, you will easily find a ton of museums, royal structures, and gardens. 

The most popular garden and park are the Buen Retiro Park or El Retiro. This park originally belonged to the Spanish Monarchy, but today it is a public park. El Retiro is filled with royal remnants and wonderful monuments. There is the Crystal Palace, Paseo de las Estatuas, the Statue Walk, Alfonso XII monument, and a man-made lake to explore. 

A stroll walk in the park will bring you to the Prado Museum. It is known for masterpieces by artists from the Spanish Golden Age, as well as the Italian and Flemish schools. 

Views of Madrid in 7 days in Spain Itinerary
Views of Madrid in 7 days in Spain: One of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers

For your second day in Madrid, explore the Puerta del Sol – a public square in Madrid. From Puerta del Sol, walk to arrive at the Gran Via. Gran Vía is a famous shopping street in Madrid. This area is also close to other sightseeing attractions like the Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza de España. 

One of the unique things to see in Madrid is the Temple of Debod – an ancient Egyptian temple. It was dismantled and brought from Egypt and rebuilt in Madrid, Spain.

Day 6 and 7 Spend time in Seville as above (day 5 and 7 day itinerary activities as listed above).

One week in Spain Itinerary (Sample 3) – Best of CataloniaBarcelona, Girona, Costa Brava, San Sebestian

We have a third itinerary for Spain, which doesn’t include Andalusia, because you CAN spend an entire week here in the south of Spain.  So if you are setting that aside for another trip, and wish to add a beach destination to one week in Spain itinerary then stay put in Catalonia.

Day 1-3 for Barcelona stays the same.

Day 4 explore Girona for the medieval town and history lovers. Girona is characterized by the river Onyar, the colorful houses, and a bridge that adorns the city.

Girona Views

In Girona, walk the walled Old Quarter of Barri Vell and visit the Roman remains of the Força Vella fortress. Beautifully landscaped gardens and watchtowers will welcome you here. The popular series Game of Thrones scenes was filmed in Girona.

You can also take a day tour to visit the city. Book your day tour to Girona here.

Day 5 head to Costa Brava – a haven for beach lovers. Costa Brava is also home to Spanish Surrealist painter – Salvador Dali.

On a day tour to Costa Brava from Barcelona, enjoy a day of sun and sand and admire Dali’s finest works and visit his world-famous museums. Book a day tour to Costa Brava from Barcelona.

Note: You can also move your base to Girona and explore Costa Brava from there. 

Costa Brava
Costa Brava

For fast explorers, you can combine Girona and Costa Brava in one day. Here is a private tour that you can customize, it also includes lunch. Check out this day tour from Barcelona here.

Day 6 – 7 For the last 2 days head to San Sebastian. Flights to San Sebastian are less than 2 hours and the return trip starts at 80 USD.  

San Sebastián is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s Basque Country. It is known for its beaches, cobblestone old town and promenade, and gorgeous landscape. (If you prefer a city instead of a resort town, then opt for Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country.)

If you are a foodie, you should try pintxo (like tapas). The old town is sprinkled with upscale stores, vibrant pintxo bars, and restaurants (plus beach vibes). Search for hotels in San Sebastian here.

One week in Spain Itinerary (Sample 4) – Best of AndaluciaSeville, Granada, Cordoba, Ronda, Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera

The fourth one week in Spain itinerary includes exploring Andalucía only. You can stay in Seville and take day trips from the city. Totally doable.

Day 1-2 Explore Seville. 

Day 3 Day tour to Granada (like the first itinerary).

Day 4 Head to Cordova. Cordova is a fine example of how distinct cultures can live and survive side by side. The city is a beautiful mix of Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures.  

Cordoba at night
Cordoba at night

The city was an important Roman city and a major Islamic center in the Middle Ages. Cordoba’s most popular site is the La Mezquita, which was a mosque in the 8th century and turned into a Catholic church in the 13th century.

It is a medieval town, with a picturesque bridge and a river – those are the quintessential European small town feels! Book a day tour to Cordova from Seville.

Day 5 Explore Ronda. The unique town of Ronda is characterized by a deep gorge called the El Tajo and the beautiful Puente Nuevo bridge built over it.

Ronda South Of Spain

The Puente Nuevo took 40 years to complete (18th century) and offers some of the stunning views of this mountaintop city. This bridge was created to support the other 2 existing bridges over the gorge, namely Puente Viejo or Old Bridge (17th century) and Puente Romano (9th-15th century).

Another popular attraction in Ronda is the largest bullring called the Bullring of the Royal Cavalry, Ronda.

