Can You Name the Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in Spain?

WORLD

Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: Pixaby by Birgl

About This Quiz

Nestled between the Bay of Biscay to its north and the Mediterranean Sea to its east, Spain has a rich and storied history enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The neighbor to Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain gets a lot of credit for its work in colonizing the New World (thanks, King Ferdinand!), but we often forget that modern-day Spain boasts plenty of attractions and highlights in its own right. 

For example, did you know that Spain still boasts its own king? Granted, Felipe VI is more of a figurehead than a true leader, but still. Would you have guessed that Spain has nearly 2.5 million acres dedicated exclusively to vineyards? What about the fact that Spain's national anthem has no words? Shocking, right? We guess you could just make up your own and sing along.

Beyond those tidbits, Spain is home to some of the most lovely, timeless and beautiful cities anywhere. The architecture, colors and vibrant communities that make up its 195,364 square miles are worth taking the time to explore. As they say in Spain, "Mañana, mañana." Translated, it means "Tomorrow, tomorrow," but is indicative of the laid-back culture designed for enjoyment and relaxation. 

Now, how well do you know your Spanish trivia? Check out some of these exquisite communities that are beautiful or underrated ... or both! Match the fact with the place — and start building your next adventure!

This Spanish town is the birthplace of renowned artist Pablo Picasso, the pioneer of Cubism. What city is it?

Picasso was born in the southern port city of Málaga, where a museum operates today showcasing nearly 300 works by the artist that were donated by his family. The museum is not far from Picasso's birthplace, dubbed "Casa Natal."

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While it's certainly not underrated, it's definitely beautiful and a trip through its Gran Vía is a must-see. What city are we talking about?

The capital city of Spain, Madrid is near the top of every tourist's list when visiting the country. Gran Vía, which translates to "Great Way," is a must-see attraction, with entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities.

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You'll find more Roman ruins in this Spanish city than any other. Where do you need to travel to see it?

You can travel to Rome without setting foot in Italy if you make a stop in Merida. Its Roman Theatre, San Lázaro Aqueduct and the world's longest surviving bridge, called the Roman Bridge, are some of its top attractions.

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More than 200,000 make the pilgrimage to a shrine of St. James in this Spanish city each year. Where is it located?

The shrine to St. James, who was an apostle of Jesus, is located in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The pilgrimage to this site has been going on for more than 1,000 years now and is worth adding to your bucket list.

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Looking for a quality glass of vino? You might want to stop off in which of these locales?

Logroño is the capital of the La Rioja province, which also just so happens to be synonymous with wine. In Spain, these wines are considered the country's most famous, and you certainly wouldn't want to offend the locals by neglecting a stop at the beautiful vineyards present here.

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This city is home to four world cultural heritage sites, including Mezquita and the Patios. What is this town's name?

The city of Córdoba, at one time Spain's largest, is home to four sites of cultural significance. These include architectural wonders such as the mosque and cathedral known as Mezquita and the famous Cordoba Patios.

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You've already traveled to Picasso's hometown; now it's time to check out Salvador Dali's whitewashed former residence. What is its name?

Cadaqués, which gave the world Salvador Dali, is situated on the Spanish coast in the Costa Brava. Dali famously painted his former hometown in a portrait dubbed, appropriately, "Cadaqués." It hangs in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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If you travel to this Spanish destination, you'll want to visit the "living room." Which city has a plaza known by that nickname?

Salamanca, known as Spain's "golden city," boasts a stunning plaza considered one of the country's most beautiful. It is known as the "living room" of the town, and its architecture is of the Churrigueresque Baroque style.

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The colors and architecture of the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar may give you all the Walt Disney World vibes. Where is it located?

The Basílica del Pilar is a stunning cathedral located along Zaragoza's Ebro River. Those who have seen it in person remark on its beauty, day or night. It is believed to be the first church in history dedicated to Jesus' mother, Mary.

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You could get lost — literally! — in this city's maze of cobblestone paths as you explore. Where are we?

It's off the beaten path in Spain and inhabited by only 1,000 residents, but a trip to Albarracin will surely find you winding through cobblestone streets not much wider than alleys and navigating closely-positioned buildings. A castle's ruins sit above the town itself.

