14 Most Breathtaking Famous Buildings in Spain
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
There are many famous buildings in Spain that are absolutely phenomenal! Whether it’s your first time visiting this marvelous country or you’re a repeat visitor, you’ll love learning all about them in this post.
I’ve teamed up with an incredible group of travelers to share some of the best Spain buildings to visit throughout the country. From Valencia Central Market to the famous Sagrada Familia, there’s truly something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading to learn all about the best famous buildings in Spain!
La Alcazaba de Málaga
La Alcazaba de Málaga, located in Malaga in Southern Spain, is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city.
This Moorish fortress-palace was built in the 14th century during the Muslim period in Spain. It used to be a residence and a strategic military point due to its great location – close to the port.
The palace is also connected to Gibralfaro Castle, and nowadays you can visit both buildings.
When you visit Alcazaba, you feel like you go back to the Muslim period in Spain. The beautiful and detailed architecture and the courtyards with scented flowers and fountains take you back in time.
Not only is it a place to uncover the history and importance of this building, but to enjoy some of the best views of Malaga.
You can walk on some of the walls and contemplate different angles of the city. No matter what time you visit it, the views are breathtaking but even better at sunset.
There is a small fee (3,50 €) to enter the Alcazaba, however, you can visit it for free on Sundays after 2 pm.
If you are visiting Malaga for a day, this is an unmissable attraction.
By Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
One of the most staggering Roman catholic churches in southern Spain is Cadiz Cathedral. Set on the seaside, it towers above the old town and is recognized as the most prominent landmark in the city with its golden dome.
One of the best things to do in Cadiz is to climb its bell tower for sweeping views of the city and the surrounding beaches. Only one of the bell towers is open to the public, but you can get tickets when entering the cathedral.
Cadiz Cathedral took over 100 years to build, from 1722 to 1838 which makes it an elegant mix between Baroque style, Rococo style, and Neoclassical style. It has later been declared a Bien de Interes Cultural (of cultural importance) for the last 100 years.
The cathedral has many names; Santa Cruz Sobre el Mar (Saint Cruz on the Sea), Santa Cruz Sobre las Aguas (Saint Cruz on the waters), but most famously, the New Cathedral. The latter comes from the fact that the cathedral that used to stay there was burned down in 1596 before the new one was erected.
The cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-21:00 and Sundays from 13:30-21:00, and the clock tower is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-21:00 and Sundays from 12:00-15:00 and 16:00-21:00. Last entry to the cathedral is 45 minutes before closing time and 30 minutes before closing time for climbing the clock tower. The entrance fee is 7 Euros for adults.
Contributed by Linn Haglund of Amused by Andalucia
When you think of Barcelona, many monumental buildings and creations will pop up in your mind; for example, the historic Sagrada Familia is one of the greatest architectural creations in Spain and one of the seven wonders of the world.
This Roman Catholic Church was taken over in design by Antoni Gaudi and is arguably one of the most famous designs he ever created during his career.
When creating this beautiful church, Gaudi gathered his inspiration from nature and organic matter. This can be seen in the numerous trees, creatures, and lack of straight lines included in the interior design and exterior of the building.
However, this gothic-style cathedral has never been truly finished, and since 1882 has been undergoing constant updates and renovations for over a century. Luckily, the final section of the construction has begun and hopefully shall be completed within the upcoming decade.
Despite the continuous additions and perfecting of the church, visitors from around the world flood the cathedral to walk its halls and marvel at the intricate beauty of the organic designs by Gaudi.
Considering the extended construction time this building has undergone, it’s easy to see why donations and ticket fees are needed to continue the project. To make visiting simple, the Sagrada Familia church tickets can be purchased 2 two ways: In person via the Qr codes located near the church or online.
The price for touring the inside of the cathedral is 26 euros per person, and if you would like to add the addition of touring the towers, it will cost you 36 euros. The Towers addition has lovely scenic views of Barcelona and will offer the best opportunity for photo taking.
All in all, visiting the Sagrada Familia will make a wonderful addition to your Barcelona itinerary.
Contributed by Yesenia and Sierra from The Sisters Who Voyage
If you’re looking to visit famous buildings in Spain, you will definitely want to visit the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The Alhambra is an incredible palace and fortress complex complete with gardens and is known for its Islamic architecture.
You can spend a few hours seeing the highlights of the complex or spend a full day getting lost in the magic of Alhambra. While it may be hot during summer and spring, the flowers will be in peak bloom throughout the grounds. The complex overlooks the Albaicin quarter of Granada.