Being surrounded by a great landscape, you can explore many natural caves and canyons like the Cueva del Gato and Guadalevin. Ronda is also home to a palace of hanging gardens and a water mine called the La Casa del Rey Moro.

To explore Ronda’s highlights you can take a day tour from any of the popular southern cities. Ronda is geographically located in the province of Malaga. Here is a day tour from Seville to Ronda.

Day 6 Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera Day Trip. Cadiz is a lovely seaside town located an hour away from Seville. 

Cadiz in One week in Spain
Cadiz in One week in Spain

Everything about Cadiz beams with Mediterranean charm. There is sunny weather, a blue sea, and beautiful church bell towers. Similar to this seaside town is Arcos de la Frontera. It has dreamy whitewashed houses and spectacular views.

Arcos de la Frontera is listed as a national historic site and is home to the white village of Andalusia (Pueblos Blancos). A city with Moorish and Christian roots, the Basilica of Santa María de la Asunción is a must-visit.

From Seville, it takes about 1.25 hours to drive to Cadiz and Arcos de la Frontera. Here is a day tour that combines both. Book this Cadiz and Frontera day tour.

Day 7 Gibraltar. Gibraltar is not located in Spain, but because you are in Seville, utilize the occasion to explore the Rock of Gibraltar, which otherwise is hard to get to. 

Strait of Gibraltar Views
Strait of Gibraltar Views

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and we explored the country on a day tour. Our tour highlights included the lighthouse of the Strait of Gibraltar, exploring St Michael Cave and playing with monkeys, Moorish Castle, city center, fish and chips lunch, and shopping! Book this day tour to Gibraltar from Seville.

One week in Central Spain Itinerary (Sample 5) – Madrid, Valencia and beyond 

If you’re looking to explore central Spain, this is the perfect itinerary for you. In just one week, you’ll be able to visit some of the region’s most famous cities and landmarks. Here are the highlights:

Day 1 – 2: Start in Madrid, the capital city and home to a wealth of historical landmarks and cultural attractions.

If you only have two days in Madrid, do visit the Royal Palace, which is one of the largest palaces in Europe. Explore the city’s many museums, including the Prado Museum, which is home to some of the world’s most famous works of art.

Retiro Park in Madrid
Retiro Park in Madrid

Take a stroll through the beautiful Retiro Park, and don’t forget to enjoy a traditional Spanish dinner in one of the city’s many restaurants.

Day 3: On day three, take a day trip to Toledo, a city that is known for its stunning architecture and history.

Toledo is a city located about an hour away from Madrid. You can also take the train to get there (or drive). 

The city is known for its stunning architecture and history. Some of the highlights of Toledo include the Cathedral of Toledo, the Alcázar of Toledo, and the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca. Toledo is also a great place to shop for souvenirs, as there are many artisanal shops in the city.

Toledo is one of the oldest cities in Europe and home to an impressive mix of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures. 

Day 4: On day four, travel to Segovia. 

Segovia is a historical city located in the north-central region of Spain. It is known for its well-preserved Roman aqueduct and its medieval castles, including the Alcázar of Segovia and the Castillo de Coca (located on the outskirts of Coca). 

Segovia is also home to a large number of churches, including the Cathedral of Segovia. You can reach Segovia by train or drive (1 hour). 

Day 5 -7: Finally, spend 2 days in Valencia. Madrid to Valencia takes over 3 hours for a drive to get there. You can take the train, and arrive in about 2 hours. 

Virgin square with Turia fountain, Basilica of Our Lady of the Forsaken, and Apostles Gate of the Valencia cathedral
Virgin square with Turia fountain, Basilica of Our Lady of the Forsaken, and Apostles Gate of the Valencia cathedral

In Valencia, you can visit the City of Arts and Sciences, which is an architectural complex that contains a science museum, an aquarium, a planetarium, and a theater. 

You can also visit the Cathedral of Valencia, which is one of the iconic landmarks of the city dating back to the 13th century. Valencia is also the birthplace of paella, so don’t forget to try it there. 

Although 2 days are great to explore Valencia, depending on your return flight, you can either drive back to Madrid by evening on day 7. 

Another option is to visit Buñol in Valencia (a 30-minute drive on day 7). This town is known for the La Tomatina festival (August 31) where people throw tomatoes at each other. At other times, you can wander the town, visit the Castillo, and many natural scapes in Bunol!

One week in Coastal Spain from Barcelona (Sample 6)

If you only have a week to spend in Spain, coastal areas are one of the best places to visit. The Mediterranean coastline is dotted with beautiful towns and villages, each with its own distinct character and charm. 

