BEST 5-DAY ITINERARY FOR SPAIN
- 1 BEST 5-DAY ITINERARY FOR SPAIN
- 2 TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 5-DAY SPAIN TRIP
- 3 5 DAYS IN SPAIN – BARCELONA
- 4 HOW TO SEE SPAIN IN 5 DAYS – MALLORCA (MAJORCA)
- 5 COSTA BLANCA – SPAIN IN 5 DAYS
- 6 FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLACES TO VISIT IN 5 DAYS IN SPAIN
Spain is a beautiful country to visit – from amazing beaches to charming villages and lively cities. There is something for everyone in Spain. But with only 5 days in Spain, it is hard to decide on the best places to visit in Spain. The option of incredible places is endless – so, how can you ever plan a Spain itinerary? While I cannot claim to have seen all of Spain, I am happy to share some tips with you on where to go in Spain in less than a week.
This post covers different five-day Spain itineraries.
- For one, we have the fantastic city of Barcelona. You can spend a few days here and do a few day trips, and you will have a blast. This way, you will see some of the best places in Spain.
- Then there is another suggestion on what to see in Spain in 5 days – this one covers the beautiful, beautiful island of Mallorca.
- My third suggestion for spending 5 days in the country includes the lovely area of Costa Brava.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 5-DAY SPAIN TRIP
So, before sharing my ideal 5-day Spain itinerary, here are some travel tips.
HOW TO GET TO SPAIN
- Spain has several major airports, and it is easy to fly into Spain. Depending on the chosen itinerary, you can fly into Barcelona, Valencia or Alicante, or Mallorca.
- If you plan a trip to Barcelona or Costa Blanca (whether you opt for Valencia or Alicante), then you can also easily arrive at the destinations via train.
- Since all places are located on the coast, you could also get there via boat/ferry, etc., too but that is probably not the main way to arrive. Mallorca is an island – and accessible via ferry (also from Barcelona).
HOW TO GET AROUND SPAIN IN FIVE DAYS
Spain has good public transportation in the main cities/ tourist spots.
You can get around by public transportation easily – avoid the headache of renting a car.
- In Barcelona, you might need a car for the day trips. You can also do guided tours from Barcelona.
- In Costa Blanca, there is no need for a car, and you can just use good public transportation. Guided tours might be a good alternative as well.
- In Mallorca, however, renting a car might be the very best option. Public transportation is not the best, and the island is quite big – so getting around by car is the best solution. If you want to stay in the island’s capital – Palma de Mallorca – you can do a mix of public transportation and guided tours as well.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Spain is one of the most popular countries in the world – and one of the most visited. If you want to avoid the crowds and the heat avoid the summer months. I visited Barcelona in August – and it was not the most pleasant weather. It was just too hot. However, if you plan to spend some lazy days at the beach, then summer might be the best time to visit. I was in Mallorca and Costa Blanca in the shoulder season (October and November/December) and loved it.
As I always say – you cannot 100% rely on the weather. It might be rainy in the summer months and warm in the winter months. However, I still recommend visiting Spain in spring or fall.
WHERE TO STAY
Since I have three itineraries to choose from, you will find recommendations for your accommodations under each itinerary.
5 DAYS IN SPAIN – BARCELONA
Barcelona is a fun city in Spain – with tons of activities offered for people of all ages.
It is the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region in the northeast of Spain. With more than 1,5 million inhabitants, it is the second biggest city in Spain (after Madrid). It is the city of FC Barcelona (one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world). It is the city of Gaudi. It is a city filled with cafes, restaurants, exciting architecture, lively markets, and squares. It is also a city with a beautiful beach.
Barcelona is a fascinating city itself, and it is also a good base for some day trips. Think about Montserrat, Andorra (a tiny country between France and Spain), or Girona.
No, 5 days in the area of Barcelona is not too much time. I recommend exploring Barcelona in 2 or 3 days, and then planning 2 or 3 day trips from Barcelona.
THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA
- Visit La Sagrada Familia – one of Gaudi´s masterpieces. The work started in the 19th century, and yet the Roman Catholic minor basilica has to be finished. Make sure to get Fast-Track Access Tickets – the lines are normally insane.
- La Rambla is one of the main streets – it is lined with bars and restaurants. This place is bustling and a must-see.
- FC Barcelona Museum & Camp Nou Stadium is another top attraction in the city. Whether you are a football fan or not, it should be on your itinerary.
- Stroll Barrio Gotico – the gothic quarter of Barcelona and is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods.
- Explore Park Guell, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is another work of Gaudi and is used as a public park now.
- Montjuic Hill is one prominent hill in Barcelona – get up there by cable car or hike up and enjoy the views.
- Tibidabo is another hill in Barcelona offering great views of the city.
- Spend time at Barceloneta – the beach area that offers some getaway time in Barcelona.
- Check out my Barcelona post for more tips.
- Here are some tours and activities you can book for Barcelona.
DAY TRIPS FROM BARCELONA
Here are a few suggestions for day trips from Barcelona.
- Montserrat is probably the most popular day trip from Barcelona. It is a multi-peaked mountain range with the Benedictine Monastery Santa Maria de Montserrat just about 45 km northwest of Barcelona. And though it is close to Barcelona, plan a whole day because of all the activities you can do there – from visiting the Montserrat Monastery Museum to hiking and more. Montserrat is a great place to add to your Spain itinerary.
- It is quite easy to get to Montserrat from Barcelona – you could book tours or rent a car to get there or just use public transportation. It takes about 60-90 minutes (one way) and is worth your time.
- Check out this day trip from Barcelona – you can also book tours including wine tasting.
- Girona was a filming location of Games of Thrones – but there are more reasons to visit.
- It is a beautiful city with medieval walls and narrow winding city streets.
- Visit the Jewish quarter (one of the best-preserved in Europe), walk along the river and explore the lively squares.
- From Barcelona to Girona takes less than 1 hour by train. So, this is another fantastic day trip from Barcelona to take.
- For guided tours from Barcelona to Girona, click here.
WHERE TO STAY IN BARCELONA
As you can imagine, accommodation in Barcelona is not a bargain. However, you find luxury hotels as well as hostels and more budget-friendly places to stay in Barcelona.
- Find the best rates for your stay in Barcelona – here are some great luxury hotels
- There are also some great mid-range hotels in Barcelona. If you can try to book your accommodation near the main tourist attractions. Click here for more information on mid-range hotels in Barcelona.
- If you prefer staying in hostels or on a budget, check out the best rates, and your wallet will love you. Find the best deals here.
HOW TO SEE SPAIN IN 5 DAYS – MALLORCA (MAJORCA)
Mallorca (or Majorca in Spanish) is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It is about 200 km south of Barcelona, and if you stay longer than five days in Spain, you could combine a trip to Barcelona with a few days in Mallorca. However, given that Mallorca is only reachable by plane or ferry, it is pretty time-consuming, and I think 5 days for Barcelona and Mallorca is not enough.
Mallorca is the most popular travel destination for Germans. While many Germans go there for partying and drinking alcohol, (or better went as the local government has tried to stop that kind of tourism), Mallorca is actually one of the most stunning islands in Europe.
It has incredible beaches, beautiful towns and villages, and much more.
THINGS TO DO IN MALLORCA
- Explore the beautiful coves also known as calas in Mallorca – my favorite was Cala Mondragó.
- Relax at the beaches – there are many beautiful, beautiful beaches to choose from. One would be Cala Millor, but the options are immense.
- Do a boat tour – Mallorca, from this perspective, is also stunning, and you can also hop into the water with hardly any people around. Check out boat tours here.
- Explore the adorable towns and villages on the island. Valldemossa is probably the prettiest, but the others are charming.
- Visit Palma – Mallorca’s capital home to interesting architecture like the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma and visit the stunning Cathedral.
