Updated: September 14, 2023Published: September 11, 2023
Looking for a complete itinerary to travel to Spain? Or, maybe you are traveling for too long and don’t know what to do or where to go.
Well, this itinerary will give you a degustation menu for Spain. You will experience Madrid, Barcelona, cities in the Basque country, and cities in Andalusia.
I have added an itinerary overview so you know what to expect and how to make the best out of all the information below.
Let’s get to it!
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Overview of this itinerary
This 2-week Spain itinerary is a complete journey for you to taste Spain’s different regions and experience the difference between the north, the south, and the big cities.
You will find many day trips in this itinerary; why? Because I have done many day trips myself, experienced train schedules, and learned time management, I think the best way to incorporate new cities into your trip is by having one steady base city first.
That’s why in the North of Spain, Bilbao will be your home in the north for four days while you make a day trip to San Sebastian, Santander, and Pamplona, where you can perfectly see in a day and return to the same comfy hotel every night.
By doing this, we save packing and travel time.
In the south of Spain, your base city will be Córdoba.
Besides that, this itinerary gives you a perfectly possible trip with an additional list of the places you can’t miss in each city, so you are free to personalize and change as you prefer.
Day 1 - 4: Northern Spain
Base city: Bilbao
Your two-week itinerary in Spain will begin in Bilbao, and this city will also be your base camp for your first few days in Spain. Bilbao is a port city in the Basque Country, one of the biggest in this region, and very well connected to other cities in the north of the country.
On your first day in Bilbao, you will take it chill. Let yourself acclimatize to Europe, the new schedule, food, and people. The best way to do that is by walking the city and marveling at the beauty of a new culture.
Walk to the city’s old town and visit all the important landmarks. Don’t worry about time cause, even though Bilabo is one of the biggest cities in the Basque Country, it is pretty small, and you can see it entirely in a day.
On day two of your journey, you will make a day trip to Santander. Take an early bus from Bilbao to Santander (Cantabria) and travel through Northern Spain’s countryside.
Santander is the capital of the autonomous region of Cantabria, and it is famous for the Magdalena Palace, a former royal summer house. You can walk all the way to the palace and get some beautiful ocean views.
What to do in Santander:
Visit the Magdalena Palace, a stunning royal residence located on a cliff.
Cathedral of Santander
Walk the Santander harbor
Visit the Sardineros Beach
If you decide to rent a car instead of buying bus tickets, make time to visit Comillas. This small town 40 minutes away from Santander houses the stunning “Capricho de Gaudí,” a country house covered with sunflowers.
On your third day traveling the North of Spain, you will visit San Sebastian. Once again, I recommend traveling by bus as it is more comfortable and offers engaging views.
San Sebastian is a stunning coastal city in the Basque Country, very close to France. It used to be a royal summer destination, and now, crowds of French and Spanish people vacation at La Concha beach every summer.
After arriving, go straight to Old Town Coffee (close to the Good Sheppard Cathedral) for a good breakfast and even better coffee. Later in the day, go to the old town and get some good pintxos at Gandarias (31 de Agosto Kalea, 23).
If you are a foodie, check out this gastronomy experience in San Sebastian:
Walk the entire beach of La Concha and enjoy the ocean view.
Visit the Miramar Palace
Climb Monte Igueldo and ride on the funicular.
Visit the “Peine del Viento” sculptures created by the Basque Artist Eduardo Chillida in 1976.
To go back to the old town, take the bus on 5/16/25, and at the end of the day, return to Bilbao and rest for your next day’s trip.
Pamplona is your last stop in Northern Spain. This city, also known for hosting the “San Fermines,” is peaceful and charming the rest of the year. Once again, the best way to get there is by bus because it is in the city’s center.
I recommend arriving in Pamplona around 10 - 11 a.m. and leaving around 8 p.m. The city is charming but also very small, so you will have enough time to walk it all, mainly because the most important landmarks and cute corners hide in the od-town.
The American writer Ernest Hemingway visited Pamplona several times and wrote his book “Death by Afternoon” based on Pamplona
What to do in Pamplona:
Visit Plaza del Castillo and look at Café Iruña, where Hemingway used to sit and write while he stayed in Pamplona.
Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real
Cross the Portal of France
Visit the lookout, Caballo Blanco
Visit the Church of San Saturnino
Visit the Ciudadela Park and the ancient walls of the Kingdom of Navarre
Visit the monument of “El Encierro” in the shopping street of Carlos III
Visit the bull’s running street, “calle Estafeta,” and eat pintxos
Try the delicious “garroticos” (the similar version of pain au chocolat but with way more chocolate and mini)
Day 5 - 7: Barcelona
Traveling from Bilbao to Barcelona by train takes 6 hours; I recommend taking a plane, but both types of transportation are available and very well possible.
Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous region of Catalunya. It is very populated, international, and big compared to Bilbao, San Sebastian, and Pamplona.