Here’s a suggested itinerary for spending one week in coastal Spain, and this is perfect to visit in the warm months. 

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona and spend one day exploring the city highlights. 

There are so many things to see and do in Barcelona that it’s impossible to fit it all into one day. Highlights include the Gothic Quarter, La Sagrada Família, Park Güell, and Casa Battlo. If you only have a day, try to focus on the highlights and explore the rest of the city on a future visit.

Day 2 – 4: Drive to Costa Brava and spend 3 days exploring the coastal towns of Cadaqués, Palafrugell, Llafranc, and Tamariu.

Aerial view of Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain
Aerial view of Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain

The Costa Brava is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Spain, with dramatic cliffs, coves, and crystal-clear waters. These three towns are some of the prettiest on the coast, with narrow streets, whitewashed houses, and stunning sea views.

Then drive to Girona on day 4, and spend the day exploring the city and its medieval quarter. Highlights include the Gothic cathedral, the old quarter, and the riverside walks.

Day 5: Return to Barcelona, and this time enjoy Port Vell and Barceloneta beach. 

If interested, you can also drive straight to Costa Dorada and spend 2 days.

Day 6 – 7: Visit Costa Dorada and spend 2 days. 

On day 6, drive to Costa Dorada (1.50-hour drive) and visit the city of Tarragona. It is home to well-preserved Roman ruins. The city is also located on the Costa Dorada, which means “Golden Coast”.

Amphitheater roman in Tarragona of Catalonia

The coastline here is beautiful, and it’s a great place to spend a day swimming and sunbathing.

On day 7, spend time at one of the beaches like Llevant Beach. You can go jet skiing, scuba diving, water skiing, and windsurfing. Costa Dorada has a water park, PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park which is worth visiting!

One week in Costa del Sol (Sample 7) – Southern coast

If you’re looking for an idyllic European escape, consider spending a week exploring the Costa del Sol region of Spain.

The Costa del Sol stretches along the Mediterranean Sea making it the perfect destination for those who love the beach. It is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations, with miles of sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque villages.

View of Malaga best day trips from Seville Spain
Aerial view of Malaga, Andalusia, Costa del Sol, Spain

Some of the most popular towns in this region include Marbella, Malaga, and Torremolinos. All offer stunning views of the sea as well as plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you entertained.

Day 1 – 2: Arrive in Malaga and spend 2 days exploring the city. 

Malaga is the largest city on the coast and a good base for exploring the region. Highlights include the hilltop citadels – the Alcazaba and ruined Gibralfaro, Roman Theatre, and the Malaga Cathedral.

Day 3: Spend a day in Torremolinos beaches and old town charms.

Day 4 – 5: Hang out at the beaches of Marbella and Fuengirola. Top choices include Cabopino Beach, and Playa de San Pedro de Alcántara. You can base yourself in Fuengirola. Distance from Marbella to Fuengirola is 30 minutes. 

Day 6 – 7: Explore Nerja for the remainder of the trip. Nerja to Malaga is 45 minute drive away, so you can easily return on day 7 to fly out. 

Spanish landscape, Nerja, Costa del Sol, Spain

There is so much to do and see in Nerja, you could easily spend a day or even more exploring all that this charming town has to offer. Be sure to check out the Balcon de Europa for some stunning views of the town and coastline, take a swim at Burriana Beach, and take a walk through the town center.

Of course, no trip to Spain would be complete without sampling some of its delicious food. The Costa del Sol is home to a wide variety of restaurants, serving everything from traditional Spanish dishes to international cuisine.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something to your taste in this region.

Spain Travel Tips – 1 Week in Spain Itinerary

Here are some quick tips for 7 days in Spain Itinerary.

Travel Documents 

Spain is located in Europe and follows the Schengen agreement for nonvisa-exempt passport holders. Here is a detailed guide to applying for Schengen Visa. (Separate visa for Gibraltar)

If you are traveling with an EU, US, or Canadian passport you can travel to Spain without a visa. After 2022-3, U.S and Canadian citizens are required to apply for an eTIAS – an online authorization application before traveling to Spain. It can be applied online and only takes a few minutes.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend insuring your Spain trip. Barcelona is notoriously known as the land of pickpockets and thieves, especially in crowded and popular touristy areas.

Insure your camera or any valuables on your trip. Include medical emergencies and any flight delays and cancellations. Get travel insurance for Spain here.

When is the best time to go to Spain?

Spain is located in Europe, and it experiences hot summers and mild winters – Mediterranean climate. Summer months are from June to August, and it gets scorching days. We visited Spain in autumn, and the weather was great for being outdoors, and sightseeing. 