- Drive along the coast and the Serra de Tramuntana Mountain range. This is the most scenic part of a road trip.
Check out my more detailed post on Mallorca with more travel tips on what to do and more.
WHERE TO STAY IN MALLORCA
Mallorca is well known for all-inclusive hotels, including the one where I stayed. Despite staying in of the All-Inclusive Resorts myself, I do not recommend booking All-Inclusive.
COSTA BLANCA – SPAIN IN 5 DAYS
Costa Blanca is another popular but still somehow overlooked area in Spain, and perfect to discover in 5 days. The Costa Blanca stretches over 200 kilometers along the Mediterranean coastline. This itinerary will take us from Alicante in the south all the way up to Valencia in the north of Costa Blanca. Along this way, there are many beautiful villages and towns – and let’s not forget the beautiful beaches in Costa Blanca.
5 days in Costa Blanca is perfect for those who like combining city life with some colorful and charming villages and beach days.
Though Costa Blanca is quite popular amongst Europeans, I often feel it is underrated by Americans or Asians. I might be wrong! Either way, with five days in Spain and Costa Blanca, I recommend staying one day in Alicante and 1,5 days in Valencia. And then visit the cute, charming villages in between and also plan in a day or so for the beach.
Also, Costa Blanca usually has mild weather in the winter as well. It probably will not be hot, and sunbathing is perhaps not really the best activity. However, in the winter months, you can stroll the beautiful beaches of Costa Blanca which is perfect for sunbathing in the summer months.
THINGS TO DO IN COSTA BLANCA
- ALICANTE – Visit Santa Barbara Castle, a castle located on Mount Benacantil built in the 9th century. Stroll the Esplanade of Spain. It is made up of 6,600,000 tricolor marble tiles and is probably the most beautiful promenade in Spain. Walk the beach of Alicante and visit the port. Check out my Alicante post for more tips.
- Here are more tips for day trips from Alicante.
- VALENCIA – Visit Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences), a part of a massive complex with various bright and futuristic buildings. In the city center, you have the Plaza de la Virgen is on one side, and the Plaza de la Reina is on the other. Both are lovely and lively plazas that you should visit. See the street art – especially in the El Carmen neighborhood. Check out my Valencia post for more tips.
- ALTEA – Whitewashed houses, colorful flowers against white walls, and pretty ocean views. Yes, Altea has a touch of Greece in it and is one of the prettiest villages in Costa Blanca. It is small so it does not have many attractions but is still worth a trip. Check out my Altea post for more tips.
- VILLAJOYOSA – The most colorful place in Costa Blanca is Villajoyosa. It is a small town with a big beach section. Whether you visit for 1 hour or a full day – Villajoyosa should be on your Spain itinerary. Check out my Villajoyosa post for more tips.
- BENIDORM – Though the bigger town is not the most exciting place in Costa Blanca, it is a nice stop along the way. The beach area is charming, and so is the famous Balcón del Mediterráneo, where you have musicians playing.
WHERE TO STAY IN COSTA BLANCA
- The best-rated hotel in Valencia is the Caro Hotel near the Cathedral. Check out more about it here.
- We, a friend and me, stayed at the 3-star hotel Maya Alicante. It was a decent choice with a friendly and bright interior. Breakfast choices were good, the quality, however, was not great. But in all, you get good value for your money.
- Altea is probably the best place to stay for love birds. Small and tiny and yet so gorgeous – I guess this is the most romantic place on the itinerary. So, click here to find out about hotel rates in Altea.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLACES TO VISIT IN 5 DAYS IN SPAIN
5 days in Spain is not enough to see all the main places. I would not even try to squeeze in all major attractions in five days. However, it is enough to explore one part of Spain and get an idea of what the country offers. Whether you opt for Mallorca and some island life, the vibrant city of Barcelona and its surrounding, or explore Costa Blanca – the suggestions for 5-day Spain itineraries give you options to see what you personally like the most.
- READ MORE: Best places to visit in Spain
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