In Barcelona, there is a lot to do, and I will leave you a list of the landmarks and most important attractions of the city. Nevertheless, here are some tips for when you plan your trip.
When it comes to cultural visits or day trips, try to wake up early and take the first tours or buses. For example, I always recommend visiting the Sagrada Familia in the morning because the place is less crowded, and you can better appreciate Gaudi’s detailed work.
The same goes for a Camp Nou visit or a day trip to Tarragona.
Additionally, try to combine a cultural, inside activity with some walking at the end of the day. For example, taking a morning tour of Camp Nou, a walk to the Barceloneta, and a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.
Another example would be visiting the inside of Casa Milá and Casa Batlló, alongside some shopping through Passeig de Graçia, Plaça Catalunya, and Las Ramblas.
What to do in Barcelona:
Tour the Sagrada Familia (this should be a priority in your list)
Visit Park Güell
Visit the Passeig de Graçia, where you can see or tour Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.
Visit the Gothic Quarter, where you will see Barcelona’s Cathedral, the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica, Plaça del Rei, Plaça sat Felipe Neri, and the Picasso. Museu.
Visit the famous Camp Nou.
Walk the Barceloneta
Walk Las Ramblas
Do some shopping at Passeig de Graçia
Go on a day trip to Montserrat
Go on a day trip to the amusement park of the Tibidabo
Go on a day trip to Tarragona
Go on a day trip to Sitges
Go wine tasting at Bodegas Torres
On your first day in Barcelona, I recommend taking it chill. Walk in Las Ramblas and shop in Plaça Catalunya and Passeig de Graçia.
On your second day in Barcelona, take an early tour of the Sagrada Familia, then move on to Park Guëll and end with a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.
On your third and final day in Barcelona, go for some wine tasting at Bodegas Torres (takes half the day), and come back for a boat ride experience or a relaxing dinner at the Nacional Market.
Day 8 - 10: Madrid
Now, it’s time to leave the bohemian city of Barcelona and visit the classic Madrid.
Madrid is known for its rich cultural heritage, lively atmosphere, and world-class cuisine. Like Barcelona, Madrid is always full of people and welcomes thousands of tourists every month.
Begin your days early to beat the crowds and maximize your time. For example, consider visiting the Prado Museum in the morning when it tends to be quieter, allowing you to appreciate the art without the hustle and bustle.
Similarly, if you plan a day trip to Toledo or Segovia, aim to depart early to maximize your time exploring these enchanting towns. Follow this formula, especially with Toledo, because it has more landmarks and cultural tours than Segovia.
Pair indoor cultural visits with leisurely walks through Madrid’s charming neighborhoods. For example, combine visiting the Royal Palace with a stroll through the Plaza Mayor, the Mercado San Miguel, and the La Latina neighborhood (line three of the metro is available there and will connect you to more places like Sol or Callao).
A thrid example would be exploring the Reina Sofia Museum and walking in the nearby Retiro Park.
There are many activities and attractions to explore in Madrid, ranging from historic landmarks to contemporary art spaces. As I did before, I will list all the things you should do and visit in Madrid, and then I will leave you an example of how to spend your three days.
What to do in Madrid:
Visit the Prado Museum
Explore the Royal Palace
Discover the Reina Sofia Museum
Stroll through Retiro Park
Wander around Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol
Visit the Temple of Debod
Experience the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Explore Mercado de San Miguel for a taste of Spanish cuisine
Visit Gran Via for shopping and entertainment
Explore Malasaña for thrift shops and cute cafes
Visit Calle Serrano for luxury
Day trip to Toledo
Day trip to Segovia
Day trip to El Escorial and Valle de los Caídos
For your first day in Madrid, begin by exploring the city center. Stroll through Madrid de los Austrias. Tour the Royal Palace, stroll through the Opera, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and eat delicious tapas at the Mercado San Miguel.
Begin your second day in Madrid with a morning visit to the Prado Museum. Follow this with an afternoon stroll through Retiro Park, take a ride in the small boats of the Great Pond, and visit the sculpture of the Fallen Angel.
End the day with a good dinner or a tapas walking tour through the Barrios de las Letras; check it out!
On your last day in Madrid, take a day trip to any of the suggested places above. If you are a first-timer, I recommend Toledo! It is a medieval city known as the “City of the Three Cultures,” where you will find beautiful landmarks like the Synagogue, the Cathedral, the Greco Museum, and the Alcazar.
Day 11 - 14: Andalusia
Base city: Córdoba
For your final days in Spain, you will go to sunny Andalusia! Just like in Bilbao, your base city will be Córdoba. Camping in one city is easier and avoids wasting time moving from one hotel to another.
Córdoba is a charming city in Andalusia, famous for housing the Mosque-Cathedral and being the host of the “Patios de Cordoba” Festival, declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage, in which people open their house to show their beautiful gardens and flowered patios.
