• Sagrada Família
  • La Boqueria Market, Barcelona, Spain
    La Boqueria Market
  • Retiro Park
  • Tapas in Madrid
  • "The Parasol," Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Prado Museum, Madrid
    Prado Museum
  • Toledo

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days Tour

from $2,195 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

The Rick Steves Best of Barcelona & Madrid tour combines Spain's top cities to create a sparkling, full-bodied eight-day adventure. First, you'll experience the pride and energy of Barcelona — rambling on the Ramblas, digging into delicious seafood, and marveling at architecture and art by Gaudí and Picasso. Then, we'll hop a high-speed train to Madrid for its terrific tapas, masterpiece-packed Prado Museum — and a day in historic Toledo. You'll come home with more memories than you ever thought possible in a week-long getaway. Join us for the Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days!

Dates & Prices

2018

    • Mar 4–Mar 11 (Su-Su)
    • $2,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Mar 11–Mar 18 (Su-Su)
    • $2,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Mar 25–Apr 1 (Su-Su)
    • $2,395 + Air

    Opportunity to celebrate Easter in Spain!

    Filling Fast
    • Apr 8–Apr 15 (Su-Su)
    • $2,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 22–Apr 29 (Su-Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 6–May 13 (Su-Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 20–May 27 (Su-Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Jun 3–Jun 10 (Su-Su)
    • $2,495 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Jun 24–Jul 1 (Su-Su)
    • $2,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Sep 30–Oct 7 (Su-Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Barcelona and Madrid come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • Ramblas pedestrian boulevard • Sagrada Família • La Pedrera • Gothic Quarter walking tour • Barcelona Cathedral • Picasso Museum • Barcelona panoramic bus tour • Museum of Catalan Art • Madrid panoramic bus tour • Madrid walking tour • Royal Palace • Prado Museum • Reina Sofía museum • Toledo day trip and walking tour • Santo Tomé Chapel (El Greco's Burial of the Count of Orgaz) • Toledo Cathedral • Sinagoga del Tránsito • Wine tasting…and more
  • All group transportation from Barcelona to Madrid
  • 7 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2018
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Barcelona

Barcelona, the proud capital of Catalunya, may be the most festive city on the Mediterranean. Meet your guide and group at 5 p.m. at our centrally located hotel for an orientation meeting — then we'll join the party with a stroll through our surprise-filled, people-packed neighborhood before having dinner together. Sleep in Barcelona (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Gaudí Day

This morning is devoted to the swirling, Modernista architecture of Antoni Gaudí. We'll tour the greatest works of Barcelona's master builder — the towering, dizzying Sagrada Família and his La Pedrera apartment building. The remainder of your afternoon is free to explore more Gaudí delights throughout the city. This evening we'll wrap up our day learning about what goes into Catalan cuisine including a visit to the lively, legendary La Boquería market, before setting you free for dinner on your own. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Barri Gòtic and Picasso

Today we'll visit the Picasso Museum, Europe's best collection of Picasso paintings, where we'll trace the story of this hometown boy-genius' art as he evolved from a kid who painted like an adult…to an adult who painted like a kid. We'll end our tour in Barcelona's maze-like Gothic Quarter, exploring its Roman foundations to the spires of its candle-, relic- (and geese-!) strewn cathedral. This evening we'll toast to our last night in Barcelona with dinner together. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Montjuïc and a Speedy Train to Madrid

We'll start today with a panoramic bus tour of Barcelona, beginning atop the historic Montjuïc Hill. After a visit to the Museum of Catalan Art, it's "all aboard" for one of Europe's speediest trains (the AVE) to Madrid. Upon arrival we'll meet our bus for a tour of Madrid's major monuments and classy boulevards. Once we've settled into our hotel in the heart of Madrid, we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk, ending with a tapas-style dinner together. Sleep in Madrid (4 nights). Train: 3 hours. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Madrid's Royal Palace

Today, we'll take a historical walking tour starting at the very center of Madrid, the bustling Puerta del Sol. From there we'll walk to — and through — the sumptuously decorated Royal Palace. With 2,000 rooms, tons of luxurious tapestries, and a king's ransom of chandeliers, this is truly one of the great palaces of Europe. You'll be free for dinner on your own tonight, but first we'll prepare your taste buds with a Spanish wine tasting. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Masterpieces of Madrid

This morning we'll tour one of Europe's premier art museums — the masterpiece-packed Prado — where you'll see paintings by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, and others. Then we'll visit the Reina Sofía, Spain's greatest modern art museum, home to Picasso's Guernica. The rest of the afternoon is yours to stroll through the majestic Retiro Gardens (Madrid's most popular park), do a little shopping, and maybe even catch a performance of flamenco. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Toledo

A short bus ride after breakfast will take us to Spain's old capital city of Toledo (and back in time about 500 years). We'll take a traffic-free walking tour that includes Toledo's magnificent cathedral, the historic Sinagoga del Tránsito, and El Greco's Burial of the Count of Orgaz in Santo Tomé Chapel. This afternoon you'll have time to enjoy the winding medieval streets of Toledo. We'll catch the bus back to Madrid for our final dinner together to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salud! Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Madrid's airport is an easy bus or taxi ride away — or you may want to continue your Iberian adventures on your own. Hasta luego!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate in cities on your own.

Reviews

Morgan

New York City, NY

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lovely! Had a great guide! I really felt like I learned a lot about Spain and their culture that I didn't know. Shoutout to Fredrico! You're awesome. Also really enjoyed getting to meet all of our fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my goodness! There were so many great moments. I really enjoyed the Royal Palace in Madrid and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The history in Toledo was also super interesting."

Mary

Tuscumbia, AL

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was great from beginnng to end! Federico was an excellent guide. Very helpful and thoughtful . There was plenty to do and time on your own as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia Church--- amazing"

Saryl

Toronto, ON

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first trip to Spain and the tour provided us with an excellent overview of the main cities. We enjoyed the mix of scheduled and free time and also the amount of walking everyday. We also enjoyed the company of the other people on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First, the architecture of Gaudi and all the art in the galleries and museums. We also loved the scenic views of Toledo. It was a treat on our last couple of nights in Madrid to see the Christmas lights lit up."

Ashley

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I try not to be a person who overuses exclamation points, but there is no other way to effectively proclaim how much I loved this tour! It was such a rich experience! I am still amazed at how much I saw, did and learned in such a short time. I was a little nervous about group travel, but this trip exceeded my expectations on almost everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is impossible to pick just one. Sagrada Família is stunning. Toledo was so beautiful, I wish I could have spent another whole day just wandering around its narrow streets. The cathedral that was an absolute visual feast. Frederico's storytelling in the Royal Palace in Madrid ("my daddy!"), as well as his explanation of Las Meninas and other paintings at the Prado were just so, so wonderful. And the food and wine! I think I said wow every time I put something in my mouth!"

Denise

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's Tour and it was a nice mix of organized activities as well as free time. We saw all the important sites in Barcelona and Madrid. I learned a lot about art and history. It's great to be able to go to the front of the line at museums - saves time. And the guides really brought the art to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia - you have to see it to believe it. So beautiful and inspiring. All of Antoni Gaudi! Everything was fantastic!! Also enjoyed the extra night of Flamenco dancing."

Helen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. I was so thankful for the treatment we recieved every where we went they were expecting us and it was VIP Treatment all the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a wow moment for me. Spain was my dream destination since was a kid in my native Dominican Republic but I cried when we went to plaza España and saw the don quijote and Sancho panza monument. It was a dream come true since that book is very close to my heart."

Henry

Alhambra, CA

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was great!!! It was the combination of being half the time a guided tour, then the flexibility to go on your own to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is all new to us, so it's a wow moment all the way."

Nancy

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unbelievable: the balance between tour time and free time was perfect! The knowledge shared by our guides was so rich in history. The art, architecture and scenery was phenomenal! the hotels chosen were clean and were the right amount of fancy and centrally located but not load at all. Our guide taught us how to navigate around and gave us additional points of interest we could easily explore later during free time. This was my first R.S. Tour and I won't leave to another country without it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour-guide Fredrico. Honestly he should be on the big stage! He cultivated an environment for all the art, landscape, non- partisan politics, history, religion, culture and life of the Spaniards to be shared with us in a meaningful and fun- entertaining way."

Rachel

Port Matilda, PA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. It was fantastic in every way. We enjoyed the perfect combination of group activities/tours and the free time to explore on our own. The other members of the group were fun, inclusive, and interesting. The group had a nice mix across age groups which enhanced the experience. Our tour guide, James, went above and beyond in many ways. We thought we preferred traveling on our own, but it's Rick Steves from here on out!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't choose just one. The Royal Palace (including the wonderful local guide), Toledo, the Prado were all in the "wow" category"

Dennis

Basking Ridge, NJ

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved every minute off it. There was a great balance of touring and free time. The meals and hotels exceeded our expectations. the other people on the tour were a lot of fun and very conversational. James our Tour Director was the best, he was always one step ahead of us making sure everything went well

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was a BIG surprise just how special a little town it is and how much it had to offer."

Kathleen

Basking Ridge, NJ

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

James was an awesome guide. Provided some off the charts experiences that were about the little things and made it very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All aspects of the trip were marvelous. I especially loved Toledo and would have loved another day there."

Kathleen

Appleton, WI

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was an amazing adventure. The guides were interesting and extremely knowledgeable. We seemed to have an usual amount of group unity and got along beautifully. Good balance of structure vs free time. I should have gone to bed earlier every night but it was difficult since Spain eats late, drinks lots of red wine, and I like to stay up late. A couple late starts in the morning would have worked better for me. I absolutely recommend a Rick Steve's tour to anyone going to Europe!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beautiful city of Toledo, Spain."

Laura

Oakland, CA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is advertised as an 8 day tour, but it isn't really; it is 7 nights. The last day is breakfast only which is optional. The first day isn't a full day. I also think given this being a relatively short tour, there were too many free afternoons.

Michael

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really fine experience. Very likable and competent tour group leader, very nice hotels (nicer than expected given the Rick Steves inclination experiences just off he beaten path, but have to say, didn't mind a bit!), enjoyable restaurants, plenty of wine, interesting cities, and a fine mix and exposure to history, culture, and art, presented by some fine daily tour guides. The other people on tour were also very likable. We had a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and I'm a Picasso fan so the Picasso museum in Barcellona and Guernica in Madrid, as well as the Prada museum were all highlights for me."

David

Evanston, IL

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip. Everything went very smoothly and it was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We learned a lot about Spain - especially the current situation."

Maria

Brighton, MA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful. I had never been to Spain and the trip exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of our meals were "wow" moments. Highlight was Toledo cathedral"

Jasper

Dallas, TX

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We lived in at least 4 stars hotel with very nice breakfast. All the sightseeing events were full compliant. This is my first time to join Rick Steves' tour group. I'm so enjoyed and very satisfied with this tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I like to watch the Flamenco on this Spain trip. But it was not on the tour package list. We asked James for recommendation. He told us he made the reservation for the group already. It was so nice to save us some time."

Mark

West Chester, PA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour and it lived up to our very high expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day trio to Toledo was the WOW time for us."

Amy

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded all of my expectations! This was a last minute decision to come and I'm so glad I did!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Segrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. Actually all of my experiences touring Giadi's works were amazing!"

Mary

Pittsfield, MA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very well-organized tour that enabled me to make the most of every moment. The guided portions were well-paced and interesting, and the guidance for free time activities was very helpful. The hotels were very nice, and the food and wine were excellent and definitely enriched the cultural experience. Don't take this tour thinking you are going to lose weight!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was spectacular of course, but I was also pleasantly surprised by how interesting the MNAC in Barcelona was. The guided tour of the Romanesque wing of this museum was fascinating to me, as I had not realized the extent of Roman civilization in this part of Spain. I also loved the guided tour of the Prado, where we got an in-depth look at a few major masterpieces. If I had tried to do it on my own I'm sure I would have spent a lot longer and learned a lot less."

Jack

New York, NY

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Jorge was a great guide. Lots of fun. Ancillary guides were excellent, too. Especially, Fredrico.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Barcelona was excellent and Madrid's museums."

Pamela

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We went 3 days early and stayed in the Hotel Gran Via Barcelona. We went to Montserrat and toured through the Park Guell on our own, using advice from the R.S. guidebook. We found Barcelona beautiful, but mildly hard to navigate. It didn't slow us down much, and we were happy to explore on our own. That said, we were also pleased when the group arrived and Jorge was there to guide us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely La Sagrada Familia!"

