7 Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain

Weekend breaks are the best way to reboot, and where better than in sunny España? Start planning now with my list of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain, each with its own unique offerings.

Best Places to go for a weekend break in Spain

Getting away from the stresses of day-to-day life and leaving work behind for a couple of days is a wonderful feeling. If like me, you go too long without seeing something different, you go a little stir crazy, then a weekend away in Spain is a great way to keep your sanity in check.

Spain is conveniently located just a few hours flight from most of the UK. And you can generally find cheap(ish) tickets on low-cost airlines to keep things affordable. You could easily plan a weekend away in Spain for £150pp depending on the time of year. So with money being less of an obstacle when compared to most other holidays, the question is – where in Spain do you go?

Spain has a wide range of destinations to choose from which each offer fun and experiences and different cultures. Art lovers, beach lovers, architecture appreciators will all have something to entertain them in different cities across Spain so I can see why it’d be hard to know where to go. My list of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain can help you make your decision – although you really can’t go wrong!

6 top Spain vacations for a weekend away

If you’re in need of a quick getaway, these are the best places to go for a weekend in Spain that will leave you rejuvenated and revived. Disfruta!

1. Barcelona for a weekend away

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is one of the best cities in the world and therefore absolutely one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain! There is so much to see and do, you will have to come back again and again in order to do it all – but that’s a wonderful problem to have.

Arc de triomph Barcelona is a popular tourist attraction in Spain

You are really spoiled for choice with culture, history, museums, theatre, music, sport and even a beach! Indulge yourself in the amazing architecture on offer from many different eras that mix the Gothic with the contemporary and try all the wonderful food and wine on offer – Barcelona really has something for everyone.

Architecture in Barcelona

It’s hard to know where to even begin with such an interesting city but I guess there is no better place than mentioning some of the most glorious architecture on offer for you to adore.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Sagrada Familia

Firstly, Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, is an iconic symbol of Barcelona. Its ornate design is remarkable and will stay with you forever. It is currently being finished (we’ve been waiting a little while shall we say) and its towering spires make it a must-visit. Have your photo taken outside with some ice cream from the amazing parlour across the street, or even take a tour of the inside (much more cultured than eating ice cream).

 Park Guell is a must-see on a weekend break in Spain

Gaudí’s whimsical Park Güell is a mosaic-filled wonderland offering panoramic views of the city. It’s like a playground for the imagination and really fills you with joy so I highly recommend it. The vibrant colours and imaginative sculptures create a surreal atmosphere which you’ll never forget.

You’ll need a ticket and book in advance as they can sell out. Both these stunning living pieces of art are high up on the Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain.

Art in Barcelona

As the home of Gaudi, Ramon Casas and Miró, Barcelona is teaming with art and culture at every point. The Picasso Museum is an art enthusiast’s dream, where you can explore the early works of Pablo Picasso in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Learn all about his evolution as an artist by viewing a huge array of his works from across his life in the wonderful museum.

Best Places to Go in Spain Picasso Museum

Another stop for art lovers is the Joan Miró Foundation. This museum showcases the works of the fascinating and renowned Catalan surrealist.

La Rambla

Barcelona’s famous boulevard, La Rambla, is bustling with exciting activity. Stroll along the tree-lined street, explore local markets, and witness street performers and artists showcasing their talents. A plethora of shops selling all kinds of produce from clothes, to food to souvenirs line the street.

Visit La Rambla on a weekend break in Spain

It is a very tourist-heavy area so if you prefer a less busy stroll then many of the roads off of La Rambla also offer lots of character and culture without being quite so busy. But you can’t say you’ve been to Barca without a walk down La Rambla.

Quarters and neighbourhoods to wander around

Barcelona is divided into different quarters which each have their own idiosyncrasies, architecture and contrasting vibes for you to engage with and explore. I definitely suggest checking out the Gothic Quarter. Lose yourself in the narrow mediaeval streets and you’ll find charming squares, historic buildings, and gems such as family-run shops that have been there for generations, to boutiques, to artisan wine bars and eateries. There’s a number of other neighbourhoods such as El Born. This district is known for its artistic flair, quirky and cool boutique shops, and great nightlife scene on offer.

