• 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 $1,995 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 — tapping into the tapas scene, 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

2019

2020

    • Feb 16–Feb 23 (Su–Su)
    • $1,995 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 17–May 24 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 24–May 31 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast

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 17 group sightseeing events • 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
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • 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 2020
  • 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 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 by exploring Barcelona's lively food scene, 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 from 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.
  5. Eat group dinners as late as 9 p.m.

Reviews

John

Woodhaven, NY

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third tour with the Rick Steves organization andgain I was not disappointed. The tour overall was well organized; the hotel accommodations were first rate; the tour dinners were at small family run restaurants that used the freshest of local ingredients. Both the tour and local guides were knowledgeable. The tour insured you got to see the main sites yet left you time to explore on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To pick a "wow" moment where do I begin' the vaulted nave of the Sagrada Familia, the Roman ruins of Barcino that lay under the present city of Barcelona, seeing the hilltop city of Toledo in the morning light. The one moment I enjoyed and was a total surprise was our Catalan cooking class on the first night of the tour. Our whole group became a team under the expert guidance of the cooking school's chef. We all had a hand in preparing the meal from gazpacho to crema catalana."

Patricia

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really liked this tour even though Barcelona was not one of my favorite cities. However, I loved Madrid it is such a beautiful city. This was my 5th tour and I thought the group was really good, we all seemed to mesh.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived in Madrid I was surprised by how beautiful it is. And you could tell how much Amanda loves it. I felt like she was sharing her city with us."

Charles

Thornhill, ON

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour covered all of the promised attractions. Civil disruptions provided logistical challenges but did not distract from us accomplishing our objectives. Toledo was a pleasant surprise. As in our past RS tours, the local guides were "outstanding".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi - Sangrada Familia & La Pedrera The Prado & Reina Sofia Arriving at an overlook of Toledo on a clear, crisp morning."

Laura

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well run. Amanda was clear about her expectations from day one, which was great! Our local tour guides were very knowledgeable and interesting. The tour was a good mix of activities. The first night welcome dinner was a cooking class, which was fantastic! It gave us way more chance to mingle instead of a regular sit down dinner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Sagrada Familia and learning about Gaudi and his architecture . Walking into the church was definitely a big wow moment."

David

Yarmouthport, MA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can only echo the responses that my wife, Vicki K, posted in her evaluation. We had a beautiful experience, thanks to AMANDA!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe Amanda was instrumental in arranging the pleasant weather we enjoyed! Tours with Frederico had to be a highlight......"

Vicki

Yarmouth Port, MA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and it was awesome, beyond expectations. All planned activities were well-planned and very enjoyable. The first night cooking class was a great way to get to know our group of 25. The food we made was a nice exposure to Spanish food. Having pre-ordered tickets at the activities saved much time and frustration. Having our guide, Amanda, guide us through the metro, buses and train decreased any anxiety about associated with being in a foreign country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evening! In Barcelona it was Sagrada Familia. In Madrid it was the palace. All of Toledo and especially the Jewish museum."

Steve

Durham, NC

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized with outstanding guides. A nice mix of planned activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico was outstanding at the Palace, Prado and Sofia Renia. Very informative and entertaining tours."

John

Duluth, MN

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It surprised me by walking my way through the country really was the best way to go

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Guadi sites"

Jennifer

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the overall tour experience very much. This is our second time to travel Europe and having the major sights scheduled with local tour guides made our limited time fully used. Federico provided wonderful options for our free time while in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a very difficult question because so many sights were wow moments. If I have to pick, the sight of Toledo as you arrive along the gorge and hear the history of this city. The cathedral was a "wow" for me."

William

Cooperstown, NY

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was much more than we anticipated, we saw and learned so much. Barcelona was easy to explore because of the central location of our hotel. We found places of interest down every alley. Madrid was another magnificent tour. Federico blended Spain's history with the history of art. We even had side trips to Toledo & Segovia. The other participants were all friendly, intelligent and ready for adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were MANY favorite moments. In Barcelona, all of the Gaudi buildings as well as Lluís Domenech i Montaner's Palau de La Musica! The palace in Madrid, the castle and aqueduct in Segovia, and the running of the sheep through the streets of Madrid! (Quite unexpected)"

Mary

Plano, TX

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was fantastic. Seeing that some days walking was "strenuous" concerned me a bit (we are over 65 yrs but active) but it was not. Barcelona was magical with the Gaudi buildings--the highlights for me. The hotel was fantastic in accommodations, food, services, afternoon tea and location. The Madrid hotel location was excellent but the rooms and services were not that great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was hands down the wow moment of the trip for me."

Marc

Cedar Rapids, IA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our third RS tour so we have some means of comparison to other trips. A couple of things stood out as different from our other tours. Staying in just two cities/hotels allowed us to do a lot less unpacking/repacking/get-on-the-bus. Not that that's a negative on the other tours, but it made for a more relaxing time. There seemed to be more dinners together this time. Very nice way to get to know our tour mates. Frederico is "magnifico"!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are, as always too many to boil down to one favorite, but I must say that the tour of Toledo was wonderful. Awesome views, great history. That and, of course, virtually every meal !!!! Spain is definitely a foodie's dream tour!"

Michael

Renton, WA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour: - Great guide! Federico was an amazing guide and made this trip amazing! He's a wonderful story teller. - Great hotel location in both Barcelona! We loved the hotels and the staff in Hotel Granvia was one the best we've experienced. I've let them know how much we appreciated it. We'd highly recommend Rick Steve's European tours to all of our friends and this is just another example. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was spectacular, and Federico singing opera was the icing on the cake!"

Carol

North Reading, MA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This being our third Rick Steves tour we were somewhat underwhelmed. The first group dinner we were rushed out of the restaurant with out getting our after dinner coffee and drinks, with no explanation. We had local guides to visit the sights, the walking tours went on far to long with the guides going on and on with information that did not interest us while walking for 4+ hours. However when inside the art museum we did appreciate all of the guides education in art history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nothing to report here."

Otto

North Reading, MA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The walking tours are too long. One has to consider the tour group when taking them on such an excursion. You have to hold their attention and listening to the minute details of an artist and his paintings does not hold the audience. Rick Steve's tours should also make the bus tour of Barcelona one of the first things to experience. It gives the guests a chance to make alternative plans during their free time and give one an overview of the city before the tour begins.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, didn't really have a "wow" moment."

Marcia

Hammond, IN

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love Spain. The people were so friendly, the food was fantastic, the wine was wonderful. Both Barcelona and Madrid were great in such different ways. And, the day in Toledo was a highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing Toledo from across the river. The panorama was so beautiful and the town looked so peaceful and quiet in the early morning."

William

Pasadena, MD

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

At the beginning of the tour, Javier made a comment to the effect that there were many kinds of tours and none were necessarily bad just different. Some people might like the style of a Rick Steve's Tour more than others. I would say it is probably not to my taste. To be fair, the tour went off for the most part, as described in the online description. The trip is rated as one of the most strenuous and that's not hard to believe. There's a lot of walking but I'm not sure there had to be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie for me. I'm not sure if it was that we just walked that far for a really average churo or wow imagine that the people who arranged the tour are surprised the Royal Palace is not available to tour on one of the biggest national holidays of the year."

Mark

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second time to Barcelona. Although most of the sites on this trip were repeats from our previous trip, they were just as great as our first trip. Our guide Javier was great and we had lots of free time to explore on our own. It's a shame the Rick Steve's Europe can't make 36 hour days for these trips. ??

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it's nearly impossible to eclipse the Sagrada Familia, but the cathedral in Toledo came pretty close. Although the Boquiera Market is a completely different experience, it is a great time as well"

Charles

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent, one of the more enjoyable among the 14 Rick Steves tours I have taken. Javier, our tour guide, did an outstanding job teaching us about Barcelona, Madrid, and the overall Spanish experience. The two main cities we visited were quite different from each other, yet each was memorable and unique in its own way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona certainly lived up to its reputation. The cathedral in Toledo, especially the inside, is an awesome sight. The flamenco dance show in Madrid, while not a formal part of the tour itinerary, was a true highlight of the tour that will never be forgotten."