There are multiple ticket types when visiting Alhambra. The most popular are general tickets, garden tickets, or night tickets. You’ll want to make sure to get the general daytime ticket ahead of time if you are interested in visiting all of the available parts of the complex!
The garden ticket provides access to everything except the Nasrid Palaces. The Nasrid Palace is an incredible mansion with stunning architecture and detail. are often described as the highlight of Alhambra and are definitely worth the visit!
Your ticket will provide you an entrance time to the Nasrid Palaces, and you will want to schedule the rest of your time at Alhambra around your visit to the Nasrid Palaces.
General tickets cost 14 euros while a garden ticket costs 7 euros. Tickets can be purchased up to a year in advance, which is great for trip planners. If you are interested in a tour of the complex, there are many different options.
The Alhambra is one of the most famous buildings in Spain and is definitely worth a visit!
Sarah Seiler Roadmaps and Restaurants
Barcelona is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do, but sometimes you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle. If you’re looking for a quick and easy day trip, the Montserrat monastery is the perfect destination. Just a short train ride from Barcelona, the monastery offers stunning mountain views, impressive religious buildings, and an escape from the busy city streets.
The Montserrat monastery is located in the eponymous mountain range. It is a great building to visit for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the location is absolutely stunning. The monastery is perched atop a rocky outcrop, and from its terraces, there are breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Secondly, the building itself is incredibly impressive. It dates back to the 11th century and is a perfect example of Romanesque architecture.
Finally, the monastery is home to a world-famous boys’ choir, which performs regularly in the church.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even hike up to the top of Montserrat mountain. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
There is no fee to visit the basilica of Black Madonna of Montserrat. However, to get up on the mountain people usually choose to use the rack railway to Montserrat called Cremallera. It costs €24.00 for an adult return ticket. Montserrat museum costs €8 for an adult.
If you’re ever in Barcelona, be sure to add the Montserrat monastery to your list of must-see attractions!
Contributed by Una from Wandernity
Alcazar of Segovia
Rising above the city on a rocky crag, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the finest castles in Spain. It famously inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle. Like many famous buildings in Spain, Segovia Alcazar was originally built by the Moors in the 11th or 12th century on top of an earlier Roman fort.
You can still see the Roman aqueduct under the bridge across the castle’s dry moat. A century later, the castle became the favourite residence of kings and queens of Spain and was rebuilt and renovated several times.
Unlike most medieval castles in Spain that have a solid fortress-like appearance, Segovia Alcazar has a unique ‘Austrian’ look with multiple sharp spires and fine round towers. It owes its exotic looks to the renovations conducted by King Philip II, who was married to Anna of Austria.
While Segovia Alcazar is famous for its architectural aesthetics, its interior is just as interesting and includes the Throne Room, the Bedrooms of the King and the Queen, the magnificent Alabaster Hall, and the Hall of the Monarchs.
The Alabaster Hall is dominated by the striking, wall-size painting of the coronation of Isabella of Castile and Leon. And the Hall of the Monarchs is interesting for the fifty-two statues carved from wood along the top of the wall. These statues represent the kings and queens of Spain who fought in the Reconquista – the 800-year-long rebellion of Christians against the Arab conquers.
You can easily visit the Alcazar on a day trip from Madrid to Segovia, which you can take either by car, train, bus, or as an organized day tour. The entry cost is 5 euros, and EU citizens can visit it for free on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 pm.
Contributed by Margarita from The Wildlife Diaries
In the city of Benalmádena, you’ll find the Colomares Castle (Castillo de Colomares), which was built as a memorial to Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the Americas.
Esteban Martin, who started working on the project in 1987 with two bricklayers and placed the last stone seven years later, had the same goal in mind.
The Doctor was misunderstood for over 15 years and treated like a madman because of it, forcing him to fight the building like Don Quixote. He spent practically all of his wealth on this monument.
The Castillo Colomares towers above the surrounding vegetation and blends in nicely with the other structures, making it difficult to see from a distance.
You’ll soon realize that it’s not a castle at all but rather a memorial to Christopher Columbus. Included in the show are three ships and the world’s tiniest church inside the walls. This is what is impressive about visiting this old building.
The construction of Castillo de Colomares lasted a long time and was influenced by a number of architectural eras. You may learn about the three religions that existed in medieval Spain (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and about Christopher Columbus’s journey by taking a tour of the Colomares Castle.