Where to eat in Barcelona

If you’ve ever visited or lived in Spain before then you’ll of course be familiar with tapas, the small, plentiful, sociable way of eating. If not, you need to have your first tapas experience in Barca! Foodies will love food culture here and I insist you indulge in a tapas crawl. Each bar offers a unique selection of small, flavourful dishes, so you really can try a huge variety.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Tapas

It’s not just cafes, bars and fine restaurants which do great food there. Boqueria Market, Located just off La Rambla, is a bustling market and food lover’s paradise, featuring fresh produce, seafood, and local specialities.

The beach in Barcelona

On most city breaks you don’t normally have the option of visiting a beautiful sandy beach, however you are in luck with Barca! Barceloneta Beach, though man-made, adds a glorious dimension to an already fantastic city.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Barceloneta beach

Take a break and unwind on the city’s sandy shores, go for a swim, sunbath – eat, drink and be merry! The beach offers a refreshing escape from the busy city centre (though this is by no means a secluded quiet little beach). Enveloped with seaside restaurants and great atmosphere I’d say Barceloneta Beach is a must-do on your trip.

Barcelona’s energy, artistic treasures, and a perfect mix of urban and coastal experiences make it an ideal destination for a memorable weekend break. Whether you’re exploring architectural wonders, savouring local wine, tapas and risottos, or soaking in the Mediterranean sun, Barcelona is absolutely one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain. 

2. Madrid for a weekend away

Madrid, the capital and heart and soul of Spain, is another Spanish city which offers world-class museums, historic landmarks and lively neighbourhoods.

 Places to Go for a Weekend in Spain Madrid


The Prado Museum is Spain’s national art museum and home to an extensive collection of European art. It showcases masterpieces by Goya, Velázquez, and El Greco. Art lovers will rejoice and can easily spend hours exploring its many galleries.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Prado Museum

The star of the show at the Reina Sofia Museum is Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ which people travel from far and wide to admire. It’s not the only art on display however, more modern and contemporary art take centre stage here too.

Culture of Madrid

Madrid has lots of places around the city which display their history proudly. A visit to the opulent Royal Palace provides a glimpse into Spain’s regal history. Explore the grand rooms, the Royal Armory, and the beautiful Sabatini Gardens.

 Madrid Palace is a great place to see on a weekend trip in Spain

Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s bustling central square, is a hive of activity, featuring the iconic Tio Pepe sign, the Bear and the Strawberry Tree statue, and the symbolic Kilometre Zero marker. If you love people-watching then Plaza Mayor is another square, surrounded by red-brick buildings and arcades, which is perfect for so doing.

The Kilometro Zero, is a small stone slab in Madrid’s city square which marks the geographical centre of Spain. The marker sets the Zero Kilometre point from which distances are measured in Spain.

Retiro Park

Retiro Park covers over 125 hectares and comprises more than 15,000 trees. El Retiro Park, recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Madrid’s largest park. I simply adore it. Its scale is impressive and really does feel like an oasis in the middle of a city (you could forget you were in a capital city whilst in here).

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Retiro Park Madrid

It has the vibe of Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York. Wide boulevards, people walking, skating, picnicking, dogs being walked, some sports being played – it’s both tranquil yet full of life at the same time. There’s peaceful manicured gardens, a glorious boating lake, and the Crystal Palace!

You definitely need a selfie here. It’s a haven for relaxation and outdoor activities, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It’s also a wonderful place to take it easy after a night indulging in all the food and wine Madrid has to offer and one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain.

Where to eat in Madrid

Malasaña, a neighbourhood known for its alternative scene and interesting range of culinary offerings, is the perfect place to enjoy tapas in the local bars and cafes.

Eat Spanish food on a weekend break away

But also, let’s not forget the chocoholics amongst us; Indulge in the Spanish tradition of dipping churros into hot chocolate at the famous Chocolatería San Gines.

Gran Via

You can not visit Madrid and not walk down Gran Vía. My heart does a merry little dance when it sees the iconic Schweppes sign adorning a building at one end of the Gran Via. It is like something from a Baz Luhrmann film and is instantly recognisable – again, another place for a great selfie!

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Gran Via

Madrid’s bustling main street is not only a shopper’s paradise but also great for nightlife. Explore theatres, cinemas, many cocktail bars, and clubs on Gran Via and the surrounding areas. It’s not all history and art in Madrid, you can really party too!

Madrid’s dynamic energy, cultural treasures, and a perfect blend of historic and modern attractions make it an exceptional destination for a weekend retreat and that is why I have to shout about it as one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain!

3. Seville for a weekend away

Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is a city that effortlessly weaves together centuries of history, artistic brilliance, and the passion of flamenco. 