James

Mount Vernon, IL

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"everything Gaudi"

Clark

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my spouse and me, this was our first group "tour" ever. We were definitely not disappointed! In fact we thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Rick Steves Tours, from beginning to end. The support staff, guides, accommodations, transport and the balance between programmed activities and opportunities for independent exploration were all excellent. And the cross-cultural approach made it even more special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the use of the highly knowledgeable local guides for each of the main program activities - to deepen and enhance our understanding of the art, history and culture - was the most pleasant surprise throughout the Tour. Otherwise, I suspect that some of the sites would have been simply overwhelming and we certainly would not have learned as much."

Patricia

West Dennis, MA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Europe many times but never on a Rick Steves Tour. It definitely met all my expections. The guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, each day was well planned with enough down time to explore on our own or just relax. And ... the best part was that I barely incurred addition costs. That was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was being able to go to the beach in Barcelona, explore and have lunch at one of the many outdoor restaurants along the coast. It was amazing."

Jeanne

West Dennis, MA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Rick Steves'Tour. Exceeded my expectations. Amazing tour guide, James, who was immediately very comfortable to be with and talented. I loved our local guides who I looked forward to meeting on each part of the tour- They were knowledgeable and all had their own special charm. The most considerate and congenial tour group I have ever been on tour with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well I think of a couple.... In Barcelona I loved loved Sagrada Familia. Loved all the local restaurants-each night looked forward to where we would go. In Madrid Loved James showing us around the Plaza del Sol-the great "happening"place in Madrid and fantastic happy crowds there and loved the Plaza de Major. So fun!!!"

Laurie

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed every moment of our Rick Steves tour: Best of Barcelona and Madrid in 8 Days. Our lead guide, James Scanlan and the local guides were all excellent. Our accommodations were clean, nicely staffed, centrally located and had fantastic breakfasts. Transportation arrangements were very good and promoted independent exploration. Our presentations about the history, art, music, and culture of Spain were absorbing and enriching. The insights we have come home with are rich and vivid!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband and I have extensive international travel and living experiences with Peace Corps and international development. We love traveling independently. This was our first group travel tour. Our "wow" moment became clear in the collective experience of our tour. Our tour educated us and exposed us to the rich culture of Spain, encouraged us to explore it on our own, and promoted cross cultural understanding. Seeing how a R. Steves Tour model achieves this was the "wow" moment."

Diane

Wilmington, NC

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It truly was a wonderful tour. This was our second Rick Steves tour, and it was defiantly close to the first one, Prague, which we loved. Another very enjoyable group of people to travel with. It is so nice not to have to worry about tickets and getting to places on time. James was a marvelous guide, handling all details with professional ease.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely visiting Sagrada Familia - the church is just breathtaking! But I have to add that the Royal Palace in Madrid was also a "Wow" moment. Of course a lot of the enjoyment of the Royal Palace came from our guide, Fede. He was entertaining, funny, and very informative!"

Carol

Hanover, PA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour and from the first night it met all our expectations. The food was fabulous. The museums and sights were amazing. The group was warm, friendly and very considerate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a teacher, my favorite parts are all the things I learn. The early life and history of Picasso was a highlight. Also seeing and learning about the paintings in the Prada was amazing. The opportunity to view Picasso's Guernica was a highlight that will always stay with me."

Curtis

Westminster, MD

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All tour guides are so knowledgeable and the insights they give you are incredible. Travel arrangements were top notch. Time is maximized, itinerary ve y well designed. When you leave a city you feel immersed in the culture and the city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Toledo. INCREDIBLE local guide."

Brian

Kensington, MD

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was superb. Our guide James was informative, very smart, engaging and had a measured personality that was very reassuring. The same was true of the local guides. Barcelona and Madrid are wonderful, if different cities, and I feel as if we experienced both with depth and flair. The meals and wines were outstanding. We had a fun group. There was a lot of sharing personal stories as well as responding to the tour itself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two. The tour of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona with our sensational guide Sonia. We were not fans of Picasso but her stories and background made Picasso come alive. This was followed by a fascinating walk through the ancient alleys and streets of the Barri Gotic and El Born. The second was the tour of magnificent Toledo with our guide Adolfo."

Michael

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour included the highlights I was looking for. I like the experience of mixing with local citizens. The pace was brisk along with the breadth of information offered for each area visited. The tour guide had an entertaining, yet thorough manner of communicating historical facts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was the "wow" moment. As a architectural student my only connection was from photos which were mostly cluttered with extensive interior and exterior scaffolding. I was not able to experience grandeur of the space that unfolded before me when viewing the space firsthand fifty years after those student years."

Devin

Greenbrier, TN

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time on a Rick Steves tour. My expectations have been well over achieved. Fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was so well planned and thought out. My "wow" was all the food and drinks offered."

Zenaida

Highland Park, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing, from beginning to end. It's been years that I've been wanting to travel to Barcelona and Madrid. This year I made it happened. It's my gift to myself for my golden birthday.I could not ask for anything more. This is my first time joining a Group Tour and joining Rick Steve's Tour doesn't disappoint. I would do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. This should be on the 25 Truly Amazing Places To Visit. This really took my breath away. I've seen a lot more other beautiful churches after visiting Sagrada Familia and there was just no comparison. I cannot wait to see this one finished on year 2026."

Teresita

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our first time with Rick Steve's tour. And it exceeded our expectations. I went with my husband and sister and we had a wonderful time.Federico was an excellent tour guide. He's so funny and full of information. I learned a lot, more than I bargain for. Federico is a good story teller and a good actor. He had raise the bar so high. We had a wonderful group and everyone just get along. Barcelona and Madrid's architecture is breathtaking.And great food/wine selections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What is my WOW moment? I would say ,when I was coming up from the train station and when I turn around and I saw the Sagrada Familia. Oh my goodness it took my breath away. I cannot believe that I was there in person. It is so beautiful. The other WOW moment was when we were on top of the La Pedrera Casa Mila."

Christina

Hilton Head, SC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great to be in a small manageable group. Please keep the group size small; never more than 24– And the "buddy" system worked very well. Only wish there were more time - although, Frederico did a great job of adjusting activities to maximize our time. This tour made the most of the time that we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the entire city of Barcelona!"

David

Hilton Head, SC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The main guide was was great. The local guides were OK. The accomodations in Barca were fine. Not so much in Madrid. The meals were good. Breakfast in Madrid needed much improvement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was that Lionel Messi was playing in Barca when we were there. On the normal tour the art museums were the highlight."

Carol

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guides were well-informed, caring and good presenters. We saw the "best" of the cities on the tour. Accommodations were comfortable and nicely appointed. Food was plentiful and full of local delicacies.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia with a very knowledgeable and passionate guide."

David

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was very well organized. The hotels were perfectly located and offered the right degree of comfort. Our guide Nygil was the best RS guide we have had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Família, without question, hands down."

Allen

Marana, AZ

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Top of the Arc de Triomphe views of Paris."

Roxane

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our guide treated us all with kindness and respect. Had double duty for the first few days but I never felt cheated or that the group was missing anything. Two busy cities with lots to see, do and eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Liked touring Toledo"

Rocco

North Merrick, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo Spain, church in Toledo totally unexpected."

Michael

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lodging & restaurants were great. Our tour leader (guide) was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prado museum in Madrid."

David

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. We expected fantastic art and architecture, but we were pleased to have such excellent overviews of history and cultural happenings in Spain. We could have been overwhelmed by churches and cathedrals, but each seemed to tell a story that enchanted us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The glory of the Sagrada Familia fulfilled our expectations. Monica, our local guide, was so knowledgeable and passionate about the Basilica that she inspired us to take in every soaring spire, stained glass window, and ornate statue inside and out. Part of the wonder of the structure is knowing the thoughtful application Gaudi put into the design."

Sherrie

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was outstanding. Visiting many famous sites, our guides explaining all facts w the "whispers", which was new to us. I wasn't ready to come home, we had been gone since August 26! I'm excited to choose our next trip in Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The famous church in Barcelona by far !"

