Discovering the top Instagram spots in Spain
Spain and Instagram are like two peas in a pod. From the Pyrenees Mountains in the north to the Strait of Gibraltar in the south, Spain is jam-packed with some of the continent’s most Instagrammable places and best photo spots. Needless to say, Spain is a photographer’s dream. The country is filled with stunning sights and attractions – you truly need to see these incredible Spain Instagram spots for yourself.
Beyond the photogenic landscapes and cityscapes, Spain is bursting at the seams with riveting subject matter…worthy of thoughtful and lengthy Instagram captions, to say the least. The history is dense, the culture is rich, and the languages are plentiful. There are dramatic differences across the country, and that’s what makes Spain such a beautiful and intriguing place to visit.
If this country excites you as much as me, you’re going to love this list of the 17 most Instagrammable places in Spain.
1. Alhambra in Granada
Granada is a quaint city in southern Spain with some of the country’s best Instagram spots. This bastion of beauty is home to the Alhambra, a hilltop palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Originally constructed as a fortress in the 9th century, the Alhambra was converted into a royal palace during the 13th century. During that time, the Moors from North Africa occupied the Iberian Peninsula. They brought Islamic art and architecture to Spain, which are on full display inside the walls and gardens of the Alhambra.
From elaborately decorated façades to lush gardens, the Alhambra is an architectural wonder that epitomizes Spain’s diverse heritage. As such, Granada and the Alhambra are top among the most Instagrammable places in Spain.
Looking for Alhambra Instagram captions? Check out my IG post here!
2. Sagrada Família in Barcelona
As far as Instagram worthy spots in Spain go, the Sagrada Familia is definitely among the top.
This colossal church is the ‘numero uno’ attraction in Barcelona, and rightfully so. The Sagrada Familia Basilica is an extraordinary work of art that embodies late Gothic and Catalan Modernism.
Though a basilica, the Sagrada Familia’s architectural style is dramatically different than that of traditional Roman Catholic churches. Its sheer size and stature also put it in a category of its own.
Designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in 1882, the Sagrada Familia has undergone construction for over 130 years.
If and when the church spires are fully completed, the Sagrada Família will be the tallest standing church in the world. Even prior to its completion, it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Barcelona and Spain.
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3. Real Alcázar in Sevilla
The southern city of Sevilla is one of the top places to visit in Spain. It’s also among the most spectacular Instagram spots.
Sevilla is home to a treasure trove of historic and cultural monuments. Chief among them is the Real Alcázar of Sevilla, a royal palace decked out with Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Given the Alcázar’s beautiful architectural elements, it’s definitely one of the best photo spots in Spain.
Similar to the Alhambra in Granada, the Alcázar was heavily influenced by the Moors. In fact, the Spanish word “Alcázar” comes from the Arabic word “al qasr”, which means “palace.”
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll probably recognize the Real Alcázar’s façade and gardens. This royal palace was filmed as Dorne during Season 5.
If you’d like a Game of Thrones refresher, or simply want a glimpse of the palace, check out the video below.
4. City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia
Spain isn’t just a haven of history. There are plenty of modern wonders scattered around the country as well.
The City of Arts and Sciences (Catalan: Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències) in Valencia is a massive entertainment complex designed by the well-known architect Santiago Calatrava. It’s one of the best photo spots in Valencia, and undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable places in Spain.
Inside this cluster of ultra-modern buildings, you’ll find a planetarium, museum of science, and opera house. You’ll also stumble across Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Oceanogràfic, which is home to more than 45,000 aquatic animals.
Though surrounded by a hodgepodge of historic and contemporary buildings, the City of Arts and Sciences reminds us that the year 3000 is not light-years away.
5. Aqueduct of Segovia
As you’ve probably realized by now, Spain is timeless. Spain Instagram spots are everywhere, transcending epocs and geographies.
Many empires and kingdoms controlled this vast country, and left their legacy behind. One old-world contraption that’s stood the test of time is the Aqueduct of Segovia, a Roman aqueduct built 2,000 years ago.
The Aqueduct of Segovia is among the best-preserved Roman aqueducts. It once carried water 11 miles from the Rio Frio (a river in the nearby mountains) to the town of Segovia.
Hoisted above the ground by granite arches, this ancient aqueduct is now a popular spot for sightseeing, photography, and (naturally) Instagram.
6. Puente Nuevo in Ronda
While we’re on the subject of ‘ducts, let’s talk about one of the most beautiful bridges out there. The Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”) is an 18th-century arch bridge that dangles above the Tajo Gorge in Ronda, Spain.
Spanning over 214 feet long and 320 feet tall, the Puente Nuevo is one of the top attractions in Spain’s Málaga province. It’s also one of the most Instagrammable places and best photo spots in Spain.
This gorge-hilltop combo provides an epic backdrop, worthy of a spot on your Instagram feed.
7. Vejer de la Frontera
Another shining city on a hill is Vejer de la Frontera, which majestically overlooks the Barbate River.
Vejer de la Frontera is colloquially known as the pueblo blanco, which means “white village.” Its white-washed homes resemble those of Santorini, minus the blue rooftops.
Vejer de la Frontera is dotted with historic streets, homes, and churches, which are all linked by plazas. The Plaza de España is the postcard center of town, giving you a taste of the old world. It’s undoubtedly one of the best photo spots in Spain, worthy of some real estate on your Instagram feed.
8. Plaza de España in Sevilla
Just like Vejer de la Frontera (and pretty much every other Spanish city), Sevilla has its very own Plaza de España.
Nestled in the heart (or “corazón”) of Sevilla, the Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The plaza’s pretty pavilion and river make it one of the most beautiful squares in Europe and best photo spots in Spain.