A visit to this castle costs around EUR 2.50 for adults and EUR 2.00 for kids. Do not forget to explore the rest of Benalmadena when you’re there. You’ll find a number of things to do in Benalmadena. Do not miss out on its beauty!
Contributed by Paulina from Visit Southern Spain
A castle and family house, which speaks history and one that Gaudi himself created, Torre Bellesguard (“beautiful view”) is just that.
Martin of Aragon, the last king of the House of Barcelona dynasty, died in 1410, and he and his family formerly lived at this site, which has expansive views over Barcelona.
In the year 1900, Gaudi was authorized to construct a castle on the site. As to safeguard against decay and the quicksand of Barcelona’s urban growth, the Guilera family, who have lived there since 1944, made the former hospital available to the public in 2013.
Exceptional in its straight lines (quite un-Gaudi), and an unusual wooden loft that stands bare of his normal mosaic colour explosion, it stays among the lesser-known gifts by Gaudi. This is what makes this building special to visit.
Located on the top of the city, on the foothills of Collserolaa, this castle’s location is what makes it the prettiest. You can enjoy marvellous views of Barcelona from the top of the building.
The building depicts the work of Antoni Gaudi and his identity. The walls of the buildings are plastered and layered with limestone paints.
There are pure white walls that majorly have a visual of rounded and undulating forms of Mudejar influence. The big windows are the source of intense lighting in the building.
The fee to enter one of the famous buildings in Barcelona is EUR 10 for adults and EUR 8 for children. You must visit there with a guided tour.
Contributed by Paulina from Paulina on the Road
The Real Alcázar in Seville is one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, and it’s worth a visit for any world traveler interested in Spanish history and architecture. The palace is located in the center of the city, near the Parque de María Luisa and the University of Seville.
The building’s design is striking in its ornate, varied design, as well as its grandiosity. The Real Alcázar is the product of five hundred years of construction, so there are many examples of architectural styles represented in the building’s construction.
Inside the palace, you’ll see tiles that date back to the 16th century, along with intricate motifs in the Mudéjar style.
The Real Alcázar is a residential fortress surrounded by sprawling gardens filled with trees and water features. Plan to spend some time wandering through the gardens, where you’ll see wild peacocks as they stroll along the dirt paths.
If you’d like to experience the palace at night, consider booking a concert or tour that takes place in the garden after dark.
You may recognize this famous building when you see it in photos. Several scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed throughout Seville, including at least one scene from within the Real Alcázar.
If you decide to visit this iconic Andalusian building, be sure to go early–this will help you to beat both the crowds and the heat, especially during the summer months.
The Real Alcázar is free to visit on Mondays, and otherwise, tickets are 13.5€ per person.
Contributed by Amber from Amber Everywhere
Lonja de la Seda
The Lonja de la Seda, also called Lonja de Mercaderes, is one of the most important buildings in the city of Valencia. It is located in the center of the city, just in front of the Central Market and the Santos Juanes Church.
This impressive building has had the prestigious title of Historical Monument of National Character since 1931 and, in addition, on December 5, 1996, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is considered the most emblematic civil Gothic building of Valencia.
The Silk Exchange was built during the Valencian Golden Age, a stage in which the city experienced great economic, political and cultural development.
The Lonja de la Seda has a beautiful interior courtyard with orange trees and three different areas:
– The Contracting Room is a very large space supported by eight palm-shaped columns. This room was destined to carry out the mercantile transactions of the time.
– The Tower has three floors, the first of which was used as a chapel and the two upper floors as a prison to hold all the merchants who were bankrupt and could not make payments.
– The Consolat del Mar Pavilion was built at the beginning of the 16th century, so it has a marked Renaissance character that stands out among the Gothic of the rest of the building.
These are just a few details of why La Lonja is one of the best attractions in Valencia. A visit to this impressive building is a must.
Contributed by Laura from Travelers Universe
Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma
The Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is the most beautiful building in Mallorca. It is also known as La Seu, and the height of its nave is as impressive as in Notre Dame de Paris or Notre-Dame d’Amiens.
Forty-four meters tall nave stands proudly on the coast of Palma de Mallorca. Visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is one of the best things to do in Mallorca. It is set in picturesque scenery in one of the most vibrant Spanish cities – Palma de Mallorca.
You can visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma from Monday to Friday, between 10:00 am and 5:15 pm. It closes earlier on Saturdays at 2:15 pm, and it is not possible to visit it on Sundays. There is a fee to enter the cathedral and many ticket options to choose from.
