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10 Beautiful Places to Visit in Spain in Autumn

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in Spain in Autumn

Spain has a diverse range of destinations to explore, and autumn is the perfect time to visit them. The weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures in the low to mid-20s, and the summer crowds have thinned out, making getting around Spain’s famous landmarks much more enjoyable.

Flights and accommodations are less expensive as summer fades away and autumn in Spain arrives. At the same time, Spain’s National Day, Día de la Hispanidad, takes place on the 12th of October, with celebrations and flamboyant parades throughout the country bringing towns and villages alive with merriment.

So if you want to enjoy some end-of-year sunshine in Europe before winter sets in, a trip to Spain in autumn is just the ticket.

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Where to spend autumn in Spain

In this post, you will find ten of the most beautiful locations in Spain for an autumn getaway. From the bustling capital city of Madrid to the seaside location of the Costa del Sol and the countryside retreat of Santiago de Compostela, the finishing town on one of the world’s most well-trodden pilgrimage routes.

Barcelona

The vibrant city of Barcelona is a top destination year-round. Autumn in Barcelona is when you can enjoy the beautiful architecture of Gaudi, stroll along the famous La Rambla, visit the historic Gothic Quarter, and relax on the city’s beaches without the scorching heat and crowds that summer attracts.

Here are some activities and attractions you can enjoy during the autumn season in Barcelona:

  • Explore Historic Sites: Barcelona is rich in history and architecture. Visit iconic landmarks like the Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà to appreciate the impressive works of Antoni Gaudí.
  • Stroll through Parks: Enjoy the mild autumn weather in Spain by exploring the city’s parks. Parc de la Ciutadella, Montjuïc Park, and Park Güell are ideal places to take a leisurely walk or have a picnic.
  • Festivals and Events: Autumn brings various festivals to Barcelona. Watch out for events like the Barcelona International Jazz Festival (October-November) for music, culture, and local festivities.
  • Taste Catalan Cuisine: Savor traditional Catalan dishes at local restaurants and tapas bars. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous Catalan paella, seafood dishes, and tapas.
  • Wine Tasting: Venture to the nearby Penedès wine region for wine-tasting tours. Discover the production process and sample some excellent local wines.
  • Attend Sports Events: If you’re a sports fan, you can catch a football match at Camp Nou (due to reopen in 2025), home to FC Barcelona, or enjoy other sports events that might be happening during your visit.
  • Shop at Local Markets: Explore the city’s markets like La Boqueria and Mercat de Sant Antoni. They offer various fresh produce, local delicacies, and handicrafts.
  • Visit Museums and Art Galleries: Autumnal days are perfect for visiting museums such as the Picasso Museum, the Joan Miró Foundation, or the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).
  • Beach Time: Although the water might be a bit cold for swimming, the beaches are still enjoyable for a walk along the shore or relaxing on the sand.
  • Day Trips: Explore nearby destinations by using Barcelona’s central location. Visit Montserrat, Sitges, Girona, or the Costa Brava for beautiful scenery and cultural experiences.
ornate buildings in Parc Guell Barcelona
Parc Guell

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Madrid

As the capital of Spain, Madrid offers a mix of rich history, art, and culture. You can explore world-class museums like the Prado and Reina Sofia, visit the Royal Palace, and enjoy the parks and gardens that still boast pleasant weather in autumn.

Here are some of the things you can do in Madrid during the autumn season in Spain:

