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!

Andalucía's White Hill Towns

For books printed before December 2018, the following may 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.

For books printed before November 2016, the following may also apply:

  • For English speakers, the better phone number for Arcos de la Frontera local guide service Infotur is +34 687-944-299.
  • The tourist information kiosk in Arcos de la Frontera on Plaza de España has closed; instead, use the main tourist information office at Cuesta de Belén 5.
  • Visitors to the Pileta Cave near Ronda should confirm tour times and availability before venturing to the cave — and even then, it's a good idea to arrive early to be sure you get a spot. The best way to enjoy this family-run operation is by being flexible.

Barcelona

For books printed before October 2018, the following may apply:

  • For Barcelona's top sights — the Picasso Museum, La Pedrera (Casa Milà), Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, and Park Güell — purchasing a reserved-time ticket in advance is virtually a must — otherwise you might not get in at all. Advance tickets for the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres is also advised.
  • The Sagrada Família's hours are now April–September Monday–Saturday 9:00–20:00, Sunday 10:30–20:00; October & March Monday–Saturday 9:00–19:00, Sunday 10:30–19:00; November–February Monday–Saturday 9:00–18:00, Sunday 10:30–18:00.
  • Park Güell's hours have changed: open daily; May–August 8:00–21:30; September, October & April 8:00–20:30; November–March 8:30–18:15.
  • 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.
  • The Magic Fountains music-and-light show schedule has changed: April–May & October Thursday–Saturday 21:00–22:00; June–September Wednesday–Sunday 21:30–22:30; November–December & March Thursday–Saturday 20:00–21:00; no shows January–February.
  • The Maritime Museum's permanent collection is open again, after a long renovation, covering the history of ships and navigation from the 13th to 18th century (restoration is continuing on ships from the 18th century on).
  • The Renfe train between the El Prat De Llobregat Airport and downtown is on the "R2 Nord" (not "R2 Sud") Rodalies line.
  • Uber is now up and running in Barcelona.
  • BCN Fashion House B&B no longer includes breakfast in its rates.
  • The Tramvía Blau trolley is closed indefinitely while it undergoes maintenance.
  • Biciclot no longer rents bikes on the Barceloneta Beach.
  • NH Hotel Barcelona Centro is closed for renovations; they expect to reopen in early 2019.

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Picasso Museum is free every Thursday evening 18:00–21:30 and all day on the first Sunday of each month.
  • The main tourist information office no longer stocks the Modernisme Route map. Instead, you can pick one up at the Institut Municipal del Paisatge Urbà, inside the Edificio Colón.
  • The Zoen leather workshop in the Jewish Quarter has closed.

For books printed before August 2017, the following may also apply:

For books printed before November 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Metro's L9 Sud line now runs to El Prat airport, serving both Terminals 1 and 2. It's a long ride and at least one transfer to get into the heart of town (single airport tickets cost €4.50).
  • The Cathedral of Barcelona's museum is now only open during the afternoon tourist hours (Mon–Sat 12:45–17:15, Sun 13:45–17:15), when visitors pay €7 to enter the cathedral and can visit its three minor sights (choir, terrace, and museum).
  • The Shoe Museum has closed.
  • The Vaho shop on Plaça del Pi has closed.
  • Hotel Regencia Colón, in the Old City, is closing down to make way for a new hotel in the same location.

For books printed before August 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Ticketing options have changed at the Sagrada Família. When buying tickets online, you must decide at that time if you want to add the audioguide, tower elevator, live guide, or Gaudí House Museum to your ticket. You can't buy any extras once inside the church. And, when reserving online for the Sagrada Familia's Passion Facade and Nativity Facade elevators, you may — or may not — be able to match your tower entry time with your church visit. You'll only be able to ride one of the elevators — but you may not have a choice as to which one.
  • Discover Walks no longer offers "free" walking tours; their two daily offerings (Gaudí, and the Ramblas and Barri Gòtic) cost €19 each.
  • La Pedrera no longer offers free entry to its atrium.