Vida

Mayfield Village, OH

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first tour with Rick Steve's and I didn't know what to expect. I knew we would see a lot of sights, however, I was thrilled with how in depth each site was explained to us. Not only did we have a guide with us at all times, Jorge, but at most places we visited, a local guide was provided that shared their vast knowledge of each site! My favorite local guide was Frederico in Madrid! His excitement and animation brought the Royal Palace, The Prado Museum and the Sofia Museum to life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona! I was in awe of the exterior and the differences between the 4 facades. Walking into the church took my breath away! We have a dream to return in 10 years when they hope to complete building the Basilica!"

Sara

Novato, CA

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and I'd been dreaming of this for a long time. I had been a fan of Rick Steves' PBS show for years and always knew I'd enjoy his style of travel. Even with the knowledge of Rick's travel style, this tour far exceeded my expectations and gave me the trip of a lifetime. I appreciate the balance of the guided itinerary and the free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many fantastic moments it really is hard to choose one thing. My top moments in each city would be Sagrada Familila in Barcelona and Guernica in Madrid. Off of the itinerary, I went to a flamenco performance which was one of my highlights because of my love of dance. Jorge, our guide, was very helpful in ensuring that we were able to see flamenco on our trip."

Susan

Mount Kisco, NY

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was my first tour. I loved meeting fellow travelers and getting to know them a bit. It was also an easy way to travel...accommodations and travel via buses and trains was handled for us. There was ample time to see sites not included in our tour which allowed everyone on the tour to customize their experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada Familia. Everything about it was magical. Gaudi's vision left me smiling and speechless. The huge stained glass windows glow with the sunlight coming through them. I want to go back when the church is completed. Each of the local guides were unbelievably wonderful and created their own wow moments."

Billy

Green Valley, AZ

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent mix of cultural experiences and convivial travel partners that kept us wanting for more, although it's difficult to imagine how much more could have been crammed into our packed itinerary. We took advantage of days prior, days after the official tour as well as "free time" to flesh out extra experiences of interest. It was also great traveling with my husband's son and daughter-in-law.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Accompanying Federico on the Emperador Hotel bar piano in a rendition of "O Sole Mio" after our closing dinner together."

William

Bowling Green, MO

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An educational and fun experience with a nice group of travelers. The tour guides were very good and did a great job explaining the various sites that we toured. Our "being there" during the street demonstrations in Barcelona made a connection with an important world event. Traveling during a national holiday created some problems. Crowds were larger at some sites due to the fact that the Spanish people were enjoying a four-day weekend. This also caused a problem with our visit to the Prado.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overlook at Toledo."

Anthony

Rancho Mirage, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the experience....our guide Federico, the friendly traveler group, the food, the accommodations and the ability to have free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour sights - The Familia Sagrada and the Gaudi House Tour in Barcelona Guide - Federico singing at our final dinner Food - The great food and wine every night"

Richard

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was ok. All the motercycles and crowds and marches in Barcelona. Crowed in Madrid. Buildings were interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None"

Mary

Bowling Green, MO

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was VERY active, so have good sturdy walking shoes. Our guides were warm, funny and very informative. The people on the tour were wonderful, more like friends than just travel-mates. Food and wine were excellent! Hotels were clean, comfy and right in the center of our cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Toledo in the morning. It was like stepping back 500 years."

Susan

Omaha, NE

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our first tour experience. We have traveled to Europe on our own for over 20 years but were invited by friends to go on this tour. We are glad we did as we found out tours are really too scheduled for us. That said, we did have a good time, especially with the social aspects. The timing of the tour, with the Catalonia protests was concerning before we left. However, it was not a problem. However, what was a problem was the Columbus Day holiday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Prada, but as mentioned before, our visit was cut short due to the change of date due to the Columbus Day holiday. Not near enough time! Same with the Prada Contemporary Museum. Not enough time to enjoy it."

Debbi

Omaha, NE

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were a little nervous about the situation in Barcelona but our timing was perfect and our guides put our worries at rest too. Our hotels and meals were excellent. The tour time was perfect and gave us time on our own and ideas on what to do with it. Freddie (as we nicknamed him) was informative, entertaining and thought provoking as well. The sights we saw were beautiful. Night time was great too as Freddie took us everywhere and made it easy to get it around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"LOL, having Freddie sing for us at out last dinner which was wonderful. I think there were some tears in the group. It was a beautiful setting in an underground wine cellar. What a beautiful voice he has! ALSO his explanation of the painting Guernica by Picasso. He really made the painting come to life. The history he gave about the painting was excellent too."

Lisa

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Frederico is a wonderful tour guide. Really made the trip special. The group was great too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frederico singing opera with a tour member playing piano in the hotel lobby our last night of the tour. I posted it on youtube."

James

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As this was our second tour, we felt like we knew what to expect. Our first tour in Italy with Ferdi was so amazing that the bar for standards was set very high. Fortunately, Frederico hit the mark! We loved everything that was included in the tour. The only exception was the recommended flamingo dinner show. We felt this was over priced for what we got. The food was only mediocre and the dance show was just ok.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were too many to list!"

Rochelle

Clarksville, MD

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed both Barcelona and Madrid. Both cities had great art & architecture, and food & wine. Federico was a great guide; I really enjoyed his style. He was very measured in sharing his opinions as a resident of Madrid; our timing was immediately following the referendum vote in Catalonia. He was respectful of others' opinions. He was also a wonderful theatrical entertainer and effectively conveyed the highlights of the great artworks in multiple museums and the palace in Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia church exceeded expectations with outstanding symbolism and wonderful light streaming through the windows. The tapas on the tour were great too, served with lots of wine and group fun - my son enjoyed that."

David

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time, loved the guide, loved the group, loved the overall ethos of the Rick Steves tour philosophy. The days got a little "museum heavy" but we understand that those were probably the cultural highlights of the cities we were in. It was disappointing to have an entire day cancelled due to the unrest in Barcelona, but that's understandable as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guernica by Picasso. The guide (Freddy) was amazing as well."

Graham

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Witnessing the "revolution" in Barcelona. To witness history, the peaceful gathering of citizens and the brutality of the Federal police .Have taken 7 trips with RS and the hotel were the best. The Royal palace was a wow and the Sagrada"

Crystal

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! William was super cool and easy going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso painting in the Madrid museum."

Tracey

Mattawan, MI

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went on this tour with family (parents, sisters and brother in law). I couldn't have asked for a better experience. It was definitely nice not to have to worry about planning the trip, figuring out how to get train tickets, recommendations, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many amazing memories - but one that will stick in my mind was my family went to the top of Dear Hotel in Madrid to have a cocktail and view the beautiful city. Would recommend this to anyone - very peaceful, relaxing and beautiful."

Robert

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. Really enjoyed Barcelona, the guides, the history and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico and the Prado, visiting the Sagrada Familia and the Casa Lleo' and the wine tasting with Nigel."

Karen

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Talk about history in the making: Catalunia's proposed "break" w/Spain was riveting! We DID see the Madrid police w/submachine guns-yet experienced no violence. On T., 10-3-17, however, when 800.000 folks from that area of Spain were in the streets agitating for independence, and everything-including the Picasso Museum we were supposed to have seen that day-was closed. we chose to stay in our hotel:) The food, the tour guides-especially WILL ROSENDIN +Monica & Federerico-were fantastico!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico as Charles the 1st=bob Will the WHOLE time:):):)+Karen"

Jane

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on six Rick Steves Tours and this was one of the best. In 2011 we went on The Best of Spain and were "hooked" on Spain. This year we brought our family (3 adult daughters and one lucky son-in-law) to experience The Best of Spain. We all had a great time and have many wonderful memories. Many thanks William

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Picasso's "Guernica" at the Reina Sofia... then to have Fredrico describe this magnificent piece of history was "wow"."

Paul

Richmond Hill, ON

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great value. I felt that the tour was packed with interesting attractions. From the very begining I was anxous to return home to tell my friends what I was experiancing on the tour. One of the highlights that I have to mention was that ALL questions were answered. There was no "I'll have to look that up"....All my questions were answered...very knowledgable guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Guady churh.....It was jaw dropping"

Kimberly

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip. We experienced history in Barcelona with the vote for independence. William did a great job adjusting our itinerary as best he could given the general strike. Also wonderful that we got to hear thoughts on this topic during our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough choice! We loves Gaudi day in Barcelona. The viewpoint for Toledo is a close second."

Robert

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time to visit Spain. The tour was well organized and provided access to some of the jewels this cities had to offer. The local guides were well informed and excellent presenters. Special recognition should go to Federico in Madrid. He was a truly outstanding guide and you could tell he loved his city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was the surprise jewel on this trip."

Janice

Roseville, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fatima was wonderful; great locations for grand accommodations; local guides were fantastic, especially Federico.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrida Familia tour."

Steve

Detroit, MI

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great balance of free time versus organized activity. Fatima was an outstanding tour guide and the local guides were knowledgeable and entertaining

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi tour"

Darlene

Vernon, BC

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Hotels were centrally located. Tours were punctual and well organized. Guide -Fatima- was well informed and very pleasant. Lots of sites viewed and very fulfilling tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment was on every tour."

Wayne

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Overall Tour! Our tour guide was fantastic, and Fun! The Local guides were all excellent, and really part of the highlight of the tour, as was the smaller group size. Got to know most of the others on the tour. Food was very good. Liked staying down in the "Center" of things in the city. And had plenty of free time to do what we wanted, in addition to the guided tour times. We walked a lot - so be ready! Overall we really loved it, and will definitely do another Rick Steves Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia- especially the inside! Also the Casa Batllo' was fantastic!"

Sara

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It did exactly what I wanted it to do. Made a comfortable, informative experience of two cities and their high spots. I was looking to feel a bit more relaxed about traveling in Europe, and this got us off to a good start. It's been a long time since we traveled out of the country, except to the Caribbean, so we were happy to have the guidance and reliability of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a real wow moment. But I was truly impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides we had. Fatima was never less that reassuring, and the local guides were delightful. I liked best learning about Gaudi. I didn't know lots about him, and it's good to be able to fit him in among the pantheon of architectural greats of that era. Also, I believe there isn't a bad wine to be had in Spain. The tour offered us a lot of really enjoyable wines, and the tapas were fine too."

Philip

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great. The overall organization was just about perfect. Our tour guide made the trip with his outstanding knowledge of history, the architecture and a lot of insider information on where to eat and drink.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think is was the memorial on Las Rambles for the people who were killed by the terrorist attack. It was sad but at the same time very energizing seeing all of the people going about their daily lives and not being intimidated."

Gerald

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nygel helped to make tour A+++. His style/skill/persona/etc. made for a very cohesive group of us travelers. I believe I spent tinge with all of my fellow guests - NO bitches at all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many 'wow' moments. A negative 'wow' was the mass of tourists in Barcelona. On a more positive note the massiveness of Gaudi's Familgia was a 'WOW'! All meals were 'wows'. Trip to Toledo was wonderful - street 'staues' were quite interactive."

Lissa

Garden City, ID

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment of our tour orientation to the time we said goodbye to all our trip was wonderful! Nygil our guide was so knowledgeable and very caring! He went out of his way to accommodate all guests needs. Very thoughtful! We felt like he was a part of our own family by the end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour was the week before the Catalonia referendum and the local guides were very transparent and authentic with their views. We are captivated and watching what happens in that part of the world!"

Jane Lyons

Penfield, NY

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Nygil was outstanding as our guide. Hotels were much better than anticipated. Food was very good. Activity levels were as advertised. Enjoyed our free time. Guides in both Barcelona and Madrid/Toledo were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's Sagrada Familia was certainly a "wow" moment."

Ken

La Center, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable and informative. I was attracted to Rick Steves Tours because I want to learn about the local history and culture of the places visited, which I understood was a focus of yours. I was also attracted by, and appreciative of, being in a small group. I was not disappointed! I thought you did a great job with breaks during the tour -- giving enough time to get a drink, use restrooms, or just take a load off the feet!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local tour guide in Madrid, Federico (Fede), telling the tragic story behind Picasso's Guernica, which brought tears to my eyes, followed by his uplifting singing of "O Sole Mio" (he's an opera singer) in the courtyard of the Sofia. Also, the Royal Palace in Madrid was a spectacular sight."

Thomas

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great from start to finish. Nygil did a fabulous job! He was able to get to know each of us as an individual and paid close attention to our likes and dislikes. The local guides were great and obviously had a great affinity for Nygil. Freddy in particular was very effective.The restaurants chosen for the group were excellent. Nygil also made great recommendations for our" free time activities. I learned a lot --not only about the History and culture of Spain but also the current politics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick out one moment. The entire tour was filled with "Wows"!"

