I was very interested to see a list of the top four tourist attractions on a blog about Spain recently. The list quoted was as follows: 1 City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia 3.7 million visitors 2) Sagrada Familia, Barcelona 3.2 million visitors 3) Prado, Madrid 2.9 million visitors 4) Alhambra, Granada 2.3 million visitors Being a picky journalist, I wanted to find the source of these figures, so I trawled through the internet, without success. What I did come up with were detailed figures for some of the individual attractions. I have to stress that I didn't find official figures for the Sagrada Familia, or any independently-compiled list. The City of Arts and Sciences is, of course, the newest and most high-tech of these tourist destinations, being a Millennium project. Its building cost was over 300 million euros. The Prado is Spain's most popular museum, and last year received 2,911,767 visitors. The Sagrada Familia is the most visited church in Spain.
The phrase you will often see quoted about the Alhambra, Granada's jewel, is that it is Spain's most popular monument, which confused me until I realised that attractions (museums/parks/places of worship or whatever) are different from specific monuments, which are generally historic. Therefore in purely historic-cultural terms, rather than architectural, religious or curatorial-artistic, it is Spain's most visited monument. So for Spain's most fourth-most popular tourist attraction - 2,310,764 people experienced the extraordinary architecture and workmanship of the Moors' finest palace last year - you know where to go: Granada.