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Seville


Firstly I have to mention the Alcazar of Seville. The royal palace complex is a masterpiece of Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Explore its intricate courtyards, lush gardens, and opulent rooms.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is simply stunning. The scale of it is breathtaking and the architecture is mind-blowing. The cathedral houses treasures such as Christopher Columbus’s tomb, though some debate whether his body is actually there (some believe it is still in Cuba). Climb the Giralda Tower for panoramic views of the city.

Cultural explorations in Seville

There is so much to explore in Seville, both geographically and culturally. Seville’s historic Jewish Quarter, Santa Cruz, is a labyrinth of narrow streets, gorgeous squares, and whitewashed buildings for you to discover, relax and dine in.

Enjoy Spanish culture on a weekend trip

It’s not all architecture though! How about you immerse yourself in the soul-stirring art of flamenco at venues like Tablao El Arenal or Tablao Los Gallo? The passionate dance, music, and singing create an unforgettable experience. Learn all about the art of flamenco at the Flamenco Museum, housed in a stunning building in the heart of Seville. If you’re lucky enough to visit in April you will see the city come alive with the Feria – a bombastic fair featuring flamenco, music, costumes and a party atmosphere!

Iconic Views and Parks

The sublime Metropol Parasol / Las Setas is a must-see when visiting Seville. Modern architecture meets historic surroundings in this huge, stunning, architectural and artistic wonder!

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Seville

A vast wooden structure, which is essentially a piece of art, is a huge viewing platform offering panoramic views of the city. You have to buy a ticket for 15 euros but it is well worth it for the glorious view – even the design of the structure itself is worth it!

Also, Maria Luisa Park is a gorgeous, vast, opulent green space which is the city’s largest park. Filled with fountains, ponds, and the Plaza de España—a stunning palace-like semicircular building with colourful tiles representing different regions of Spain.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Maria Luisa Park

Seville’s blend of history, artistic expression, and culture makes it a perfect weekend destination. Whether you’re marvelling at architecture or being swept away by the rhythms of flamenco, Seville promises to be a fascinating destination and one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain

I’ve focused quite a lot on three of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain but there are even more. I’ve included a further three cities that are still popular, but arguably less infamous than the major cities above to whet your appetite for your short break!

4. Valencia for a weekend away

Valencia, on Spain’s eastern coast, offers a weekend seamlessly fusing avant-garde architecture and the traditional. The iconic City of Arts and Sciences, designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, showcases futuristic wonders like the Hemisfèric. 

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Valencia Arts and Sciences

For those who love the grandeur of centuries-old religious sites then Valencia Cathedral will set your heart a flutter as will the UNESCO-listed La Lonja de la Seda, the 15th century silk exchange, reflecting the city’s trading past. It’s a stunning gothic building which attracts a lot of admirers. 

Stretching over 9 kilometres, Turia Gardens are an enormous green space for walking, cycling, and practising sports. Also, with golden sand and great transport links, Malvarrosa Beach is the best beach in Valencia – broad, long and offering sun-soaked shores! 

Valencia is an easy city to go for a weekend break in Spain

Try your hand at bartering in Spanish, get to know the locals and all the tastes of the region by visiting Mercado Central to buy fresh produce for a must-try paella, Valencia’s culinary pride. Even more culture and arts are on offer at IVAM and the Oceanografic, Europe’s largest oceanarium. 

Also, depending on the time of year you wish to visit you can entertain yourselves by attending some extra special events. The city hosts parades and fireworks across multiple days for Las Fallas in March and the world-famous Tomatina festival in August. 

Valencia promises to be one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain, blending modernity, tradition, and Mediterranean sun, sea and sand.

5. Granada for a weekend away

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is waiting to win you over with its Moorish splendour. Begin with the Alhambra which was a fortress, a palace, and a citadel all in one. It is one of the most visited sites in the world and a beautiful example of historic Islamic life. The Nasrid Palaces showcase intricate stucco work and gorgeous gardens of Generalife. 

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Granada Alhambra

Take in the wonderful scenery with a wander through the UNESCO-listed Albaicín neighbourhood, with its cobbled streets and iconic views from Mirador de San Nicolás. There’s the cave dwellings of Sacromonte for you to check out for authentic flamenco performances. And historic landmarks for you to admire, including the Royal Chapel of Granada and the grand Cathedral. 

Granada Cathedral

As night falls, Albayzín comes alive with eclectic tapas bars, tea houses, and flamenco venues;  then at daybreak consider a trip to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. 