Susan

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Nygil is incredible - knowledgeable, friendly, accessible, interesting, etc. The local guides were also terrific, particularly Freddy in Madrid and Marianna in Barcelona. The hotels were a nice surprise - great location, good accommodations, more than ample breakfasts. The restaurants chosen for group meals were very good, particularly the last one in Madrid. I thought we got a very good sense of the history, the culture, the people, and the current political situation. T

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one moment - but just wandering around the neighborhoods (and even getting lost!) was a great experience."

Derrel

Irving, TX

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. would not have changed or added on thing to my trip. Nygil was fantastic - we all loved him for lots and lots of reasons. Have not stopped telling everyone how great a Rick Steves' tours are. Will do no other tour except a Rick Steves' tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to select only one."

James

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic tour. Nygil was an outstanding guide. He was a wealth of knowledge regarding Barcelona and Madrid. He was very much a people person as well. I loved all of the stops on tour, from the Sagrada Familia to the Prado Museum down to the high speed rail trip from Barca to Madrid. Hotels were outstanding as well. Enjoyed the tour group very much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, when I exited the Barcelona subway and first saw the Sagrada Familia. It is impressive in pictures, but you first see if, wow is the word that came to mind."

Joyce

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a trip of a lifetime! This was a trip that my husband had picked. Yes, I wanted to go to Spain but it was not my top priority. Wow, everything about our trip was wonderful, our guide, the sites we saw, the food we ate, and of course the company of our fellow tour mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Família and other Gaudi sites were my favorite. The evenings in local restaurants would be a close second and of course the Prado!"

Dori

Hartford, CT

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was wonderful! It was seamless from start to finish, even in the pre-trip phase. Great communication and we always knew what to expect. Our tour guide Nygil made the trip flawless!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Família Church. My mom, who was on this trip with me, had visited the church 20 years ago when it was only 2 walls and a dirt pit in the middle. It was exciting to experience with her all the progress that had been made over the past 20 years and us being able to stand inside of it as a functioning church. It was so much more than either of us imagined it to be :)"

Brian

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an exceptionally good time on this trip; very well planned; great guides; fun group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi architecture was really something."

Michelle

Marietta, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. Nygil was a great guide. Learning about Barcelona and the upcoming vote was very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Palau de Musica was great. It is such a beautiful building with a rich history. The Sagrada Familia was amazing. The Prado and Sophia museums were lovely. I also loved the Picasso museum."

Joseph

Elyria, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much about the politics of the region. Great talks on the food and wine scene in Spain. Beautiful cities!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Private wine tastings and food pairing! Had food items that I would not have ordered on my own and expanded my palate."

Carolyn

Elyria, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! This was our first Rick Steves tour as well as first tour trip. It was a great experience and exceeded our expectations from start to finish. Well organized, thorough, abundantly informative, excellent accommodations, nice balance between group touring and free time. Our tour group was so much fun, we all got along so well, loved meeting and touring with everyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to decide, but I think it has to be our tour of La Sagrada Familia. It is hard to describe the beauty of the building, the amazing architecture. There is nothing else like it. Also, I LOVED Toledo! Wished we could have spent more time there!"

Jan

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved visiting the cities and my free time with my fellow travellers. The hotels were good and being central was perfect. Food was very good. I liked Federico as a person, but , I didn't enjoy his style of guiding. He is very expressive and knowledgable, but I felt he spent too much time acting out history or describing art works . I would have preferred more active guiding and more freedom to experience art galleries or historic places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Barcelona harbour and the Gaudi buildings."

Debbie

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Loved the sites, pace, group members. Frederico provided great suggestions & tips on restaurant options, free-time sites, transportation modes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frederico explaining Picasso's Guernica at the Prado. It was an aha (long) moment when everything gelled - Spain's history, cultural, characters, past to present."

Evelyn

Woodbridge, VA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour (the first one was in Sicily). We were very pleased with the activities, the tour guide (Frederico) and our fellow travelers. The recommended side trips (to Montserrat and to see the Flamenco) were also spot on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely La Guernica,the Picasso masterpiece in Madrid. Frederico gave us a complete history lesson in the hall before guiding us in. The word "masterpiece" is not big I enough to describe it."

Mark

North Oaks, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. I felt it was very well organized and paced. Having activities in the morning and then leaving free time in the afternoon for exploring on your own was great. We were very impressed with the guides. Each one was enthusiastic about their city and country. It made the tour an even more personal experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was our Barcelona WOW experience. A modern cathedral with gothic roots. Fabulous structure. In Madrid our WOW moments were seeing Las Meninas and Guernica. Our guide Frederico was able to enthusiastically describe the history and details of each art work. Making the art come alive for us. In Toledo the major cathedral was an amazing structure filled with history, beauty and art."

Linda

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Frederico totally made this experience the best! His passion for what he does is truly remarkable. He brings knowledge of history and current events to light with his humor and ability to being tourists in. The food was good and the sites well planned. Would have liked plates at the initial group meeting at 5 on Sunday. I think more of us would have eaten had that been the case. Would have liked a window that opened to the outside at least once, rather than to an inner wall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Frederico as a guide and his singing! Wish he would have done that a bit more. piccaso painting explainatikn by Frederico was very impressive. Thank you!!"

Brian

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized tour that hit the high points and allowed enough free time to see & do things on my own. Our local guides in Barcelona were very good, but once we arrived in Madrid our tour director took over and excelled at bringing the history and treasures of the city to life. Hotels were comfortable and well located though I wish the one in Madrid had a window to the outside (not a shared light well with no privacy).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frederico's in-depth explanation what happened at Guernica, how Picasso put it on canvas, and the painting's travels over time was truly amazing. Getting to see Mies van der Rhoe's Barcelona Pavilion was an unexpected treat...thank you Frederico for letting me break away from the group to see it!"

Donna

Glen Rock, NJ

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time R. Steves tour. I enjoyed it -- efficient, good pace, excellent guides. Overall a very good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada de Familia church."

Paul

Lawrenceville, NJ

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a perfect introduction to Spain and a great tour option since I was only able to get away for a week. I think almost every expectation I arrived with was exceeded, and I'm already dreaming of a return trip to explore more regions of Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping inside the Sagrada Familia church. Videos, pictures, and books could not prepare for that breathtaking moment taking in the soaring interior and dazzling stained glass."

Robert

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first time to Spain. I was looking forward to finally using a little of that Spanish that I had learned long ago in high school and college. It was a different feel to my first four RSE tours since it was a city (actually, 3 city tour) instead of one of the longer tours due to limited vacation time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say my "wow" moment was visiting the Royal Palace in Madrid. It was a fantastic place to visit. It's unfortunate that only a few of the rooms are available for the public to visit. If I cheat and list a second "wow" moment, it would be the side trip to Toledo. It was wonderful to get out of the big cities and walk through a smaller Spanish city. Seeing the El Greco paintings in Toledo along with the wonderful marzipan capped the experience."

Lisa

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour value was outstanding. Hotels were in a good area, tour guide Javier and the guides for specific sights were great! Dinners out with Javier were wonderful and made you aware you were in Spain. Our group worked very well together with a wide span of ages getting along wonderfully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi, Gaudi and more Gaudi."

Kathy

Caldwell, TX

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As I've told all of my friends upon return, this tour was better than I could have even hoped. This was my first tour of any kind. I don't have a standard "traveling companion" so I was a little concerned about connecting with a group of strangers. Of course, we were all best friends by the fourth day and already planning our next tours. I highly recommend Rick Steve's tours as everything was clear, concise and the entire experience made traveling to a foreign country for the first time fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bonding with our tour group and enjoying drinks in Quatro Gatos after the Picasso Museum tour!"

Richard

Quechee, VT

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a delight. Our guide and local guides were superb; and our fellow travelers formed a bond that made the experience outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed it all: Barcellona, Madrid and Toledo. The architecture, museums, city squares, and yes the Spanish wine. What I enjoyed most was how our tour guide introduced us to all the local goodies: marzipan, olives, wine tapas........"

Rachel

Port Orchard, WA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love the tour and our guide!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Toledo!"

Rubina

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! Solo travel was new to me, and the whole structure of the tour put me right at ease. Our guide was wonderful and knowledgeable, and worked hard to give us the best experience possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was taking note of all the wonderful people in my group! We had such a wonderful time together, and felt like family."

Barbara

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My granddaughter graduated from college with Honors and I wanted to take her on a trip that she wouldn't easily forget. We both agreed that Spain would be interesting to see. The tour was everything I hoped it would be and I'm so glad we chose to go on a Rick Steves' Tour. It was nice to have our hotels chosen and some of our meals planned for us. Our Tour Guide was great and our Tour group couldn't have been better. It was a Wonderful trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a couple "wow" moments. One was the historic buildings/Churches with the detailed architecture and the other was the food at our planned meals. Fabulous!"

Howard

Jefferson, MA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, everything spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name just one.Among them: the Toledo experience, Sagrada Familia, Montserrat, The Prado, The Guernica, many more"

Laurie

Novato, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had previously taken the Berlin/Prague/Vienna tour and wondered how any tour could equal that amazing experience but our trip to Barcelona and Madrid has made me a lifelong Rick Steve's traveler. This trip was again the perfect combination of structured and free time, incredible tour and local guides, and great co- travelers. I learned so much about this wonderful country and can't wait to take another trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but realizing how little I actually knew about Spain, its history and culture was a unfolding wow moment over the course of many days. I thought I was more knowledgeable than I was and loved that sense of discovery as I listened to remarkable guides. I found our local guide's honest depiction of Toledo especially moving and powerful."

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We greatly enjoyed the tour and our guide, Frederico, was superb. The group we toured with were also wonderful and friendly and that always helps. We enjoyed the walking tours and the beautiful architecture. My only suggestion was based on the three tours we've done with you in the past. Each of those featured local music at one of our stops or meals and that was thoroughly enjoyed. We missed that this time around and would suggest adding that if possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frederico's performance of the Man of La Mancha as well as his wonderful solo concert at our final meal. He is a talented performer and musician!"

Sue Ellen

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Before our trip, I had read all the information online about the "typical" Rick Steves tours; small group size, fun-loving group (no grumps!), good balance between guided time and free time, good value for the money with all tours, guides and tips included, centrally located hotels, great guides, and physically active walking tours. All true. All great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"SO MANY!!! Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Hotel El Emperador in Madrid (rooftop lounge and swimming pool!) Federico's "welcome to Madrid" with the retelling of Don Quixote at the Plaza de Espana, Retiro Gardens, the Synagogue in Toledo and Federico's surprise at the farewell dinner. Every day there was a WOW moment."

Jay

Wantagh, NY

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, as we have come to expect from Rick Steve's tours. Our guide Frederico was outstanding, and the tour group was very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frederico explained the story of Don Quioxe in a park that was part historical, part theatrical. He did such a great job other people in the park gathered around to listen to him!"

James

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

never been on rick steve's tour before. Was very pleased with the outcome. nice agenda, extremely good tour guide. Thought I would not like traveling with a group of folks, but was able to find a nice balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think toledo was great. I also liked the Sagrada familia. those two site stood out for me the most."

Kimberly

Cummings, KS

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour, I was a little apprehensive at first about going with a tour group. Now I do not know if there is any other way. Our guide was fantastic, very helpful, knowledgeable. The other tour members turned into friends instantly, they were such a nice, helpful and great group of people to be around and tour with. I had an irrational fear of being kidnapped in Europe but not once did I feel unsafe. It was a great first time experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved walking into all the churches and catherdrals we toured. There was a definite since of awe and wow!"

Shelly

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the experience was great - really enjoyed Nygil & the local guides. We learned a ton and loved seeing the sights but even more loved hearing about the culture and seeing the real living side of the cities we visited. Nygil kept it fun and accessible while juggling a pretty diverse group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many Wow moments - from the first night's dinner together to the art and cathedrals it was great. Loved getting to know Spain."

Steve

Fairview Park, OH

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With this being my fourth tour I can compare it to other tours I have been on. I really enjoyed this tour (probably rank it 2nd) and the rest of the our group was fun. We met a couple who live 15 minutes from our house which is amazing because usually the group is spread out across the nation and we don't really keep in touch. This is a strong architectural and food tour (so it has something for everyone).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things stand out for me. The Picasso museum as he progressed in age and the style of his painting over his life. How friendly the Madrid people were to tourists. I had a local painter ask me to join him in the park and we discussed his life while he fed the pigeons."

Marilyn

Lawrence, KS

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Interesting places along with a great group of people. However, it was very very hot the whole week we were in Spain along with way too many tourists in the cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Picasso museum."