Given the relatively compact size of Córdoba’s historic center, it’s possible to explore many of its treasures on foot. Begin your days early to enjoy the city before it gets too crowded.
Consider starting with a visit to the Mezquita-Catedral in the morning when there are fewer crowds, and continue with the Alcazar of the Catholic Monarchs right next to it.
What to do in Córdoba:
Explore the Mezquita-Catedral
Visit the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Stroll through the Jewish Quarter
Cross the Roman Bridge
Explore the Calahorra Tower
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba
Enjoy the gardens of the Alcázar
Experience the Patios of Córdoba (especially during the Patio Festival in May)
Day trip to Medina Azahara
Visit the Palacio de Viana
Discover the Mercado Victoria for local cuisine
Visit La Oleoteca for some olive oil tasting, the best in the world!
As Cordoba is your base city, take a train to Granada on your twelfth day. The ride usually lasts 1h40, and as always, I recommend being an early taking an early ticket.
Granada is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains’ foothills and offers a unique blend of Christian and Muslim Spain. The landmarks and attractions that you will see in this city will take you back to the Middle Ages.
In Granada, you can have the best of both worlds: a city-life experience with great landmarks, monuments, and stunning nature.
For your day trip to Granada, I am not taking you hiking, but if you want to come back, save the day by walking the Sierra Nevada.
In your day trip, prioritize doing the Alhambra tour first. The impressive complex holds several palaces and gardens that you will like to look at calmly.
Pair your visit to the Alhambra with a stroll through the Albaicín neighborhood, a well-preserved Moorish quarter with narrow, winding streets and stunning viewpoints.
What to do in Granada:
Explore the Alhambra Palace complex
Wander through the Generalife Gardens
Stroll in the Albaicín neighborhood
Visit the Royal Chapel and Granada Cathedral
Discover the Monastery of Saint Jerome (Monasterio de San Jerónimo)
Explore the Sacromonte district, known for its cave houses and flamenco culture
Visit the Science Park (Parque de las Ciencias)
Take a day trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains for hiking or skiing (seasonal)
Get some delicious Andalusian food at La Auténtica Carmela (street La Colcha, 12). Don’t miss their salmorejo!
For your day trip to Seville, I recommend getting the Iryo train with departure at 8:48 and arrival to Seville at 9:36.
Following this schedule, you can get to the Real Alcázar of Seville by 10:00 and go straight to your guided tour. The general ticket admission is 13,50 €, but I suggest getting the guided tour, which is 28,70 € (we don’t get any commissions for this).
After the tour around the Real Alcázar, you should visit the Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Park. Then, walk next to the Guadalquivir River towards Triana’s market to get some nice tapas. The Torre de Oro (Seville’s Golden Tower) will also be seen.
In the afternoon, visit the cathedral, the Giralda, and walk the city’s old town.
What to do in Seville:
Explore the Alcázar of Seville
Visit Seville Cathedral and the Giralda tower
Stroll through the Barrio Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz district)
Wander in the Triana district across the Guadalquivir River
Visit Metropol Parasol (Las Setas)
Explore Plaza de España and Maria Luisa Park
Discover the Archive of the Indies
Visit the Flamenco Museum (Museo del Baile Flamenco)
Experience a traditional Flamenco show
Day trip to Italica, Roman ruins just outside Seville
Ronda will be your last day trip of the journey, and I am sure you will be amazed at this town.
Located south of Cordoba, Ronda is a charming southern town created on the top of a deep gorge. The ride to this town takes 2 hours, but don’t worry because it is pretty small, and you can see it all on foot!
It only takes 15 minutes to get from the train station to the Tajo Gorge and Puente Nuevo, Ronda’s impressive view! I would prioritize the gorge, as it is Ronda’s principal landmark, and then continue with the old town later.
What to do in Ronda:
Visit Puente Nuevo, the iconic bridge spanning the gorge
Explore the Mondragón Palace and Ronda Museum
Visit the Arab Baths and the Old Town walls
Discover the Casa del Rey Moro and its gardens
Stroll along the Tajo Gorge and enjoy the breathtaking views
Visit Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest bullrings in Spain
Explore the Church of Santa María la Mayor and its impressive interiors
Take a leisurely walk along Calle La Bola and enjoy its shops and cafes
There you go! A full 2-week itinerary to travel around Spain. I know what it is to travel to a new place and need reference to make the best of your time, so I hope this itinerary saves you some planning. After all, that’s my favorite job!
If you have any questions, let me know. I love hearing from you and clearing very doubt!
Inigo Navarro is a seasoned travel writer with a deep understanding of Spain's cities, culture, people and language. Born and raised in Spain, he has spent years exploring the country and is currently one of the most-read Travel Bloggers about Spain. Inigo is also an experienced digital marketer, a father to 4 beautiful children and a huge Real Madrid Fan. ¡Hala Madrid!