Karen

New City, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour and like the others, it was wonderful. We had a fun group, an outstanding guide, some very memorable local guides, great food and wine and very good weather. I think I actually enjoyed Spain more than I even thought I would. And the tour (and Nigel) prepared us very well for the independent travel we did at the conclusion of our 8 days with the group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Possibly all the Gaudi we encountered. Photos of his creations don't do justice to the actual buildings and parks. A second Wow goes to the stark realization that all the Jewish people really did have to leave Spain during the Spanish Inqusition. Montjuic was particularly poignant for me."

David

New City, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again the whole travel experience was exceptional. From the moment we met the group at the orientation meeting throughout the tour until our farewell dinner my expectations were more than met. Our guide Nygil was interesting, educational and extremely attentive to all our needs. Even when the unexpected illness to another guide caused Nygil to split his time with us, he handled it professionally and made sure that all of our needs were met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ease of travel between Barcelona and Madrid. The experience of traveling on the bullet train. The convenience of not having to take a bus or the hassle of air travel. The train was clean, fast and easy to negotiate. We were able to travel again by train when we left the tour in Barcelona and travelled to Seville. Because of the earlier experience of using mass transit, it made our later travels much easier. The quality and quantity of food was also most enjoyable. Tapas and wine"

Jack

Saint Helens, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of very compatible people. The tour guide was friendly and went out of his way to help. The local guides were good. I don't remember all thie names, but my favorites were Freddy in Madrid, and the young woman who led us through the Prada Musuem.

Ellen

Cary, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent. A great combination of scheduled and free time. Our tour guide, William, was great! He had a wealth of information and suggestions that were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Família was a definite wow moment! Seeing the beauty and elegance of Gaudi's vision is indescribable, you just have to experience it."

Ann

Ringgold, GA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful trip to Barcelona and Madrid. We had fabulous food, exceptional hotels, guides who made our trip interesting, 25 other Americans who became our friends, and William who watched over us like a mother hen!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museums, the Bascilica designed by Gaudi, and the Spanish palace were my favorites. Since antiques are a favorite of my, the Spanish palace was my wow moment. Our first night we had cooking school for our dinner. It was a "wow" experience. We had an opportunity to enjoy a wine tasting with an expert, and I'd say "wow" about it too!"

Cheryll

Valparaiso, IN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steve's tour. Our guide, William, was outstanding, we had a wonderful group of people and we really enjoyed the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really loved Sagrada Familia. It's so unique and we would love to see it again when it's completed."

Edward

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed learning from our experienced primary guid,e William, and the subject matter expert guides. Very organized and gratious

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sacra Familia and Alahambra"

Susan

Portage, IN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was terrific, it was a great group to travel with and our tour guide William was super knowledgeable, fun and certainly went above and beyond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to pick just one, but I have to say La Sagrada Familia with the colors from the streaming sunlight through the stained glass was a real "wow". And Guernica at the Rena Sofia, with our local guide's chilling personal story around this time in Spain's history."

Patricia

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour experience! Our guide, William, was not only very knowledgeable, but also very friendly and fun. We had a variety of great experiences - a nice balance of art, architecture, food and history. Local guides were exceptional, gave us lots of context and background to appreciate everything we saw. I appreciated the generous amounts of free time to wander and explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss-up between seeing the magnificent Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the cathedral in Toledo. In both cases, our local guides gave us plenty of background and context so that we could fully appreciate the beauty we witnessed."

Joseph

Salisbury, MA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very impressed in changes in Barcelona over time. Impressed with the organization, acommadations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona."

Terry

Salisbury, MA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The planning and efficiency of the tour was well appreciated and certainly made travel more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband had been in Barcelona many years ago, so seeing the change in the city was the biggest one for him."

Anne

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was amazing. The check-in process at the hotels was simple, the tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly, the food at the group meals was tasty, and the tours of the attractions were beyond anything that I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think, for me, seeing Picasso's Guernica was the most surprising and inspiring thing that we did. I enjoy art, but have never experienced it like that before. We got to visit the Picasso a few days prior in Barcelona, so we already learned about some of his history. Then, before we went in to see the painting, Federico did a fantastic job of painting a picture of what was happening at the time it was painted. As we were looking at it, it all came together and I had all the feelings."

Richard

Roseville, CA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, especially the art museums, palaces and churches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Toledo, imagining what it must have been like when Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in harmony."

Bob

Lyons, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide made the experience more valuable. His knowledge and enthusiasm made me more appreciative of the culture and people. Mitch's presence was a plus for our group. Appreciated the assistance given regarding travel arrangements following the tour

Robert

Woburn, MA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Impressive attention to every detail. Fantastic organizational success in making all your members comfortable. Extremely satisfied with tour director's knowledge and interpersonal skills. Your honesty about it being strenuous so we were prepared. Enjoyed both scheduled and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico's explanation of Picasso's Guernica painting!! It brought tears to my eyes as he made us experience the pain in that painting."

Kathryn

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My guide, Fredirico, was an amazing storyteller, knowledgable, and a fun guy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Fredirico told the story of Picasso's painting Guernia. It bought me to tears."

Kevin

Woodland, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great fun. The hotels were centrally located and the walks around Barcelona and Madrid, on my own and with the group, were delightful and informative. Your local guides were uniformly marvelous though the woman who took us through the Picasso museum in Barcelona was spectacular. Jorge Alguera Roman was informative, interesting charming. Next time, and I am fairly sure there will be a next time for me and a Rick Steves' tour, I will try to avoid July in Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two events, the trip through the Picasso museum and the flamenco club with dinner and a show recommended by Jorge."

Lynne

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and it far exceeded our expectations. We loved staying in the heart of the city and walking to most venues. There was the right combination of group activities and free time to do as we wish. Keeping the tour group small allowed us to get to know our fellow travelers. We loved some of the "tasting" opportunities such as the wine tasting and tapas tasting. Above all we were impressed with our tour directors organization and knowledge! Thank you Jorge!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most definitely it was experiencing the rainbow of light streaming through the stained glass windows of the Segrada Família in Barcelona. Also the Picasso Museum was very impressive."

Kevin

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I CAN RESEARCH THE SPANISH HISTORY AND LOCAL ATTRACTIONS BUT THE VALUE ADDED BY QUALITY KNOWLEDGABLE GUIDES IS IMMERSABLE. OUR GUIDE JORGE (??) WAS OUTSTANDING WITH REGARDS TO KNOWLEDGE AND EFFORTS TO DEAL WITH ANY MINOR TRAVEL MEMBER ISSUES. HE IS AN OUTSTANDING GUIDE.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THERE WAS NO "ONE WOW MOMENT" - TO ME IT WAS THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE AND I REALLY APPRECIATED THE VARIOUS GUIDE ARRANGED "WINE TASTING" AND OTHER FOOD VENTURES."

Alice

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a well planned tour with interesting people and places. For two of the three days in Barcelona many of the shops/attractions were closed for a national feast day. Had I realized that when planning the trip, I may have picked another week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed La Sagrada Familia and the Picasso museum."

Suzanne

Anaheim, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. He made it fun and exciting. I love the personal touch of him taking pictures of the group and then sharing with all of us. Many times on a tour I have no photos of myself because I am taking the pictures. I just wish it didn't end so soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the Cathedral Gaudii designed. It was all the historical information given, everything we saw and experience inside. I also enjoyed Toledo because we got there a bit before the tour crowds started so we had room to enjoy the area."

Vicky

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great group of people on our tour and everyone got along really well, which made the tour extra fun. Jorge was a good guide and was very helpful when someone needed extra help, like when my daughter was sick at the beginning of the tour and we had to find a pharmacy that was still open before our first group dinner. My family enjoyed all of the activities and often used the book as well to find restaurant suggestions. We went to the bull fighting pub in Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring La Sagrada Familia. The stained glass made the light look beautiful inside."

Jane

Brooklyn Park, MN

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Didn't really have one."

