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The ultimate solo traveler’s guide to Spain

Apr 04, 2023 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

It may initially sound intimidating, but solo travel is one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. It offers so many opportunities to step outside your comfort zone, impress yourself, and be inspired. Of traveling solo, traveler Taty noted, “I think it’s made me better at loving myself. I enjoy my own company. It’s completely changed my life.”

When you book a solo guided tour, you’ll be able to do what you want with your free time. Going solo in Spain on a guided tour offers the best of both worlds. You’ll have the freedom to explore on your own terms with a built-in network of experts and fellow travelers to ensure that you always get where you need to go and always have a dining companion should you want one.

On our Spain for Solo Travelers: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville tour, you’ll experience the country free from distraction. Our experts will take care of the logistics for you, so you can focus your attention on the things you want to experience—whether they be exploration, inspiration, relaxation, or all of the above.

a women standing on the side of the road looking up, with a quote "I think it's made me better at loving myself. I enjoy my own company. It's completely changed my life"

Why should you visit Spain as a solo traveler on a guided tour?

After returning from our Grand Tour of Spain, traveler Cheryl had one piece of advice: “Go, go solo, go with a friend, just go!” Spain is an ideal solo travel destination for many reasons. Whether you visit the country on our Spain for Solo Travelers: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville tour or choose to go solo on one of our other tours of Spain, you’ll discover the many ways in which this country will sweep you off your feet.

a women standing in a window opening taking a picture with a quote "Go, go solo, go with a friend, just go!"

The cities are easy to navigate

Many Spanish cities—including Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia—are laid out on a grid, which means you won’t have any trouble finding your way around, even when you venture out on your own. The cities are all very walkable, and most of them have efficient and straightforward public transportation systems.

a women photographed from behind wearing a sun hat, taking a picture with her phone

Solo travel to Spain is very safe

You should always take precautions and be aware of your surroundings when traveling solo, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that Spain is a very safe country. In fact, it’s in the top 10% of countries in the world for safety, according to U.S. News and World Report. That being said, pickpockets are common in larger cities, so be sure to secure your belongings when traveling to Spain solo.

For more information on how to keep yourself safe, check out our top safety tips for traveling alone

a man holding a go ahead tour folder above his head, as travelers around him take pictures with their phones

Your Tour Director and local guides will take care of logistics for you

Solo travel is an excellent way to experience the world, but some of the logistics of travel can be intimidating, especially when there’s a language barrier involved. Traveling solo on a guided tour of Spain eliminates the stress of hopping around to different cities. All of your transportation and accommodation will be taken care of—all you have to do is show up ready to explore!

a tour group exploring Plaza de España in Seville, Spain

The weather in Spain is lovely

The weather in Spain varies by season, and although some areas can be very hot in the summer and cold in the winter, on average, the country’s climate is fairly mild. Spain also gets relatively little rainfall, with some areas averaging more than 320 sunny days per year. You should always pack for a range of weather, but the expectation of sun means one less thing to worry about when planning your trip to Spain.

a women smiling while sitting down at a table, holding a wine glass and wine bottle

You’ll find an ideal balance between art, history, and leisure

Spain offers its visitors a little bit of everything. Whether you’re interested in art and architecture, eager to learn about the country’s history, or want to relax on a beach, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge your interests and even explore some new ones when you travel through Spain solo. Plus, Spain has plenty of excellent food and wine to keep you going on your travels. Check out our ultimate food and wine guide to Spain for suggestions.

people sitting at tables on the cobble stone street outside of a restaurant, surrounded by white buildings decorated with hanging blue flower pots

You’ll see parts of Spain you might not get to experience on your own

Planning your tour itinerary alone can be challenging, especially if you’re traveling to a country you’ve never visited before. Your Tour Director and local guides are experts with insider knowledge of all the historical sites, art, restaurants, and photo ops—even the ones off the beaten path. They’ll ensure that you experience the best of Spain on tour, including the parts you didn’t even know about.

a group of travelers smiling for a photo inside the Sagrada familia

You’ll forge new friendships

A solo group tour is a great way to meet and connect with other travelers who share your wanderlust. You might join the tour alone, but you’ll soon form connections with a group of people who share in your adventure and experiences. Chances are you’ll make some lasting friendships—some of which may even lead to future travel together. It’s amazing how traveling solo can help you find a travel buddy. “My traveling companions were a great and very friendly group,” said traveler Edward after returning from our Grand Tour of Spain. “Everyone brought something unique to complement the experience. Although I was a single person on the trip, I felt fully included in the social activities of the participants.”

a travelers smiling for a photo next to the Madrid tile mural in Plaza de España, with the quote "My traveling companions were great... Although I was a single person on the trip, I felt fully included

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What are some of the best cities in Spain to visit for solo travelers?