Granada, with its unique Moorish and Spanish influences, offers an unforgettable experience at every turn and that’s why it’s one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain.

6. Malaga for a weekend away

An incredibly popular holiday destination in the Costa del Sol, Malaga is famous for sun-drenched beaches, and is a gem of Andalusia. Begin with Picasso’s Birthplace at the Buenavista Palace, home to the Picasso Museum. Then indulge yourself in Moorish and Roman history as you explore the Alcazaba fortress with its beautiful gardens and the adjacent breathtaking Roman Theatre. If stunning architecture is your thing then you must go to the historic centre’s lively Calle Larios and take in the grandeur of Malaga Cathedral.

Malaga is a top weekend break in Spain

Sun, sea and sand make Malagueta Beach essential, where the urban setting meets the sea. Ascend Gibralfaro Castle’s hill for panoramic city views. For culture vultures amongst you there’s the Centre Pompidou and CAC Málaga, showcasing contemporary art. If you need serenity after all of the aforementioned then Parque de Malaga, a green oasis near the port, is definitely the place for you. You will no doubt have worked up an appetite and I’d strongly suggest you tickle those taste buds at the Atarazanas Market and explore Old Town’s narrow streets adorned with traditional tapas bars.

Best Places to Go for a Weekend Break in Spain Malaga

In August, join the fervour of the Malaga Fair (Feria de Málaga), a celebrated festival featuring parades, music, flamenco, and wonderful street festivities. Malaga, with its mix of stunning scenery and inviting beaches, promises to be one of the best places to go for a weekend break in Spain by capturing the quintessence of Andalusian charm at every turn.

READ MORE: 12 Souvenirs from Spain to remember your trip by

Whether you’re drawn to the artistic Barcelona, the historical streets of Seville, or the country’s capital Madrid, each destination has its own story to tell. Spain’s stunning landscapes, atmosphere, culture and cuisine ensure that every weekend escape is a fun and enriching experience. Pack your bags and get ready for a weekend adventure. Viva España!

7. Weekend in San Sebastian

San Sebastian is a great place for a long weekend away. One of the main attractions of this Spanish city is the local cuisine – expect some of the best pintxos and tapas you’ll ever taste (and see!). In my opinion San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful places in Spain – perfect for a weekend trip. 

Pintxos in San Sebastian

Visit in the height of summer and you’re going to come across some crazy crowds, and heat. The shoulder season is the best time to visit to enjoy the rich history, beach vibes, and fewer crowds. Top attractions in San Sebastian include the Old Town and the Cathedral, but the beach is the must-see attraction – great for kids!  

There are no direct flights from the UK to San Sebastian, but you can fly into Bilbao Airport nearby and get an hour’s transfer across the Basque Country. Or hire a car for the road trip. It’s worth it, I promise!

San Sebastian offers one of the best city breaks in Spain, book your beach break today! 

Weekend Break in Spain Quicklist

  1. Barcelona
  2. Madrid
  3. Seville
  4. Valencia
  5. Granada
  6. Malaga
  7. San Sebastian

What is the cheapest destination in Spain?

The cheapest destination in Spain is often considered to be Granada. This beautiful city in Andalusia offers a rich historical experience with its stunning Alhambra palace and Generalife gardens. Granada is known for its affordable accommodation options and the unique culture of free tapas with drinks, making it a budget-friendly choice for travellers.

What is the cheapest month to go to Spain?

The cheapest month to travel to Spain is typically November. During this time, the tourist crowds have significantly diminished, leading to lower prices in flights and accommodations. The weather is cooler but still pleasant, making it ideal for exploring cities and cultural sites without the summer heat or the high costs associated with peak tourist season.

Where are the best Spanish city breaks with beaches?

Barcelona is one of the best Spanish cities for a break that combines urban exploration with beach relaxation. The city boasts famous architectural landmarks by Gaudí, vibrant cultural scenes, and the popular Barceloneta Beach. Another great option is Valencia, known for its City of Arts and Sciences, delicious paella, and beautiful beaches like La Malvarrosa and El Saler.

One Comment

  1. Victoria Philpott’s article offers a compelling guide to the best weekend break destinations in Spain. With Barcelona highlighted as a top choice, readers are enticed with vivid descriptions of its cultural richness, from Gaudí’s architectural marvels like the Sagrada Familia to the vibrant art scene showcased at the Picasso Museum.

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