Eve

Berea, OH

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we have traveled to Europe often throughout our lives, as Rick Steves "first-timers", we were truly satisfied. Our tour guide, the local guides, the chosen activities, the food/drink--all were fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was amazed at the contrast between Gaudi's modest/pious personal life and the the absolute genius of his architectural creations in Barcelona. Steve was really moved by the sun streaming through the stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia. (We would love to return in 2027 when that structure is complete!)"

Kim

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Having Federico as our guide was great. Local guides in Barcelona were good and informative. Loved having Federico as our local guide in Madrid. I think I enjoyed Barcelona more, probably due to arriving 2 1/2 days prior to start of tour. We never seemed lost or unsure of our surroundings. Loved walking thru all the small alleys and streets. Architecture is amazing in these two cities. Food was great. Loved trying all the different types of Tapas Tapas & more Tapas. Wine great & Sangria!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Família was just amazing. The architecture, windows, and the light shining in thru those stained windows. Probably would add Toledo to my wow moment."

Jeff

Pompton Lakes, NJ

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was very organized and certainly exposed us to the best of what could be shared in the 6 actual days of touring. The museums were fascinating and our local guides did a wonderful job of exposing us through their eyes to the Barcelona, Madrid, the architecture and the artwork.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we got to Madrid, Federico became our local guide. His passion and enthusiasm for his home city blossomed and kept us captivated and entertained throughout the city."

Barbara

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous, very well organized. Federico was a pleasure. He dealt well with the unplanned change of schedule. I felt very well taken care of. Federico handled some of our personal scheduling difficulties for us. I thought all of our local guides were enthusiastic, informative, and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrado Familia was amazing, the food, and loved Federico's portrayal of various characters! Truly loved hearing Federico sing. I knew nothing about Toledo, so that was a delight."

Mark

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the tour. I thought it would be about the same as listening to audio guides, but boy was I wrong. It was fantastic listening to all the interesting stories your local guides told.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Picasso Museum in Barcelona. I'm not a big art buff, but wow -- what a story. We were treated to a wonderful story about Picasso, his art, and life. Fascinating!"

Kim

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first Rick Steves' tour that I have taken. Greatly enjoyed the experience and the Guide Jorge did a fantastic job! Having a guide show you the sights and explain everything really made the experience much more special. Also liked having some free time so that we could plan excursions and do things on our own. Looking at booking the next tour, and highly recommend seeing the world through this tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best sight we saw was the trip to Segrada Familia designed by Gaudi. This church is fantastic, and we are already planning on getting back to Barcelona in 2026 when it is anticipated to be complete. I also found out how much I enjoy art and architecture while seeing the museums and all the fascinating buildings. Having it all explained by the local guide Sonja really brought it all to life and made it all extremely enjoyable."

Laura

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia blew me away - I hadn't seen photos of the interior before! Amazing!"

Betsy

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having taken numerous Rick Steves tours, my expectations are high. This tour did not disappoint. We saw the highlights of Barcelona and Madrid and the schedule used our time well. I have always appreciated the balance of structured and unstructured time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like many others, there's really nothing that can top the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona [INVALID] except to incorporate it into a day of Gaudi! I've been to lots of churches and cathedrals, but this one is really unique."

Marilee

Napa, CA

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right amount of walking and touring. Enjoyed having four tour guides (one being our main guide), adding so much more perspective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be everything Gaudi. I also got the best explanation of cubism by our guide Frederico at the Reina Sofia."

Robert

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Hotels clean & courteous staff. Federico and Fatima were very kind, intelligent, well-informed. This tour was enjoyable, but more important, an education about Spain's history. The reverence it maintains for the arts and historical architecture. The key role in religious conflict and the tolerance bred from it. While Spanish food is not to my liking-one exception to that the paella- there are many fine restaurants in Barcelona and Madrid, particularly some outstanding Thai/Asian.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wows. Prado, and the incredible beauty of the architecture."

Linda

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I cannot imagine a better guide than Federico...charming, kind, professional, very organized, filled with historical knowledge and shared it in an engaging way, great storyteller. The hotel in Barcelona was outstanding. The hotel in Madrid was good, but I prefer smaller hotels. Traveling by train was excellent. Most group meals were good to very good. In summary, the guide, first hotel, train, and some meals were outstanding. The rest was adequate to very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were numerous wow moments: Seeing Guernica in person, the frescos in the Toledo cathedral and Catalan Art Museum, the beach in Barcelona, Sagrada Familia, the Goyas in the Prado, Federico's singing during our last group meal."

Barbara

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful & memorable trip. Our guides were great. we liked not having to get up super early. For the length of the tour I feel we got a good sampling of sights. After our tour we took the AVE train back to Barcelona. Later we joined another tour called Pole Position Travel, to spend three days at the MotoGP race just outside of Barcelona at Montmelo. Unfortunately I fell ill (gastric distress) for several days but I was glad it was at the end of our trip & was better by departure time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several wow moments. When I stepped inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was a great one. Also in the cathedral in Toledo when I saw for the first second the skylight. The inside of the Music Hall in Barcelona was also breathtaking. I had a wow moment when I was doing the backstroke in the rooftop pool at The Hotel Emparodor. Wow, I'm swimming in Madrid! Not the normal health club where I swim regularly."

Leslie

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guides were wonderful. Very efficient and entertaining. Federico and Fatima ensured that our visit met our expectations and spoke highly of the Rick Steve's travel philosophy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Federico sang 3 opera songs to us."

Dan

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time in Spain! Barcelona was a favorite because of the international flavor and, of course, the fabulous architecture. On the other hand, the royal palace and the Prada were also amazing to see. Most of all we found the local people to be extremely friendly and willing to go out of their way to be helpful. The hotels were very nice with excellent breakfast offerings. Lastly, I need to say that Federico and Fatima were excellent guides. Federico's sense of humor kept us going!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to La Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera. Gaudi was an amazing architect, and seeing his works so intimately really left me in awe. I want to go back to see more of his work and explore in detail. I also was amazed by the art in the Prada. Coincidentally, we were in Madrid when Real Madrid won the championship. It was a great moment to join the locals in the Plaza to celebrate. That was a moment that could not be planned for or recreated. I even had on a Real Madrid jersey that night!"

Rebecca

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed RS Barcelona & Madrid. It was a well balanced tour, with a good mix of churches, museums and food. Frederico was a very good guide, with a broad knowledge of the country, cities, and culture. However the real genius of RS tours are the details. Being offered marzipan in Toledo, going to a neighborhood wine tasting in Madrid, enough free time and plenty of suggestions so that we can personalize our travel experience with our own interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments, one in Barcelona and one in Madrid. In Barcelona the interior of the Sagrada Familia enraptured me. The light coming thru the stained glass, painting rainbows of color on the parabolic arches of Gaudi's masterpiece was astonishing and profoundly moving. In Madrid Frederico sang for us at our farewell dinner, I was wowed by his generosity in sharing his talent with us."

Tracy

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour of Spain was great as were the tour guides. I was disappointed in the quality of the restaurants and the food served for the organized evening meals. We had a similar negative restaurant experience on our 2015 Rick Steves Italy tour. Based on the cost of the tour better restaurants should be provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Frederico played the part of King Charles the Third during the Royal Palace tour."

Kim

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the overall experience to be very enjoyable. I liked the fact that the tours each day would end around lunchtime, leaving us the rest of the afternoon to explore further or just relax.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite was Frederico's guiding us through the palace in Madrid. He was funny, informative and very entertaining."

Kenneth

Glendora, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour fulfilled and exceeded my expectations. The tour guides were informative and beyond cordial. They were beyond knowledgeable giving the flavor of the country as well as exceptional detail. All accommodations and meals were exceptional. There was a good mix of organized activities and free time. The guides provided excellent suggestions for non-scheduled activities and assisted in arranging them. The tour allowed us access to the significant sights in Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Picasso Museum because of the back story and the development of Picasso as an artist."

Peiyu

Schaumburg, IL

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip and I enjoyed everything in Spain.

June

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my first trip to Europe! It was a fabulous experience. I felt that I joined in the culture and saw just the right amount of monuments and museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All things Gaudi. Especially the Sagrada Familias! The Picasso museum was also a highlight."

Elizabeth

Barrington, NJ

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour and highly recommend it. It was my first Rick Steves tour and it will definitely not be my last. I have previously travelled to Europe but I was travelling solo for the first time and wanted the comfort of a group setting. The itinerary was well planned and hit many highlights of the cities and also gave enough free time to see things on our own or to shop or relax. Overall I could not be happier with the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "WOW" moments. Our first full day in Barcelona exploring the Gaudi sites was incredible...I loved La Pedrera and Sagrada Familia and our guide Sonia was fantastic! In Madrid the "WOW" moment for me was seeing Guernica at the Reina Sofia and Federico's explanation which truly brought the amazing work of Picasso to life. Lastly, I loved our day in Toledo and our tour with Adolfo - the "WOW" moment there was Adolfo's narration of our visit to the Synagogue of El Transito."

Nancy

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Contrary to research, the weather was much hotter than I expected. Having lived in the South three summers, I would have appreciated slowing the walking pace a bit for the heat. I have always been one to walk at the front, but not this time. Hope I'm not getting old. The tour group was great[INVALID]good attitude, upbeat, interested in sights we visited. The guides were all excellent and the group listened well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing what Gaudi was about and how close his work was to that of mathematical spaces of his day was my aha connection for this tour. I also saw him fitting with Miro and Picasso. I visited the Miro museum before the tour and really liked it."

Wayne

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

James is a great guide and personality. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was great but some of the tapas group dinners needed larger or more portions for our group as the amounts were hardly enough to go around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention but Toledo and the Sagrada Familia were special!"

Paul

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, number 4 for us. James and Orin did a great job leading the tour. As always the city goods were outstanding. Really learned a lot about Spain's history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia and visit to Toledo"

Leann

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

James and the tour guides were great. They were all very knowledgeable about each city. James was the ultimate host, ensuring to say goodbye to everyone,. whether we departed @ 6 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting"

Stephen

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 9th RS tour, and it matched our enjoyment of the previous 8.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending a bullfight at the Corrida De Toros in Madrid. James was instrumental in helping us get tickets, since it appeared to be sold out. He researched and directed us to a ticket agency, where we were able to get tickets. Also, the art in the Prado, and the frescos in the Catalonia Museum in Barcelona."

Joanne

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We booked this tour on the spur of the moment. We had been to Madrid and Toledo before with a different tour company, and this time we were able to see both in a very different way. This tour was probably my favorite all-around RS tour. The only thing I would change is the afternoon in Toledo. The tour of Toledo was great, but the shops are schlock and a disappointment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bull fight in Madrid went beyond anything I could have ever imagined and was an experience I will never forget. Thanks to James for helping to make it happen."

Dana

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had waited to take this trip for 10 years....so it was wonderful! The coordination of events, the trip leaders, food, and lodging was top notch. The hotels were much nicer than the ones 10 years (which were just fine by me.).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Toledo from a distance. Being able to see the Roman wall, structures built by the Moors and current cathedral were just beautiful. That said, I loved the architecture in both Barcelona and Madrid. For whatever reason, I loved seeing the Mediterranean Sea in Barcelona."

Jean

Salem, NH

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From everything I'd read in advance of our trip, this tour packed in many of the best experiences of Barcelona and Madrid, with ample assistance to add on other destinations, including flamenco dance show, bullfight, worthwhile restaurants. The 24 travelers in our group were very motivated tourists and eagerly participated in all activities even on the days described as "strenuous". This trip increased my interest in Spain as a country and we would consider other Rick Steves' tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amazed by Gaudi's architecture (considering when he envisioned his ideas pre-1926) also appreciated learning about Picasso's talent as a young teenager and how his art evolved (Picasso museum), and the reasons why. Especially impressed with Guernica at Reina Sofia -- this event is not anything I learned as a high school student. Wasn't really aware of Spanish history (Spanish Inquisition, Spanish Civil War). Loved our visit to medieval Toledo!!"

Dawn

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized by our guide, Amanda. Her welcoming and fun attitude set the right tone for our tour group at the welcome briefing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The inside of the Sagrada Familia. We went in the afternoon and saw the sunlight streaming in through the newly installed stained glass windows. It was quite breathtaking. I have never seen anything like it. A minor "wow" was strolling the beach in Barceloneta and encountering a clothing optional beach. :-)"

Carol

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide as well as each of the local guides were first rate - informative, friendly and provided just the right amount of time and effort at each site. The time allotted to group v. individual activities was perfect. The must see tourist attractions were all included and then some fun additions were made - the wine class was outstanding and the flamingo event also good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was my favorite "wow" moment as we got out of the bus at the top of the view site. The following tour only furthered this site as my favorite for the art, architecture, and history."