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This city's most distinct landmark was also a functional resource until the mid-nineteenth century. Where is this aqueduct found?

The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia is the city's number one monument and continued providing water to the city's residents until the mid-nineteenth century. The aqueduct is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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This village on the Costa del Sol is situated with El Fuerte in the background. Where can you hike this hill?

Frigiliana, with its whitewashed buildings, is about as picturesque as a village gets. If you want the best view of it, hike to the top of El Fuerte. Don't worry: It's only a little over four miles to the top.

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Legend has it that Hercules slayed an enemy and buried his head where this town's Tower of Hercules stands. Where is it located?

The Tower of Hercules is a lighthouse that stands guard over La Coruña. There are many legends surrounding this Roman lighthouse, including the belief that Hercules buried the head of an enemy he defeated at its location.

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"The White Isle," as it's known, is a popular celebrity destination. What is its real name?

If you follow any celebrities on Instagram, you've probably seen one or two snapping pictures from the Spanish island of Ibiza. Ibiza is a volcanic island belonging to the Balearic Islands chain.

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It might be easy to get this city's 30 towers confused, but the Torre del Bujaco is this hilltop town's most popular. Where is it?

Cáceres is good for a short stop, to see some of the 30 towers remaining from the town's Muslim period, but you probably won't stay too long. There are no stores or modern amenities in this town.

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Ernest Hemingway wrote about bullfighters from this Spanish town where modern bullfighting was born in "Death in the Afternoon." What town is it?

The city of Ronda gave birth to modern bullfighting and earned a place in the writing lore of noted author Ernest Hemingway. His work, "Death in the Afternoon," is based on a bullfighter from the Spanish town.

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A good view of this town can be found at Bellver Castle, whose name also means "good view." Where is it found?

Bellver Castle was originally built at the request of King James II of Majorca and today, stands due west of Palma. Used as a residence for royals and a prison, it is now a tourist attraction visited by many.

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Luxury in this Spanish town can be found in its "Golden Mile," a little over a mile's worth of high-end homes, hotels, stores and restaurants. Where can you find it?

Marbella's "Golden Mile" dates back to the mid-1950s, when the area's most expensive resort, Marbella Club, popped up in the area. High-end shops, restaurants and hotels were built around it to appeal to the town's wealthy visitors.

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Like to live on the edge? The "hanging houses" in this town will certainly thrill. Where are they?

Cuenca's "hanging houses" are seemingly gravity-defying homes perilously perched on the town's tall cliffs. Because of Cuenca's position, expansion for the city only meant one thing: upward, rather than outward.

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Where would you find the cathedral known as "The House of Light," likely attributed to its 1,800 square feet of stained glass windows?

León Cathedral is a remarkable piece of Gothic architecture in the middle of León, Spain. The 1,800-square-feet of windows found in the church are all original, going back as far as the 12th century.

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Before Paris got the Eiffel Tower, this Spanish town got the Eiffel Bridge. Where is it found?

Lesser known than the Eiffel Tower in the City of Lights, the Eiffel Bridge is distinctive for its bright red color. And yes, the same individuals responsible for the Eiffel Tower constructed this popular site in Girona.

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The flamboyant Spanish dance known as Flamenco got its start in which of these cities?

You're probably thinking what we're thinking: Why didn't they just name the dance "Sevilla?" Whatever the reason, Flamenco got its start in this Spanish town and is still a major attraction for tourists visiting the area.

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If you're not scared, you can participate in "the Running of the Bulls" in this Spanish town. Where would you need to travel?

Pamplona, Spain, is perhaps best known for "the Running of the Bulls," which occurs each year in July. What's lesser-known is why this has become so popular; the event is part of a festival honoring Saint Fermin.

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The rebel army during the Spanish Civil War made this town its base of operations. Where is it?

Burgos became the official location of General Francisco Franco’s rebel troops during the Spanish Civil War in the mid-1930s. It was an interesting choice considering the relative conservatism in the town itself.

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Don't get spooked: This town in Spain is known as the "land of witches." What town boasts this claim?