When it comes to solo travel to Spain, the larger cities are the best places to visit, especially if this is your first time in the country. They’re easy to navigate, have excellent infrastructure and public transit, and offer plenty of options for dining and free-time excursions.

two women smiling for a photo, sitting on the abstract mosaic bench in Park Güell, with the Barcelona skyline in the back


Barcelona is a colorful coastal city known for its art and architecture. It’s the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region and one of the most popular cities among those traveling to Spain solo. The city is laid out on a grid and is very walkable (though public transportation here is excellent), and many of the residents speak English, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost when setting off on your own. You’ll also discover that the city is dotted with landmarks—from unconventional architecture to lush parks and even white-sand beaches. Even if you don’t want to enter an establishment, there’s plenty to see just by walking around the city.

What should you do as a solo traveler in Barcelona?
  • Admire La Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. There’s a reason so many travelers have a tour of La Sagrada Família on their itinerary for a trip to Barcelona. Standing in the nave of the church isn’t just breathtaking; it’s downright transformative. The kaleidoscopic colors that filter through the stained glass windows and fall on the soaring tree-like columns will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a watercolor painting. It’s the perfect place for some quiet introspection.
  • Stroll down La Rambla. Barcelona’s tree-lined pedestrian boulevard is one of the best places in the city for people-watching. It’s dotted with colorful mosaics and bordered by rows of shops and restaurants. Just be aware that, because the street attracts many tourists, prices tend to be higher than in other parts of the city.
  • Spend an afternoon daydreaming in Park Güell. Park Güell is a candy-colored wonderland within the city. Take a stroll through the park on our Park Güell & La Pedrera excursion and witness some of Gaudí’s most playful works, as well as one of the best views of Barcelona. If that’s not enough to entice you, check out our five reasons why Park Güell should be on your Barcelona itinerary.

a man smiling while playing a mandolin to tables in a restaurant


Even if you’re traveling to Spain solo, chances are you’ll never be alone in Madrid. Spain’s capital city is a bustling hub in the center of the country, and there are always plenty of people around. When you take a trip to Madrid, you’ll notice that the city seamlessly merges the old and new. It’s a wonderful place to learn about traditional Spanish culture.

What should you do as a solo traveler in Madrid?
  • Visit the Prado Museum and be inspired. The Prado Museum is Spain’s primary art museum and is home to works by Goya, El Greco, and more. Largely considered to be one of the best art museums in the world, it’s a great place to be inspired by the masters. When visiting museums solo, we like to carry a small journal or sketchbook to record our thoughts as inspiration strikes.
  • Learn to make your own tapas. Our Spain for Solo Travelers: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville tour includes a cooking class at a local culinary school, where you and your fellow travelers will join a chef and learn to create traditional Spanish tapas. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends as you work together to craft a meal and then sit down to share in the fruits of your labor.
  • Celebrate traditional Spanish culture with dinner and a show. Join us on our Traditional Spanish Evening excursion and enjoy a traditional Castilian dinner while listening to live tuno music—a musical style invented by Spanish university students in the 13th century as a way of earning money. You’ll get to experience a bit of old-world Spanish culture alongside locals and other travelers.

If you’re looking for more inspiring things to do while traveling solo in Spain’s capital, check out our guide to how to spend 48 hours in Madrid

a blue and yellow mosaic tiled bridge railing with Plaza de España's famous Spanish Renaissance style building in the background


Seville is a vibrant and lively city in the Andalusia region. It’s an exciting place, and like many other cities in Spain, it’s walkable. If you’re looking for the perfect city to spend an afternoon wandering, daydreaming, or snapping photos, this is it. Around every corner, you’ll find Islamic architecture featuring mosaics, charming neighborhoods draped in flowers, and thousands of fragrant orange trees.