  • Visit Museums and Art Galleries: Madrid is home to world-class museums such as the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Spend your days exploring the rich art and cultural heritage of these institutions.
  • Enjoy the Parks: Madrid’s parks are beautiful during the autumn, with the changing colours of the leaves. Retiro Park is a must-visit, where you can stroll around the lake or picnic under the trees.
  • Attend Festivals and Events: Madrid hosts various festivals during the autumn months. Check out events like the Autumn Festival for music, food, and cultural celebrations.
  • Explore Historic Sites: Wander through the historic centre of Madrid to discover landmarks like the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol, soaking in the city’s rich history and architecture.
  • Gastronomic Delights: Indulge in Spanish cuisine at traditional restaurants and tapas bars. Try local dishes like cocido madrileño, bocadillos de calamares, or churros with hot chocolate.
  • Shop at Local Markets: Visit Mercado de San Miguel or Mercado de San Antón to savour fresh produce, gourmet treats, and regional specialities.
  • Experience Flamenco: Watch an authentic Flamenco show at one of the city’s renowned venues to witness the passion and artistry of this traditional Spanish dance form.
  • Day Trips: Take trips from Madrid to nearby towns and cities such as Toledo, Segovia, or Ávila. These destinations offer rich history and stunning architecture.
  • Football Match: If you’re a football enthusiast, catch a game featuring Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid at their respective stadiums.
  • Wine and Tapas Tour: Join a wine and tapas tour in Madrid to taste local wines and sample a variety of delicious tapas at different bars.
Glass conservatory in Madrid Spain surrounded by trees in  autumnal colours
El Retiro Park in autumn

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Seville

Seville is a charming Andalusian city in the southern region of Spain and a fantastic destination to visit during the autumn season. Known for its flamenco music, Moorish architecture, and delicious tapas, October is an ideal time to wander through the historic streets and admire the Alcazar and the stunning Seville Cathedral.

Here are some activities you can do in Seville in autumn:

  • Visit Alcazar of Seville: Explore the stunning Alcazar, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its intricate Moorish architecture and beautiful gardens. It’s a great place to learn about the city’s history and enjoy the autumn foliage.
  • Cathedral of Seville and Giralda Tower: Discover the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of Seville, and climb the Giralda Tower for breathtaking views of the city.
  • Plaza de España: Take a leisurely stroll in Maria Luisa Park and visit the iconic Plaza de España, a magnificent square with a semi-circular building adorned with colourful tiles representing different Spanish provinces.
  • Flamenco Shows: Experience the passionate art of flamenco by attending a live performance at one of the many flamenco bars or tablaos around the city.
  • Enjoy Tapas and Local Cuisine: Seville is famous for its tapas culture. Head to the Triana district or El Arenal neighbourhood to try traditional Andalusian dishes and enjoy a delightful culinary experience.
  • Metropol Parasol (Las Setas): Admire the unique wooden structure of Metropol Parasol, known as “Las Setas” (the mushrooms), and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top.
  • Boat Ride on the Guadalquivir River: Take a boat tour along the Guadalquivir River to see Seville from a different perspective and enjoy the tranquillity of the water.
  • Bicycle Tours: Rent a bicycle and explore the city’s charming streets and landmarks at your own pace. Seville is a bike-friendly city with many dedicated cycle lanes.
  • Visit the Bullring (Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza): Learn about Spain’s bullfighting traditions and visit one of the country’s oldest and most significant bullrings.
Garden inside the Real Alcazar Seville Spain
Alcazar of Seville Gardens

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Granada

Home to the famous Alhambra palace and fortress, Granada, located in the Andalusian region of Spain, is a must-visit destination in Spain. In autumn, the weather in Granada is typically pleasant, making it a perfect time to explore the city’s attractions, including the Alhambra’s gardens and the narrow streets of the Albaicín neighbourhood.

Here are some activities you can do in Granada in October:

  • Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens: Visit the iconic Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore its impressive palace and beautiful Generalife Gardens. Book your tickets in advance, as Alhambra is a popular attraction.
  • Albayzín Quarter: Wander through the narrow streets of the Albayzín, a historic Moorish neighbourhood with picturesque whitewashed houses, charming squares, and stunning views of the Alhambra.
  • Sacromonte: Explore the Sacromonte neighbourhood, famous for its cave houses and Flamenco shows. You can experience an authentic Flamenco performance in one of the traditional tablaos.
  • Mirador de San Nicolás: Visit this viewpoint for one of the best panoramic views of the Alhambra and the city of Granada, especially during the beautiful autumn sunsets.
  • Granada Cathedral: Marvel at the impressive Renaissance architecture of Granada Cathedral, located in the city centre.
  • Hammams and Arab Baths: Relax and unwind in one of the traditional Arab baths in the city, an experience in Spain that complements Granada’s Moorish heritage.
  • Tapas Tour: Granada is renowned for its free tapas culture. Enjoy delicious tapas with every drink you order at local bars and immerse yourself in the city’s culinary delights.
  • Science Park (Parque de las Ciencias): If you’re travelling with family or are interested in science and technology, visit the interactive Science Park, offering educational and entertaining exhibits.
  • Sierra Nevada: Take a day trip to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, where you can enjoy hiking, scenic drives, or even skiing if it’s late autumn or early winter.
  • Arab Souk and Street Markets: Explore the bustling Arab souk and browse through local markets selling crafts, textiles, and traditional products.
The red sandstone Alhambra Palace in Spain with snow capped mountains in the background
Alhambra Palace

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Valencia

Valencia is located on the eastern coast of Spain and is known for its futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex. It is an exciting city with a beautiful mix of modern and historic architecture and beautiful beaches. The weather is generally pleasant in autumn, making it a great time to explore the city’s attractions. Valencia is also one of the best European cities for solo travel.

Here are some activities you can enjoy in Valencia during the autumn months:

  • City of Arts and Sciences: Explore the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, a complex of impressive modern architecture that includes the Hemisfèric, Science Museum, Oceanografic, and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia.
  • Valencia’s Old Town: Wander through the charming streets of the historic city centre, where you’ll find landmarks like the Valencia Cathedral, Plaza de la Virgen, and Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange).
  • Bioparc Valencia: Visit Bioparc, a unique zoo that aims to recreate animals’ natural habitats. It’s a great place to learn about wildlife conservation.
  • Turia Gardens: Take a stroll or rent a bike in the Turia Gardens, a green oasis created in the former riverbed of the Turia River. Enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage and relax in the park.
  • La Malvarrosa Beach: Enjoy the last days of beach weather by visiting La Malvarrosa Beach. Take a leisurely walk along the promenade or have a relaxing day by the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Fallas Museum: Learn about the famous Las Fallas festival, held in March, by visiting the Fallas Museum. It houses the impressive sculptures and ninots (puppets) used during the festival.
  • Central Market: Immerse yourself in Valencia’s gastronomy by visiting the Central Market. Explore the vibrant market stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, and traditional products.
  • Albufera Natural Park: Take a day trip to Albufera Natural Park, just outside the city. Enjoy a boat ride on the lagoon and savour traditional paella in the nearby villages.
  • Street Art and Graffiti Tour: Valencia is one of Europe’s best street cities. Join a guided tour or explore on your own to discover impressive murals and graffiti artworks around the city.
  • Wine Tasting: Valencia is surrounded by excellent wine regions. Take a wine tour to sample delicious local wines and learn about the winemaking process.
Futuristic building with glass walls beside a lake in Valencia Spain
Palau De Les Arts in Valencia

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Bilbao

Located in the Basque Country of northern Spain, Bilbao is a dynamic city known for its modern architecture, cultural offerings, and excellent cuisine. Bilbao experiences cooler temperatures in October, making it a great time to explore the city’s attractions and enjoy various activities.