Book a guided tour and explore Cathedral Terraces while watching the most beautiful sunsets on the Spanish coast. This unique experience is a great way to learn a bit about the architecture and admire the city’s skyline. Tours can be booked in different languages such as Catalan, Spanish or English.
Also, don’t miss out on the Festival of Light in the Cathedral of Mallorca. You will enjoy the light show on one of the biggest rose windows in Europe. With 1,115 glass panes and an impressive rose diameter, La Seu is one of the most famous buildings in Spain that cannot be missed when visiting Mallorca.
Contributed by Paulina from the UK Every Day
The City of Arts and Sciences
One of the most famous and at the same time beautiful buildings in Spain is definitely the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, also known as Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. A visit is one of the best things to do in Valencia because here you can expect plenty of interesting highlights.
The building complex is located on the edge of the green Turia Park, and the building inspires especially for its futuristic backdrop. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the complex consists of several modern buildings that were opened between 1998 and 2009 and house various museums, exhibitions, and gardens. One of the main attractions is the opera house!
Another highlight of this Spanish building is the water landscape integrated into the area, which gives this attraction that certain something. If it pleases you, you can also rent a boat and paddle through the waterscape.
But there is more to the city of arts and sciences! Worth seeing are the 3D cinema L’Hemisfèric, the Science Center, L’Oceanogràfic, L’Umbracle, and the Opera. You should allow some time to visit here to see the best attractions.
Grandiose is that you can visit the area around the building for free. Only if you want to see individual buildings from the inside you have to pay an entrance fee. You definitely save money with a combination ticket that includes several attractions in the area.
Contributed by PlacesofJuma
Valencia Central Market
If you’re looking to discover the regional foods of Valencia, Spain, you’ll no doubt make a visit to the Central Market, otherwise known as Mercado Central and Mercat Central. The 300-plus stall market is the heart of Old Town Valencia and bustles with locals and tourists alike.
Residents purchase ingredients for their home dinners like fresh fish, organic meats, and seasonal produce. Visitors will find unique foods in the area and sample some of the best street food in Valencia.
However, even if you’re not a foodie, Central Market is worth a grander. It is not only one of the most beautiful and famous buildings in Valencia but in all of Spain. This architectural marvel was designed by two Catalan architects, Alexandre Soler i March and Francesc Guаrdia i Vial, and was completed in 1928.
The Art Nouveau style makes it a true treasure. In the center is a gorgeous 30-foot-high glass dome decorated with ceramics. On the front wall, large arched stained glass windows showcasing the famous Valencia oranges let in tons of natural light.
The facade is the most stunning part of the building. With a pious air, one can easily see why it’s sometimes also called “The Cathedral for the Senses.” It looks perfectly natural to have the Mercado in the same square as the castle-like La Lonja de la Seda and Los Santos Juanes Church.
The market is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 to 15:00, but you can enjoy the outside any time on any day.
Contributed by Denise from Chef Denise
Great Mosque of Cordoba
There are many things to do in Cordoba, Spain but the Mezquita is possibly the number one landmark to see. The famous Mezquita-Cathedral is also known as the Great Mosque of Cordoba. What makes this mosque so special is that it is the world’s oldest mosque. Also, it is a mix of both Moorish and Christian architecture and prominently features Islamic art in the design of the entire religious space.
It was built on the ruins of a church as far back as 785 AD. The inside is ornately distinct with the many columns and the orangey striped colors in the room of the Great Hall. Another notable room is the Patio de Los Naranjos, which showcases a beautiful courtyard.
The mosque is open to the public Monday to Friday between 10 am to 14 and reopens again between 16:00 and 19:00. On Saturday, it is open between 10 am and 19:00. While on Sunday the hours are 8:30 am to 11:30 and 16:00 to 19:00.
You can get free admission between the hours of 8:30 am to 9:30 am, Monday – Saturday. General Admission costs €11 at the entrance or €25 with a skip-the-line guided tour. All and all visiting the Mezquita-Cathedral is a must-see attraction for any visit to Cordoba.
Pro-tip: The best time to go is in spring or autumn as the summer months tend to reach insanely high temperatures. This is why many of the surrounding homes have gorgeous patios to create a place to cool down from the heat.
Contributed by Jackie of Jou Jou Travels
This post was all about the best famous buildings in Spain. Don’t forget to save this post and share it for later!
There are so many great things to do in Spain! Check out more of our Spain posts below.