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Guidebook Updates for Spain

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Spain, we post them here. (We've also thrown in our updates on Tangier and French Basque Country, as they're covered in Rick Steves Spain.) Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally. Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Spain

For books printed before September 2019, the following may apply:

    • Eurail Select Passes are no longer being sold (but similarly priced Global Passes still are) — see our 2019 rail-travel update.

Andalucía's White Hill Towns

  • In Grazalema, the restaurant at Casa de Las Piedras hotel is closed (but the hotel is still open).
  • In Ronda, Hotel San Gabriel is now Soho Boutique Palacio San Gabriel.
  • In Arcos, Hostal El Patio has closed.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The bus company Los Amarillos has closed, and most of its routes have been taken over by Damas.
  • The covered market in Arcos de la Frontera has ceased operation, as have the restaurant tents (carpas) that used to set up near Plaza de España.

Barcelona

  • Barcelon's main airport is now called Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport.
  • The Barri Gòtic street Sant Doménec del Call has been renamed Carrer de Salomó Ben Adret.
  • Paid visiting hours at the Barcelona Cathedral have changed: Mon–Fri 12:30–19:45, Sat 12:30–17:30, Sun 14:00–17:30. The telephone number is +34 933 428 262.
  • At the Barcelona Cathedral, visitors can no longer use the side door facing Carrer dels Comtes, and cloister doors are reserved for those with reduced mobility.
  • The T10 Metro travelcard is no longer available. A new card called T-casual covers 10 rides for €11.35, but this card is not sharable; each rider will need their own ticket.

For books printed before October 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Eixample audio tour is available as of Spring 2020.
  • Sagrada Família now costs €17 for a basic ticket (church only, available only from 17:00), €26 to visit with a live guide, €25 with an audioguide, or €32 for a visit with an audioguide and access to the tower elevator (and we still strongly recommend buying timed-entry tickets online in advance of your visit). The church's new hours are April–September daily 9:00–20:00, October & March daily until 19:00, November–February daily until 18:00.
  • The Picasso Museum is now open mid-March–Oct Mon 10:00–17:00, Tue–Sun 9:00–20:30, Thu until 21:30; Nov–mid-March Tue–Sun 9:00–19:00; Thu until 21:30, closed Mon.
  • The nighttime tour at La Pedrera ("Gaudí’s Pedrera: The Origins") has a new name: "La Pedrera Night Experience."

For our Barcelona audio tours, these older updates also apply:

  • Sardana performances take place on Sundays in front of the cathedral at 11:15 (not noon, none in Aug), and some Saturdays at 18:00.
  • Casa Lleó Morera has closed to visitors, indefinitely.
  • La Pedrera no longer offers free entry to its atrium.

Basque Country

  • The former Termibús bus station has been renovated and is now called Bilbao Intermodal station. It’s now an underground transit/bus center and has a new website: www.bilbaointermodal.eus.
  • In St-Jean-de-Luz, restaurant La Ruelle has closed.
  • In Bilbao, Gran Café El Mercante has closed.
  • Ouibus is now BlaBlaBus. Their website is www.blablabus.com.
  • In San Sebastián, the funicular to Monte Igueldo is now open daily year round.
  • In San Sebastián, Hotel Arrizul Center is now Hotel Arrizul Beach and its email is now info@hotelarrizulbeach.com.
  • Recommended guide Agustín Ciriza no longer provides transportation on his tours, and doesn't offer surfing trips. Through 2020 he charges €180 for two-hour city tours of San Sebastián, and a baseline of €15 per person for group hikes in the area, including along the Camino. His website is now at www.agustinciriza.com, and his email address has changed to info@agustinciriza.com.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • In Bilbao: The tourist information office's bus tour is no longer running.
  • In Pamplona: The Fort of San Bartolomé interpretive center is now free to visit.
  • The Basque Bondissant shuttle between St-Jean-de-Luz and La Rhune is no longer running.
  • In San Sebastián: The Bernardo Etxea restaurant has closed.
  • In Lekeitio: The Hotel Aisia Lekeitio has closed.
  • In St-Jean-de-Luz: The Muscade Tarterie restaurant has closed.