Ken

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Spain tour was fantastic and Jorge kept us all entertained throughout the trip. Going to Spain was on my bucket list and we enjoyed our time in Barcelona, Madrid and I really liked Toledo. I wish we could have stayed longer in Toledo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing and walking around the old cathedral in Toledo. It was historic and incredibly beautiful."

Guillermo

Eagle Pass, TX

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first experience with Rick Steves Tours, and it was great from beginning to end. From Day 1, meeting our fellow Tour mates and establishing friendships, and throughout the 8 days of meals, museums, and sites my wife had an awesome time. Our guide, Helen Inman, was an excellent tour guide in that she was well versed in Spain's History, the cities we visited, and the locals. The local and museum guides were also great. We are already planning are next Rick Steve's Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrado Corazon and our first site of Toledo were are favorite wow moments of this tour. The beauty of Sagrado Corazon and its continued construction was just amazing to look at. The history of Toledo as provided by our guides was extremely informative and awe inspiring."

Lynda

Victoria, BC

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 3rd Rick Steves tour and it was an amazing tour from start to finish. The group of people we travelled with were great. Everyone got along and enjoyed each others company. Helen was a wonderful guide her knowledge of Barcelona and Madrid and her tips of what to do in our free time was very helpful. The hotels were good & well located. Both cities were easy to find your way around when we weren't with the group. The group dinners were some of the best we have ever had with a RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments... The local guides were so knowledgeable and passionate about their tours. The food and the wine... Museum of Catalan Art was an unexpected wow. The view of Barcelona from its upper terrace and stepping in to the grandness of the Oval room took my breath away. The courtyard at Madrid's Royal Palace before the crowds arrived. The armoury room at the Royal Palace. Sagrada Familia. Picasso's Guernica."

Sylvia

Eagle Pass, TX

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Toledo!"

Rigoberto

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! I loved the places we visited, the food we ate and the company we kept. Especially the freedom to explore on our own. As a first-time visitor to Spain, I appreciated our tour guide's support as we explored our surroundings and our independent explorations. I also enjoyed how our group shared their observations and questions about what we had seen that day. We walked a lot but it was nice to come back to a great hotel at the end of the day. Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to limit my observations of this trip to a favorite "wow" moment. There were a lot of "oohs" and "aahs" and "wows." If I had to pick a "wow," it would be the feeling I had inside the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (La Sagrada Família Basilica) in Barcelona. Once you looked past the crowds, you saw the peace and beauty of the building. The light, the stone and the space. Wow."

David

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time traveling with a tour, and I was apprehensive about being with two dozen other people so much. My concerns were quickly put to rest. The emphasis on walking, with only minimal transport by bus, and the scheduled free time most days provided a great balance of togetherness and freedom. All of the other members of the tour were pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The inside of Sagrada Familia was the highlight of the sites we visited. Our guide's recommendation to try a vermouth bar near the hotel in Barcelona led us to compare vermouth at each city we visited, including after the tour, which was fun (now we're learning how to make it at home). Walking some of the streets mentioned in Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, which I read before, during and after the trip, made Barcelona seem even more magical."

John

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized - Great tour director, super attention to detail - extremely helpful in all aspects of the tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona and the Sagrada Família Tour."

Maria

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. A very comprehensive overview of history, art, food and culture in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo. Accommodations were fantastic and centrally located. The dining experiences were wonderful. It was nice to support locally owned restaurants and experience what a local would rather than feel like a tourist. The group tours at cathedrals and museums were unmatched. The local guides offered interesting and insightful perspectives.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing local and family owned restaurants and businesses! It was great to be able to contribute to their successes."

Elaine

Bedford, NS

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first tour my husband and I have taken. We found the tour to be exactly as described in the tour promotional materials. It was a fantastic experience from beginning to end, thanks to great organization, useful and timely tour preparation, varied experiences expertly guided, an excellent tour guide, enough free time to pursue our own interests, great food and convivial travelling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There seemed to be a "wow" moment every day, but this one stands out: Entering the Sagrada Família and feeling like I was inside a rainbow."

Patricia

Antioch, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I traveled with my parents who had never been overseas before. I was really hoping that this first experience would spark a love of travel. This trip did this and so much more. We not only had an amazing vacation, experiencing a brand new country together, we forged bonds with our fellow travelers more quickly than I ever would have expected. Looking back, I'm floored by all the experiences we manage to pack into 8 short days. And now, we are trying to decide where to visit next!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my parents faces light up when they experienced La Boqueria market, when they toured La Sagrada Família, when we were navigating the subway systems, when we were enjoying churros and Chocolate or when we experienced a flamenco show. My favorite moment was as we walked back from our tapas crawl in Madrid, street musicians were playing, we were in a silly mood and we danced and laughed our way across the Plaza del Sol."

Stacey

Milton, FL

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this tour. I learned so much more about the Spanish culture and art than I anticipated. The "whisper system" was such a wonderful way to communicate during the tours/walks! Every tour/walk/event/meal/ was a great choice!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be tough to choose a favorite...each part of the tour had its own "wow"! From the cooking class to the museums/cathedrals to the high speed train ride -Wow!!!"

Eric

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was fantastic. We experienced all the "must see" items described in the promotional materials: La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, The Prado, the Picasso Museum, and so many other amazing sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it's hard to pick just one. La Sagrada Familia was impressive beyond words. Photos don't capture the experience of being in the space, and it was well worth the effort. The experience of visiting Toledo was also a wow -- the history, the architecture, and the story combined to a memorable day."

Arnold

Milton, FL

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have never been on a guided tour before this one. We thought of just winging it and going to Spain on our own, but decided to try the Rick Steve's tour. We are very happy we did! Booking was easy online and felt the price was reasonable. Our tour group was a good size at 24 people. We enjoyed all the sites and the amount of free time. Hotels were good and all our travel went smoothly. After it was over we both agreed we would do another R S tour with no hesitation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Picasso Museum was a highlight along with the Sagrada Familia. Enjoyed the day in Toledo also."

Jason

Newburgh, NY

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was great. I have a new found love of Spain because of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We saw so many impressive cathedrals, but the Sagrada Familia was by far the most amazing. It was incredible to see. A marvel of architecture and art. The light from the stained glass creates a magical sense of being in a rainbow. It's obvious why it is a tourist draw even though it hasn't been finished. I plan on returning when it is finished."

Denise

Buffalo, NY

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, excellent timing for events, high-quality tour guides, and a lovely tour director who was flexible when necessary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, truly awe-inspiring!"

Amy

Westerville, OH

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and stayed on schedule with no rushing about. The activities were given sufficient time with many opportunities to return to some sites with no additional payments (e.g., The Prado and the Reina Sofia). The hotel in Barcelona was excellent, but the Madrid hotel was only so-so, but not a deterrent. And how can I complete this review without telling you how awesome our tour guide Amanda is!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The high speed train! And croquetas at the wine-tasting in Madrid."

Jason

Newburgh, NY

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Rick Steves Best of Barcelona & Madrid tour was really great! First and foremost- Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo are fantastic cities with so much to see and experience. The tour itself was well organized with a nice mix of group activities and free time. Our RS guide (Amanda) along with local guides were interesting and well versed in the history of what we were seeing and provided an ease in traveling that allowed us to feel more relaxed. Overall, very pleased with our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments on this tour but my favorite was Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. Despite the fact that it is a major tourist attraction and is always busy- it is amazing to see to vision that Gaudi had over 100 years ago still coming to life and to feel the power of artistic expression. The quality of the light cast from the rainbow colored stained glass windows onto the light colored interior nave feels inspiring and glorious. It is definitely unlike any other cathedral."

Mary

North Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful experience in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo. I enjoyed having a lot of downtime to explore the country with my husband, rather than constantly being in a group. I learned a lot about art, the history of Spain, and the people of Spain. The tour guides were exceptional. I particularly loved Frederico.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guernica- the explanation of the bombing. It was the first time I ever felt that I understood Picasso's cubism. The Garden of Earthly delights by Hieronymous Bosh. La Sagrada Familia was thrilling to see."