Basque Country

For books printed before December 2018, the following may 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).

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

Bilbao

  • Bilbao's bus station is under renovation. Arrivals and departures are just beyond the construction site, in the ground floor of an adjacent building temporarily housing a ticket office, WCs, lockers, and a cafeteria (look for helpful attendants to guide you). The tram stop called "San Mamés" is on the road just below the station and construction site — look for the steel CTB sign and follow the EuskoTran signs (not the escalator that leads to the Metro).
  • The Fres Co restaurant has closed.
  • Café La Granja restaurant has closed.
  • Pensión Roquefer hotel has closed.

Camino de Santiago

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

Córdoba

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

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

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

  • It is possible to climb the bell tower at the Mezquita for good views over the mosque-cathedral and the city itself. Tickets are €2, and 20 climbers are allowed every half-hour. (Reserve a time slot when buying a ticket.)

For books printed before November 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Tablao Flamenco Cardenal has moved to Buen Pastor 2 and has a new schedule (1.5-hour shows Mon–Thu at 20:15, Fri–Sat at 21:00, no shows Sun, confirm schedule online).
  • La Hospedería de El Churrasco has been rechristened La Llave de La Judería, with managers Rocío and Alberto, and a new website and email address: www.lallavedelajuderia.cominfo@lallavedelajuderia.es.
  • The tourist information office's shuttle bus to Madinat Al-Zahra has changed its schedule (Tue–Sat at 10:15, 11:00, and 17:00 plus extra Sat bus at 13:45, Sun at 10:15, 11:00, and 11:45; confirm schedule at tourist information office).

Granada

For books printed before December 2018, the following may 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 (0)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. 

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

  • For the Palacios Nazaríes (inside the Alhambra), tickets are sold with a specific half-hour entry time — there are no more morning and afternoon general tickets. The Alhambra now offers an excellent audio/videoguide tablet (€7), with five tours to choose from.
  • Train service may be interrupted. Travelers may need to travel by bus from Granada to Antequera and transfer in Antequera to a train, regardless of destination.

For books printed before November 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The per-person price for Granada Tapas Tours is now €40, though they give a €5 discount to anyone who mentions Rick Steves.

Madrid

For books printed before December 2018, the following may 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.

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Madrid Card sightseeing pass has been discontinued.

For books printed before June 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Madrid Tours and Tastings is no longer in business.

For books printed before March 2017, the following may also apply:

Northwest of Madrid

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

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

For books printed before December 2017, the following may also apply:

Salamanca

For books printed before November 2016, the following may apply:

Santiago de Compostela

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

  • The Pensión Girasol has closed.

For books printed before November 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Office for Pilgrims has relocated to Rúa das Carretas 33, near the Hospital of the Catholic Monarchs parador/restaurant.
  • The Pilgrimage and Santiago Museum has merged with the Museum of Pilgrimages, which now charges a modest fee and has new contact information (€2.40, Tue–Fri 9:30–20:30, Sat 11:00–19:30, Sun 10:15–14:45, closed Mon, Praza das Praterías 2, tel. +34 981-566-110).
  • O Beiro Vinoteca has moved out of the old center (to Rúa Nova 3) and no longer serves tapas.

Sevilla

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

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Sevilla Card sightseeing pass is no longer available.
  • BiciBike bike rental has closed.

South Coast (Nerja, Gibraltar, Tarifa)

For books printed before December 2018, the following may 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.

For books printed before October 2017, the following may also apply:

  • In Nerja: Black & White bar is no longer in business.
  • In Gibraltar: Lahori Spice restaurant in La Línea has closed.

Tangier

For books printed before December 2018, the following may 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.

For books printed before March 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The mobile-phone number for local guide Aziz Benami was printed with a transposed number; his correct number is +212 (0)6-6105-0537.

Toledo

For books printed before November 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Museo Victorio Macho no longer plays a video about the history of Toledo, but does host a gimmicky multimedia "Toledo Time Capsule" show. Museum entrance alone is €3; the museum plus the Time Capsule show is €6.90.