Raymond

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, our first Rick Steve's tour, exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Amanda, and the local guides were excellent. The introductory walking tours and the sites we visited in Barcelona and Madrid (including the day in Toledo) were excellent. The background information and local history provided by the local guides was a highlight of the tour for me. I appreciated the structure and convenience of having arrangements made in advance for the sites we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was impressed with Barcelona––and learning about the history of its development."

Camille

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour because it allowed us to split our time between just two cities, so we got to do a lot of activities with the group and also on our own. The tour was well-organized and we also appreciated that our guide, Amanda, suggested ideas for other activities and even coordinated them for us when possible. The tour included several church/cathedral and museum experiences, which we really enjoyed, and it was fun to try out different transportation like the high speed train and metro.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of them, but I would have to say that finally seeing La Sagrada Familia was the real wow moment. The exterior is incredible, but it was the way the light shone through the stained glass windows and lit up the interior that truly blew me away. The way it glowed was unbelievable."

Daniel

Medford, MA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was great. The tour felt well planned and thought out. It had an easy going flow from day to day with the right mix of museums, history, free time, walking tours, group dinners. I wouldn't change any part of it. Before the trip we didn't know that much about the country or it's history. Today we know so much more about the people, the food, the recent history, the past history, the architecture. This was the best way for us to experience Spain for the first time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a few wow moments. The Sagrada Familia interior was one, all of Gaudi's architecture was amazing. At the Picasso museum I saw how talented he was, he was more than Cubism. Every time we stopped for Tapas and Wine we had a great time. The Bull Fight, the Flamenco show. We had a week full of great wow moments."

Michele

Brighton, MI

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed tour and guides and group. Wanted to see Sagrada Familia and wasn't disappointed. Learned so much about Gaudi and Picasso. Loved Cristina and Fredrico as Madrid guides. Both made me fall in love with the city. Alphonso in Toledo was outstanding. Loved the energy of the tour, the history, politics, architecture and art. As on previous tours, I have come home with a much broader view of the world. As on previous tours, I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS SO MUCH FOR ME TO LEARN. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three. First, the western sun streaming into Sagrada Familia created an other worldly experience, and I was moved by Gaudi's ability to unite GOD, MAN AND NATURE so perfectly. Second, was Alphonso's explanation at Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca of how Muslim craftsmen built this beautiful Jewish worship space that became a Catholic space. His comments on the UNITY OF 3 RELIGIONS in ONE SPACE was powerful for me.Finally, being stuck on an elevator(26 of us)in Plaacio de Cibele"

Thomas

Brighton, MI

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip with excellent guides. Amanda was very helpful and it was a joy travelling with her. I know that you schedule certain sites to see on each tour, but while in Barcelona, I think the inclusion of Park Quell would add to the overall success of the tour. As it is most people tour this site on their own, but I think it is a not miss site. I and my wife walked the site on our own, but I think it would have been better to have a local guide along to explain what we were experiencing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was the wow of this trip. Unbelievable, breathtaking. I have visited many a church and cathedral in my day (mostly on Rick Steve's trips), but this was something totally different and unexpected. Looking at photos of this treasure just does not do it justice. This is a site that has to be experienced."

Lewis

Mount Pleasant, SC

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo and WOW what an elevator experience"

Barbara

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Walking around Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo is a pleasure and makes the experience a bit more personal. You can see the vibrancy and the personality along with history and architecture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first thing is stepping out in the fabulous light and the ancient streets of Barcelona. Street performances, walking history, great art collections (wow Picasso, Prado, Reina Sofia), food (so much to try). Wow inside and out at Sagreda Famiglia, at the Palacio Real, the sense of time in Toledo. A huge wow for me was not a part of the tour, but I was fortunate to see a fantastic guitar and dance concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalana (gorgeous)!"

Laura

Lexington, KY

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Excellent introduction to Spain. Perfect length of trip and nice balance between structured, guided activities and time to explore on our own. Really whetted our appetite to learn more & make a return trip & explore parts of the country we didn't get to see on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Seeing Picasso's "Guernica" was very moving. Also loved the introduction to Gaudi and exploring Barcelona's Bari Gotic."

Peter

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour to be introduced to Spanish culture!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Toledo and the Royal Palace in Madrid."

Melanie

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've never been to Spain, but after this particular tour we will return for another tour. Federico gave us a fantastic overview of Spanish culture and history.

Laura

Columbus, IN

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second experience on a Rick Steves Tour. I am not sure if it was the country, the group or our guides but it surpassed all my expectations. From the our first dinner together to the last each day was a delight in and of it's self. I thought it was a good mix of organized time and free time. We arrived early and took advantage of several of the recommendations in the Spain books and stayed a few days after to discover Seville.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you condense an entire tour into a single favorite WOW moment? I actually had two, the first was when we walked into the Sagrada Familia and was simply blown away by the relative simplicity of the interior compared to the business of the exterior. And to think that it isn't yet completed. The second was probably seeing the Monstrance in the Toledo Cathedral. I don't recall ever seeing a church treasure that ornate and elaborate."

Martina

Liberty, TN

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We arrived 2 days early and I got food poisoning, but got over it in a day The tour guide, Federico, was great. He herded us well and I felt safe. I would have liked more time in the Picasso museum, Prado, and Sofia Reina. I felt like we flew through the rooms and needed more time instead of the "afternoon to yourselves". We had 25 minutes or less at the Museum of Catalunya, so were unable to see any of those works since we had to use restrooms, and just did not have enough time to start.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, of course, the Sagrada Familia. We did go back in for another half hour after the group left. It was phenomenal to be there. The guide pointed out the way the stained glass windosw change the color of the light coming in throughout the day. It was amazing to see."

Bruce

Burbank, CA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Federico, is the best. The local tour guides were all very good as well. And the tour members seemed to enjoy each others company. Everyone was engaged. Yes it was a very active tour. We saw a lot of Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo. We did have enough free time to see Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo Sorolla, Tablao Flamenco Restaurante Las Carboneras, and Montserrat. Nice clean hotels good breakfasts. Taxis were a blessing for tired feet. Barcelona and Madrid didn't disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a wow moment. However the art in museums and churches stood out. As well as the visit to the Sinagoga del Transito."

James

Longview, TX

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good experience. Nice hotels. Great fellow explorers. Our tour leader was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I do not know that I had a wow moment. If I have to name one it was the realization that our group was very flexible and they were on the trip to learn about Spain. A great number of them were teachers and that may have helped."

Linda

San Jose, CA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent time. Well run tour. A great energetic and passionate tour guide. Toured great sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Awesome hot chocolate."

Mike

Albany, OR

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on the tour! Federico is a very knowledgeable guide and tour manager and a very nice person to be around. Federico really went above and beyond, even making taxi reservations for everyone in Madrid and then seeing us off at the airport. Very reassuring and friendly!! Our hotels were very well located and very nice in all respects. Breakfasts at both hotels were great! I think the tour agenda had a very good blend of organized activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to admit my ignorance of Spain's civil war and the fascist rule of Franco. Learning about the civil war throughout the tour leading up to the Sofia museum visit and then having Federico's explanation of the attack on Guernica and Picasso's Guernica painting is my wow moment. I will be educating myself on Guernica and the Spanish civil war to better understand how history applies to today."

Susan

Albany, OR

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Picasso's painting of Gernika. Federico did an amazing job of not just explaining the painting and events behind it but making it a very "human" experience...quite powerful."

Patrick

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th tour with Rick Steve's and it was absolutely fantastic!! The tour of Barcelona, Spain and Toledo was so historical, exciting and just fun! Our tour guide, Federico was unbelievably perfect for our trip. The hotels were great and perfectly located for all of our adventures...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that Federico was my "wow" moment!!! He was such a great story teller and he brought Spain alive for me... The Familia Sagrada was especially overwhelming and I just loved walking the medieval city of Toledo. I came away with a greater appreciation of art at the Prado also..."

Theresa

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour was fantastic. Spain is so beautiful. Fredrico is an awesome guide. The hotels were top notch and the food was so good. Just a great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was inside Sagrada Familia when the sun came through the stain glass windows. What a sight!!!!"

Rebecca

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We chose this tour because it was one of the shorter tours with only two hotel stays. Normally we choose tours that include smaller towns and villages. Knowing this was a big city tour, we were not disappointed. Barcelona was special and easy to navigate. It was nice being close to the sea. Madrid was...wow..intense and, at times overwhelming! And Toledo was the icing on the cake.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia and all things Gaudi. The flamenco dancing in Madrid was a true highlight. Toledo gave us our "small town" fix. We loved it."

Elizabeth

Monroe, MI

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw all of the things I wanted to see and we got to know a lot of history behind each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we went to Toledo, we saw the cathedral and all of the old buildings and that view was just amazing!"

Olga

Monroe, MI

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized, busy with activities. We had free time almost every day. The headphone system worked very well, I didn't have to worry about keeping close to the guide to hear what he was saying.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Madrid is a very beautiful city, but Toledo was even more amazing, like a fairy tale little town!"

Bill

Princeton, NJ

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

another good RS sojourn. Javier did an excellent job shepherding us thru the Easter holiday throngs. the local docents also were excellent which RS travelers have come to expect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's works. unique and preposterous."

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was amazing and virtually stress-free truly because of our marvelous guide, Nygil and his Tour Apprentice, James. They worked tirelessly to make every single detail of our trip so seamless--backdoor entry to museums. It was truly a luxury to bypass the lines! We knew it took great coordination (behind the scenes) and everything had been taken care of every morning and the local guides were knowledgeable and wonderful in sharing the culture and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"El Greco's Burial piece in Toledo--WOW! We had the opportunity to be there fairly early morning to experience the painting for a few minutes up close, front in center. I was so excited to finally be there...Finally. Thank you so much for making it possible."

Susan

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guides, educational, informative, and fun! I enjoyed time with the group as well as having free time. It was an ideal situation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truthfully it is hard to pinpoint one favorite "WOW' factor as I enjoyed and embraced everything except for my plane trip which has nothing to do with the actual tour."

Scott

Matthews, NC

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an outstanding tour. Our tour leader, Nygil, was fantastic and made every aspect of the tour special. The added extras of the food tour through Barcelona and the wine tasting in Madrid were indeed a nice bonus. The local tour guides were very knowledgeable, well spoken and passionate about their subject matter and very much contributed to the overall value of the tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments during this tour. Walking inside Sagrada Familia and seeing the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows, the Prado Museum and Royal Palace in Madrid and standing on the hill across the river from Toledo and seeing the ancient city were just a few."

Julie

Matthews, NC

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome! I enjoyed this tour immensely! Our guide Nygal was incredible, as was his assistant, James. All of our local guides were also wonderful. I cannot say enough good about this tour. All the little extras, like our "food walk" where we were able to sample foods and drink that we may not have experienced otherwise, our wine tasting, our morning stop at a rooftop terrace to see the view of the city, everything was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list. Loved the medical town of Toledo, and the passion of the local guide there. Loved so many moments of this tour. Palace in Madrid was beautiful, meals were incredible, just everything!"

Mike

Yakima, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nygil and James were both fun, energetic, and knowledgable. They had a special knack of making each tour member feel special. The local guides were absolutely amazing with knowledge and fun facts. I learned a lot about Spain and it didn't even seem to hurt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best wow moment for me was learning about the mind-blowing techniques Valesquez used on the Las Meninas painting at the Prado."

Mary

Bothell, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of Barcelona, Spain and Toledo. Learned SO much of the wonderful history. Especially liked Nigil's patience and attention to details. The 'local guides' were also great. They really added to the feel of the country.

Kathryn

Dalton, GA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were informative, entertaining, pleasant and very responsive to an intestinal problem I had for a few days of the tour, helping me interact with the pharmacist nearby.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both Barcelona and Madrid were a pleasant surprise -- especially the old towns' character, architecture and vibrancy."

Douglas

Rochester, NY

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelons."

Frances

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nygil is the best tour guide ever and made our trip magical. Everything was perfect from hotels, local guides, landmarks we visited, his friendly personality, attention to details., and the restaurants where we ate. Events like wine tasting, going to observation lookouts for city views and landmarks. group dinners, and our favorite city, Toledo! were top notch experiences. In our many overseas travels we agreed that this was our favorite tour we have ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Toledo Cathedral which was breath taking and spectacular."