Shirley

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Always as good as all our previous trips with Rick Steves touts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museum tour guides, especially the art museums."

Virgil

North Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was great! I love the sites, the food, and the people. I wish we could have squeezed in Seville.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far La Sagrada Familia, a close second was seeing Guernica in Madrid. Eating Suckling Pig at Botin was another wow, I would consider trying to get it on your tour."

Terri

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia. It was incredible!!"

Charles

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our "shepherding" guide Agustin was phenomenal. Ever present, watchful, information, kind and engaged I would join another tour of his in a minute. We got to see the highlights of so many places and a nice balance of free time. The accommodations arranged and the food was wonderful. We loved the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many highlights an every day felt like a highlight and probably the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was the most mind blowing and we aren't even Catholic."

Isabelle

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great for my family and I! I was probably the youngest person in the entire group but I did not feel left out for one second! The tour was very interactive and extremely informative about the history of Spain and our tour guide, Augustine, made the tours very warm! He was funny and seemed very passionate about the topics he was talking about. I would definitely recommend these tours to everyone I know who wants to travel abroad, 7 out of 5 stars for Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say my favorite part of the entire trip was the Sagrada Família! I don't consider myself religious in any way but when I went into this cathedral, it took by breath away and had a lump in my throat, it is truly a work of art and I will always remember it!"

Suzanne

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting"

Dennis

Sisters, OR

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip with great people and an outstanding guide. Agustin Ciriza was wonderful as our guide. Would love to travel with him again as a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was amazing to visit"

Deborah

Marysville, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it will not be our last! The pace was busy but not too hectic, the insight provided by our guide was phenomenal and really added to the experience. There was still time in the schedule to do some of own exploring and the location of the hotels made it easy to do that on foot. We particularly liked the hotel in Barcelona.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it's hard to pick a favorite. The Royal Palace in Madrid was spectacular and the stop on the hill with the view of Toledo was definitely up there in the "wow" moments."

Joe

Harvest, AL

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Happy with the tour.

Elizabeth

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour did an outstanding job of covering the highlights of the two cities, plus Toledo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Seeing the light streaming through the stained glass windows in La Sagrada Familia 2. Seeing Caravaggio's recently restored painting of Saint Catherine in the Thyssen museum in Madrid. I had the room to myself for 10 minutes. What a contrast with the large crowds at the Prado."

Alice

Harvest, AL

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good experience. We've done several tours with Rick Steves and this was one of my favorites! Barcelona was just a magical city, I loved the architecture. Madrid was very stately. Toledo was historically well-preserved and fascinating. The rest of our tour group was friendly and interesting, as we have come to expect from Rick Steves tours! Due to the logistics of this particular trip, it was nice to not have to spend a lot of time on a bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An unexpected "Wow" was the Palace of Catalan Music in Barcelona! We took the English guided tour, and went back for a classical pianist performance one evening. What an incredible building."

Tom

Marysville, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we loved it! I had had tours with other companies in other countries and none compared to this Rick Steves' tour. When we were first married we lived across the street from the current office, so we were familiar with Rick Steves and I am also a Edmonds High Alum. I was further impressed when we got home to see a front page article in the Everett Herald about his contributions to help offset the impact of his tours to global warming. We will be back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when we first caught a glimpse of Toledo. I felt like I had stepped back into to the 1500s. "Holy Toledo"!!"

Christopher

Mansfield, MA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! this is our third RS tour, and like the venice florence rome trip, having several days in each city was a big plus. In 3 or 4 days you see most of what you want to see, and develop little "local favorites" and a sense of familiarity. The hotels were great and centrally located for easy walking. We really liked the Midmost in Barcelona. the staff was excellent and helpful, and the rooftop terrace was a treat. It was our "nightcap" spot for reviewing the day

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral in toledo was incredible, Sagrada Familia was a close second. Hard to pick one thing. The architecture in Madrid was more beautiful than I expected."

Kevin

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nonstop food, art and fellowship - terrific!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, Federico, singing opera at our farewell dinnwr."

Stephen

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was our first Rick Steves tour experience. It exceeded our expectations and was absolutely delightful, educational and filled with wonderful activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For Hanan, it was the tour of the Royal Palace in Madrid. For Steve, it was the tour of La Sagrada Família."

Jacqueline

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and my first tour of any sort. I was astounded by the quality and efficiency of the logistics, the itinerary, and the hotels (which were less "rustic" than I expected. Our tour guide, Federico, was an absolute rock star. He "read" the group and kept us moving, informed and completely entertained. We were absolutely unanimous in our enthusiasm for his work with us. The four local guides in Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo were also outstanding!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is hard to say - everything we did was wonderful. ...The Picasso Museum was a revelation, but so was Sagrada Familia, the Madrid Royal Palace (which caused many of us to gasp) and the Toledo Cathedral."

Karen

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. Our guide Federico was excellent as was all of the local guides. I learned and saw so much more than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada Família!"

Susan

Chehalis, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My first goal was to experience Gaudí in person. While there were some of his creations I wasn't able to see, I am very happy with what I did see as I was able to add a couple of locations early on Sunday, the day our tour started. For me the rest of the tour was a very rich icing on the cake.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The interiors of the Palace in Madrid were the most sumptuous furnishings I've ever seen. It's hard to imagine that as someone's home."

John

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect tour. Proper balance of group and individual time. Nice hotels, good meals, good and quick access to main sights. Great guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The group we were with congealed well through the leadership of Federico. It made it a lot more fun!"

Kevin

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was a great tour guide. Kept things well paced and he has a great sense of humor. The local guides elevated the trip significantly - visiting the museums without them would have taken those sites from a perfect 10 tp a 6.... they just amplify the experience so much...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso museum with the local guide - I had now idea about Picasso's evolution as an artist and the local guides explanation of cubism effectively tied together what that style of painting communicates.... I loved it."

Kristy

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Rick Steve's travelers are always so excited to be on tour, it makes for a wonderful experience, add a passionate guide and you're bound to have a fun adventure. The museums, palaces, and cathedrals were so interesting and unique. The cities of Barcelona and Madrid were so different, yet similar in that they both offered charm and so many options for things to see and do. Adding in a trip to Toledo just topped the cake for my thirst to see the rest of Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After all the hustle and bustle of Barcelona and Madrid, I loved going to Toledo. What an interesting town! Starting out early in the day it seemed to be a quiet, picturesque village with so much history. But then surprise, walking the narrow alleyways you come upon another area that has come to life with a gorgeous old cathedral and artists working in their shops. Toledo was a hidden gem."

Melissa

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was funny, engaging, informative. We walked through Barcelona on the first day and learned about the market. We sampled some great food, and he explained ham to us. Jolly good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going into the Sagrada Familia cathedral. We had a great guide that day, and the sun was just perfect on the beautiful glass. It was a wow."

Michael

Culver City, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the tour. The Guides (and local guides) were both capable and friendly. There was generally the right balance of scheduled activities and free time. The activities, from Gaudi tour, to Toledo, to museums, were well selected and well led. A short tour like this with less time on the bus was perfect for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inside tour of Familia Sagrada"

Susan

Culver City, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We covered the art, architecture and history of Barcelona and Madrid. All transportation was arranged and ran smoothly. Our hotels were centrally located. Wonderful local guides (I believe there were 5 local guides in a 6 day trip. Amazing!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture of Barcelona -- modernism and Gaudí!"

Ann

Canby, OR

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I are filling out this evaluation form for the both of us. We will only be submitting one. Our trip was wonderful. We saw so many beautiful and amazing sights. David did a great job of teaching us how to become locals. He kept us on schedule so we had time to enjoy each place. He also surprised us with a stop at a tapas bar, and other small surprises like marzapan! We especially loved all the architecture, ancient and new.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the Gaudi buildings. Especially the Sagrada Familia. We also visited Park Guell on our own. It was amazing!"