Spring and autumn are popular times to visit Spain. Winters are from December to February, and it gets a lot of rainy days and some snow in the mountains. 

What should I pack for 7 days in Spain? 

How long is the flight to Spain?

Travel time from the US, Canada, and South America to Spain is around 9 to 10 hours, from the Middle East it is 21+ hours, one way. 

What airlines fly direct to Spain? 

Direct flights to Spain from the United States are available via American Airlines, Delta, US Airways, and United. Air Canada, along with KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France connect travelers from Canada, and internationally. Track flights via Skyscanner

How much does it cost for a week in Spain? Is food expensive in Spain?

For 1 week in Spain, the budget for $2500 USD for one person. This amount will cover flights ($800-1000 USD), a mid-budget hotel, sightseeing, and food. 

Food in Spain is not cheap, and it varies a lot. Barcelona was expensive as compared to Seville. You can expect to spend $50-60 USD per day on food (slightly cheaper in the south). 

Additional Spain Tips 

Is 1 week enough in Spain?

It won’t be possible to explore all of Spain in one week. But you can definitely hit the highlights if you have a good plan. First, focus on the big cities like Barcelona and Madrid. Make sure to check out the main attractions in each city as well as some of the local neighborhoods. If you have extra time, you can also explore some of the smaller villages and towns via day trips.

Alternately, you can stick to one region (like Catalonia & Central, Central & Andalucía, or Catalonia & Andalucía), to make the most of your trip and time. Do remember to relax and the food and wine! Spain is known for its amazing cuisine.

How can I spend 1 week in Spain?

Here is our favorite one for culture lovers, where you can explore 2 major cities of Catalonia and Andalucía, with possible day trips. 

Day 1 – 3: Arrive and explore Barcelona
Day 4: Montserrat day trip
Day 5: Seville 
Day 6: Day trip to Granada 
Day 7: More of Seville, return to Barcelona

How to spend one week in Spain and Portugal?

Spain and Portugal are two of the most beautiful and diverse countries in Europe. If you have a week to spend in this region, it can be tough to figure out how to best spend your time. Here is an outline of how we would suggest spending your week:

Day 1 – 2: Arrive in Madrid and take a walk around the city center highlights
Day 3 – 4: Take a high-speed train to Seville, and explore 
Day 5 – 7: Fly to Lisbon or hop on an overnight train and explore Lisbon and Sintra in Portugal 

How to spend 2 weeks in Spain?

Spain is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists. There are a variety of things to do and see, and it’s possible to create an interesting and varied itinerary that will allow you to experience the best of what the country has to offer. 

If you’re looking to experience a bit of everything Spain has to offer, then a good way to spend two weeks in the country would be to start in the north, in Barcelona, and then make your way down to Granada in the south. This route will allow you to experience the country’s impressive coastal scenery, its stunning mountain ranges, and its vibrant and culturally rich cities.

Day 1 – 3: Arrive and explore Barcelona
Day 4: Montserrat day trip
Day 5 – 6: Explore Madrid 
Day 7 – 8: Head to Seville and explore for 2 days 
Day 9: Visit Granada on a day trip
Day 10: Explore Cordoba day trip
Day 11 – 14: Explore Costa sol dol (beaches and various coastal towns)

How to spend 10 days in Spain?

Using the itinerary above, you can start your trip in Barcelona, and end in Seville/Cordoba for a 10 day Spain trip, exploring 6 places
Day 1 – 3: Arrive and explore Barcelona
Day 4: Montserrat day trip
Day 5 – 6: Explore Madrid 
Day 7 – 8: Head to Seville and explore for 2 days 
Day 9: Visit Granada on a day trip
Day 10: Explore Cordoba day trip
Day 11 – 14: Explore Costa sol dol (beaches and various coastal towns)

We hope you enjoyed our one week in Spain itinerary. Which one is your favorite? Will you chase Columbus’s stories like us? 

Additional Resources for Spain and Europe Travel Guide 

Pin: Perfect Spain in a week itinerary for culture & history lovers

Perfect one week in Spain Itinerary
Perfect one week in Spain Itinerary
Get the travel tips to visit one week Spain Itinerary
One week in Spain Itinerary
Spain Travel Itinerary one week
One week in Spain Itinerary

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  1. Such a detailed post! I’ll definitely save this for my next trip to Spain. Seville is somewhere I’m especially interested in and your photos of it are beautiful!

  2. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

  3. I always love discovering content that I haven’t read on your blog. This is such an incredible post.There are so many things to do while traveling, and you captured the core and beautifully captured about the necessities!

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