Rajasekhar

Dallas, TX

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THROUGHLY enjoyed the vacation

Teressa

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 7th RS tour and we definitely enjoyed Spain! Our guide, Jorge Ramon was outstanding and worked very efficiently with our group. We would suggest spending least time in Madrid and add time in Seville, Spain. Following our RS tour, we arranged a separate tour with Concepcion Delgado's tour group and it was the highlight of our trip to Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Royal Palace in Madrid. The additional guide for the Palace was fabulous! He brought the history to life!"

Cynthia

Salem, OR

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour of both cities and Toledo. Local guides easily understood.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guernica. I found that it made me speechless especially after all the other Picasso work we had seen. I hated waiting in line, but it was truly worth it."

Jewell

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. Since I was traveling alone, it was really great to be with others and have all of the details taken care of, I.e. hotels, restaurants and local tours. I saw much more than I had envisioned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Palace in Madrid. Amazing!"

Thomas

Olive Branch, MS

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding! We also added two days before and one day after the tour to do other sites as well. Jorge was attentive, helpful and a wonderful tour guide. The hotels, both, were outstanding and in great locations. I especially enjoyed Barcelona over Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I will have to say two things; 1 - The Sagrada Familia and 2 - Picasso's Guernica. Both were amazing and "wow" in their own ways. The Sagrada Familia was "wow" for the sheer awesomeness of the structure and the detail going into the church. Picasso's Guernica came to life by Frederico's explanation of the painting and by bringing to life what was going on during Picasso painting the masterpiece. It frankly induced tears upon seeing the masterpiece."

Stuart

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our guide Jorge ! Would recommend spending less time in Madrid and adding time in a small city setting such as Seville.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Sagrada Familia and Royal Palace in Madrid"

Julia

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not being a "group experience" type and having never been on a tour I was pleasantly surprised. A coworker recommended I look into the RS tours as I was planning a trip on my own. I was impressed by the value presented by the tour. So, I thought it worth a try. We were glad we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't identify a WOW "moment". I was fairly constantly "WOWED"."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Local guides and Frederico were great. Hotels were very nice...I was surprised at how upscale they were. Great half day schedules with afternoons free and then meeting again for dinner. Nice that it was walkable. AVE was great: I might have used it to get to Barcelona instead of connecting air flights. Toledo was of lesser value to me; I think we could have used more time in Madrid instead.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona was great but touristy. The guides did wonderful jobs telling the story of each of the half days, especially Sophia at the Picasso Museum."

Larry

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was sorry I had to leave Spain so soon. Everything was interesting, from the museums to the churches. The people I met were nice and the food was great. I got just a taste of the Spanish culture and I would like more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The inside of the Sagrada Familia."

Callie

Chevy Chase, MD

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping into La Sagrada Familia."

Genevieve

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour, it was great to have a guide who was so knowledgeable to add another layer of depth and toughtfulness to the experience. Normally when I visit a new city I just wander around and figure things out on my own. I might hire a guide at specific places just to show me that one area. It was nice to have someone handling the logistics, so I could just "be on the trip" and not have to worry about timing of things, getting tickets, how to get from here to there, and all of that

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of the meals were great. I honestly didn't really expect much from the meals but a few of them were really special. In particular the meal on the last day in Spain, which was a nice dinner and it was a nice surprise. I was so exhausted at that point I contemplated skipping it but I am glad I did not!"

Jon

Omaha, NE

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved everything about it (other than the snow and cold in Madrid). Francisco attended to the group's every need, and is a delightful person and tour guide. Wish I could go back tomorrow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot, but the interior of the Royal Palace in Madrid was certainly impressive, and the vista of Toledo was a definite "wow" moment."

Ladene

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a short tour, only eight days in two cities, but the time was rich in learning and seeing. In fact, most tours do not spend four days in one city. We had just come from Morocco, so were excited to see the Moorish influences in Spain. I especially loved the information we received on Picasso, Velasquez, and other Spanish artists. Our guide was very knowledgeable on the history of Spain, and the cultural influences of the historical events. So we received integrated lessons.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Sagrada Familia. Even though I had seen many pictures of it, I was not prepared for the magnificence, the beauty, and the rich details, such as the beautiful stained glass. I would have loved an extra hour there, where I could just sit and take it all in. The tour should really allow more time there. My second favorite was seeing the connection between Velasquez and Picasso. I had seen Las Meninas before, but seeing Picasso's versions made my appreciation of both artists richer."

Christy

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent, the right balance of touring and free time. Above average meals and hotels. Our tour guide Frederico or Feded was amazing! So informed and passionate about art, culture and opera!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso Guernica, as explained by Fede."

Erika

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Best of Barcelona & Madrid" was my first Rick Steve's tour experience; and it was an excellent choice for a group of six adults traveling together. The logistics were efficiently arranged and communicated so we could focus on exploring and fully experiencing Spain together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Sagrada Familia. Wandering through the forest of pillars and watching the play of light on the walls and floor was spectacular. The wine tasting and cooking class also stood out. The instructors involved our youngest tour member and myself in making dumplings and tortilla de patatas. Highlight!"

Donald

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great-very nice guilds

Favorite "WOW" moment

"all of it"

Tom

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour, nicely paced, interesting choices. I liked it a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to Toledo was a highlight for me."

Debbie

Hattiesburg, MS

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was wonderful. Amanda and James were efficient, cordial tour guides. The tour employed first class local guides in Barcelona and Madrid. The accommodations in each city were well located and good. The group was a congenial mixture of people and everyone appeared to get along well. In addition the weather was perfect. My wife's only suggestion is to shorten the afternoon time on our own so will no have to rush to dinner that evening.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me this was the tours of Gaudi architecture and specifically Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. The Gaudi style is unique, interesting and ahead of its time."

Katherine

Longmont, CO

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt the tour went very well and was happy with our guides and the experiences that we had as a group. Our agenda was packed but we also had free time to explore on our own. I appreciated our local guides and what they brought to the experience. Amanda was great and James was a delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing the work of Gaudi were my best moments. La Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila have been on my bucket list and I was thrilled to experience it."

Vivian

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was everything I hoped it would be; history, art, culture, food, wine and good company. I learned and saw more than I ever could have on my own. I loved how we wore ear pieces while we walked the neighborhoods, metro and museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to wow the Prado and the Sagrada Familia! So emotional."

Stephen

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. It was our first Rick Steves tour and first time to Spain. The tour was a perfect introduction to the country and to Rick Steves tours. We will definitely keep the company in mind for our future trips. The balance of tour time and free time was ideal

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The immensity of the inside of Gaudi cathedral in Barcelona; the way light entered through the stained glass windows. The zumba class in the square in Toledo on Saturday morning that seemed to catch us all, including the tour guides, by surprise. The cooking lesson was also super fun."

Lonni

Tampa, FL

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Touring with Best of Barcelona and Madrid was as smooth as silk. From the pre-tour information to the last moment before departure, everything was well thought out, and not overly burdensome with too much information. Amanda our tour guide was the "total package" as tour guide,big sister, best friend and curious partner when we had questions she needed to research. Her knowledge of the 2 cities because of living in the region, made the city walks, and tastes and sites as authentic as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW, was all of the Gaudi, and the Prado Museum. I had waited a lifetime to see the Gaudi in person. It did not disappoint! An unexpected surprise was the Museum de Nacional de"Arte de Catalunya!"

Marilyn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had six adult family members and were concerned that this might change the kind of experience we and others had on a Rick Steves tour. As it turned out, we were all just a part of the group as individuals as well as a family. The tour leaders were great. I appreciated the whisper phones because I can't stand in one place and was able move about and still hear the guides. The variety of group experiences was good, and the guidance on ways to spend our free time was appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's Cathedral!"

Joel

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Steves tour and I enjoyed every aspect: the well-planned itinerary; the professionalism of the guides (Amanda and James as well as our local guides); the accommodations and meals; and the explicit efforts to making the whole group gel and enjoy their travel together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first "wow" was simply walking around Barcelona on our opening night -- experiencing the vitality of the city and anticipating everything that awaited me. I loved how much our tours emphasized walking around different areas."

Michael

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves' Tour & expectations were greatly exceeded. A fun & friendly group, soaking up the knowledge & passion of local guides, while being led by Nygil, a true pro, who made sure everybody had the opportunity to get all they hoped for out of the trip. The sites, history, and culture of Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo were brought to life in a way that would be hard to achieve on a self-guided tour. Expert local guides imparted a love of their cities & history to each of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso, Gaudi, Sagrada Familia, Prado, Reina Sofia, Toledo Cathedral & many other experiences warranted big wow's, but my favorite was at our final group dinner. The art, culture, and history were amazing but accessible to anybody. It dawned on me during our expertly organized dinner, with wine flowing & perfectly chosen courses, that the respect & friendship cultivated by Nygil with the restaurant was being returned to tour members, as had been done several times earlier in the trip. WOW!"

Randee

Wall Township, NJ

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun, educational and well-organized. Just the right amount of time with the group and time for my husband and I to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around inBarcelona's gothic quarter with knowledgeable guide."

John

Rockwall, TX

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WE EXPERIENCED EVERYTHING THAT WE HAD HOPE TO. NYGIL WAS AN EXCELLENT GUIDE, HE KEPT US INFORMED, PLANNED EVERYTHING PERFECTLY AND WAS EXTREMELY FRIENDLY TO ALL TEAM MEMBERS. WE PREFER MADRID OVER BARCELONA AND WILL BE VISITING AGAIN IN THE FUTURE. GREAT TOUR, GREAT GUIDE!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WINE TASTING LEAD BY NYGIL AND FLAMENCO."

Sandra

Oceanside, NY

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I had a wonderful time. It was amazing. Nygil our tour guide looked after us like we were his own family. Our group who never met before became one family because of Nygil. I can't say enough about him and the tour guides that went with us everyday. They were always smiling and happy to answer all our questions, I would highly recommend the Rick Steve's tour .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breakfast in Barcelona. I couldn't believe the amount of food. Everyone was very helpful especial since I didn't speak the language."

Justin

Sitka, AK

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I think the tour went very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "Wow" moment was Toledo. I know the tour was based on Madrid and Barcelona, but everyone enjoyed going to another city. I felt the tour was more complete with going to Toledo!!"

Cam

Calgary, AB

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great. The guides, the cities, the spots selected to visit, the restaurants, the transportation, hotel location were all fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia. I've seen lots of buildings all over the world, and this one stands out for me. It was outstanding. A close second was our guide Nygill, he was fantastic, very personable and a great resource."

Bryan

Farmington, UT

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was intrigued by the difference between the two cities, along with the history of the different regions in Spain. Nygil made the tour enjoyable, interesting, and thought-provoking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pablo Picasso museum in Barcelona with the wonderful guidance of Sonya. Also awesome spectacle of the Sagrada Familia."

Dawn

Farmington, UT

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Eight days was just long enough to fall in love with Barcelona and Madrid! So much of the enjoyment of this trip was because of our wonderful guide, Nygil. His passion and love of the country was contagious. We were lucky enough to be in Barcelona for a festival day as well. All of our local guides were informative and kept things interesting. It was a terrific trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For many years I had longed to see Garden of Earthly Delights and Guernica. Our local guide Federico enhanced this experience with his wonderful narrative. That would have to be the highlight of a trip filled with many highlights."

Stephi

New York, NY

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour more than I thought I would. I was the youngest tour member by far, but the activity level was very high, which I loved and the time in the afternoon allowed me to be more adventurous and active. Nygil was fantastic (see notes below) and helped make the tour that much more enjoyable. The only part I didn't like was the bus tour in Barcelona with the Catalan Museum as I found it boring and I wish we had more time at the museum to explore the other sections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was probably the Blues Bar (La Coquette) that Nygil sent me to in Madrid or hearing Fede speak about Guernica at the Prado. The blues bar was such a cool experience and felt very unique and something I wouldn't have found without Nygil. Hearing Fede speak about Guernica was fascinating because there's a lot of emotion tied up in the painting for him and it the made the experience of seeing it and learning about feel more relevant and important."

Kevin

Belmar, NJ

Tour: 02/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides were excellent and provided much information and insights into the places were visited. I felt as if we had a real opportunity to see a lot really get to know a good deal about the cities we were in, about the culture, the food, the wine and the history. I very much enjoyed Nygil's very interesting and thorough explanations of the various wines we sampled. Overall, it was a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The event that had the greatest effect was the flamingo performance we saw in Madrid. It was not really on the tour and was an after hours event, but Nygil recommended the venue. The "wow" event that was on the tour was not actually a "moment," but the hour or so we spent walking about Madrid before dinner (going to the Puerte del Sol and the Plaza Mayor and all the places in between.) It was much fun to be among all the excitement and hustle and bustle of Madrid at night."