The Plaza de España contains Moorish and Renaissance architectural elements that were prevalent throughout Andalusia’s history. Its colonial flair harkens back the days of Spain as a global power.
9. Castell de Morella
This is another Instagrammable spot in Spain that’s worthy of a place on your feed.
Situated halfway between Barcelona and Valencia, Morella is an ancient city that’s often overshadowed by its neighbors. Perched above the city’s ancient walls lies the Castell de Morella, one of the most beautiful castles in Spain.
Given its strategic hilltop setting, the Castell de Morella’s has been at the front line of many contentious conflicts. Most recently, the castle was used during the Spanish War of Succession, Napoleonic Wars, and the Spanish Civil War.
It’s hard to tell where the massive rock ends and the castle begins, and that’s what makes it so striking (and Instagrammable).
10. Setenil de las Bodegas
Now that we’ve touched on the subject of giant rocks, let’s up the ante and talk about Setenil de las Bodegas.
This small town in southern Spain is etched into the cliffs. Some dwellings are totally covered by stone, and they’re not your typical stone houses either…
As you can see below, the people who live here literally live under a rock. And it’s quite honestly a compliment.
11. Parc Güell in Barcelona
Barcelona seems to get all the glory, and Parc Güell is one of the main reasons.
Built by Antoni Gaudí, the architect who designed the Sagrada Família, Parc Güell is an architectonic park overlooking the city.
This beautiful place is chock-full of eccentric architecture and gardens that give it a personality unlike any other park. Parc Güell’s colorful mosaics and sweeping views make it one of the most Instagrammable places and best photo spots in Barcelona and Spain as a whole.
Insider tip: A Rick Steves Tour Guide recently told me that you can gain free admission to the monumental area if you don’t mind arriving ambitiously early (between 6-8am). Once you’re inside, you can roam the zone for as long as your heart desires.
12. Mezquita Cathedral in Córdoba
Perhaps most emblematic of Spain’s diverse heritage is the Mezquita Cathedral of Córdoba.
This religious site has assumed several roles in its millennia-long tenancy. It began as a tiny Visigoth church before becoming a mosque during the Moorish occupation in the 8th century. When Spain returned to Christian rule in the 13th century, this holy site was converted to a Roman Catholic church, and later a cathedral.
At one time, Córdoba was considered one of Europe’s most important cities. The Mezquita Cathedral was at the center of it. As such, this incredible sight is one of the most Instagrammable places in Spain.
(Check out my list of Europe’s most magnificent churches)
13. Montserrat Monastery
While some monks established monasteries in cities and towns, others turned to the mountains. Montserrat is a clifftop monastery located in the rocky mountains of Catalonia within reach of Barcelona. It’s definitely one of the top photo spots in Spain and Europe as a whole.
This religious retreat has played an important spiritual role in the region for 1,000 years. To this day, there are 70 monks who call Montserrat their home. I’m sure it must be an incredible feeling to wake up every morning to views like this.
Though located just outside of Barcelona, this monastery definitely feels like a hidden gem tucked into the cliffs.
14. Palacio Real de Madrid
This is one of the most incredible Instagram spots found inside the Spanish capital.
The Palacio Real de Madrid (“Royal Palace of Madrid”) is the official residence of the Spanish royal family. It’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Madrid and Spain as a whole. Though today, it’s really only used for state ceremonies. King Felipe VI, who ascended to the throne in 2014, resides in the Palace of Zarzuela on the outskirts of the city.
The Palacio Real de Madrid contains a whopping 3,418 rooms, making it one of the largest palaces in the world. Originally built as a Moorish fortress in the 9th century, this royal palace was constructed in its current form in the mid-1700s.
Insider tip: Photography is not allowed inside the palace. So be sure to snap a shot of the façade before touring the inside.
15. Costa Brava (“Rough coast”) in Catalonia
This perfect place along the coast has to be one of the top Spain Instagram spots.
Tucked between Barcelona and the French border is a rugged coastline known as Costa Brava. This scenic coast is a sanctuary of beautiful beaches, rocky coves, and charming villages.
Costa Brava is a preferred holiday destination for locals and tourists alike. There are countless cities and towns nestled along this brave coast, making it one of the most Instagrammable places and best photo spots in Spain.
16. Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
On Spain’s northern coast is another Instagram-worthy sight, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. It’s the top attraction in Basque Country, one of Spain’s most distinct autonomous regions.
Built by the Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, this glass and titanium-clad museum hosts a vast collection of contemporary art.
From its unconventional façade to its exciting exhibitions, the Guggenheim Museum will give you plenty of fodder for that perfect Instagram post.
17. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia
Located in northwest Spain, the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. This Romanesque and Gothic cathedral lies in the heart of Santiago de Compostela’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This cathedral is the final stop on the Christian pilgrimage known as the Way of St. James, or El Camino. It’s also the final sight on my list of the most Instagrammable places in Spain.
Other Instagrammable places in Spain that deserve your attention
In addition to the places listed above, there are many other noteworthy sights sprinkled around Spain’s many islands. These include the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, and Formentera) and the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and five others). Definitely don’t sleep on the Canary Islands, as they are ranked among the most beautiful islands on the entire planet!
Collectively, these islands maintain a distinct character and personality from mainland Spain.
I’ll be sure to write about them when I have the chance to visit for myself. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve gotten to the Canary Islands was when I lived on a street called Calle de las Islas Canarias in Valencia, Spain.
Round-up of the most Instagrammable places in Spain
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the most Instagrammable places in Spain! Hopefully, this article introduced you to some new photo spots that weren’t on your radar, and made your bucket list a little longer.
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