3 Cities in Spain You Need to Visit This Summer - United Hub

3 cities in Spain you need to visit this summer

By Matt Chernov, July 23, 2018

With its white-sand beaches, mouthwatering food, and rich cultural history, it's hard to imagine a more idyllic destination to visit this summer than Spain. Whether you're an art lover who's interested in exploring the masterworks of Picasso and Dalí, a parent looking to introduce their kids to the magic of Southern Europe, or you just want to relax on a sailboat as it drifts lazily along the sun-drenched coastline, you'll find exactly what you've been dreaming of in this Mediterranean paradise. To help you plan the perfect summer getaway, here are three cities in Spain that offer something special for everyone.

Arc de Triomph, Barcelona

Barcelona

A city of exquisite contrasts, where avant-garde skyscrapers stand harmoniously alongside medieval monasteries, Barcelona offers visitors a European getaway unlike any other. From the cosmopolitan shopping district of Diagonal Mar to the ancient alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, this Mediterranean metropolis is in a category all by itself.

To instantly immerse yourself in the magic of Barcelona, a trip to the stunning Sagrada Família cathedral is essential. This wildly ornate Roman Catholic basilica, designed by legendary Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, is by far the most emblematic building in the city.

For a meal that captures Barcelona's true essence, take a culinary tour of La Boqueria, a massive public marketplace that dates back to 1217. Here you'll find gourmet butchers, farm fresh produce, an endless assortment of sweets and spices, and perfectly prepared dishes with a distinct Barcelonian flavor.

Though born in the southern province of Málaga, legendary artist Pablo Picasso is intimately associated with Barcelona, having painted many of his greatest works while living in the city. So naturally, the Museu Picasso is an important attraction that anyone who wants to understand Spanish art needs to visit at least once in their lifetime.

When you're ready to soak up the summer rays, head on over to beautiful Nova Icària Beach and settle back on a comfortable sun lounger. Surrounded by a variety of restaurants and bars, and equipped with several beach volleyball courts, it's an ideal spot for family and friends traveling in a group.

City view of Madrid

Madrid

Spain's vibrant capital has gone through countless changes over the past century, but its historic core remains thankfully intact. First-time visitors will marvel at Madrid's unique blend of old world charm and modern sophistication, which is best exemplified by the warm and welcoming residents who call the city their home.

Since food is central to Madrid's identity, indulge your appetite at La Carmencita, one of the city's oldest tapas restaurants. The expertly curated menu includes delicious calamari fritters, fresh razor clams in sherry and Madrilenean-style grilled anchovies. After that, make your way over to Ático 11, the cozy rooftop bar atop the Iberostar Las Letras Hotel, for an elegant cocktail with a view.

For anyone traveling with children, the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales is a delightful science museum filled with priceless meteorites, local fossils, rare minerals and several enormous dinosaur skeletons. And because soccer is an intrinsic part of Spanish culture, a tour of Madrid's incredible Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a must-visit attraction.

If exploring historic landmarks is what you're in the mood for, the fascinating Temple of Debod is perhaps the most unique ancient ruin in all of Spain. And finally, no trip to Madrid is complete without seeing Hieronymus Bosch's astonishing painting, "The Garden of Earthly Delights" on permanent display at the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Aerial view of Mallorca

Mallorca

Understandably famous for its gorgeous beaches and temperate climate, this colorful Spanish island has far more to offer than just blue water and clear skies. A haven for artists and writers throughout the decades, Mallorca is home to a remarkable collection of cultural and historic attractions that make it a splendid choice for both first-time and returning visitors.

The quickest way to acquaint yourself with the island's visual splendor is by taking a hike along the spectacular Torrent de Pareis, a natural box canyon that's one of Spain's most beautiful sights. This 3.1 mile trek involves several small climbs over moderate-sized rocks and boulders, so it's best attempted by physically fit hikers wearing appropriate climbing shoes.

For travelers with an interest in the country's prehistoric past, a tour of the Necropolis at Son Real – a collection of individual tombs and burial chambers dating back to the 7th century B.C. should definitely be on the itinerary. If peace and calm is what you're searching for, a relaxing stroll through the picturesque town of Pollença is a perfect way to experience Mallorca's restorative tranquility.

Since the island is renowned for its superb seafood, the Michelin-starred restaurant Es Fum comes highly recommended. When you make a reservation, be sure to ask for a table on the outdoor terrace. That way you'll enjoy a plate of smoked octopus and Gillardeau oysters while gazing at a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea. As the locals say, “Buen provecho!"

When you go

Once you've decided on the perfect Spanish getaway, book your tickets by visiting united.com or by using the convenient United app.

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