The 12 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in Spain


10. Bilbao

At first glance, Spain’s biggest port city appears to have little to offer, but visitors who take the time to peer underneath Bilbao’s industrial façade will find much to explore. The city’s standout attraction is the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, one of architect Frank Gehry’s most spectacular achievements. The curvaceous titanium-clad building is home to more than 100 exhibitions of modern art. A short walk from the museum over the futuristic Zubizuri footbridge leads visitors to the historic Old Quarter, which has several important churches. The restored Santiago Cathedral dates back to the 1300s and exemplifies the Gothic Revival architectural style. The nearby 16th-century Basilica de Begoña features multiple large-scale paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Luca Giordano.

Bilbao, Spain

9. Logroño

The northern city of Logroño was once a fortified medieval town, and the city’s Old Quarter is still its greatest attraction. The Casco Antiguo has long served as a stop for pilgrims on their trek to visit the tomb of Saint James at Santiago de Compostela. With its magnificent carvings and statues, the Gothic-style Santa Maria de Palacio is well worth a visit, as is the beautifully sculpted Romanesque front of Church of Saint Bartholomew. As the trade center for wine in the La Rioja region, Logroño is known for its world-class Spanish wines and dining scene as well. Lined with historic gardens, pretty Paseo del Espolón is the best place to join locals for the early evening stroll known as the paseo.

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