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

  • Hostal El Patio in Arcos 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

  • 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 slated for release in 2019 in the Rick Steves Audio Europe app is delayed indefinitely.
  • 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

  • In San Sebastián, Hogar Dulce Hogar has closed.
  • 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

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

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

Granada

  • 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

  •  Hotel Praktik Metropol is closed for renovation.
  • The Hotel Plaza Mayor is under new management and has changed its perk for Rick Steves readers. Instead of free breakfast, they now offer 10 percent off the daily rate.
  • 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.

Northwest of Madrid

  • 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

For books printed before October 2019, the following may 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

  • La Bulla restaurant has 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)

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.

Tangier

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.