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Spain Itinerary for 3 Weeks 

This three-week Spain itinerary dives into the heart of the country that promises more than just visits; it offers an immersive experience.

This three-week Spain itinerary dives into the heart of the country that promises more than just visits; it offers an immersive experience. Spain’s diversity makes it an ideal destination for an extended adventure. Here, every region tells a different story, through its cuisine, architecture, and traditions. Over three weeks, you’ll truly connect with the Spanish way of life, from bustling city squares to tranquil countryside. It’s not just a trip; it’s a deep dive into culture, history, and the vibrant Spanish spirit. Perfect for those craving a thorough exploration, Spain waits to unfold its treasures over a meaningful, enriching journey.

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Spain Itinerary for 3 Weeks

Getting Around Spain

During my backpacking trip, I booked all my train tickets in advance from this website. It is user-friendly, the trips are reasonably priced, and the trains are on time. An important thing I noticed when booking trains: it’s cheaper in the morning and late afternoon

Book Your Tickets in Advance to Avoid Queue and Hassles

If you visit Spain during the summer, be prepared for a crowd surge, especially in places like Barcelona and Madrid. Top attractions in these cities are packed, and you need a strategy to save time. Of course, be open to changes while traveling. Sometimes, the best things happen when you don’t plan at all. This itinerary will serve as a guide, not a travel bible to follow religiously. Refer to these two websites for entrance tickets and tours and compare prices. I like this website and this website because they offer 24-hour cancellations. Read the descriptions before booking. 

About This Spain Itinerary

This Spain itinerary is more detailed than you’d expect it to be. It is more of a backpacking style, moving from one city to another. Also, the activities and attractions listed are recommendations you should take advantage of in the city/town. This Spain itinerary immerses you in the country’s diverse beauty and culture, ensuring a rich and memorable experience. Enjoy your travels!  

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Spain Itinerary for 3 Weeks

Day 0: Hola, Barcelona!

Your Spain itinerary starts in Barcelona. Settle in your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can explore the surrounding area where you are staying. 

Day 1: Barcelona, Here I Am!

  • Morning: Arrive in Barcelona. Start with a leisurely walk down La Rambla. Experience the vibrant street life.
  • Afternoon: Explore the Gothic Quarter. Marvel at the Barcelona Cathedral
  • Evening: Dine at a local tapas bar. Try patatas bravas and pan con tomate.

Day 2: Barcelona’s Gaudi and Gothic

  • Morning: Visit the Sagrada Familia. Book tickets in advance to avoid a long queue. 
  • Afternoon: Stroll through Park Güell. Enjoy Gaudi’s whimsical creations. No need to join a tour here. It’s better to do it at your own pace. But, book the entrance ticket in advance to avoid the heat while in the queue. 
  • Evening: Explore El Born. Have dinner in one of its trendy restaurants.

Related Post5 Buildings in Barcelona Designed by Gaudi

Day 3: Barcelona’s Beaches and Art

  • Morning: Head to Barceloneta Beach. Enjoy the Mediterranean sun.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Picasso Museum.
  • Evening: Watch a football if there’s one. Barcelona has crazy football fans. Join the fun – and riot! 

Day 4: Day Trip to Montserrat

Day 5: Day Trip to Girona

  • Day Trip: Explore Girona’s medieval walls and Jewish Quarter. There is no need to join a tour. Girona is only 40 minutes away by train from Barcelona. 
  • Activity: Visit the Girona Cathedral. Walk along the Onyar River.

OPTION: For LGBTQ travelers, Sitges is just a 30 30-minute train ride from Barcelona. This charming coastal town is known as Spain’s gay capital, and vibrant lifestyle events occur throughout the year. Check it out!  

Related Post: 5 Days in Barcelona – a Detailed Guide

Where To Stay In Barcelona

There are plenty of places to stay in Barcelona that cater to different budgets and preferences. If you’re a backpacker, you might want to check out The Central House Barcelona Gracia in the lively Eixample district. For those with a moderate budget, the Praktik Garden Hotel in Eixample is a great option, as it’s located near popular tourist spots. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for luxury, you can treat yourself to the Majestic Hotel & Spa on Passeig de Gràcia, which offers top-notch service and stunning views of the city’s remarkable architecture.

Day 6: Zaragoza

  • Morning: Take a train to Zaragoza at 6:30 AM for an hour and 23 minutes ride. If you can’t check in early, leave your bag at the hotel or hostel. Visit the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
  • Afternoon: Explore the Aljafería Palace.
  • Evening: Enjoy Zaragoza’s local cuisine. Try the ternasco.
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Spain Itinerary for 3 Weeks (Bilbao, Spain)

Day 7: Train to Bilbao

In my original Spain itinerary, I didn’t include Bilbao because it’s way up North. But, I really wanted to get to know Spain in all four directions, so I went up there!

  • Morning: Travel to Bilbao. Take the 7:30 – 11:45 AM train. Settle in.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Guggenheim Museum. Admire modern art.
  • Evening: Stroll through Casco Viejo. Try pintxos in Plaza Nueva.