Here are some things you can do in Bilbao in autumn:

  • Guggenheim Museum: Visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, and explore its impressive contemporary art collections and striking architecture.
  • Casco Viejo (Old Town): Wander through the charming streets of Casco Viejo, where you’ll find traditional Basque architecture, historic buildings, and lively bars and restaurants.
  • Artxanda Funicular: Take the funicular railway to the top of Mount Artxanda for stunning panoramic views of Bilbao and the surrounding landscape.
  • Bilbao Fine Arts Museum: Immerse yourself in the art and culture of Bilbao by visiting the Fine Arts Museum, featuring a diverse collection of Basque and Spanish art.
  • Boat Trip on the Nervion River: Enjoy a boat trip along the Nervion River to see Bilbao from a different perspective and learn about the city’s maritime heritage.
  • Taste Basque Cuisine: Indulge in the delicious Basque cuisine, known for its pintxos (small snacks) and fresh seafood. Visit the Mercado de la Ribera to try local delicacies.
  • Parque de Doña Casilda: Relax in the beautiful Parque de Doña Casilda, a lovely park with walking paths, ponds, and a variety of trees that change colour in autumn.
  • Athletic Bilbao Football Match: If you’re a football fan, catch a match at the iconic San Mamés Stadium to experience the passion of Athletic Bilbao’s fans.
  • Txakoli Winery Visit: Take a day trip to the nearby coastal town of Getxo or the Txakoli wine region to enjoy vineyard tours and tastings of the crisp local white wine.
Red building in Bilbao Spain flanked by trees with red foliage
Autumnal colours in Bilbao

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Canary Islands

If you prefer a warmer climate, consider visiting the Canary Islands, such as Tenerife, Gran Canaria, or Lanzarote. In autumn, these Spanish islands, off the northwest coast of Africa, offer beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and excellent opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities.

Here are some things you can do in autumn in the Canary Islands:

  • Beach Activities: While the water might be slightly cooler than in summer, the beaches are still inviting. Relax on the sandy shores, swim in the ocean, or try water sports like surfing, snorkelling, or diving.
  • Hiking and Nature Walks: Explore the island’s diverse landscapes through scenic hikes and nature walks. Each island has unique trails, volcanic landscapes, and lush forests waiting to be discovered.
  • Visit Teide National Park (Tenerife): Take a trip to Teide National Park, home to Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide. You can hike to the summit or take a cable car for spectacular views.
  • Whale and Dolphin Watching: Go on a boat tour to spot whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The Canary Islands are a hotspot for these magnificent marine creatures.
  • Explore Volcanic Caves: Discover the islands’ volcanic past by exploring the numerous caves and lava tubes, such as Cueva de los Verdes on Lanzarote.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Savor the delicious Canarian cuisine, which includes fresh seafood, mojo sauces, and traditional dishes like papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo.
  • Stargazing: The Canary Islands are one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Head to the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma for an unforgettable experience.
  • Fiestas and Events: Experience the local culture by participating in fiestas and events that may happen during your visit, as autumn is a time of many celebrations.
Timanfaya volcano Lanzarote Spain
Timanfaya National Park Lanzarote

Costa Del Sol

In autumn, the weather is still pleasant along the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, making it a great time to explore the region without the crowds of the peak summer season. You can relax on the beaches, visit charming towns like Marbella and Nerja, and enjoy the Andalusian sunshine.

Here are some activities you can enjoy in the Costa del Sol in autumn:

  • Golfing: The Costa del Sol is a golfers’ paradise with numerous world-class golf courses. Enjoy a round of golf surrounded by stunning coastal and mountain views.
  • Visit Marbella’s Old Town: Explore the charming Old Town of Marbella, with its narrow streets, historic buildings, and cosy cafes. Don’t miss the Plaza de los Naranjos, a beautiful square lined with orange trees.
  • Ronda Day Trip: Take a day trip to the picturesque town of Ronda, known for its dramatic cliffside setting, historic bridge, and stunning views of the El Tajo Gorge.
  • Hiking in the Sierra de las Nieves: Discover the natural beauty of Spain in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park through scenic hiking trails.
  • Visit Malaga: Spend time in the city of Malaga, the birthplace of Picasso, and explore its historic sites, museums, and vibrant dining scene.
  • Explore the White Villages (Pueblos Blancos): Take a scenic drive to charming white villages like Mijas, Frigiliana, and Casares, each offering unique character and stunning vistas.
  • Enjoy Local Cuisine: Indulge in Andalusian cuisine with fresh seafood, tapas, and traditional dishes like gazpacho and paella.
  • Visit the Selwo Aventura Wildlife Park: Experience a safari adventure at Selwo Aventura, where you can see various animals from different continents.
  • Wellness and Spa: Pamper yourself at one of the luxury spas and wellness centres along the coast.
narrow street lined with colourful buildings and flowers
Autumn sunshine in Old Town Marbella