For books printed before July 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Euskotren services between San Sebastian and Bilbao no longer serve the Atxuri station in Bilbao. The new terminus is Matiko station, but a more convenient stop is at Casco Viejo station (shared with Metro lines 1 and 2, and walking distance to tram line).

Camino de Santiago

  • In Burgos, there is no more tourist train.
  • In Pamplona, the Fort of San Bartolomé is closed and there is no interpretive center.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

Córdoba

  • The tourist information office in the train station is closed.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The synagogue in the Jewish Quarter is closed for renovation, likely through 2019.

Granada

  • Granada now has some AVE and Avant train service, providing faster connections to Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Córdoba, and Sevilla.
  • Alhambra tickets are now released in three lots: one year in advance, three months in advance, and one month in advance. It is still strongly recommended that you purchase your tickets as early as possible, but if the date of your visit is sold out, you can try checking again when the other lots are released for sale. In addition, you must now provide a name and ID number (e.g. a driver license number) for each person at the time of purchase.

For books printed before October 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Royal Chapel's hours have changed: Mon–Sat 10:15–18:30, Sun 11:00–18:00.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Bus numbers have changed; check locally or online for details. Basic routes referred to in our guidebooks use the following bus numbers:
    • Bus station to center: #33
    • Center to Alhambra: *C30
    • Center to Albayzín: *31
    • Alhambra to Albayzín: *32 
    • Center to Sacromonte: #34
    • Carthusian Monastery: #8

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Advance-booked Alhambra tickets are no longer for sale through Ticketmaster (but are available online through the Alhambra's ticket site and over the phone at +34 858 953 616). Tickets can be printed at home, from machines at the Alhambra entrance, or from the machines at the Alhambra office in the middle of town (inside the Corral del Carbón). To be guaranteed admission to the key attraction there, the Palacios Nazaríes, visitors should buy a reserved-time ticket in advance. Those who arrive without a reservation can try to book a private guided tour or buy a Granada Card sightseeing pass, either of which can be reserved on shorter notice.

Madrid

  • Those with the Paseo del Arte combo-ticket can no longer use any entrance at the Prado Museum; they must exchange their voucher for a ticket at the Goya Entrance, then enter at the Jerónimos Entrance.
  • Café de Oriente is now La Botillería and has new contact information: tel. +34 915 484 620, www.botilleria.es.
  • Hotel Plaza Mayor is under new management and has new contact information: www.hotel-bb.es, hotel.plazamayor@hotelbb.com. It no longer offers a Rick Steves discount.
  • Atocha Metro station (Line 1) was renamed Estación del Arte.
  •  Hotel Praktik Metropol is closed for renovation.
  • The first printing of Rick Steves Spain 2020 shows the wrong image in the description of Velázquez's Las Meninas at the Prado Museum; the painting in question looks like this.

For books printed before November 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Flamenco shows at Las Tablas are now daily at 19:00 and 21:00.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • To buy either a single-ride or 10-ride transportation ticket (good on the Metro or buses), you'll first have to buy a rechargeable red Multi Card (tarjeta) for a non-refundable €2.50. Multi Cards are good on buses, but only as a 10-ride ticket — to buy a single-ride bus ticket you'll need to pay the driver in cash (€1.50).
  • La Anchoíta tapas bar has closed.
  • Chiringuito de El Señor Martín seafood restaurant has closed.

Near Barcelona

  • In Sitges, Hotel Romàntic is now Hotel Medium Romàntic and appears to be no longer family run but rather part of a hotel group: www.mediumhoteles.com.
  • Mon-Bus buses are now labeled Plana Autocars.
  • The bus company serving Cadaques from Figueres is now called Moventis Sarfa.
  • In Figueres, there's now a tourist information office, at Plaça de l'Escorxador 2. Its hours are Mon–Sat 9:30–19:00 or until 20:00 in July–Aug, Sun 10:00–14:00. The contact information is +34 972 503 155, www.ca.visitfigueres.cat. An info desk sometimes opens at the Figueres TGV train station.
  • In Cadaques, Hotel Llané Petit no longer offers a RS discount but does provide free breakfast for Rick Steves readers.