Galicia earned notoriety as the "land of witches," with its most famous being Maria Soliña. Whether that's true or not, at least one writer in the 1600s said of the community, "Galicia produces witches as easily as turnips."

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This city's Alhambra Palace was so-named for its red-tinted walls. Where is it located?

Granada is home to the Alhambra Palace, or The Alhambra as it is known locally. It was first constructed to serve as a fortress, but was later transformed into a palace and was the site from which Christopher Columbus was sent out to explore for a New World.

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It's best known for its white, sandy beaches, which is where the city's name is derived. What is this town called?

Alicante, which translates to "white" or "bright," is certainly named correctly. Its white, sandy beaches are a hallmark of this town located in the popular Costa Brava region of Spain.

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Which of these Spanish towns boasts of the world's highest concentration of bars?

San Sebastián is popular for providing plenty of options — bar options — to locals and tourists alike. At one point, there were nearly 250 in the area, making it among the world's most highly-concentrated areas for bars.

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New York City is the United States' "Big Apple," but which of these towns is known as Spain's "Big Apple?"

Gijón is known as Spain's "Big Apple," but not because of its size. Rather, it's because of the town's cider business. Gijón hosts a cider festival annually, and the drink can be found free-flowing.

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If you're in to pyrotechnics, a visit to this town's Las Fallas is a must. Where does it happen?

Valencia's annual Las Fallas is a festival and party that combines fireworks and street art. The hallmark event of the festival is the final night when the aforementioned street art is lit on fire, creating a giant bonfire for festival-goers to enjoy.

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Prehistoric cave art is one of the draws to this area of Spain. What city can you find it in?

Cantabria's cave art, specifically the Cave of Altamira, is like a step back — way back — in time. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Altamira Cave's drawings are believed to date back to the Palaeolithic age.

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This lesser-known Spanish island is often compared to the jungle-like world of Jurassic Park. What is its name?

If you're looking for a true getaway during your getaway, La Gomera may be right up your alley. This lesser-known member of the Canary Islands is a break from the hustle and bustle of a Spanish vacation in a more untouched natural setting.

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Spain's "Imperial City" has a sister city in the U.S.'s Midwest. What town are we talking about?

Paired by name — Toledo, Spain, and Toledo, Ohio — the similarities often end there. Toledo, Spain, is well-known for its blend of monuments and artifacts across three religions: Christian, Muslim and Jewish.

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This island is "minor" to Mallorca's "major." What is its name?

Both members of the Balearic Islands, Menorca (which means "minor) and Mallorca (which means "major") could not be more different. Let's just say Menorca is the more subdued of the sibling cities.

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This Spanish town was named for a plentiful amount of one particular natural resource in the area. What is it called?

Las Palmas earned its name for, you probably guessed it, its plethora of palm trees in the area. In Las Palmas, a popular supply port, you can find the original home of explorer Christopher Columbus.

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Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry built a Guggenheim Museum in this Spanish town. Where is it located?

Bilbao is a central part of the art scene in Spain, with the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum leaving an impressive footprint in the city. Noted architect Frank Gehry was responsible for its design.

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Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa hails from this Spanish town. What is its name?

Pancho Villa, considered to be one of the Mexican Revolution's central figures, was born in the small Spanish town of Durango. Villa worked the fields in Durango, which are still known today for their production of natural goods.

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Scenes from the James Bond film "Die Another Day," were filmed in this Spanish town. Where is it?

Moviemakers transformed Cádiz into the set for part of its "Die Another Day" film featuring Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. Producers wanted to mimic Havana, Cuba, in the film, and found Cádiz a suitable replacement.

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China isn't the only location famous for its wall. Which of these Spanish towns is well-known for its medieval walls?

Ávila is a truly fortified city, with an intricate system of walls dating back to the 11th century. "Encyclopedia Brittanica" calls Ávila the “finest medieval remnant in Spain," thanks in part to these structures.

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Which of these beautiful Spanish cities played host to the 1992 Summer Olympics?

We couldn't leave Barcelona out, even if it's not on anyone's "underrated" list. Barcelona boasts beautiful sites and numerous attractions, vaulting it to the top of just about everyone's Spain travel list.

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