Costa del Sol landscape
Visit some of the most exciting places in Spain with a Eurail pass. You’ll experience a unique blend of old-world history and new-world charm. Music, art and architecture form the backdrop, food and drink provide the flavor, but it’s the people of Spain that will win your heart.
Voluntary insomnia in Madrid
Madrid has so much to offer, you shouldn’t be surprised if you forget to sleep. Spend your days in the Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace (Palacio Real), the Royal Botanical Gardens (Real Jardin Botanica) or one of the 73 museums. Feast on tapas in the evening, and dance the night away in one of the countless nightclubs that make this city famous. All the while, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most fascinating architecture in the world. View more things to do in Madrid.
The Royal Botanical Gardens are a 10-minute walk from train station Atocha. The famous Parque del Retiro is just across from the Botanical Gardens entrance.
Bustling brightness in Barcelona
Known for its modern, forward-thinking style, Barcelona is one of the most progressive cities in Spain. The capital of Catalonia offers music, museums, sun and shopping. A popular attraction is Sagrada Familia, a temple designed by Antoni Gaudi. Its construction began in 1882, and is still underway. Gaudi’s influence is unmissable in Barcelona – from Park Guell to Casa Batlló, one of the most unique residences in Spain.
It’s easiest to get to Sagrada Familia by bus or subway from any major railway station. The temple has its own stop.
Centuries of style in Seville
Seville (Sevilla) captures the sexy Spanish lifestyle, but business and finance are also part of the mix. Tour the city on foot, by bus or by bike. Parque de María Luisa and Plaza de España give a taste of Seville’s nature. The Sevilla Cathedral gives a feel of the Muslim and Christian influence. A steamy nightlife, flamenco dancing and delicious tapas, completes the adventure.
Seville train station Santa Justa is about a mile northeast of the city center.
Sizzling sun in Valencia
Bask in the sunlight along the Costa Blanca (the White Coast) before heading into town for some memorable sightseeing. Once in town, don’t miss the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, which contains an oceanic aquarium, scientific museum, IMAX theater, covered gardens & more. Want to do a bit of shopping? The more than 1,000 stalls at the Mercado Central offers a host of colors, scents and flavors for the modern shopaholic.
From train stations De El Cabanyal en Del Norte city buses and metros bring you to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
Quaint and peaceful Spain in Bilbao & Pamplona
Want to see some of the smaller, more quaint Spanish towns? The coastal city of Bilbao offers the famous Guggenheim Museum, designed by architect Frank Gehry and recognized as a work of architectural genius. Further south, Pamplona may be known for the Running of the Bulls (July 6-14), but for the rest of the year, this little town is a fabulous place to explore, eat, and enjoy a dazzling nightlife.
From Station Bilbao-Abando, you can take a subway directly to the Guggenheim Museum. The museum has its own subway stop.
Read about traveling around Spain by train.
When to go
Most international visitors prefer to go to Spain in July and August, when tourist season is at its peak. However, if you’re looking for a slightly less crowded, slightly less hot environment, consider visiting in May, June, September or October, when the weather is a bit cooler and the streets a bit less crowded.
Spain’s sheer size and varied topography mean that the weather also varies significantly. When planning your trip, be sure to check the conditions in the particular regions you’ll be visiting. But here are some general guidelines, just to get you started:
- The central regions (Meseta) has hot, dry summers, a rather rainy spring and autumn, and cold winters.
- The mountainous regions usually have more snowfall.
- The northern regions (Cantabria, Basque Country, etc.) has cooler summers and mild winters, and more rainfall than other regions.
- The Mediterranean coast is warmer and a bit more humid.
- On the Atlantic coast summers are slightly cooler and more rainy.
- The islands (Balearic and Canary) are warmer in the summers, and cool and wet in the winter.
- March 15-19, 2013
This 5-day festival revolves around the creation and finally the burning of card, wood and paper-machéninots (puppets). On the final day the puppets are filled with fireworks and at midnight they are all set on fire. This definitely goes down as one of Spain’s craziest fiestas.
The festival takes place across the entire city of Valencia, which can be reached from the main train station.
- September 21-24, 2013
Hundreds of events, activities and parades, and the famous Fire Run (Correfoc) fill the streets of Barcelona with even more light and energy than usual.
Festivities take place all over the city of Barcelona. Use the city's public transport network to reach the different venues.
La Feria d’Abril
- April 24-29, 2013
Each year the Sevillanos take a week off work and dress up in traditional flamenco costumes. The locals gather around separate casetas (wooden huts) and throw themselves into flamenco marathons, along with eating, drinking, singing and making one hell of a party.
From the center of Seville the festival grounds is a 15-minute walk.
- July 6-14, 2013
Pamplona celebrates its patron saint with this week-long festival that includes the famous Running of the Bulls (Encierro)
Festivities take place all over Pamplona. From Pamplona's train station, take bus 9 which will bring you to the city center.
- March 24-31, 2013
During Holy Week (the last week of Lent and the week immediately before Easter) there are processions up and down the country, however the one in Seville is well-known for being the most elaborate. Worshippers follow the procession bare foot, carrying crosses and candles and it isn’t uncommon to see people carrying shackles and chains attached to them as penance.
The procession moves through the center of the city and can be reached by tram.
- August 31, 2013
The Spanish try not to take themselves too seriously and this festival demonstrates this perfectly. The culmination of crazy people (both Spanish and tourists) plus unlimited supplies of tomatoes is basically all that is needed to make Tomatina a splattering success!
Take a bus from the center of Valencia to Buñol.
Día de los Reyes
- January 6, 2013
Celebrate Three Kings Day the Spanish way in Madrid. Parades fill the streets and the mood is festive, especially for children.
- July 1-31, 2013
Barcelona comes alive during this popular arts festival, with plenty of music, art, theater and of course, food, drink and dancing.
El Grec takes place at the Teatre Grec (Greek Theater). From Barcelona Sants Estació, take metro L3 (green line destination Zona Universitària) to Poble sec. From there it's a short walk to the theater.