Spain is full of great, beautiful cities, but one thing is to be beautiful, and another thing is to be cool, hip, you name it. For example, Oviedo is a marvellous, monumental, classy city, but it also also has a quite formal vibe and not that many youngsters.
So OK, we need that young “je ne sais quoi” factor, alright. I will consciously skip Madrid and Barcelona, since everyone and their mother know about these two, so let’s give the spotlight to another less known ones. Having established this criteria, I would dare to say that these are Spain’s top 3 coolest cities:
- Málaga is living a sweet moment, having its spot under the sun. It has juuuust the right size, not too big nor too small. Big enough to be bustling with activity, small enough to never feel overwhelmed, more and more expats are moving over there and its cultural offerings are growing a lot. Malaga is a great place for having a “base of operations” to come back after visiting nearby natural parks and beaches, its “cool” factor being focused more in living there or visiting the entire region rather than touring the city per se.
- Cadiz is Spain’s hippie’s mecca. Since it is located at the very end of the peninsule, it hasn’t become “mainstream” yet and is not as turistified as other parts of the South. It has Europe’s best urban beach, incredible surfing spots nearby, tons of small amateur artistic communities, great heritage (Cadiz is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement), and a huge-ass carnival full of satiric prowess. What is not to love?
- Sierra de la Tramuntana. Located in Mallorca, this is more of a region than a single city (I know, I know), but still worth mentioning. Despite of being in Mallorca, this beings a mountainous region means that it is far away from resorts and crowds. The place is not only really beautiful, but it also has a huge artistic community, being able to pack a much stronger cultural punch than the small, quaint size of its towns would suggest. Rural life over there is mixed with tons of festivals, exhibitions, concerts and alternative events that absolutely destroys the stereotype of the countryside being a boring, uncool place.
Written by Eduardo Marqués Collado