There are many beautiful cities to visit in Andalusia, and it can be tough to decide which ones to see on a trip.
We’ve put together a list of our top picks for the best cities to visit in Andalusia for couples. Whether you’re looking for romantic walks, stunning architecture, or simply a place to relax and enjoy the Spanish atmosphere, you’re sure to find something you love on this list.
Seville – the capital of Andalusia and a beautiful city to explore, with plenty of history and culture to take in
Seville is a beautiful city full of history and culture and is the capital of Andalusia, one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions. Perhaps its most famous site is the Real Alcazar, a royal palace dating back to 913 that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Directly next to it, you can find the amazing Giralda – an old Jewish quarter full of narrow streets, hidden squares, and amazing architecture. Visiting Barrio Santa Cruz should also be on your list if you’re in Seville – an old neighborhood full of life that has often been referred to as one of the most romantic places in all of Andalucia!
Seville is a vibrant city located in the Andalusia region of Spain. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, there are plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the best:
3 Top Things to Do in Seville
1. Visit The Alcazar
The Alcazar is a historic palace that dates back to the 10th century. This impressive structure features beautiful gardens, intricate architecture, and stunning views of Seville.
2. Explore The Historic Center
One thing you’ll notice as you travel throughout Spain is the abundance of gorgeous city centers. Seville’s historic center features narrow streets lined with charming buildings and quaint cafes. Visitors can explore this area on foot while taking in its picturesque beauty.
Barrio Santa Cruz is an ancient neighborhood located near the Cathedral. This area features winding streets lined with white-washed buildings, beautiful courtyards, and charming shops selling local handicrafts.
3. See The Cathedral & Climb The Giralda
Seville’s Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is well worth a visit. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history of this impressive building.
The Giralda dates back to when Seville was under Islamic rule. I used to be the minaret for a mosque that once stood on this site. You can still see Arabic-style patterning on the facade as well as the ramps spiraling up inside which a donkey would have taken the prayer man up in.
Food To Try in Seville
Seville is known for its delicious cuisine such as gazpacho (cold tomato soup), and pescaíto frito (fried fish). There are also several local specialties such as carrillada (braised pork cheeks.
If you’re after something sweet, then try churros con chocolate (fried dough pastry with hot chocolate), and go to Bar el Comercio for the best in the city.
Seville, European Capital of Smart Tourism in 2023
In 2023, the city of Pafos and Seville were recognized for their exemplary smart tourism practices across four categories – accessibility, sustainability, digitalization, and cultural heritage & creativity. Here’re two of the award-winning measures Seville implemented:
- To guarantee an enjoyable experience for visitors and locals in Seville, the city uses sensors to monitor tourists’ movements. This information helps redistribute them to uncrowded areas with plenty to do.
- On the other hand, Seville Accessible is an app for everyone to enjoy city celebrations with noiseless schedules, maps, routes, and accessible attractions. That way, everyone can participate in the festivities that are held in the city year long.
Cordoba – a UNESCO historic city with a stunning mosque, as well as other impressive architecture and monuments
Cordoba is an absolute must-see when visiting Andalucia. The striking Mezquita, also known as the mosque-cathedral, is Cordoba’s main attraction and one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Europe.
You’ll also find several other architectural treasures in Cordoba, such as the city’s Roman bridge and Alcazar. There are plenty of cultural attractions here too – from artist studios to flamenco venues – especially in the narrow cobbled streets of the historic center.
If you visit during May, it will coincide with the famous Festival de los Patios. Hundreds of patios in the city are decorated with thousands of colorful flowers. They open their doors to the public daily during this time. It gets busy so if you want to see as many patios as possible, start early in the day.
3 Top Things to Do in Cordoba
1. Visit The Mezquita
The Mezquita is a historic mosque-cathedral that dates back to the 8th century. This impressive structure features a unique blend of Islamic and Christian architecture and is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain. amongst the columns with red and white arches
2. Explore The Historic Center
Cordoba’s historic center features narrow streets lined with charming buildings and quaint cafes. Visitors can explore this area on foot while taking in its picturesque beauty.
Don’t miss the Jewish Quarter. This is an ancient neighborhood located near the Mezquita. This area features winding streets lined with white-washed buildings, beautiful courtyards, and charming shops selling local handicrafts. Visit the old synagogue while you’re here.
3. See The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is an impressive fortress-palace that was built in the 14th century. This historic site features beautiful gardens, impressive architecture, and stunning views of Cordoba.