Rita

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our sixth Rick Steves' Tour and, once again, it exceeded our expectations. David Gillison, our tour guide, was exemplary. His spirit and enthusiasm for Spain and its distinctive sites was infectious. It was a real treat to walk the streets of Barcelona and Madrid with David and Matt as they pointed out the nuances and surprises that you see along the way. As always, the tour was well designed and presented a nice balance of key landmarks with plenty of free time and suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona designed by Gaudi and the lively street scenes of Madrid."

Sandra

Yellow Springs, OH

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Timing is everything, and we certainly picked a good time to be away from the rain in Ohio. We saw sunshine every day while in Spain. The entire trip was a 'wow'! The architecture, the hotels, the food, the tour and local guides, the wine, the gardens, palaces, museums. My knowledge of the history of Spain and its people has certainly been enhanced. I was intrigued, so bought a couple books to further increase my understanding of why Spain is so important to the rest of the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite 'wow' moment was standing across the river gazing on Toledo in the morning sun. ....to wonder about the people who lived there hundreds of years ago......"

Jerome

Yellow Springs, OH

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visited Art Museums, toured unique architecture & sampled the wonderful wine & food in both Barcelona and Madrid. Due to the quality of the RS tour guides & expertise of docents at critical venues, this was truly a meaningful, but all too short, experience. Our tour leader (David) lived in Madrid, so provided an intimate exposure to small, excellent cafés & wonderful food & wine in addition to the art and culture of the city & neighborhoods. Accommodations were centrally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner at La Fragua de Vulcano was exceptional; also, lunch at Fatigas del Querer. But of course, the Gaudi structures are hard to top."

Songcha

Fort Mill, SC

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip with your group and I was happy and impressed with your org. I live at the 55+ community and will certainly recommend your tour. Our guide, David Gillerson was sensitive, attentive to everyone's need, informative and knowledgeable, witty, and he made everyone's trip so pleasant and comfortable. He is truly an outstanding rep for your network. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"looking at the architecture of the cities we visited. Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo. Everything was my favorite and "wow" for me."

Mark

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was the best, very attentive to our needs and very informative about Spain and Spanish culture. Our hotels were very nice and located in the heart of Barcelona and Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Sagrada Família."

Kimberly

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip to Spain was way more wonderful than expected. We will certainly visit again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went "off tour" for one night and attended a concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalana. There can't be a more beautiful venue. A great experience among so many packed on to this trip."

Carolyn

Waukesha, WI

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What can I say but that it was a wonderful experience. The tour provided a good combination of local culture, color, art, history, current politics and of course food and drink! The tour was well organized (this was our 2nd RS tour) and provided a good mix of activity and free time. The expectations about the amount of walking are accurate so would recommend bringing comfortable and sturdy walking shoes! The tour group size is perfect. It was nice to have a mix of ages in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Probably Toledo! Stopping on the ridge before entering the town and having the opportunity to view the town from above and across the river. Being there in the morning before the mass of crowds made it an even better experience. 2. The Royal Palace in Madrid. Again, because of the expert planning of RS tours, we were there in the morning (2nd group admitted) before the crowds. Walking into the plaza and looking out over the valley was impressive. It was beautiful in the evening too!"

Lesley

Davis, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth Rick Steves tour and each one has been fantastic and very different. This is a city tour but we don't spend all of our time in churches and museums: we also walk through the neighborhoods. The addition of Toledo is welcome as it is smaller and we learn more about the country when Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in peace. And of course the food and wine are excellent! Our group was very cohesive and we all really enjoyed each other's company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi. Gaudi is probably a "wow" moment for almost every visitor to Barcelona. I really enjoyed La Pedrera (Casa Mila), (especially the rooftop!) but the Sagrada Familia was simply breathtaking. I would love to spend time studying the sculpture in depth and to "read" the Bible as translated by this fascinating artist/sculptor/architect. My second wow moment was the synagogue in Toledo: approved by Christians and built by Muslims as a house of worship for Jews, until 1492 that is."

Patricia

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although the tour was brief, it included impressive diversity of activities and experiences. Efficient use of time and great planning make it outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Early morning in Toledo was the best for me."

Andrea

Franklin, WI

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I throughly enjoyed this tour. This is my second 'city' tour, and they are a great to focus on a couple specific areas. Agustin was an excellent guide. The other travelers on this tour were fun & had so many interesting travel experiences to share. The train ride from Barcelona to Madrid was a perfect mode of transportation. Agustin gave perfect instructions to prepare (buy lunch in Barcelona) to eat on train ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Família in Barcelona. As with other sites, it is more impactful when I see & experience something in person versus reading about it."

Dane

Greenland, NH

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Agustin our tour guide was outstanding. He oversaw our care with such sincerity and care.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Segrada Familia and Flamenco dancing."

Andrea

Irondale, AL

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, the tour experience was very organized and well planned. Our RS guide and the local guides were outstanding. This was my first time in Spain so I gained a wealth of knowledge about the history, culture, food and traditions. This group was my favorite to date, although I am not sure why. Maybe because most everyone on the tour had been to more places and had wonderful stories to share. Several were repeat Rick Steves travelers, which is beneficial because it helps me plan my next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was much more fascinating than I anticipated. I really enjoyed our tour with the local guide there."

Andrew

Irondale, AL

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour of the large cities of Spain. Out group was great to travel with and Agustin is an amazing tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was amazing. Very well preserved and the local guide helped us connect with the city."

Edwin

East Falmouth, MA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Augustin was a terrific guide, ever willing to respond to even difficult political matters. He was very well prepared, considerate, knowlegeable and alot of fun. Hotel selection was excellent. Local guides at Toledo and the Madrid Royal Palace were particularly informative and entertaining.I would recommend this tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The inside of the "Gaudi" cathedral and that in Toledo were clearly wows by any standard."

John

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked the balance between tour and free time. Although we arrived 2 days in advance, I needed to take some of the free time for siesta.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Extra time at Sagrada Familia to listen to the chapter from Dave Brown's Origen. I do not know if the Easter weekend was different than normal weeks, but being in a busy city was a new experience."

Carmen

New York, NY

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the quality of the hotels. Loved the great organization but without the boxed in tour feeling. I'm now sold on Rick Steve's tours and am planning my next one . Augustin was fantastic.

Mary

East Falmouth, MA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is packed with wonderful experiences. All the guides are excellent. All the group meals were wonderful as well. Augustin made sure everyone was comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Madrid Cathedral was fantastic!"

Randy

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall a very good experience. Coverage of Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo was excellent. Also with good free time and alternative activities. Note: This was our second Rick Steve's tour having just completed the Best of Paris tour prior to this one. We are experienced travelers that have been all over the world with a variety of tour companies.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi day and Madrid's Royal Palace. Barcelona and Toledo were close too."

Kris

Fountain Valley, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour experience. We had a fantastic group of fellow travelers. I enjoyed the mix of planned and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Freddy's Madrid Royal Palace tour where he acted the role of Philip II. History come to life with the opening of his fan and bow to his audience. He mentioned musicians play the Stradivarius collection periodically. If returning to Madrid, we'd definitely investigate this further. As far as sites and vibe, Barcelona's old town and the Familla Sagrada were my favorites. Great recommendations for free time from guides: Casa Batllo and Hospital de la Santa Creu."

Tracy

Sequim, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Federico was amazing, never, never loss him as a guide. He was our leader but also our teacher, we all walked away with so much more knowledge and understanding of Spain's history. We will never look at art the same way since Federico's interruption and explanations. The weather was cold and rainy but we still had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, the Gaudi works in Barcelona, the architecture and the artwork with Federico's help. The parks of Madrid. Toledo was interesting, I'm glad we there early before the crowds.We enjoyed the people in our tour and locals, the maze of the streets, the hotels were nice and comfortable, the food was "yummy", the high speed train- a first for my husband, even the subway was fun. Having a group of only 12 was perfect."

Erin

West Lawn, PA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went into this tour with limited knowledge of Spain and left with such an appreciation for the culture, food, and history. This was my 11th tour, so I already believe in the tour philosophy. I love how our guide didn't waste our time, had an excellent plan, gave great directions, and felt like a friend by the end of the week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was hands down the WOW moment for me. Seeing the light streaming in through the windows will be my favorite memory from this trip. Second was Federico's color coordinated outfits, especially his rain gear."

