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 August 2024, the following may apply:

  • Spain's high-speed AVE trains now have another competitor: privately operated IRYO trains, which operate on most of the same routes as AVE trains (but offer generally fancier service).

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • AVLO, a new line of low-cost high-speed trains, offers fares as low as €20 for the Barcelona-Zaragoza-Madrid route. They aren't covered by rail passes, and come with less leg room than AVE trains and no food service (vending machines only, pay extra for seat reservation and larger suitcases). French OUIGO trains run on the same route, as well as the Madrid–Valencia line, with similar restrictions in exchange for similar savings.

Andalucía's White Hill Towns

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • Cars are no longer permitted within Arcos de la Frontera's old town.
  • Ronda guide Antonio Jesús Naranjo no longer has a website, but you can contact him by email ([email protected]).
  • Ronda's Soho Boutique Palacio San Gabriel no longer offers a Rick Steves discount (new owners).

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Ronda's Spanish Guitar Concerts has moved to Calle Virgen de los Remedios 23.
  • Ronda's Bandit Museum and Nueva 13 restaurant have closed.
  • Arcos' Hostal San Marcos is now "Pensión San Marcos."
  • Grazalema's Hotel Peñón Grande has closed.
  • Vejer's Hostal La Posada has closed.
  • The correct email address for Hotel Arco de la Villa, in Zahara de la Sierra, is [email protected] (the last hyphen is missing in some printings of our guidebooks).

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

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

Barcelona

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • All four of Sagrada Família's evangelist towers are now complete. Construction of the final, central tower is expected to wrap up in 2026.
  • The bus running between Sagrada Família and the Eixample is #D50 (not #50 or #19).
  • Park Güell is now open until 22:00 April–Oct (but last entry in summer is at 19:30; the rest of the year it closes at sunset). The Monumental Zone no longer requires a timed-entry ticket. The Bus Güell shuttle between the Alfons X Metro station and the park's side entrance is no longer running — we recommend taking either a taxi or bus #24 to a stop near the side entrance.
  • The Picasso Museum's center ground-floor entry is the only way in to the museum.
  • While renovations to the Camp Nou soccer stadium are underway, an interactive exhibit and the flagship team store remain open at Camp Nou, but the team is playing in the Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc, likely through some point in the 2025–2026 season.
  • The Sagalés bus connecting the Costa Brava Airport to Girona (and to Barcelona via train to/from Girona) now runs hourly (not every 10 minutes), but only takes 30 minutes (as opposed to 1.5 hours).

For books printed before October 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Tickets are no longer sold on-site at Sagrada Família — all visits now require a pre-booked timed-entry ticket (check the site for new opening hours and ticket options).
  • Visitors must now pay to enter Park Güell. The Monumental Zone now includes just the terrace and dragon stairway/fountains.
  • Reservations are now required for guided tours in English of Casa Museu Amatller and at the Palace of Catalan Music (although both offer audioguides).
  • The correct email address for local guide Mónica Sánchez Sabater is [email protected] (some printings have an erroneous "d" in the address).
  • The tourist information offices on Plaça de Sant Jaume and on Plaça Nova (in the Barri Gòtic, inside the Catalan College of Architects) have closed, but a new office is now open on Pla de la Seu, next to the cathedral.
  • Casa Batlló now offers nighttime visits.
  • The Gaudí Exhibition Center has closed.
  • Casa Lleó Morera is now closed to the public.
  • Bike Tours Barcelona no longer rents bikes for general use.
  • The Barcelona Guide Bureau has closed.
  • The Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau is now preserved as a Modernista sight, now known as Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau. The complex's courtyards and buildings are now open to visitors.
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Café de l'Academia, Cerveceria Vendimia, Parellada, Monvínic ("World of Wine"), El Guindilla, and Mamarosa Beach.
  • The Kitchen Company shop has closed.
  • Herbolari Ferran herbalist has closed.
  • Hotel Banys Orientals is now Hotel Habana Hoose.
  • Equity Point Hostels are now Safestay Hostels.

For books printed before October 2020, the following may also apply:

  • Barcelona's main airport has been renamed Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport.
  • The Barri Gòtic street Sant Doménec del Call has been renamed "Carrer de Salomó Ben Adret."
  • Bus #24 no longer stops at Park Guell's side entrance, and bus route #92 (which had also stopped at Park Guell's side entrance) has been discontinued.
  • The Barcelona Cathedral is now open for tourist visits Mon–Fri 12:30–19:45, Sat 12:30–17:30, Sun 14:00–17:30 (+34 933 428 262). 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. The new T-casual card covers 10 rides for €11.35, but this card is not sharable; each rider needs their own ticket.
  • Parellada restaurant has closed.