John

Arlington, VA

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour (in fact our first tour ever). We really enjoyed our fellow tour group members. A group of two dozen strangers became friends within just a day or two.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Sagrada Famlia in Barcelona and being surrounded by the light from the stained glass. Breathtaking."

Janet

Gold River, CA

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our fourth Rick Steve's tour, and it, like the others was great! This was a very comfortable and compatible group with a lively, dynamic guide. Federico was cool and competent in Barcelona, but he came alive in his city- Madrid!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In the Prado, Federico made a third costume change to emphasize his point about El Greco! He made the trip so fun!"

Douglas

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides, itinerary sights and tours were outstanding. (Less rain would have been nice, but even that couldn't dampen our spirits.) Explanations of the history of the regions and context of the art gave breath to the experience. Gaudi transformed from interesting to a spiritual experience. Our primary guide, Frederico, was superb as were the local guide sprecialists in Barcelona and Toledo. I know that when I travel with RS (or just with guidebook in hand), I experience the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the Sacrada Familia. I knew it would be grand and strange, but I fell in love with Gaudi's heart. Second was the Roman ruins peaking out here and there throughout the tour. (and the Roman aqueduct in Segovia which I saw on my own with Frederico's guidenace and encouragement."

Christine

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time - lots of like minded travelers, no one was high maintenance. Our tour guides were great - fun, informative, very down to earth. Connected well with everyone, paid attention to personalities, but kept the group moving along at a good pace. It was the first time since my husband's death that i'd traveled abroad - decided to join the tour on my own, and loved it - easy to make friends, and was just a great all around experience. Will definitely do another Rick Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One? Wow - that is hard. How about three? in chronological order - we did an off program tour of Monserrat that was lovely- so atmospheric and a great way to spend the afternoon. An awesome recommendation from our guides. Two - Loved Toledo! probably couldn't live there - reminiscent of a tuscan hill town, but unique in the multicultural heritage of the town. the local guide, Adolpho, was great. lastly - when Frederico serenaded us at the farewell dinner - what a delightful surprise."

Mary

Sunnyside, NY

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour. For us there was just the right amount of museums and city walks. Hearing Fredrico's voice in our ears changing characters as the tour moved from sight to sight helped bring Madrid alive. I really enjoyed all of his characters. The group mix was good too. I couldn't have had a better trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the Segradi Famalia. We actually went a day before the tour started to have a bit more time. We were the very first people in the building, no one else there. The sun and tranquility was just amazing. I really have never been in a more beautiful building. I can't wait to go back when it is finished."

Susan

Alcoa, TN

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved Madrid and Barcelona, two of the cleanest, friendliest cities we have been to in Europe. They were made even more special under the very skillful guidance of Frederico. And the holiday lights in Madrid were an added bonus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The way our guide Frederico made the works of Picasso and Dali come alive for us with his in-depth but entertaining interpretations of the works. As in "wow, I finally get it.""

Laura

Bangor, PA

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Disappointment compared to Rome 7 day tour with Stephanie and Francesca, spent majority of time walking around cities instead of in museums! most people who take tour are older and require a break after 3 hours walking and standing, can't enjoy self if walking for 5 hours, ate the same food nearly every night, first female tour guide unmemorable, Frederico was enjoyable and well informed. Tour should include some nightlife activities not just dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Went to the Prado again instead of going on another walking excursion. Felt I died and had gone to heaven while viewing Bosch, Valasquez, Goya, Titian, Poussin, Raphael, Rubens, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt to name a few. Also went on own to National Archaeological Museum in Madrid instead of another walking tour. The impressive objects display the progression of man throughout history. Seeing Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia was breathtaking."

Mahmoud

Gold River, CA

Tour: 11/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Federico, was very knowledgeable and attentive to all the needs of the individual members of the group. The local guides in Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo were all excellent. The museums, churches and other sites included in the tour were very interesting and worthwhile. The restaurants and menus picked for the group meals were all very good. The two hotels were comfortable and offered very nice breakfasts. The balance between scheduled events and free time was just right for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Madrid and its museums were very exciting. I enjoyed Federico's lively and entertaining explanations about the history of Spain, its literary giants and prominent artists and their famous works. The day trip to Toledo was very interesting and Adolfo, the local guide was very informative."

Lisa

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip. Good group of people, good food and wine, great artwork and architecture. Packed a lot into a short period of time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to pick one."

Thomas

North Saanich, BC

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I went into this tour with pretty low expectations and admittedly some preconceptions. (My wife was more open minded). The room and the hotel in Barcelona was way below expectation to the point that I strongly tried to persuade my wife that we should get our own hotel and do the tour on our own. She convinced me to give it a day or two. To be brief she made the right choice. The tour, with the exception of the hotel in Barcelona, greatly exceeded all expectations. It was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo"

Sharon

Matteson, IL

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It surpassed my expectations! One of my co-workers has been on several RS tours so I knew the tour guides were exceptional. Touring with Nygil truly made me feel like a local. I'm already planning my next RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually there were two: 1. Visiting the palace where the Prince and Princess dined with President and Mrs. Obama; 2) the info about Guadi and visiting his architectural sites piqued my curiosity so much that I had to visit Park Guell."

Deborah

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was wonderful. The sights and sounds in Barcelona had me awestruck. It was everything from the magnificent Sagrada Familia Cathedral, to the history of Gaudi and Picasso, to just watching how well behave the dogs were as they walked unleashed with their masters. Park Guell is a must see. Madrid kind of reminded me of New York City. Spain is a country you have to visit. Our tour guides were simply marvelous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It is a beautiful edifice and it still won't be finished until 2026? WOW!"

Bruce

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second RS trip. It was every bit of the exceptional experience that i expected. The Hotels were well located and of the highest quality 4 star. The tour director Nygil fulfilled his duties with great aplomb. He was a wealth of information about local culture, food and wine and politics. I would recommend it to all travelers and life long learners to subscribe to a RS Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment were the local guides. They added a great deal of depth to the Palace and Museum tours. Our evening dining experiences were great. The most memorable was the Sherrie tasting in Madrid."

Brian

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

FOR SUCH A BRIEF TOUR, IT IS EXCEPTIONALLY COORDINATED AND WELL PLANNED FOR OPTIMUM ENJOYMENT OF THE CITIES VISITED. THE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE PERFECT AND OUR GUIDES ARE VERY WONDERFUL... CAN'T IMAGINE FINDING FINER PEOPLE FOR THE JOB AT HAND. THE CHOSEN ACTIVITIES AND SITES EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS. ONCE AGAIN, MY FELLOW TRAVELERS WERE THE FINEST, VERY DIVERSE COLLECTION THAT MAKE FOR A FUNNER EXPERIENCE.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WHEN GROUP MEMBER ERIC VIA HIS KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW GAVE A MINI LECTURE REGARDING ARTIFACTS DISPLAYED AT THE TOLEDO SYNAGOGUE MUSEUM."

Janice

Cut Bank, MT

Tour: 10/16/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good experience - well organized, congenial group of people. As advertised, this was a very active tour, and i think people were prepared for that. The pace was good, and free time option was great. Some people needed to rest, and others had things they wanted to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments, but the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona was amazing."

Jim

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed entire tour, especially Barcelona (I could see myself living in a place like that)Our tour guide was excellent and went out of his way to get us good listening units. The individual city guides were exceptional (especially Sonia and Blanca). I loved the high speed train to Madrid. The entire tour was fun every day because we had such a good group. Accomodations (hotels) were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona: Sagrada Familia and Ramblas Madrid: Royal Palace and Train Toledo: Scenery and shops"

Cindy

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was fabulous. Javier did a great job showing us around these wonderful cities. We experienced some fantastic food. Great tour.

Monica

Winston-salem, NC

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, very inclusive of all tourist needs, great hotels, food and fellowship!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia -- very moving, spectacular and memorable"

Trish

Roswell, GA

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group and great tour guides. It was a blast!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Royal Palace IN Madrid was spectacular! Also enjoyed the history and building at El Transito Synagogue in Toledo Spain."

D'Ova

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour, outstanding. This Rick Steves tour, our fifth, was back-to-back with the "Paris and the Heart of France" tour. For this tour, we appreciated four nights in Barcelona (we arrived a day early) and four nights in Madrid. There is something to say about more time in a location. In addition to excellent "touring time," one has more time to explore on one's own. I have found I get more from a tour with pre-tour preparation work ... a little history, a sense of how I want to spend free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first Wow. The food! The tour's meal choices revealed our guide must be a foodie. Lucky us. My second wow, the Royal Palace in Madrid. I loved it, much more than Versailles. It is opulent but not gaudy, and has its original furnishings for the most part. And, it is used today! Plus, the armory exhibit was fascinating to wander through. Toledo, another wow! Can you add a day and stay one night in Toledo??!"

Anita

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We have not done two large cities as the entire tour before so that has probably influenced the total experience.I think we got A flavor of two very busy way's life from the cultural advantages to the disadvantage of how people recreate in the streets, squares and parks of a city when they don't have their own personal outdoor space.The Picasso gallery was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Doudy Church. You could look at the same space many times and see something different each time. Knowing someone could have a vision of something like that boggles the mind."

Barbara

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great museums, hotels, wine, food and guide. The group experience very positive. It's hard not to enjoy Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's been 47 years since I saw La Sagrada Familia - WOW, what a change! The interior of the church was elegant and breathtaking!"

John

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Federico smoothly managed the numerous transitions and travel transfers over the 8-day tour. Solid country/localized knowledge, useful insights on items he found through experience were helpful to a short-time traveler, and all delivered with a sense of humor and empathy for the variable nature of 24 souls.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico's shepherding of 24 travelers seamlessly through 3 transfers with luggage, hotel to bus, bus to train, and train to bus with split-second precision and without anyone feeling pushed or hurried. A textbook example of what a strong leader does when responsible for a group."

Judith

Boulder, CO

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very fun!! Loved Spain!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona!"

Jeanne

Edmond, OK

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was amazing. I not only learned about Spain's history with respect to its lands, occupations, religious affiliations, art and architecture but I came away feeling it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a couple of WOW moments. When I realized Federico had opened my eyes, mind and heart to the works of Picasso and other artists that have impacted the world. Stepping into and through Toledo. I the entire experience was very moving. I felt the history, the achievements and the wonder of Toledo. Federico and our local guide moved us through and helped create an amazing day."

Sheila

Napa, CA

Tour: 10/02/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Federico was different from other guides, but his approach was just as good. How many guides will regale you with opera? I appreciated that we didn't have to learn tour members' names. We all did, of course, but it was not an official event as it has been in other RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning cubism at the Picasso museum."

Carolyn

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

fantastic time -- very physically active, which made it easy to indulge in all of the wonderful Spanish treats! Our tour guide, Javier, was knowledgeable and terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"turning the corner and seeing Plaza de la Villa in Madrid really took my breath away!"

Sandeep

Edison, NJ

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Javier Menor was an excellent guide and made our trip a memorable one. Local guides need to be trained better because they were not intimately familiar with all the historic aspects of places we visited and that would have helped. I wish we had better food choices; being vegetarian it was hard to find "real" food as we had to survive on side dishes during lunches and dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing historic places, which is the reason we visit different countries."

Diana

Panama City, FL

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and hit the major sights of Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo, while leaving ample free time to explore on our own. Everyone in the tour group was pleasant and welcoming. We were surprised with fun activities as our guide, Javier, shared the local food and culture with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I went to see Gaudi's work in Barcelona, I was impressed with Toledo and the wonderful art in the Prada and the Palace of Madrid. These felt like a real bonus to the trip."

Kimberly

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What began as researching a trip to Spain on our own ended with us signing up for the Best of Madrid and Barcelona tour. Everyday, I kid you not, we told each other we were "so glad" we did this. Since it was our first visit to Spain it was perfect to have the structure of a tour to guide us through the sites, sounds, and tastes of this beautiful country. Having never traveled before with a group we were pleasantly surprised to find 22 other people that were fun to spend a week with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local tour guide in Toledo had me in tears twice telling us his stories and his personal experiences in his beautiful city. His story in the synagogue about a women who was in one of his tour groups who he later learned was a descendent of a Jewish family who had been run out of Toledo was stunning. It made me question so many things about my own spiritual journey. I loved this man."

Shailja

Edison, NJ

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was very well organized and was a great experience. Our tour guide, Javier, really made the tour fun for the whole group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was seeing the inside of the Sagrada Familia. It was a beautiful part of history and architecture."