Mary

Elyria, OH

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour in Spain. Federico ignited our interest in the history of Spain and tapped into a new appreciation of art and artists. We would definitely do another tour with Federico in other parts of Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finding out about artist's personalities and political views expressed in their work."

Brian

Everett, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and first trip to Europe as an adult... I'm 65 now. This was an exceptional trip for me... a solo traveler in a group of mostly couples and a family pair... a terrific bunch of travel companions. This was an educational experience - I was interested in learning how challenging it might be for me to visit Spain and Portugal, & joining a tour seemed like a good start. Our tour guide, Federico, was exceptional... he added so much to the tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was filled with "wow". I'm impressed that much of what I was seeing, buildings and art, is centuries old and I think about the dedication and the challenges... I'm very appreciative that I am able to see these grand structures and artworks - WOW! The crowds were pretty impressive as well - lots of people... I really enjoyed just walking and "seeing the sights" and the convenience of very good public transportation."

John

Elyria, OH

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful. Our tour guide, Federico, was fantastic. His knowledge, energy and attention to detail gave us a depth of appreciation for Spain we would never have attained on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An unending Wow moment of Spanish culture and history that unfolded in the streets and museums of Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo."

Elizabeth

Benicia, CA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations! Jorge and David were fabulous guides, their enthusiasm for their country, it's culture, food and drink was impossible to resist. Everywhere we went, we had local guides share their love of their cities, its museums, churches, and historic buildings. Add to that, our band of fun-loving fellow travelers = a week of non-stop fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No doubt, La Sagrada Familia - Gaudi was a genius! It is so beautiful, so well thought out, so ahead of it's time, every element has a purpose. I can hardly wait to return once it's finished, and spend an entire day there, taking it all in."

Sue

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint! Jorge and David were knowledgeable, engaging and fun guides and we had a great tour group--so many interesting, knowledgeable fellow travelers. The art, architecture, history and people of Spain were a daily delight and oh, the food and wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Madrid is a great city with great art and interesting neighborhoods, and Toledo is an amazing peek into life 500 years in the past, but Barcelona captured my heart on this trip. I loved being in the Old City and poking around winding ancient alley ways. One of my favorite moments was just before the tour started, seeing La Traviata at the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona. The flamenco dancing in Madrid was another 'wow'."

Arthur

Benicia, CA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jorge Ramon and David Gillison were an awesome team. We had a good pace between Barcelona and Madrid. The information about history and culture of Spain was phenominal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having drinks from a rooftop above Barcelano. The view was GREAT!"

Jan

Estero, FL

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Royal Palace Madrid"

Beth

Graytown, OH

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I was so impressed by the organization and thought that was put into the tour. The tour was structured but flexible and the tour guides were both amazing. Very knowledgeable, passionate and kind. Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo are all amazing cities. Very pleased with the tour and my experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine, food, architecture, history, art - it was all a wow for me. It is hard to pick one thing from such an amazing experience!"

Barbara

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spain was a new travel destination for me and I so enjoyed seeing the country, for the first time. The tour was arranged so well, our guides were wonderful and knowledgeable, and the members of our tour group were pleasant and fun. We saw so many interesting things, the pacing of the trip was perfect and I felt we got a good overview of the cities we visited. The hotel accommodations were superb and our meals at the various restaurants were delicious and great fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of wows! One that will stay with me was stepping into Sagrada Familia and seeing the play of light from all of the beautiful windows. The arrangement of colors was stunning."

Vivian

Longmont, CO

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jorge and David were very knowledgeable regarding Spain's history and culture. They immersed us in all aspects of Spain in a way that was fun and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment from the tour was that I had been so uninformed and poor in understanding Spain's history and culture for so long. I now see Spain in a different wonderful way as a country with such a diverse population and so much to offer culturally. It appears that Spain's entrance into the EU has made them one of the world's most prosperous and global favorites! I now have a desire to learn more about other areas of Spain!"

Gary

Ogden, UT

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a well organized and flowing experience. It was very well timed that key aspects were shared tasted and experienced. Our tour guides (Jorge & David) worked well to ensure we had a safe but enjoyable time. They went above and beyond so that bus elements were right there. The cafe's were open and we went right in. Hotels were ready without delay and very enjoyable. Then pointed out key points for our own time were recognized, remembered so we were not really lost in these new places.

Irene

Dartmouth, MA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, this was an excellent tour. Lots to see and take in and enough free time to explore and experience the cities on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Picasso's preteen paintings. I did not know much about Picasso and did not realize he painted like this before he "evolved""

Jane

Washington, DC

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great, Hotels were lovely and local guides were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia"

Janet

Burlington, CT

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had my expectations for this trip, and the trip exceeded those expectations! Barcelona and Madrid are lovely places, but the guides that you employ to teach us about those places are so knowledgeable and fun to be with, that I learned so much more than I thought that I would. The people on the trip were also really nice people and everyone was on time! The buddy system works so well, and it is fun meeting so many good new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was in Barcelona, exploring the Gaude architecture. The cathedral, the apartment building were the main reasons I wanted to travel to Barcelona. No disappointment there! Our guide was nice enough too to lead us out of the subway, and then have us walk straight ahead. Then we all turned around at the same time to see the huge church rising . It was a wow moment!"

Jonathan

Burlington, CT

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Javier was a great host who made sure that everyone enjoyed our trip. He went way out of his way to act as concierge, helping us plan our free time and extra days. This trip had more free time than other Rick Steves tours I've taken and we enjoyed exploring Madrid and Barcelona on our own once Javier had made us feel comfortable in the cities. We are now ready to pack our Rick Steves guide to Spain and return to go exploring other locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its difficult to pick out any one moment, but perhaps the visit to Sagrada Familia. The outside is truly ugly in my opinion, but then we stepped into the amazing simplicity and beauty of the inside and I was blown away."

Nancy

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was wonderful! I don't know what I was expecting but the Spain we experienced was more beautiful, friendly and delicious than I thought it would be. Javier was great and we had a wonderful group to travel with- made some good friends. We'd lived through a hard winter in MN and appreciated the perfect weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" that comes to mind is seeing La Sagrada Familia. There were many others."

Ron

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our third Rick Steve's Tour... Eight Days in Spain... This was a wonderful tour with a great group of travelers. We were always on the move with extensive city walks and museum tours. Great centrally located hotels and fabulous local guides to help enhance the experience. You really need to be prepared for these "high activity" days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (Holy Family Church) We had a terrific local guide who really spent the time to explain the various visual design elements. Off the tour On a free afternoon, six of us did a bus tour... I visited Montserrat Monastery with the Black Madonna and hiked up to the cross of the Arch Angel, very moving,"

Holly

Eastham, MA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful way to travel! This was my first group tour and my first Rick Steve's experience. I am so glad I made the decision to take my first trip to Spain this way. I so appreciated the planning and organization that went into making the trip such a joy. I enjoyed having the comraderie of being with the group and the feeling of safety the tour provided along with the amount of freedom in the schedule to have time to be on my own whenever I felt I wanted to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Sagrada Família in Barcelona and seeing the brilliant colors of the west facing stained glass windows streaming into the space."

Peter

Annandale, VA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour of Barcelona and Madrid/Toledo with our tour guide Agustin C. It was our first visit to Spain and we really wanted to see the main sights of these cities. The tour gave us the opportunity to see the cities with very knowledgeable and engaging guides, while allowing us time to explore on our own. This was our second Rick Steves tour and it will not be our last!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments from this fantastic trip: seeing the sunlight streaming through the stained glass in the Sagrada Familia, the amazing history of Toledo, the grandeur of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Thanks for putting together such an amazing itinerary!"