Near Barcelona

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • ​The basilica on Montserrat now charges admission, and requires timed-entry tickets not only to see La Moreneta (the Black Virgin) but to enter the basilica.

For books printed before October 2022, the following may also apply:

  • The Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres is now occasionally open on Mondays outside of peak season (daily July–Aug, now Sept–June Tue–Sun 10:30–18:00 with occasional Monday openings).
  • Montserrat's rack railway no longer runs from the monastery at 20:15 on weekends; the last train down is now at 19:15 every day.
  • Timed-entry tickets are now required to view La Moreneta in the basilica on Montserrat. While it's possible to buy same-day tickets on-site, it's smart to book in advance online.
  • Performances by Montserrat's Escolania (Choir School) now require reservations.

For books printed before October 2020, the following may also apply:

  • Sitges' Hotel Romàntic is now Hotel Medium Romàntic and is no longer family run.
  • Mon-Bus buses are now labeled "Plana Autocars."
  • The bus company serving Cadaqués from Figueres is now called Moventis Sarfa.
  • In Figueres, there's now a tourist information office at Plaça de l'Escorxador 2. It's open Mon–Sat 9:30–19:00 or until 20:00 in July–Aug, Sun 10:00–14:00 (+34 972 503 155). An info desk sometimes opens at the Figueres TGV train station.
  • Cadaqués' Hotel Llané Petit no longer offers a Rick Steves discount, but does provide free breakfast for Rick Steves readers.

Basque Country

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • Claire Lohiague is no longer working as a guide in Bayonne.
  • Bus lines in the French Basque region are now all operated by a new company, Txik Txak.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Advance reservations are required to visit the Gernika Assembly House and oak tree (free, 45-minute timed-entry slots).
  • The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes) is undergoing renovation through 2024, which will limit what's on display at certain times. Admission is free when the exhibits are significantly reduced.
  • The tourist information office next to San Sebastián's train station is now open only occasionally during the summer. The regional tourism office next to the city tourism office on the Boulevard has closed, but the regional tourism bureau's site is still helpful.
  • Construction of a new AVE line in San Sebastián may mean reduced train frequency and/or ersatz bus connections during your stay.
  • The San Sebastián Wash & Dry Laundry in the Gros neighborhood has closed.
  • Bilbao's Pensión Mendez has become part of 7Kale Bed and Breakfast.
  • Bilbao's Nostrum restaurant has closed.
  • St-Jean-de-Luz's Hôtel Le Petit Trianon is now Mosaik Hôtel and Le Café Crème is now "Le Café du Marché."
  • St-Jean-de-Luz's Chez Maya Petit Grill Basque has closed.
  • To reach the Atelier du Chocolat factory (rather than the chocolate shop), take city bus #4 from Bayonne's tourist information office or from the Mairie stop (across from Town Hall) to the Stade D. Deschamps stop. Backtrack and walk left onto Rue Gleizé, then turn right on Allée de Gibéléou.
  • L'Auberge du Petit Bayonne hotel has closed.
  • La Table Basque restaurant in Biarritz has closed.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • The former Termibús bus station has been renovated to also serve underground transit, and is now called Bilbao Intermodal station.
  • La Ruelle restaurant in St-Jean-de-Luz has closed.
  • Bilbao's Gran Café El Mercante has closed.
  • Ouibus is now BlaBlaBus.
  • In San Sebastián, the funicular to Monte Igueldo is now open daily year round.
  • Hotel Arrizul Center in San Sebastián is now Hotel Arrizul Beach [email protected].
  • Recommended guide Agustín Ciriza no longer provides transportation on his tours, and doesn't offer surfing trips. He now charges a baseline of €15 per person for group hikes in the area, including along the Camino. His email address is now [email protected].

Camino de Santiago

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • You can now buy tickets online (at least 24 hours in advance) for Cantabria's Fuente Dé cable car.
  • The Chambres Chez l'Habitant in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port has closed.
  • To climb the Pamplona Cathedral bell tower, arrive at the ticket office at 10:30 and take a number.
  • Pamplona's Palacio Guendulain hotel has closed, as have Café Roch and San Ignacio Restaurante.
  • Burgos' Cuchillo de Palo restaurant has closed.
  • León's La Bicha restaurant has closed.
  • Astorga's El Capricho restaurant has closed.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

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

Córdoba

For books printed before September 2022, the following may apply:

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

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

Granada

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • The Olive Oil Tour is no longer running.
  • Tlavo laundry has closed.
  • Taberna de JAM tapas bar has closed.
  • Makuto Guesthouse in the Albayzín has closed.
  • Hostal Navarro Ramos is now Pensión Navarro Ramos; Hotel Los Tilosis now La Bella Granada.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • 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. We 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. You must now provide a name and ID number (e.g. a driver's license number) for each person at the time of purchase.

