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Si se puede: Top 5 don't-miss Spain vacation destinations

May 14, 2012, 8:21 a.m.

Spain offers the allure of centuries of Spanish history combined with the country's Moorish and Arabic influences. This melange can be experienced in the country's food, architecture, customs and language. The mixture also makes Spain one of the most desirable European vacation destinations. If you're headed to Spain this summer, make sure to include one or more of these not-to-be-missed destinations on your itinerary:

  1. Madrid. Spain's capital city is filled with historic neighborhoods to explore as well as art galleries, like the Prado, and bustling shopping boulevards that offer everything from leather goods to pottery. Visitors can also tour the 19th century Royal Palace, a living museum of Spanish architecture and decorative arts, or attend a bullfight at the Plaza de Toros.
  2. Toledo. Located an hour's drive or train ride outside of Madrid, Toledo was an important capital of the Spanish Empire as well as the home of the 16th century artist, El Greco. Today, the town is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, with attractions that include the Cathedral of Toledo, parts of which date back to the 13th century; the Old City with its winding streets and hidden courtyards; and the Church of Santo Tome, home to one of El Greco's most important works, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz .
  3. Seville. One of the oldest cities in Spain, Seville has been influenced by a number of cultures, from the Phoenicians to the Romans to the Moors. The city, founded more than 3,000 years ago, is located in south-central Spain. Also an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Seville's many attractions include the Alcazar (the 16th century Moorish fort and former Spanish royal palace), the General Archives of the Indies (the 16th century merchants' exchange), and the 15th century Cathedral of St. Mary.

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