Northwest of Madrid

  • Black Rose tapas bar on Calle de Infanta Isabel in Segovia is closed.
  • Elvira Valderrama Rascon no longer works as a local guide in Segovia.
  • Francisco Franco's remains have been removed from the Valley of the Fallen basilica and transferred to Mingorrubio Cemetery.

For books printed before November 2019, the following may also apply:

  • In Segovia, the Alcazar tower is no longer closed on the third Tuesday of the month.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • In Segovia, the bus station tourist information office has closed.

Salamanca

  • Just off the Plaza Mayor, the restaurant Bambú is closed.
  • Hotel Room Mate Vega is closed.

For books printed before October 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Art Nouveau Museum is now open on Mondays in peak season (mid-March–mid-November daily 11:00—20:00, off-season Tue–Fri 11:00–14:00 & 16:00–19:00, Sat–Sun 11:00–20:00, closed Mon).

Santiago de Compostela

For books printed before November 2019, the following may apply:

  • At Santiago Cathedral, the Portico of Glory restoration is complete, but other renovations are still underway (to accommodate them, the archeological excavations and rooftops are currently closed, and Botafumeiro ceremonies aren't being held).

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Pensión Girasol has closed.

Sevilla

  • Hotel San Francisco is closed.

For books printed before October 2019, the following may also apply:

  • The Sevilla Cathedral is now open Tue–Sat 11:00–17:00 (July–Aug until 18:00), Sun 14:30–18:00 (July–Aug 14:00–19:00), Mon 10:30–16:00; last entry to cathedral one hour before closing.
  • The Basilica de la Macarena is now open in summer daily 9:00–14:00 & 18:00–21:30 (mid-Sept–May daily 9:00–14:00 & 17:00–21:00, except Sun from 9:30).
  • The Church of the Savior is now open for visitors Mon–Sat 11:00–18:00 (from 10:00 in July–Aug), and Sun 15:00–19:30.
  • La Bulla restaurant has closed.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

South Coast (Nerja, Gibraltar, Tarifa)

  • Nerja's Cueva Tren tourist train is gone. It's uncertain when or if it will come back.
  • In Gibraltar, there is now just one ticket option for exploring the Rock: a £13 "nature reserve" ticket, which now covers all sights, including the World War II tunnels (which used to require an additional ticket). The £5 "walkers" ticket has been discontinued.
  • The local bus from Nerja to Frigiliana is now run by Grupo Fajardo, not Autocares Nerja.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • In Tarifa, the hotels Casa Amarilla and Pensión Correo have closed.
  • In Tarifa, the restaurant La Posada has closed.
  • In Gibraltar, cable-car tickets bought at the border include a shuttle that takes you directly to the cable-car station in the center of town.
  • In Gibraltar, every phone number now includes the old area code "200," and therefore has eight digits when calling locally.

Tangier

  • A new high-speed rail line, Al Boraq (run by ONCF), connects Tangier with Casablanca and also serves the stations of Casa Voyageurs, Rabat Agdal, and Kenitra.
  • Le Fabrique restaurant in Tangier closed.
  • Atlas Rif & Spa Hotel has changed its name to Atlas Marina Bay Hotel.
  • The Le Nabab restaurant in Tangier's Kasbah has closed.
  • Local guide Aziz ("Africa") Benami has new contact information: www.abtravels.com, info@abtravels.com. He can arrange round-trip ferry tickets to/from Tarifa, but the price depends on current ticket prices.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • A new staircase connects the port to the old town on its northern edge. It's steep but it'll take you directly to the Place de la Kasbah.
  • The restaurant Dar Lidam has been renamed La Terraza de la Medina.
  • The Marhaba Palace restaurant is closed.

Toledo

  • Coleccion Catedral wine bar has closed.