What should you do as a solo traveler in Seville?
  • Explore the Royal Alcázar, Seville’s royal palace. The palace combines Islamic and Gothic architecture in a style known as Mudéjar, and it’s one of our five reasons to set off for Seville. Each room and garden you enter offers something more enchanting than the last.
  • Check out a Flamenco show. Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco, and a trip to Seville offers the perfect opportunity to join your fellow travelers for a show. Enjoy a drink as you watch the expressive art form, which combines music, singing, and dancing.
  • Sip a glass of tinto de verano on a lazy, free afternoon. Sangria may be the official drink of Spain, but in Seville, the locals prefer the simpler tinto de verano. The refreshing beverage is typically made of equal parts red wine and lemonade or lemon-lime soda and served over ice.

What to do in your free time while traveling solo in Spain

One of the best things about traveling solo is that you can do whatever you want with your free time without having to compromise with anyone else. While exploring Spain solo, you can change your itinerary on a whim or set out with no agenda and see where the day takes you.

multiple plates of different Spanish tapas on a table

Enjoy tapas and pintxos

Because tapas and pintxos are small bites (both are similar, but pintxos are usually skewered with a toothpick), you’ll be able to taste a variety of food without ordering more than you can eat. It’s also not uncommon to eat tapas alone, so you won’t have to worry about being the only solo diner at an establishment.

If you’re at a place where bar seating is available, consider sitting at the bar. It’s natural for bar patrons to chat with one another, and it’s an excellent opportunity to make some new friends. Many people in the larger Spanish cities speak some English, but it’s always helpful to know a few key phrases in Spanish. Even if it’s slow, you’ll probably be able to talk to the bartender—they may even be able to recommend some sites that are off the beaten path.

Travel tip: When traveling solo in Spain, save the paella for a meal with your new friends. Paella is usually made fresh in large batches meant to serve two to four people. If you want the freshest paella possible, recruit some of your fellow travelers to join you for a meal.

a circus themed figurine set displayed in a shop's blue window

Shop for souvenirs

One of our favorite things to do while traveling solo in any country is to shop for souvenirs for our loved ones back home. Whether it’s ceramics from Seville or a bottle of olive oil from Córdoba, your friends and family will love receiving gifts from your travels and hearing the stories behind them. While you’re shopping, make sure to pick something up for yourself, too!

a women taking a photo of the blue and white mosaic tower in Parc Güell

Snap some photos

While you may have to get creative to capture the perfect selfie while traveling alone (that’s where your fellow travelers come in handy), a solo tour is the perfect opportunity to hone your photography skills—especially in a beautiful country like Spain. From the historic Alhambra glowing in the Granada sunset to the villages dotting the Sierra Nevada, you’ll have plenty of subjects for a trip-defining shot. (And that’s only in Andalusia!)

the shoreline of San Sebastián, featuring the beige City Hall building and people on the beach

Head to the beach

There are few things in life more relaxing than some quiet alone time on the beach. Spain has thousands of miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world in places like Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands, and San Sebastián’s Playa de la Concha. You’ll even find gorgeous beaches within Barcelona’s city limits.

two people standing at the bar under hanging legs of Jamon Iberico

Snack your way through a local market

Spain’s markets are a solo traveler’s dream. They offer an opportunity to explore, people watch, and sample a variety of local cuisine, all in one place. Virtually every city in Spain has a market, but some of our favorites are the Mercat de Santa Caterina in Barcelona, the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, and the Mercado de la Bretxa in San Sebastián. “My favorite part of Spain was trying all kinds of foods and meeting all kinds of people at the incredible markets,” said staffer Lauren. “Every city in Spain has one, and they’re all perfect in their own way. If you’re ever in Spain, try to go to at least one. You’ll thank me later.”

a produce stand in a Spanish market, with the quote "My favorite part of Spain was trying all kinds of foods at the incredible markets...If you're ever in Spain, try to go to at least one. You'll thank me later."

Can’t wait to take the next flight over? Save your spot on an upcoming Spain for Solo Travelers: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville tour!

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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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