The Andalusian capital offers not only majestic government buildings and pretty alleys with beautifully decorated old houses but also an exciting blend of traditional and modern architecture. You can experience both the Mediterranean flair as well as Arabic and more modern influences here. This interesting mix makes the fourth-largest city in Spain a very special destination with a lively atmosphere.
During your time in Seville, you definitely shouldn’t miss the Plaza de España and the former Jewish quarter, Santa Cruz. We also recommend visiting the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, wandering through the charming old town, and exploring the royal palace Alcázar.
You have plenty of choice when it comes to hostels in Seville. Prices for a night in a 10-bed dorm are usually around €19.
The bus to Cádiz is about €12. The port city is one of the oldest ones in Europe and is surrounded by the sea – its only connection to the Andalusian mainland is a narrow stretch of land. The coast in the area with its long sandy beaches is stunningly beautiful.
We recommend just walking around the charming old town for a while. It’s the heart of the city, with its snow-white houses and labyrinthine alleys. Also worth seeing are the Catedral de la Santa Cruz de Cádiz and the Castillo de San Sebastián. You should also have some seafood in one of Cádiz’s traditional restaurants – it’s said to be the best in all of Andalusia.
Our final tip is to visit the Torre Tavira, because it offers a truly magnificent view of the island-like city and its scenic surroundings. You can spend the night at one of Cádiz’s hostels, where a stay in a 6-bed dorm is about €14.
The bus (€20) will take you to your next stop, Málaga. This city is often only used as a stopover, but we honestly can’t see why. We recommend taking some time to discover Málaga’s historic city center with its Roman theater and the Castillo de Gibralfaro. The city is also the birthplace of the famous artist Pablo Picasso and home to the Museo Picasso Málaga. This is the perfect chance to learn more about Spanish culture without being crowded by other tourists. Please also take the opportunity to enjoy the sun in one of the city’s parks and to visit the historical palace Alcazaba, from where you’ll have a fantastic view of Málaga and the Costa del Sol.
You also shouldn’t miss out on an excursion to a via ferrata called Caminito del Rey. This spectacular walkway was built into the steep walls of the Gaitanes Gorge north of Málaga. The Caminito del Rey is almost 8 km long and its footbridges reach a height of up to 105 m. Take this chance to explore the spectacular landscape of the canyon, which was formed by the Guadalhorce River. A half-day excursion to the famous via ferrata costs about €25.
Once you’re back in Málaga, stay in one of the city’s hostels for around €19 per night.
The next stop on your trip is Granada. You can travel here by bus; tickets are only around €5. North of the Costa del Sol, Granada is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the area. It’s also famous for its turbulent history.
One of the city’s most important landmarks is Alhambra. The palace, built from red stone and in the Islamic architectural tradition, is situated on top of the hill Sabika and surrounded by picturesque gardens. It is one of the most beautiful Islamic structures in the world. The city’s oldest Muslim quarter is called Albaicín.
Take your time strolling along the hilly lanes, marvel at the oriental buildings, and visit one of the traditional bathhouses. If you like being outdoors, we highly recommend spending a day in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. They’re only a short bus ride from Granada, and you can explore the impressive landscape while hiking along some beautiful trails. Back in Granada, find a bed for the night in one of the city’s hostels. A night in a 4-bed dorm is usually around €13 per person.
Your journey continues to Alicante. The bus ride from Granada is about €15. With 2,800 hours of sunshine a year, Alicante is a paradise for those of us who simply love a beach holiday. Its snow-white beaches are the place to relax, splash around in the crystal clear water, and discover the colorful coral reefs of the Costa Blanca.
Take the opportunity to stroll through the historic district of Santa Cruz and admire the pretty white houses with their blue shutters, intricate paintings, and colorful flowers. We also recommend visiting the El Barrio quarter, where you’ll find numerous restaurants, cozy cafés, and hip bars, as well as the city’s picturesque harbor.
The most famous attraction of Alicante is the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. Although the climb to the viewing platform is quite steep in places, it is still definitely worth it. You’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view of the city – especially at sunset. A night in a 10-bed dorm in Alicante costs around €17.
A quick bus ride will take you to Valencia for around €8. This port city on the southeast coast of Spain is not only known for its nearby orange groves but also for its extraordinary architectural beauty. In the heart of the town lies the lively market hall Mercato Central, where you can buy local foods, souvenirs, textiles, and many other things.
Valencia is also the birthplace of paella, so you should definitely try the Spanish national dish here, as it’s fresh, cheap, and available in many different variations. One of the city’s most popular attractions is the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. You’ll also find the Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe, here. This state-of-the-art facility was built in the shape of a water lily and accommodates over 500 marine species, a huge dolphinarium, and various open-air exhibitions. A day ticket to the Oceanogràfic is €30 per person.
Of course, Valencia also offers fantastic beaches, quiet parks, cozy cafés, hip rooftop bars, and trendy nightclubs. Accommodation is also fairly affordable here, with €12 for a night in a 10-bed dorm.
The bus ticket from Valencia to Barcelona is about €15. The Catalan capital is hard to beat in terms of sightseeing, and you could easily spend several weeks here. The city is famous for its many buildings by the architect Antoni Gaudí. Among them are the unfinished Sagrada Família, the Casa Milà, and the Casa Battló. It’s also possible to visit Gaudí’s house, which is located in the Parc Güell.
Barcelona’s Gothic quarter is also very popular, due to its countless bodegas, cathedrals, parks, shops, and bars. The best place for shopping is the lively street La Rambla in the city center.
As Barcelona’s sights are spread all over the city, the best way to see them all is with a hop-on hop-off bus tour. The double-decker buses will take you to all of the major attractions, including Port Olimpic, Camp Nou, and Avinguda Diagonal. They also offer audio guides in many different languages. The buses leave every 6–15 minutes and allow you to get on and off as often as you like. This way, you can fit your sightseeing trip around your other plans without any problems. A day ticket costs about €30. A lot of the accommodations in Barcelona might seem a bit pricey at first, but a night in a 6-bed dorm is still only around €32.
The final stop on your trip is Girona. You can get here by bus as well. Tickets are usually around €5. The city is in the hinterland of the Costa Brava, but it’s just as beautiful as the famous coast itself. With its medieval old town, Girona is a highlight for anyone interested in Spanish culture. Among its most popular sights are the Girona Cathedral, the Plaza de la Independència, and the city wall, from where you have a great view of Girona.
If you want to get to know the “real” Catalonia, you can visit some of the scenic villages around Girona, such as Pals or Castelló d'Empúries. The party destination Lloret de Mar is also not far from Girona, so if you’ve been waiting to have the typical Spanish party vacation experience, here’s your chance.
There are a couple of different hostels in Girona. A night in a 6-bed dorm is usually around €21 in any of them.