Food To Try in Cordoba
Cordoba is known for salmorejo (cold tomato soup). It’s a little bit like gazpacho but contains bread, so it’s more filling. They also do a white garlic and almond version. You’ll also see flamen quines (breaded rolls filled with ham and cheese), and rabo de toro (oxtail stew).
For vegetarians, the fried eggplant drizzled with cane honey is delicious!
Granada – home to the world-famous Alhambra palace, as well as lovely streets and plazas to wander around
Granada is perfect for those looking to explore Spain’s Moorish past and is home to the famous Alhambra. This is the second most visited attraction in Spain (the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is the number one place). Don’t miss the stunning Nasrid palaces and Generalife!
The Alhambra complex is extensive, so will take a full day to explore. To make the most out of your trip to the city, you will want at least two days in Granada.
The Albaicin district is home to countless small alleys and never-ending passages that will take you back in time. It’s easy to get lost here, however, some of the viewpoints are stunning with views looking back over the valley.
3 Top Things to Do in Granada
1. Visit The Alhambra
The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous landmarks in Spain. This historic palace features impressive architecture, beautiful gardens, and stunning views of Granada.
2. Explore The Historic Center
Granada’s historic center features narrow streets lined with charming buildings and quaint cafes. Visitors can explore this area on foot while taking in its picturesque beauty.
Don’t miss Granada’s Cathedral. This is a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture and is well worth a visit. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history of this impressive building.
3. Stroll Through The Albayzin
The Albayzin is an ancient neighborhood located on a hill overlooking Granada. This area features winding streets lined with white-washed buildings, beautiful gardens, and stunning views of the Alhambra. You’ll need a good set of knees here, it’s located on a steep hillside.
Food To Try in Granada
Granada is known for its delicious tapas dishes as well as having influences from middle eastern cuisine. Tradidion Spahish foods include tortilla española (Spanish omelet) and patatas bravas (spicy potatoes).
The streets around the lower part of Albaicin are where you’ll find the majority of the middle eastern restaurants with options like falafels, stuffed in leaves, and tabouleh. These are great options for vegetarian and vegan travelers to the region.
Ronda – a picturesque town perched atop a cliff, with stunning views over the surrounding countryside
Ronda is a picturesque town perched atop a cliff in rural Andalusian. The area is surrounded by Pueblos Blancos (white villages).
Ronda boasts historic buildings, jaw-dropping views of the surrounding countryside, and two famous bridges, puente nuevo (the new bridge) and puente viejo (the old bridge). Puente Nuevo is the iconic image you’ll see on every tourist information image of Ronda.
Don’t miss Botellos Plaza, here you’ll find an old bullring that dates back to the 18th century. It’s located above the puente nuevo and offers spectacular views.
The city is small, so you can wander through most of it in a couple of hours.
3 Top Things to Do in Ronda
1. Visit The Puente Nuevo
The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is an iconic landmark that spans across the Tajo Gorge. It was built during the 18th century to replace a (now collapsed) old bridge. Don’t miss taking the steep walk down the valley to get the view looking up.
2. Explore The Historic Center
Ronda’s historic center features narrow streets lined with beautiful buildings and quaint cafes. Visitors can explore this area on foot while taking in its picturesque beauty.
Ronda is known for its bullfighting tradition, and the Plaza de Toros is one of the oldest bullrings in Spain. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the history and culture of bullfighting while admiring the impressive architecture.
4. See The Arab Baths
The Arab Baths date back to the 13th century and offer visitors a glimpse into Ronda’s Moorish past. This historic site features beautifully preserved arches and columns as well as a tranquil garden area.
Food To Try in Ronda
You’ll find everything I’ve mentioned so far. However, wine is the thing you want to try here. Ronda is home to several wineries that produce delicious wines using traditional methods. Visitors can take tours of these wineries to learn about the production process while sampling some of their delicious wines.
Malaga – the gateway to Andalucia, with its own beachfront promenade and lively nightlife scene
Malaga is a great place for any traveler to start their Andalucian adventure, it has one of the busiest airports in the region
Despite the bustle, Its historic center and nearby roman ruins evoke a sense of timeless beauty. Head to the beachfront promenade, where you’ll find a mix of locals and visitors enjoying the lively nightlife, flavorful restaurants, and some of the best beaches in the region.
Malaga is ideal for family travels and a great hub for adventure sports. If you’re looking for something to get the adrenalin going, then take a day trip to the Caminito del Rey.
3 Top Things to Do in Malaga
1. Visit The Alcazaba
The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortress that dates back to the 11th century. This historic castle offers visitors a glimpse into Malaga’s past with its impressive architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the historic center.