Madrid

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • The Royal Collections Gallery, a museum neighboring the Royal Palace that displays highlights of the monarchy's vast treasures in a sleek, modern setting, has reopened.
  • Hotel Plaza Mayor is now the Hotel Madrid Centro Plaza Mayor and has new contact info: +34 913 600 606, [email protected].
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Restaurante Palacio de Cibeles, Terrace Cibeles, and Coleccion Cibeles.
  • The almost-hourly train service to/from Valencia now operates out of Chamartín station (not Atocha station; only three trains per day depart from Atocha) — but no Valencia trains leave Chamartín around 9:40 or 19:40, when trains do depart to Valencia from Atocha.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Julià Travel no longer runs tours every day; check their site for the current schedule.
  • The Reina Sofía now closes at 14:30 on Sundays, and no longer offers audioguides. The museum has been thoroughly reorganized and now displays its collection thematically in eight sections (called "episodes"), which can be visited in any order. Guernica is on level 2 of the Sabatini building.
  • The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum has been reorganized so that all of Baroness Carmen Thyssen's additions are together on the ground floor. The two upper floors are reserved for the Thyssen Collection.
  • You can now get the Paseo del Arte combo-ticket for the Prado, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums online (via the Reina Sofía's and the Thyssen-Bornemisza's websites). Ticket lines for the Prado can be quite long — get your Paseo del Arte or Prado-only ticket in advance, then exchange your electronic voucher for a paper ticket at the Prado's Goya entrance. Book your ticket online even when the Prado is free, as you still need a physical ticket to enter.
  • Renovations on Plaza de España have finished.
  • The Toros La Central bullfight booking office on Calle Victoria has closed.
  • There is a new tourist information office near the Royal Palace, across from the palace's group entrance, at the edge of the Plaza de Oriente gardens.
  • The regional tourist information office at Chamartín train station has closed.
  • The Royal Tapestry Factory is no longer conducting tours in English (and it's become difficult to reserve tickets).
  • The flamenco venue Taberna Casa Patas has closed.
  • There is no longer an overnight train running between Madrid and Lisbon. Flying may be your fastest and even cheapest option, as plane tickets can go for just $40. Otherwise it's an 8–9-hour bus ride ($65, 2/day) or a longer, less convenient train ride ($70 without a rail pass, 1/day, at least 9 hours with two connections).
  • Pensión Arcos has closed.
  • Ferpal deli has closed.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • 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 a new phone number: +34 915 484 620.
  • Atocha Metro station (Line 1) has been renamed Estación del Arte.
  • Hotel Praktik Metropol has closed.
  • 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.

Northwest of Madrid

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • ​In the first printing of the 18th edition of Rick Steves Spain, the map of Segovia (pp 528–529) shows swapped locations for two hotels: Apartments Aralso and Eurostars Plaza Acueducto. The former is on Calle Teniente Ochoa (near the bus station), and the latter is on Avenida Padre Claret (near the aqueduct).

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • El Escorial is now free to enter after 17:00 on Wednesdays and Sundays, but not Thursdays.
  • The Valley of the Fallen and El Escorial are best linked by taxi (the infrequent bus drops off/picks up three miles from the Valley of the Fallen).
  • Segovia's Narizotas and Divinos restaurants have closed.
  • The former VisitÁvila sightseeing pass is now called the "ÁvilaCard" (still €15).

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

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

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.

Salamanca

For books printed before September 2022, the following may apply:

  • Bambú restaurant, just off Plaza Major, has reopened.
  • Mesón El Minutejo has closed.

Santiago de Compostela

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • ​The regional tourist information office for Galicia has moved to Rúa do Vilar 1 and is now closed Sat–Sun.
  • Bus 6A between the Santiago airport and the bus station accepts cash only.
  • The visitor entrance to the Santiago Cathedral is now via a side door. Also, the Portico of Glory can only be seen with a reserved timed-entry ticket (free ones available by seven-day advance reservation; combo tickets available for sale otherwise). When the town is particularly busy with tourists, those just waiting to hug St. James and see his casket form a separate line.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • The bus station has moved to a spot next to the train station, on Rúa de Clara Campoamor (no longer northeast of the cathedral).
  • All restoration work has been completed at the cathedral, and it's once again open to visitors.
  • Patricia Furelos is no longer offering walking tours.
  • La Bodeguilla de San Roque has closed.

