Spain – a European destination with the third largest number of UNESCO heritage sites is an alluring country. A must visit place for the history lovers, this beautiful country has a lot to offer in terms of ancient palaces, historic museums, gothic architecture and age-old beaches. Most tourists flock into the much popular and modish cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Granada. However, this European country has many more marvels than these.
In Spain, you will find places that display the golden past of this musically alleviated and culturally rich country. Some of these places are architectural wonders and if you are someone who loves to explore history then you must check out these cities in Spain. These less popular places in Spain are best for people who want to stay away from crowds. Although, unattended by tourists, the cities will leave you spellbound and wanting for more.
Find here, Spanish cities that are famous for their architectural wonders:
Salamanca: Fondly called as “The Golden City” Salamanca gets a golden tint in the evening. The buildings of this city are made up of sandstones that appear to ooze out golden light during sunset and thus received the nickname of the golden city of Spain. Also, Salamanca holds Europe’s finest universities, some of which dates back to 1218. Full of historic architecture, the city has 12th century Cathedral Vieja and 15th century building ‘Casa de las Conchas’. You will find lots and lots of students here and nice places to eat, sing and dance.
Weather runs into extreme conditions with severe winter, hot summer and sparse rain. People speak pure Spanish making this relatively unknown city the best place to learn Spanish. Located 200 kilometres from Madrid, this one is an interior place. The easiest way to reach here is flying down to Valladolid and then a one hour drive to Salamanca.
Bilbao: Touted as Spain’s biggest port city that looks ordinary at the first glance, Bilbao holds a lot of stuff for a soul that loves architecture. The place has the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. The museum has around hundred contemporary art items. The museum itself is considered as one of the most spectacular architectures of the twentieth century. Santiago Cathedral, another marvel of the place is a church made in 1300s. Elisos theatre must be checked out for its awe inspiring interiors. Plaza Moyua and Gran Via and much more can be explored in this wonderful port city of Spain.
The months of June, July and August are rain free and so are the best times to visit Bilbao. You can easily land at the Bilbao airport and explore Bilbao in trains and taxis, which are common modes of transport.
Girona: Famed as “The city of thousand Sieges”, Girona is a medieval city with an old world charm. The place has witnessed several invasions for centuries and hence received this uncommon name. You would lose yourself in the Moorish baths, museums, ancient churches, river Onyar and numerous architectural buildings. This place is located at 103 km North East of Barcelona. Do not come back without climbing the 89 steps of the Girona cathedral that takes you to ‘Tapestry of Creation’, an eleventh-century architectural marvel.
You can take a one hour drive from Barcelona to reach Girona. It also has its own airport which is 20 minutes south of the city. The climate is mild in the winters so, that is the best time to visit this place. It gives you peaceful feel and the interiors of the city can be best explored on foot.
Burgos: The city has many historic attractions and showcases Spain’s rich past. It was the capital of central Spain for nearly 500 years. Its startling attraction is the Gothic cathedral of Burgos that stretches across the city and the skyline. With numerous displays of medieval grey stone architecture, 10 museums, this city is being pushed to be designated as the ‘European city of culture”. The city is also renowned as the burial place of medieval Spanish hero El Cid and contains the tomb of El Cid. It is a must visit place for people with a special heart for heritage buildings.
The city has its own airport and is easy to reach. Inside the city, you can use trams, buses and bicycle for commutation. Temperatures swing into extremes with freezing winters and summer ranging between 20 and 30 degrees. So, summers can be the best time to visit the place.
Santillana del Mar: If you want to see hundreds of years old sandstone churches and ancestral homes then you need to check out the wonderful town of Santillana del Mar. Unlike its name, this place is majorly surrounded by land and not water. The hilly city has many churches dating back to the time between 15th and 17th century. It also has a monastery called ‘La Colegiata’ that houses the remains of the city’s patron Saint Juliana. You can also find here the replica of cave paintings of Altamira caves, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, at the Museum of Altamira. The cobblestone streets, farms, and fields make it a charming place to visit.
You need to reach the Santander airport and drive 24 km to Santillana del Mar. It has mild winters, Easter time is busy and so hotel prices are also high. May, June and September are the best months to visit this place.
If you love heritage places, low crowds and are planning to visit Spain, then you must go to these architecturally wondrous places. To keep things safe and affordable, just don’t forget to buy travel insurance for your trip. Enjoy!!