The historic center of Malaga features narrow streets lined with charming buildings and quaint cafes. Visitors can explore this area on foot or by bike while taking in its picturesque beauty.
2. Explore The Picasso Museum
Malaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous artists in the world. The Picasso Museum features an extensive collection of his works, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.
3. Relax on The Beaches
Malaga has several beautiful beaches where visitors can soak up the sun and enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters. Some popular beaches include La Malagueta and Playa de la Caleta.
Food To Try in Malaga
Malaga is known for its delicious seafood dishes such as paella and fried fish. There are also numerous tapas bars throughout the city where visitors can sample traditional Spanish cuisine like jamon serrano (cured ham) and tortilla española (Spanish omelet).
Cadiz – Discovering the Charm of Spain’s Oldest City
Cadiz, located in the southwestern region of Spain, is a city steeped in history and culture. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, Cadiz offers visitors a unique blend of ancient architecture and modern amenities. It also has several beaches to relax on.
3 Top Things to Do in Cadiz
1. Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Cadiz is a maze of narrow streets and alleys that wind their way around historic buildings and plazas. The best way to explore this area is on foot, taking in the stunning architecture and vibrant street life.
Don’t miss the Gadir Archaeological Site is home to ruins dating back to Phoenician times (1100 BC). Visitors can explore these ancient remains while learning about Cadiz’s rich history.
2. Visit the Cathedral
The Cadiz Cathedral, also known as the “New Cathedral,” was built between 1722 and 1838. Its impressive Baroque facade dominates the city skyline and its interior houses numerous works of art.
3. Take a Stroll Along La Caleta Beach
Located at the heart of Cadiz’s old town, La Caleta Beach is an idyllic spot for relaxation or a romantic walk along the promenade. If this beach is too busy then opt for the one in the new town.
Food To Try in Cadiz
A visit to Mercado Central de Abastos is a must for foodies looking for fresh seafood caught from nearby waters by local fishermen.
Jerez de la Frontera: Exploring the Birthplace of Sherry and Flamenco
Jerez de la Frontera, located in the province of Cadiz, Spain, is a city with a rich history and culture.
Jerex makes up part of the Sherry Triangle and is regarded as the birthplace of sherry wine and flamenco dancing and horses, there are plenty of things to see and do in this vibrant city.
The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art is located in Jerez and is home to beautiful horses trained in classical dressage techniques. Visitors can watch performances or take guided tours.
3 Top Things to Do in Jerez de la Frontera
1. Visit a Sherry Winery
Jerez is known for its production of sherry wine, so it’s no surprise that visiting a bodega (winery) is a must-do activity. There are numerous wineries throughout the city that offer tours and tastings, giving visitors an opportunity to learn about the production process while sampling some delicious wines.
2. Explore the Alcazar of Jerez and The Cathedral
The Alcazar of Jerez is a Moorish fortress that dates back to the 11th century. Visitors can explore its beautiful gardens and courtyards, as well as its museum which houses artifacts from various periods in Jerez’s history.
The Cathedral of Jerez was built between the 17th and 18th centuries on the site of an old mosque. Its impressive Baroque facade dominates the city skyline while inside you’ll find stunning artwork such as paintings by Goya.
3. Watch Flamenco Dancing
Flamenco dancing originated in Andalusia, and Jerez is one of its main centers. There are several tablaos (flamenco bars) throughout the city where visitors can watch performances by talented dancers while enjoying food and drinks.
Food To Try in Jerez
The city is known for its traditional dishes, as well as its variety of seafood. Traditional dishes include fried fish with garlic and parsley, crispy red prawns, grilled squid, and creamy seafood stews.
Sherry wine is also a must-try when visiting Jerez and can be enjoyed with food or as an aperitif. There are numerous wineries in the city where visitors can sample glasses of sherry and learn about its production process.
When Are You Visiting Andalucia?
Andalucia is full of beautiful cities that offer something to suit all tastes. Whether you’re looking for the grand grandeur of Sevilla, ancient and beautiful Cordoba, or a spectacular view of Ronda; or if you’d rather relax in the sun at Malaga – this amazing region has so much to offer!
Andalusia is an ideal destination for a road trip, and to get off the beaten path all year round.
Why not take a look at our list and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip to this stunning region today? You won’t regret it!
Becki Rendell is a self-confessed travel addict and ‘experience connoisseur’ who knows a thing or two about traveling the world in search of the most bucket-list-worthy things to do and places to see.
She’s visited over 56 countries and documents these on her blog, Meet Me In Departures. She’s also an adventure addict with a real passion for spotting wildlife and exploring ruins.