Sevilla

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • The Santa Justa train station no longer has a baggage storage option; instead consider the Lock & Enjoy a few blocks away at Avenida Pablo Iglesias 7 (open 24 hours).
  • Sevilla is extending its existing tram line to Santa Justa train station and to the airport; work should be completed in 2024 or 2025. Trams no longer run later on weekends than the rest of the week (until 23:30).
  • Sevilla Cathedral is now open slightly longer (Mon–Sat to 10:45–17:30, until 18:30 May–Oct; Sun 14:30–19:00 year-round).
  • If you plan to visit the Church of the Savior as well as the cathedral, it's smart to visit the former first, as the two sights have a combo-ticket, and entry lines aren't a problem at the Church of the Savior. When visiting the cathedral with the combo-ticket (which you must do within two days of visiting the Church of the Savior), you can skip the lines and enter at the Puerta de San Cristobal entrance.
  • Hospital de la Caridad now closes 14:00–15:00 Mon–Fri, when it also closes a half-hour earlier (at 18:30).
  • A passport number is now required to book advance tickets for the Royal Alcázar (which we recommend doing). To book in person (recommended only as a last resort since a very limited number of same-day tickets are sold, and only via credit card), you'll need your actual passport on hand.
  • At the Plaza de Toros bullring and Bullfight Museum, you no longer need to follow the an audioguide's predetermined route but are now free to wander (new audioguide available via QR code).
  • The Museo de la Ceramica de Triana is now the Centro Ceramica Triana.
  • Bar Santa Ana has closed.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Cathedral visitors who have purchased tickets in advance now enter through the Puerta del Lagarto (also the group entrance). We still strongly recommend getting tickets in advance.
  • At Flamenco Los Gallos, readers who show their Rick Steves book get a free drink included with their ticket for the later show only (not applicable to the 19:00 show).
  • The #C5 minibus is no longer running.
  • The Juan Foronda shop on Calle Tetuán has closed, as has BuBi (near Plaza del Salvador).
  • The Jester and Bodeguita Antonio Romero restaurants have closed.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Hotel San Francisco has closed.
  • La Bulla restaurant has closed.

South Coast (Nerja, Gibraltar, Tarifa)

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • ​The Coach & Horses Pub in Nerja has closed.
  • Oliva restaurant in Nerja has moved to Plaze de Espana 2.
  • Tarifa's Bar El Pasillo has closed.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Nerja's El Chiringuito de Ayo restaurant is now named just "Ayo," and Restaurant Sevillano is now "Rincón del Sevillano."
  • Whale Watch Tarifa is no longer in business.
  • Tarifa's Pensión Villanueva Tarifa is now Hospedaje Villanueva Tarifa.
  • Ferries are once again sailing between Tarifa and Tangier (run by FRS and InterShipping).
  • Gibraltar's O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel is now The Eliott Hotel.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Nerja's Cueva Tren tourist train is gone, at least for the time being.
  • 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 WWII 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.

Tangier (Morocco)

For books printed before August 2024, the following may apply:

  • In case of emergency, dial 19 (not 190) in Morocco for police, and 15 for medical and other emergencies.
  • We now recommend buying ferry tickets in advance at any time of year (not just in high season). Tickets may be nonrefundable, but you can change them for free and as many times as needed.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Ferries are once again sailing between Tarifa and Tangier (run by FRS and InterShipping).not linking to InterShipping b/c its security certificate is out of date, at least as of March 2023
    • Local guide Aziz ("Africa") Benami has a new phone number: +212 661 263 335, and now offers free cancellation of Tangier tours up to one day before the tour, and a 10 percent discount on any tour to anyone with a Rick Steves Spain guidebook. He also runs day-long and multiday trips with flexible itineraries to destinations across Morocco.
    • Baelo Tour is no longer operating.

    For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:anything below was fixed in Spain 17e...in theory. Not sure where the top one came from

    • 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 has closed.
    • Atlas Rif & Spa Hotel has changed its name to Marina Bay Tangier.
    • The Le Nabab restaurant in Tangier's Kasbah has closed.

Toledo

For books printed before September 2022, the following may apply:

  • The tourist information offices at the train station and on Plaza Zocodover have closed.
  • The Fabrica Zamorano knife workshop has closed.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Coleccion Catedral wine bar has closed.