With 25 Visitors Per Resident Peñiscola is The Most Visited City in Spain Per Capita

New European rankings reveal surprising tourist trends in Spanish cities, especially when taken into an account how many visitors per resident they receive

In a striking revelation of tourist allure, the idyllic town of Peñíscola, nestled within the Valencian Community, has emerged as one of the Spain’s most sought-after destination for travelers. 

According to an exclusive European ranking crafted by Holidu, Peñíscola’s picturesque charm attracts a staggering 200,943 tourists annually, a remarkable feat for a town with a relatively modest resident population of 7,882. This astonishing figure equates to an astounding ratio of 25.49 visitors per resident.

Venturing further into this unorthodox statistics, the city of Barcelona emerges as Spain’s first metropolis to secure a spot in the coveted European rankings. Ranked 20th, Barcelona boasts an impressive 4.80 visitors per resident, receiving a whopping 7 million travelers annually within its bustling streets, while sustaining a permanent population of 1.45 million.

This European classification by the vacation rental search engine, Holidu, considers cities across the continent that welcome over a million tourists yearly. Seville follows as Spain’s next contender, securing the 31st spot, with a magnetism that lures in two million tourists against its 695,000 residents, resulting in a visitors per resident ratio of 2.90. Subsequently, Madrid, positioned at 33rd place, welcomes two tourists for every local resident, as it hosts 5.59 million travelers annually within its 2.8 million-strong population.


Yet, on the global stage, the Holidu ranking showcases Dubrovnik in Croatia as the reigning champion, with a staggering 36 tourists for each inhabitant. Venice, Italy, and Bruges, Belgium, follow closely, boasting 21.30 and 21.10 visitors per resident, respectively. The ‘top 10’ features other prominent tourist magnets, including Rhodes, Greece (20.90 tourists per inhabitant); Reykjavik, Iceland (14.30); Florence, Italy (13.40); Heraklion, Greece (12.50); Amsterdam, the Netherlands (12.10); Dublin, Ireland (11.30); and Tallinn, Estonia (9.60).

Turning our gaze back to the Spanish arena, Peñíscola in the Valencian Community stands triumphant as the nation’s ultimate tourist haven, followed closely by Albarracín in Aragón and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar in the Balearic Islands, according to Holidu’s comprehensive analysis.

This beautiful pueblo in the Castellon province,  with its intriguing blend of history and Mediterranean beauty, is the leading Spanish city in terms of tourist influx. It manages to captivate a staggering 200,943 tourists annually, despite having a rather petite resident population of 7,882. This results in an astounding ratio of 25.49 visitors per resident, firmly establishing Peñiscola as Spain’s crown jewel of tourism.

Albarracín, nestled to the west of Teruel, follows closely as Spain’s second most sought-after destination, hosting a mere 990 residents but welcoming a whopping 23,119 tourists yearly. This results in an astonishing visitors per resident ratio of 23.35, making Albarracín a formidable competitor in the race for Spain’s tourism supremacy.

On the sun-kissed eastern coast of Mallorca, Sant Llorenç des Cardassar exhibits its allure by attracting 32,184 visitors annually, while sustaining a mere 1,519 residents. This translates into an impressive 21.19 tourists per inhabitant, making Sant Llorenç des Cardassar a serene yet bustling gem in the Balearic Islands.

Completing the ‘top 10’ are destinations like Sallent de Gállego, Huesca (21.19 tourists per inhabitant); Salou, Tarragona (16.44); Mojácar, Almería (16.44); Cangas de Onís, Asturias (14.57); Benasque, Huesca (14.29); Capdepera, Majorca (14.06); and Vielha and Mijaran, Lleida (11.88).

As these rankings shed light on Spain’s tourism landscape, it’s clear that both quaint towns and bustling metropolises have their unique allure, beckoning travelers from around the world to experience the richness of Spanish culture, history, and natural beauty.

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