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Ronda

Ronda is a stunning town perched on the cliffs of the El Tajo Gorge in Andalusia, Spain, and is famous for its Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) and historic bullring. It offers visitors a delightful experience in autumn. The weather is generally mild, making it an ideal time to explore this picturesque destination.

Here are some activities you can enjoy in Ronda during autumntime:

  • Explore the Puente Nuevo: Visit the iconic Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) that spans the El Tajo Gorge. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from this impressive bridge.
  • Old Town (La Ciudad): Wander through the charming cobblestone streets of Ronda’s Old Town, filled with historic buildings, beautiful squares, and lovely cafes.
  • Visit the Bullring: Discover the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, one of the oldest bullrings in Spain. Even if you’re not a fan of bullfighting, the museum offers insight into this traditional practice.
  • Arab Baths (Baños Árabes): Immerse yourself in history at the Arab Baths, a well-preserved structure from Ronda’s Moorish past.
  • Casa del Rey Moro: Explore Casa del Rey Moro, a historic building with beautiful gardens, descending to the bottom of the gorge.
  • Wine Tasting: Ronda is part of the famous wine region of Andalusia. To sample local wines and enjoy the beautiful vineyard landscapes, take a wine tour.
  • Hiking and Nature Walks: Enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside by going on hiking trails with breathtaking views.
  • Mirador de Aldehuela: Visit this viewpoint to capture stunning panoramic views of the countryside and the Puente Nuevo.
  • Ronda Guitar House Museum: Discover the history of Spanish guitars and flamenco music at this unique museum.
  • Gastronomy: Savour the delicious Andalusian cuisine at local restaurants and tapas bars, featuring fresh produce and traditional dishes.
view of Ronda buildings and countryside from the bridge
View across Ronda from Mirador de Aldehuela

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Santiago de Compostela

This pilgrimage destination in northwest Spain is known for its stunning cathedral and charming old town. In autumn, you can explore the city’s rich religious history and enjoy the fall foliage in Spain in the nearby Galician countryside.

Here are some activities you can enjoy visiting this delightful Spanish destination.

  • Pilgrim Routes: If you’re up for a challenge, consider walking part of the Camino de Santiago, a famous pilgrimage route in Spain that ends in Santiago de Compostela. Even if you don’t walk the entire way, you can witness the arrival of pilgrims at the Cathedral.
  • Santiago de Compostela Cathedral: Explore the impressive Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Spain’s most important religious buildings. If you’re lucky, attend the Pilgrim’s Mass and witness the Botafumeiro (giant incense burner) ceremony.
  • Old Town (Casco Histórico): Wander through the charming streets of the Old Town, which are well-preserved and full of historic buildings, squares, and lively cafes.
  • Mercado de Abastos: Visit the bustling Mercado de Abastos (central market) to experience the local flavours and buy fresh produce and regional specialities.
  • Alameda Park: Take a leisurely walk through Alameda Park, a beautiful green space with statues, fountains, and relaxing areas to enjoy the autumn colours.
  • Galician Cuisine: Taste the delicious Galician cuisine known for its seafood, empanadas, and pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus).
  • Museums: Visit the museums in the city, such as the Museum of the Galician People or the Cathedral Museum, to learn about the region’s history and culture.
  • Plaza de Quintana: Admire the Plaza de Quintana, a square adjacent to the Cathedral, with a beautiful staircase and a quiet atmosphere.
  • Day Trips: Take day trips to nearby towns like A Coruña, Lugo, or the picturesque coastal town of Finisterre.
Green mountain pilgrim trail in camino de santiago
Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail

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