Southern Spain has a lot of things to do. It is rich in food, culture, and nature, so it has a lot of options for spending a great weekend in it.
Many things that we connect to Spain are native to Andalusia, like Spanish dance and music Flamenco, or their famous fashion with large dresses and flowers in hair. So, if you are planning on visiting Andalusia, you will certainly have a lot of fun.
As we lived in Andalusia, many people have asked us how to spend the best time there, so we decided to share some suggestions that you can use to navigate your trip and have an amazing time!
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Table of Contents
When to visit Andalusia?
The first important thing is to pick the right time when planning a trip. The good thing is that when it comes to Andalusia, there is almost no wrong time to visit it. Why? Because Andalusia is sunny, warm, and full of life most of the year.
The best way to decide on your dates is to set your goals – are you going site seeing or are you going on a vacation? Do you plan on walking the whole day, or are you planning on sunbathing in the sun?
If you are planning on a sunny escape from your cold winter life, the best time to visit Andalusia is somewhere between late February and early April. Late winter and super-early spring are cold in most countries, but not in Spain. So, if you want to meet Spring earlier this year, that is the best time.
If you are planning on walking around site-seeing, and not being cold, but not hot either- the best time is in April, May, and November. April and May are the picture-perfect of Springtime, and November is warm and light with the perfect walking temperature.
If you are planning on sunbathing and swimming (a summer vacation) the best time is in late August, September, and middle October. June and July are the sunniest and the hottest months, but that means temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius and almost unbearable daytime. The air in Andalusia during summer is very heavy so being outside between 1 pm and 7 pm can be dangerous and unpleasant.
Must see places in Andalusia
The best places to visit in Andalusia, Spain, depending on your likes and interests. An amazing thing is that there is something for everybody – amazing food and drinks, crazy nightlife, relaxing nature and hiking spots, tranquil but vibrant villages, or big and loud cities.
All the places in Andalusia are worth visiting, but let’s break them down into categories of must-see places.
Must-see places in Andalusia are:
- Big cities (Seville, Granada, Cadiz, Cordoba)
- Little town and villages (Jerez de la Frontera, Ubeda, Baeza, White Villages)
- Mountains (Sierra Nevada, Cazorla)
- Parks (Parque de Federico Garcia Lorca, Parque de Maria Luisa Sevilla)
- Traditional bars with flamenco show
- Historical monuments and houses (Real Alcazar, Casa de Federico Garcia Lorca, Museo Picasso)
The best cities to visit in Andalusia
The best places in Andalusia can be found all around the biggest Andalusian cities. You can even find nature inside some cities, like Alahambra in Granada.
Places in south Spain are always decorated with big colorful flowers and plants, so you will feel like walking around an oasis even when you’re in the biggest boulevards.
If you are visiting cities in Southern Spain, the things to do there are countless. Nightlife in Andalusia is crazy, so if you’re into that, you will have the best time of your life. Also, tapas bars with drinks are a great way of a more casual and tranquil night out.
One of the best things to do in Andalusia is to chill in their city parks because they are so well taken care of. The abundance of flora and labyrinth-like paths make for a truly meditative experience.
Here are the top places to visit in Andalusia if you like big cities:
Seville is touristic heaven. It has a lot of history and monuments you can visit all day long but it is also full of restaurants and bars to sit down and try paellas.
Unlike many big Spanish cities, Sevilla isn’t on the seashore, but it has a river. The river is followed by a beautiful quay full of bars and people, so it also has an intimate local atmosphere.
The best things to visit in Seville are the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Plaza de España (Spain’s Square), Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, Maria Luisa Park, and a football match at the stadium Sanchez-Pizcuan.
Malaga is the most urban Andalusian city. It is a center of good parties, great nightlife, young people, and amazing opportunities.
Malaga is right on the seashore, so it makes a great summer destination. If you like more tranquil summer escapes, the villages around Malaga are what you should be looking for, because they are close to the city, but not as crowded. If you are more of a party animal, book a room in the center of Malaga and you will not regret it.
Must-see things in Malaga are the Picasso Museo, Alcazaba palace and castle of Gibralfaro, Costa del Sol (Malaga’s coastline), the city center, and Benalmadena.
Cordoba is a characteristic city with a historical entrance. To come inside it, you need to cross a stone bridge making it look like you are coming inside a kingdom.
Besides that, Cordoba is the most famous for its flower wall decoration. White walls are decorated with blue paint and little hanging pots with colorful flowers. Cordoba is cozy and romantic, but it also has a big variety of tapas bars in the city center.
The top places to visit in Cordoba are Mezquita-Catedral, Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos, Puente Romano (Roman bridge).
Granada is one of the most popular cities in Andalusia. Its charm lies within the combination of a historical city center and a huge natural museum of Alhambra. Granada is a student city, so there are a lot of young people and a lot of parties and bars for students and youngsters.
It is not an enormous city, so you can check it out pretty quickly, except for Alhambra. Alhambra requires time, it is very big, very beautiful and you should save the whole day just for it.
Must-see places in Granada are Alambra and Generalife, Palacios Nazaries and the city center.
Cadiz is a city of stone, narrow streets, the ocean and beautiful little squares. Cadiz resembles Portugal more than it resembles its Andalusian neighbors, so it will leave you with a different vibe than Granada or Malaga.
It is a peaceful sea-oriented city with great places to surf, eat and walk around. It is a city with an almost village-like atmosphere, so it will make you fall in love with it.
The best places to visit in Cadiz are the cathedral of Cadiz, Tavira tower, the castle of Santa Catalina and the ocean.
The most beautiful towns in Andalusia
If you don’t like big cities but would rather visit a town and have a similar experience as in the city, but with fewer crowds and tourists, Andalusia has a lot of options.
Some of the most beautiful places in Andalusia are not popular ones, which gives them even more charm.
If you were to visit towns and little cities in Andalusia, Spain, the best places to visit are:
- Jaen (world’s capital of olive oil and Spain’s capital of free tapas)
- Jerez de la Frontera (home of famous Sherry wine, horse fair, and capital of MotoGP races)
- Almeria (a town of the sun and a perfect beach)
- Ronda (a famous town on a cliff)
- Tarifa (a town of surfing, windsurfing, and swimming with dolphins and whales)
There are many towns and cities to visit in Andalusia, and all are charming in their own way. Andalusia truly has it all, so the longer you can stay, the better.
Top things to do in Andalusia
When you are in Andalusia, the best thing to do is to explore.
The top things to do in Andalusia consist of walking around town, checking bars, socializing with locals, and asking around for a history lesson.
By talking to the locals, you will find the secrets of that particular place, because there are different customs in every city or town. Locals are very proud of these customs and they will gladly teach you a new phrase or show you a thing they drink or a place they like to go to.
The best things to do in Andalusia are going on tapas tours, trying out gin and tonic with their special spices, going hiking on the mountains, taking a day to chill in the park, going to a Flamenco show, attending a feria, trying olives and olive oil, drinking Tinto de Verano, and going to a football (soccer) game or just watching it in a bar full of people.
What is Andalusia famous for?
Andalusia is famous for:
- Hand-clapping music and singing (also from Flamenco)
- Big dresses and flowers in hair
- Olives and olive oil
- Gin and tonic
- Tapas bars
- Moorish influence
- The sea
- The Sun
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