Rick Steves' Spain
- Purchase the 2013 edition of Rick Steves' Spain guidebook.
Updates to the 2013 edition
Hotel Ginebra is closed.
Spanish Basque Country
Pension Bellas Artes is closed.
Two of the city's tourist information offices have closed (the one near the Alcazar, and the one on Plaza Nueva). The TI on Plaza del Triunfo (near the cathedral) remains open.
Bike tours run by Really Discover meet at the tall white monument in front of the TI on Plaza del Triunfo.
Some copies of Rick Steves' Snapshot Sevilla, Granada, and Southern Spain refer to this color map of Sevilla, which does not appear in the print version of the Snapshot guide — we've posted it here for readers who'd like to print it out.
Updates for those still traveling with the 2012 edition
Many readers report having difficulty getting the site for RENFE, Spain's rail network, to accept their US credit cards. If you want to book tickets ahead, especially on routes with less frequent service or for departures you can't afford to miss, try Rail Europe; Petrabax is another option.
Spain's Value-Added Tax rate (VAT) is now at 21 percent.
Spainair has gone out of business.
The owners of Hostal Residencia Neutral are retiring and have closed the hotel.
Spanish Basque Country
Travelers taking the bus from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastián can buy a ticket from the driver; for the return trip to the airport, you must purchase a ticket from the Pesa office in San Sebastián at Avenida de Sancho el Sabio 33 (toll tel. 902-101-210, www.pesa.net).
Because of funding difficulties, the Chillida-Leku Museum has closed to the public.
Camino de Santiago
There is no longer a bus from Pamplona airport; fortunately, a taxi ride into town only costs around €10.
The cathedral has new hours: May–Sept Mon–Fri 9:30–13:30 & 16:00–20:00, Sat 9:30–13:30 & 16:00–18:00, Sun 9:30–11:00 & 14:00–20:00; Oct–April Mon–Sat 9:30–13:30 & 16:00–19:00, Sun 9:30–14:00.
From León to Galicia: Astorga
Astur Hotel Plaza hasa new phone number, website, and email address: Spanish tel. 987-617-665, www.hotelasturplaza.es, firstname.lastname@example.org. (Thier old number connects you to Ciudad de Astorga hotel, also recommended.)
Santiago de Compostela
The TI's walking tours no longer run on Tuesdays, but do run April–Oct Thu–Sat at 16:00, and Sun at 12:00.
Local guide Patricia Furelos has a new email address: email@example.com.
Passengers arriving at Barajas Airport's Terminal 4 can now ride a cercanías (commuter) train to Atocha station (2/hour, 25 minutes) or Charmatin station (2/hour, 12 minutes).
The Prado Museum is open on Mondays, though it now has slightly shorter hours the rest of the week (Mon–Sat 10:00–20:00, Sun 10:00–19:00).
Northwest of Madrid
The Madrid Card no longer covers a visit to El Escorial.
Valley of the Fallen
The funicular to the massive cross at the monument remains closed while the base of the cross undergoes restoration.
The Army Museum in the Alcázar is now closed on Wednesdays year-round, rather than Mondays.
A new museum pass, called the Pulsera Turística, gives you entry to six monuments and churches for €8 — but it's not a good deal, as it doesn't cover the city's top three sights (cathedral, Santa Cruz Museum, and Army Museum).
The TI at the entrance to the Alhambra has closed. Also, bus route #32 to the Alhambra no longer runs; bus #30 is now the best for a trip from the historic center to the Alhambra.
The route of the #31 bus from the city center to the Albayzín district has changed, but it it still the best way to get to the famous San Nicolás Church viewpoint and loop through the old Moorish district.
Casa del Capitel Nazarí now offers a 5 percent discount to guests who present their Rick Steves guidebook at the hotel.
Hotel Puerta de las Granadas now offers a 10 percent discount to Rick Steves readers.
Andalucía's White Hill Towns
Arcos de la Frontera
The town no longer offers an all-day parking pass.
Hotel El Convento has new prices for 2012: Sb with balcony-€60, Sb with terrace-€76, Db with balcony-€80, Db with terrace-€95.
Hotel Los Olivos also has new prices for 2012: Sb-€45–50, Db-€70–85, Tb-€85–100, extra bed-€19, breakfast-€9.
Hostal San Marcos has new contact information: tel. 956-105-429, mobile 664-118-052, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bar-Hostal Zindicato has closed.
Alavera de los Baños (a hotel) no longer has a restaurant.
El Pinsapar restaurant has closed.
While you can indeed store bags at the Royal Andalusian School, you can only do so for the duration of the performance — their cloakroom opens right before the show starts, and closes shortly after it ends.
Bus #3, which worked so wonderfully for our self-guided bus tour, is no longer running. However, you can still get to the mosque and Europa Point, albeit on different bus lines.
The Comarit ferry company is no longer operating a Tarifa/Tangier route (crossings are still possible on FRS).