Diane

Helena, MT

Tour: 09/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A simple powerful word: GRAND. It was just grand in every way. My roommate and I agreed that the tour exceeded our expectations!

Philip

Hamden, CT

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second trip to Europe and second Rick Steves tour. I was very impressed the first trip to Italy and just as impressed with this recent trip to Spain. The tour was very well organized, the guide was wonderful and local guides were extremely knowledgeable. The group seemed to quickly become friends, which added to the experience. I thought the tour hit highlights in Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo. The tour restaurants were all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing the Sagrada Familia, both outside and inside was incredible. Its hard to imagine someone could not only envision that building but for a time, help supervise its construction."

Linda

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first RS trip. I enjoyed our guide, he made the experience fun and informative. I feel like I really know both Barcelona and Madrid. I feel like I could navigate them myself. Our hotel in Madrid was extremely comfortable and food on the trip was good. I felt safe and always knew where we were and what was coming next. Jorge had many "surprises" that were delightful. I enjoyed the local tour guides. We were taken to outstanding art work. The transportation went smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing GUERNICA. I had a print in my home growing up. I was overwhelmed by the original."

Jason

Waco, TX

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good - will probably do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guide for the art galleries in Madrid was excellent, would never have enjoyed a lot of the art with out his input."

Michael

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had little background and experience with Spain. All of the tour guides did a great job of explaining Spanish history and culture. The hotels and meals provided were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The explanation of modern art and Picasso provided by Freddie, our local tour guide in Madrid. I gained a new appreciation for the Spanish artists. Also, the 'wine tasting' evening, set up by Jorge Roman, our guide. We went to a unique shop, who supplied wine and good meat tasting."

Robert

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The sites chosen for the tour and the easier access to these sites were both big positives. In addition, the group meals and special gatherings were A great way to top off the day's activities. The pace isn't for sissies or people with physical limitations, but an effort was made to regroup and check on people''S progress regularly. The only time the pace got "out of hand" was when the schedule Got too tight one morning to make our scheduled visit. At this time Everyone suffered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture and its background history were my WOW moments, but so much Interesting background of the cities would have been lost if It hadn't been for our RS guides."

Bob

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jorge was VERY knowledgable about both Barceona and Madrid. He made the tour fun and informative. His little surprises like the stop at a tapas bar or the quick stop for a local glass of wine were unexpected but welcoming. He was fun to be around and his love of Spain was evident

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's church in Barcelona. It's incredible that it has been under construction for 130 years and that it will finish in 10 years. First we saw the residential building he designed which was awesome, but once we got to,the church and saw all the intricate designs and all the detail involved it was amazing."

Judith

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour of Spain. Jorge was a fantastic guide and took good care of us. The individual tour guides were very informative. We especially enjoyed Frederico in Madrid, but Mariana in Barcelona was very interesting and so was Alfonso in Toledo. We enjoyed most of the meals we had together, especially the wine tasting in Madrid and the pintzos and wine at El Pintxo in Barcelona. The group dinner at La Traverna in Barcelona was very good as well as Prada Atlope in Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was touring the Prado Museum and Reine Sophia with Frederico. He gave us a new appreciation for art, especially modern art. He explained a painting by Picasso based on history at the time and made me appreciate what the artist was portraying. It was truly inspiring!"

Berta

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great, excellent tour guides and they really cared about us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Gaudi cathedral."

Christina

Norcross, GA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was nice to take a vacation that did not require planning. We were taken to all of the "must see" spots in both Madrid and Barcelona. We did not have to wait in line and we usually had the museum to ourselves when we arrived because the general public was allowed in after we had already started our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museums and the palace were beautiful. Something that everyone should see. Toledo was one of my favorite spots. It was nice to see life in Spain outside of a large city."

Cathy

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fedi was excellent in Barcelona, where he was backed up by local guides, but he was way beyond outstanding in his home city of Madrid. Best Rick Steves guide ever! He made the museums come alive with his inspired acting of the artists and other historical figures, bringing together art, history and politics. Bystanders and museum guides paused to listen to him, and he received numerous ovations from his own tour members and others fortunate enough to be standing nearby for his performances.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything Fedi did in museums was phenomenal, but especially his interpretation of Velasquez's Las Maninas, after seeing Picasso's in Barcelona with a local guide."

Gail

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a good group of folks on our tour and a great guide. The sites selected were of course the best of the best. The negatives were not enough time in the Sagrada Familia to linger and hit the gift shop. While gift shops may seem unimportant, they are a great source for gifts we are bringing to loved ones back home. But that is my one and only negative comment. I LOVED this tour. Also more time in the Prado would have been good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is a wow moment in and of itself. Beyond that the Prado and the Sofia were highlights in Madrid."

Terry

Marina Del Rey, CA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was in the Pradera house. There was a display of chains hanging down with a mirror below. By looking in the mirror you saw the shape of the columns all around you. It was a remarkable sensation."

David

Tulare, CA

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice people on the tour, GREAT guide, awesome dinners throughout the week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico playing the roles of the various artists whose works he explained while visiting the Prado and Reina Sophia museums in Madrid. He really went way beyond any other guides with his artist T-shirt "changes.""

Matthew

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing tour and an excellent tour guide.. Unbelievably knowledgeable and really entertained and brought the experiences to life. Federico was outstanding. His ability to bring a story to life and involve himself and all of the tour members into the story/history and minds of the artists and historical figures was truly exceptional. You could tell he loves Madrid and he loves being a tour guide. Highly recommend him to anyone traveling in the area- He adds an extra element w great passion

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to consider. Honestly"

Steve

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would have rated overall as Outstanding, but need to strive for something. I thought our guide Jorge was terrific. He supported four other guides and coordinated 2 private bus rides as well as train/bus rides. His advice on the Metro at the end was mistaken, but his demeanor, knowledge, attitude and ability to communicate was appreciated. Jorge told personal stories and shared opinions that we enjoyed because it gave us a deeper connection.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada Familia from the outside was the best moment, until we got inside, then that was it."

Nicanor

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good tour, well planned as usual. We visited many places and were given much useful information. The time was well used and in our free time we were given good advice as what to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cathedrals were impressive especially La Sagrada Familia but for me the "wow" moment was when we went to the roof of La Pedrera, the house built by Gaudi. I had never seen something like that. It was a fantasy up there! A very unique view."

Kenneth

Meadow Vista, CA

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned more about the history of Spain then I had expected. Jorge was a great leader and made sure we had a great time. We enjoyed the companionship with the entire group along with in depth information provided by each of the tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The variety of social experiences provided by Jorge which included Wine Tasting, great dinners, history of the local areas, hotel accommodations and the opportunities to meet our teammates."

Maureen

Meadow Vista, CA

Tour: 09/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved exploring the museums with local guides/experts in the art. Dining at local establishments, not typical tourist spots was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo - fabulous old town, lots of history, beautiful area"

Arturo

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was awesome! I was able to see that my Hispanic background from Spain is rich with a lot of culture.The knowledge of our lead guide Federico made the trip a real learning experience on the history of Spain.We had excellent detail facts provided on Picaso,El Greco.Goya,Velasquez,Gaudi and numerous other painters.The history of the Jewish and Morish influence was explained in detail with our site visits. I enjoyed the fellowship with the other 23 members of our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The size of the "Sagrada Familia"cathedral.The beauty inside was just awesome.You have to see it to belief it."

Chris

North Branford, CT

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonder filled time exploring Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo. I felt we were taken to all the important sites and many "back door" gems. The group was filled with fun and inquisitive people. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a couple that was in a previous Rick Steves tour with me among the group. My only preconceived must see was the Sagrada Familia and that did not disappoint. Everything else was a nice surprise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided tour of the Picasso Museum. I learned a lot in a very exciting and easy to understand way. A close second was Toledo. Socially, my favorite time was the night in a quaint Madrid plaza where we dined at D'Fabula and then went to the Flamenco show capped off by a milkshake with my friends from Best of Europe at the "Secret Garden" on the roof of the luggage store."

Susan

College Place, WA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour offered a variety of experiences including fine art, architecture, history, culture, and lively street-life. Our tour guide Federico was warm, knowledgeable and attentive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was stunning and made me want to return to Barcelona to see if again when it's finished."

Bonnie

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic way to get a taste of the many sights, flavors and ambiance of Barcelona and Madrid. The balance of tour time and free time was just right. The guides' knowledge was wide and deep. The entire tour was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona's Sagrada Familia architecture kept me gasping at the beauty and ingenuity of the structure inside and out."

Michelle

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spain is beautiful! There were so many things to do and see, and we did a lot. I loved the overall structure of the tour. The group gathered in the mornings for the scheduled tours and trips, and then we had the afternoons and evenings to do whatever we liked. We could see more of the places we just toured, have something to eat, check out other tourist sites, or simply wander around. Our tour guide always had excellent suggestions, and we all had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. I think my favorite was seeing the inside of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The colors from the stained glass windows, the graceful pillars, and all the tiny details in the architecture were just amazing. I think I stood with my mouth hanging open for a good five minutes, just taking it all in."

Joann

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The people of Spain were very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the pedestrian-friendly aspects of the cities. The guided tours were good, albeit a bit rushed at times. The itinerary allowed maybe a bit too much free time; it would have been nice to spend more time on the guided tours. Perhaps a stretch to call it an eight day tour when Day 1 starts at 5 pm and Day 8 ends after breakfast?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one 'wow' moment. The Gaudi architecture was phenomenal, as was the Sinagoga del Tránsito."

Dana

Macungie, PA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time to travel on a Rick Steves' tour. We have used his books for years as the primary source to help plan our trips and book our hotels. We were thrilled and delighted with the tour! The tour guides were knowledgeable and enriched our experience immensely. We also really enjoyed the other travelers on our tour. Curious, interested, and engaged in the world, defined our crew of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments on the trip. My first was walking into the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. While I had seen many photos of the exterior, I had never seen the inside. As we entered the great cathedral, it felt liking walking into an enchanted forest. The cathedral of trees was made even more beautiful with the use of stained glass. My second "wow" moment was seeing Picasso's Guernica in Madrid. Our tour guide offered a moving explanation describing Picasso's goal and vision."

Christina

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/26/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic time in Spain!Great tour leader Federico awesome!Excellent sites that we visited.Really nice group of people on our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museums especially Prado was like going back hundreds of years."

Lynda

Belmont, CA

Tour: 06/19/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved nearly everything about the week. Nygil is a fantastic tourguide/sommelier who happily shares his love for his adopted cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Toledo emerging from the distance on bus as we arrived. So wish we had been able to spend the night there to see the magic hours of late evening and dawn."

Carolyn

Kentfield, CA

Tour: 06/19/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide Nygil was wonderful - such generosity of spirit! he made Barcelona and especially Madrid come alive for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"overlooking Toledo on a beautiful morning"

Gary

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/19/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well done. I learned a lot about the history and art and architecture. The pace was good and allowed for free time and down time. This was especially helpful at the beginning of the tour to fight jet lag.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sacred Family cathedral in Barcelona."

Carol

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/19/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

friendly group who were all conscientious about being on time, but relaxed about all that we did. We even had 3 teenagers with us and a couple 20-somethings and they were mature and participatory! Everyone seemed to watch out for each other. Hotels were comfortable, and Nygil's expertise with wine and food was totally AWESOME!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo!! I want to spend a month just "be"-ing there!"

Thomas

Millville, DE

Tour: 06/19/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun, enlightening, efficient. I could have never seen as much or learned as much on my own. Every guide was good, a couple were extraordinary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but I'd say learning that Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisted in Toledo for what, two centuries(?) was inspirational."

Weather

Spain / Barcelona

Barcelona Weather

Spain / Madrid

Madrid Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Barcelona and Madrid: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews, and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for both of the tour's hotels is included in your tour confirmation email. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel.

Transportation

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members arrange to fly into Barcelona and out of Madrid ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, and/or additional overnight stay in Spain.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Barcelona before your tour begins, use the Rick Steves Spain guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Spanish, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Barcelona that we do not do as a group: City History Museum, Catalan Concert Hall, Fundació Joan Miró, Maritime Museum, and Park Güell (reservations recommended). If you are interested in attending zarzuela, the Spanish light opera, during or after your tour, you may want to check the schedule and buy tickets before leaving home. More information can be found in your Rick Steves guidebook; schedules and booking information are at Teatro de la Zarzuela. For additional sightseeing after your tour, see your Rick Steves guidebook for suggestions. Your guide will also be happy to help you with your post-tour plans.

Packing

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.