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Damian Corrigan

Cities to Avoid in Spain

By October 5, 2009

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Cue the abuse. I'm bound to upset a few residents with this post, so, here goes...

Though Spain is a great country, filled with fascinating places to visit, not every city is worth a visit. There, I said it.

Whenever I meet tourists traveling through Spain, I try to ask them where they're heading to next. Most people have great itineraries - Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Granada and Valencia are the most common ones.

But sometimes I wince when I hear where people are heading. "Why are you going there?" I ask. "Dunno", comes the reply, "Looks like a good place to stop."

I blame the guidebooks. Their writers often seem to be afraid to be honest about some of Spain's less interesting cities. If you believed Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide, every city in Spain is worth visiting. Often the writer lives in the city in question and so knows the hidden gems that are so well hidden, the tourist won't find them. Or maybe they're worried they'll be called philistines for missing a city's subtle charm.

I think it's time for a little honesty, so I decided to write this list of cities in Spain that are not really worth a visit. OK, they may be great places to live. There may be some fascinating places in the vicinity. Some of them may even occupy you for half a day. But there are far, far better places to visit than these cities:

Worst Cities in Spain

October 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm
(1) A Muse Fan says:

Thank you! I booked a week in Malaga once and was bored out of my brain!! Hopefully others now wont make the smae mistake i made.

I blame the budget airlines. They lure us to a city that we know nothing about with cheap fairs.

I would actually put Valencia in this list too. It’s nice, but, like, what can you doooooooo?

October 6, 2009 at 5:22 am
(2) Luis says:

Congratulations for a good article about things most travel writers do not dare to talk about. However, getting down to the list, I would take valladolid out of it. Valladolid has indeed some gems that are not so hidden. When it comes to architecture, the portico and the altar of the Cathedral are in all books about the history of Spain. Then you have the Museum of Spanish sculpture from the XVI and XVII centuries ( a must for art lovers again). And do not forget the Casa- Museo of Cervantes and the Cristobal Colón Museum. The plaza, though simple in its design set the tone for most of the renaissance plazas in Spain and Latin America. Finally, it is a nice place to taste Castilian gastronomy at its best ( though the best city for Castilian food is probably Burgos)

October 7, 2009 at 4:21 am
(3) Valencia Property says:

Re Comment by @A Muse Fan. You must be very demanding. Here is a quick list of 10 things to do in Valencia that are free (Or virtually free)

<a href="http://hubpages.com/hub/10-Things-To-Do-In-Valencia"

If you then include the paid things, best aquarium in the World, the new Bioparc Zoo which is stunning, the many brilliant art galleries, two half decent if bankrupt football teams, the stunning nightlife where people drive down from Madrid at weekends just because nightlife in Valencia is renowned… I could go on.

Check out the name above for the ten things to do and open your eyes.

October 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm
(4) shuttervector says:

My husband and I spent a day in Malaga climbing around the fortress and had a wonderful time taking lots of pictures. I wouldn’t put it on the “worst” list.

January 6, 2010 at 1:57 am
(5) Spain Travel Deals says:

It’s true not all cities are equally good candidates for a tourist visit. I do think it’s important to not however, that you can find some greay places to visit in Spain off the beaten path. While places like Barcelona and Granada are fantastic, there are smaller towns you can visit that will give you a more personal experience of Spain


July 13, 2011 at 4:28 am
(6) billy says:

You are so right to AVOID Marbella/Puerto Banus. I lived there in the 80′s and left because it got so down market full of tattooed girls and guys walking around in vest’s and sandals, sea is filthy,
it is still third world there under the botox, boob jobs and filler.
Idiots prancing around drunk, showing off thinking that people are admiring them instead of laughing at their antics calling the place Marb’s ! what idiot dreamt that up, you don’t hear the Italians saying Sards for Sardinia or Caps for Capri. Marbs ! suitable for Dagenham market traders and fake tanned ‘beauties’ plastic boobs, botox, piercings and the obligatory tattoo (that they think is so daring and novel) SHEEP.
Wonder if the next town council will end up in jail as the last lot including the mayor ! Roca the town planning office has 25,000.000. cash hidden in his villa, racehorses, old masters and drove rolls royces, he reigned for years you would have thought someone would have sussed him out sooner ?
The only place that is worth visiting in souther spain is sotogrande (although that is expanding so much it will be ruined soon) then the spanish have successfully destroyed the whole coast just land in Malaga and travel along to Gibraltar (another awful time warp garrison town, like Aldershot)
All the towns in between are ruined by high rise, cheap tourist trap restaurants and bars, overbuild, characterless housing estates, bankrupt illegal developments and property’s, it is no wonder spain is heading for financial ruin.
They have repeatabley taken and taken from the foreigner’s, who have given them a good living for far too long, how many times must one be kicked to realise enough is enough.

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