Day 8: Bilbao and Its Charms

  • Morning: Begin your day at the Museo de Bellas Artes. Admire a mix of classical and contemporary art that showcases the region’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Mid-morning to Afternoon: Take a bus and explore the Puente Colgante (Hanging Bridge) and Getxo’s cliffs and beaches. The bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a unique blend of engineering and beauty, with a ferry service that lets you experience the bridge above and below. Getxo, nearby, boasts beautiful beaches and cliffside walks, perfect for an afternoon of leisure and scenic views. An option is to join the Gaztelugatxe, Mundaka, and Gernika Tour from Bilbao. 
  • Evening: Return to the heart of Bilbao and unwind by the Nervión River. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and indulge in Basque cuisine at a riverside restaurant. Try pintxos, the Basque country’s take on tapas, and local specialties like bacalao al pil-pil (cod in pil-pil sauce) for a flavorful end to your day.

Day 9: Segovia

  • Morning: Take the 7:00AM train to Segovia, arriving at 11:00 AM. Settle in your hotel/hostel. 
  • Afternoon: Visit the Alcázar of Segovia and marvel at the Roman Aqueduct.
  • Evening: If you have the stomach, try the local specialty, cochinillo (suckling pig). I didn’t try it because I couldn’t even look at the suckling pig on the table/plate.  
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Madrid, Spain

Day 10: Madrid Arrival

  • Morning: Take the 8:32 AM train to Madrid and arrive 30 minutes later. Check in your hotel/hostel. Visit the Royal Palace. Buy the skip-the-line ticket to save you from the queue. I was in line for an hour and 20 minutes for not buying the ticket in advance
  • Afternoon: Have lunch at Mercado de San Miguel in Plaza Mayor and explore Puerta del Sol.
  • Evening: Enjoy the city’s nightlife. Madrid has it all. For LGBTQ travelers, the Chueca neighborhood is a must-go!

Day 11: Madrid’s Art and Culture

  • Morning: Visit the Prado Museum.
  • Afternoon: Stroll through Retiro Park. Visit the Palacio de Cristal. 
  • Evening: Have dinner in the trendy Malasaña district.

Day 12: Madrid’s Modern Side

  • Morning: Explore the Reina Sofia Museum.
  • Afternoon: Shop at El Rastro, Madrid’s famous flea market.
  • Evening: Watch a soccer match or a bullfight if it’s in season.

Day 13: Day Trip to Avila and Salamanca

  • Day Trip: I took a comfortable coach/bus tour to Avila and Salamanca. Everything was explained on the bus, and when we arrived, the guide let us go sightseeing independently, which I liked.
  • Visit Avila’s medieval walls. Explore Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor, see the old and new cathedrals, and marvel at Spain’s oldest university. 

Day 14: Day Trip to Toledo

  • Day Trip: Discover Toledo’s Christian, Muslim, and Jewish heritage mix. Visit the Toledo Cathedral and the Alcázar. Tour tickets can be found here and here

Day 15: Train to Sevilla

Your Spain itinerary won’t be complete without visiting Sevilla. I love this city so much!

  • Morning: Take the train to Sevilla at 8:00 AM and arrive before 11. 
  • Afternoon: Visit the Sevilla Cathedral and Giralda Tower. Then, walk across the Cathedral and explore the Alcazar of Sevilla, a fascinating palace. 
  • Evening: Enjoy an authentic flamenco show.
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Spain Itinerary for 3 Weeks

Day 16: Sevilla

  • Morning: Wander through Barrio Santa Cruz.
  • Afternoon: Relax in Maria Luisa Park. Visit Plaza de España.
  • Evening: Dine in Triana and experience Sevillian tapas.

Day 17: Sevilla to Granada

  • Morning: Travel to Granada. Take the 7:42 AM train and arrive at 10:15. Check into your hotel.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Royal Chapel of Granada. Explore the Albayzín.
  • Evening: Watch the sunset from the Mirador de San Nicolás.

Day 18: The Alhambra

  • All Day: Spend the day at the Alhambra. Book your tickets in advance, and you will thank me later. Either join an Alhambra tour or get an audioguide and do it yourself. You need to hear the mystery and history of the palace. Explore the Generalife gardens.
  • Evening: Take the train to Malaga at 7:25 PM and arrive at 10:53 PM. Rest after your day of exploration.

Day 19-20: Malaga

  • Day 19: Visit the Picasso Museum. Enjoy Malaga’s beaches. Take the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus to save time going from one place to another. 
  • Day 20: Explore the Alcazaba. Stroll around the historic center.
  • Evening: Try espetos and Malaga’s sardine skewers by the beach.

Day 21: Departure

  • Morning: Last-minute shopping. Souvenirs from Atarazanas Market.
  • Afternoon: Fly to your next destination with memories to last a lifetime. Your 3-week Spain itinerary ends here.
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Spain Itinerary for 3 Weeks (Alhambra)

After three unforgettable weeks exploring Spain, it’s clear why this country captivates travelers. From its lively cities to serene beaches, this Spain itinerary offers diverse experiences that fill every day with new knowledge about the country. You’ve tasted local cuisines, marveled at historic sites, and soaked in vibrant cultures. This journey proves Spain is the perfect European destination for those seeking a deep dive into rich heritage and natural beauty. As you depart, you carry memories of Spain’s warmth, promising to return for more discoveries.

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