Explore Spain as a Local

Whether looking for a quick weekend getaway or an extended adventure, Spain’s diverse landscape and culture offer something for everyone. From the bustling streets of Barcelona to the charming villages of Andalusia, exploring Spain has never been easier. Here are three destinations to help you make the most of your trip.


The Spanish capital city of Madrid is anything but boring. Madrid is a city that exists for the people; you don’t have to worry about tourist overcrowding as you explore and enjoy the culture, food, and everything else Madrid has to offer! 

The city is known for its stunning architecture, which can easily be seen from the many famous landmarks in the area. The Royal Palace is the home of the Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII. It is still the largest functioning royal palace in Europe, as well as the official residence of the Spanish royal family today. The castle spreads across 135,500 square meters and has over 3,000 rooms. You won’t find the King and Queen residing there daily as the palace is used to host state ceremonies, events, royal balls, and various political events throughout recent years. You can, however, find the famous crown jewels of the Spanish Monarch, the crown and the scepter, in the crown room. You can tour some of the rooms to experience the grandeur of the golden era of Spanish rule that has been carefully preserved. A popular room to visit is the Royal Armory which houses an armory dating back to the 15th century and is considered one of the best in the world. There is riding gear from Carlos V and Felipe II and signed armor from the greatest armorer of all time Filippo Negroli.


Experience the magic of Seville- a city that’s no stranger to art and tourism, with UNESCO World Heritage sites, museums, and tapas bars. You can experience the city as the locals do by wandering the various neighborhoods in Andalusia, where you will feel like you’re stepping into a time capsule. A famous former gypsy quarter on the other side of the river across from the historic city center. The neighborhood is known as the home of renowned flamenco artists and bullfighters.

Suppose you want to experience more of the architecture and culture it has to offer. In that case, you can visit the Cathedral of Seville. Located right in the city center is the largest Gothic cathedral and third largest church in the world. Construction of the cathedral began in 1401, with work continuing over the next 100 years. Today the sprawling gothic complex has over 80 chapels and contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus, whose discovery of the New World in 1492 was a massive catalyst for Seville’s economic success in the 16th and 17th centuries.


Granada, Spain, is a city full of surprises for all visiting. The vibrant Spanish city is the capital city of the province of Grenada in the Andalusia region. Granada is a fantastic city for many reasons: there are many things to do here, and you will always have plenty of activities to choose from. If you want to experience some culture, check out their fantastic museums or head to one of their many theaters for some great shows.

Make sure you plan a visit to Alhambra, the most visited site in Spain! Every year over 2 million visit this UNESCO World Heritage site which lies within the red walls of the city and mighty fortress. Alhambra is the only surviving palatine city of the Islamic Golden Age and is a testament to Islamic architecture. Many Moorish poets have described the setting of Alhambra as “a pearl set in Emeralds” due to the grandeur of the palace surrounded by extensive natural beauty. The palace was built between the 13th and 14th centuries by the Moorish Nasrid Dynasty and served as the residence for the royals as well as a fortress for the surrounding city. After the conquest of Granada, the Spanish rulers transformed interiors and replaced the mosque with a church, other Renaissance-style structures, and an extra palace for Charles V. The castle itself sits upon a hill overlooking the city of Granada and is known for the stunning gardens that act as a natural life paradise. 

We hope you have enjoyed our little tour of Spain’s most famous cities. If you plan to visit any of these, we recommend you do it soon before they become too popular and crowded! 

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Thomas Hogan Vacations is the premier travel agency in Myrtle Beach with over 35 years in business, specializing in personalized travel experiences. Thomas Hogan offers travel destinations which includes a Spain & Portugal escapade, a cruise to Alaska, a Northern European cruise, a trip to Rome & Greek Isles, a Panama Canal Cruise, a cruise to the Southern Caribbean and a tour of Northern Italy. Custom vacation packages include roundtrip airfare, lodging & accommodations, dining, transportation and more. Thomas Hogan offers vacation packages for couples, groups or individual travel. Thomas Hogan Vacations is affiliated with Travel Leaders which gives us the best global travel contacts. Thomas Hogan's corporate office is located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.