Liz

Platteville, WI

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and in fact, our first tour ever. It was a great experience. The balance of group time with free time was perfect, and each day we had a few hours to ourselves to do as we liked, whether that was to hang out more with other tour guests, explore on our own, or take a nap. Everything was really well organized, we knew what to expect and when, and felt confident that all would go well each day. We really felt well taken care of, and learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day brought a new great experience so it's hard to choose a single favorite. One very fond memory is of our group's wine tasting. Over the course of 2 1/2 hours, hosted by a very charming, laid back, and knowledgeable wine expert/restaurateur, we learned about Spanish wines in particular, and how to taste wines in general. We enjoyed as much as we liked of three different Spanish wines and also were treated to freshly prepared Spanish omelettes. It was a completely enjoyable experience."

Leilani

Dulles, VA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So pleased by this experience I am planning additional trips. Agustin was outstanding! Special guides also very informative. Hotels a pleasant surprise. 4 star?? Also a good mix of fellow travelers. Love the No Grumps policy. Obviously I sang the praises of Rick Steves Tours to all the newbies as well as to my work colleagues once I returned to reality. BTW I am a repeat customer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso was totally unexpected. Guernica-WOW. The churros - WOW. And the wine-tasting. Gaudi. Bosch. The PRADO! LOTS of WOW moments."

Susan

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was perfect. I had never been to Europe, and never on a tour with strangers, but I had seen Rick Steves on TV, so when a friend invited me to go with her, I figured, why not? The guides were all very professional, helpful, cheerful, knowledgeable. The others on the tour were friendly and made the trip more enjoyable. It was a good amount of structured time to time on your own. all acomodations and travel were excellent. I highly recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona- all things Gaudi!!"

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As I expected, the tour was outstanding and wonderful. I enjoyed the whole trip and wish I was still on the tour right now!! Everything was great and well organized. I would, and probably will, take another, and another, and another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my, that is hard to say as I feel that whole trip was one "wow" moment after another. Each day brought new and exciting adventures."

Scott

Paradise Valley, AZ

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our 1st RS tour and we plan on doing more. Our tour buddy, Helen, was fun, knowledgable, and organized. We had the right amount of planned vs free time. Our "planned experiences" beyond visiting the major sites resulted in us feeling as we better know the people, culture and history of Spain. Because of Helen and the RS tour book, we are far less intimidated by foreign airports, high speed trains, metro systems and of walking and talking on the back streets of Madrid and Barcelona.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming up out of the Metro stop and turning around to see the huge, towering Sagrada Familia."

Stephanie

Rancho Viejo, TX

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We went on a 3 generation vacation and loved how this tour took care of us all. No one felt left out. The events planned were fun for all. We enjoyed the pace of the planned events and felt the free time allowed was a good balance. Our tour guide Helen did a fabulous job. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone considering a great vacation in Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The favorite part for all of us was the tour of the Royal Palace. However, the lookout site over Toledo was breathtaking."

Janet

Saint Peters, MO

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was very good. The accommodations were great as was the restaurants and bars that we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Toledo!"

Dennis

Dallas, TX

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were expecting a lot from our first Rick Steves' tour and we were definitely not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia, and everything Gaudi was very impressive, and very well explained by our local guide."

James

Los Fresnos, TX

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A little too much walking for us older folks, however we were warned in advance so we have no complaints about this. Helen did everything she could possibly do to make everyone enjoy the tour. She made our trip special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dining on pig's ears was a rare delight but walking into a room full of Stradivarius violins was a sight to behold, I could have spent the morning in that room gazing and awestruck, WOW!!!!!!"

Vicki

Paradise Valley, AZ

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS Tour, and it lived up to the excellent reviews. We will definitely take more! Helen, our tour guide, was well organized, had a wonderful sense of humor, and most importantly gave us the flavor, character and experience of being with the locals. Barcelona and Madrid are beautiful cities full of wonderful art and architecture, good food, and we enjoyed the energy of the Spaniards.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wish I could be original, but getting off the Metro and turning around and seeing the La Sagrada Familia was breath taking. Second to that was seeing Picasso's Guernica."

Stephen

San Tan Valley, AZ

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour of Barcelona and Madrid. Great introduction to the Spanish and Catalan culture. Great group leader. Hit the main local attractions, but felt more could have been added, like a trip to Monserrat or the Catalan Palace of Music. Felt lost when the daily itinerary was done, like what should we do now? I advise planning your free time in advance and definitely have mapping software downloaded on your mobile device before trekking off on your own as it's easy to get lost.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Picasso's Guernica and getting a different perspective on this painting from our local guide, Monica."

Johnathan

Wilton Manors, FL

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was a fantastic experience. Amanda went out of her way to make sure all of the guests were taken care of. Our accommodations were in great locations and they were very comfortable after a long day of sightseeing. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, and generally I had the feeling that our group was "VIP." It always seemed that we were beating the crowds at our sights and we were being taken care of by all of the service professionals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Sagrada Familia and seeing the explosion of color inside the structure. It is unlike any other building in Europe. Most other churches are dark and somber, however Sagrada Familia is a kaleidoscope of color!"

Russell

Davison, MI

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized. Perfect balance of planned activities and free time. For me personally I could have done with less time in art museums and more cultural activities.

Sandra

Grapevine, TX

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 2nd Rick Steves' tour and I was not disappointed. From the beautifully appointed and comfortable hotels to the excellent local guides, delicious meals together and the extraordinary tour guide, Amanda, I could not have asked for anything more from this trip. Though the trip was labeled as strenuous, there was only one day in Madrid that seemed that way. All the other tour days were very comfortable. The tour was well planned and executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia...it would take more than 500 characters to describe it. You must see for yourself!"

Monnie

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was complete joy from start to finish! We particularly enjoyed the paella cooking class the first night. It was a fabulous way to get to know our tour partners while learning the delights of Spanish cuisine. The local tour guides in each city were superb. The high-speed train from Barcelona to Madrid was another good way for tour members to connect during a little downtime. Every meal was extraordinary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spain is just a lot of fun. Two "wow" moments--Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and International Women's Day march in Madrid. Our hotel on Gran Via was an excellent perch for experiencing the astounding energy filled display of solidarity of what most surely must have been EVERY woman in Madrid. Absolutely spectacular!"

Patty

Fort Smith, AR

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. What a wonderful introduction to the continent! Our tour guide, Amanda, was great. She was warm & friendly as well as an outstanding leader. I loved that our first night's dinner together was a cooking class. It was such a great introductory activity that really helped all of us interact and get to know each other. I feel that I learned so much more about the local culture than I would have with an independent trip, and without the hassle of planning it myself!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really, the whole trip was a wow - the architecture, the charm of the small cobblestone streets and small shops, the art, the food. Walking into Sagrada Familia was surreal. All in all, the biggest wow for me was probably seeing the stunning details in Toledo's cathedral - the gold, silver, and jewel monstrance, the sacristy's masterpieces, the massive gold altarpiece, and the most surprising of all - the window to the heavens, the Transparente!"

David

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Prado museum. Also good memories of the Sunday in Madrid with the street dancing and Retiro Park."

Gary

Athens, GA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another excellent tour as expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am always impressed by the guides. It is their intimate knowledge of the places we visit that makes each tour special."

Lily

Athens, GA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steves tour. As always it has the best guides, great itineraries, hotels in great locations, and super nice people to be with on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was impressive. It still is a lumpy, bumpy building but after hearing our guide explaining Gaudi's reason for his design I have a better understanding and appreciation of his vision. LOVED seeing all the real artwork in person. Churches and Cathedrals are beautiful. Enjoyed the small winding streets."

Beverly

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fantastic time. Good pace- not scheduled all day(adequate down time). Great group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Sagrada Familia was amazing."

Wayne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My fifth RS tour, but the first without a lot of bus time. Federico is among the best RS offers (top two), the guide I would want to be in my next life. The schedule is finely tuned to hit most of the top sites, yet leave sufficient time to explore on one's own, or even practice your siestas. The lateness of Spanish evening meals seems to stretch the day into 28 hours, even though liberal stops for early evening wine tasting, tapas and pinxos filled the gap. Federico was always feeding us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a list going in, and top pick Sagrada Familia didn't disappoint. We learned so much about the man behind the dream from the local Barcelona expert. I have seen a lot of holy places, including Yorkminster and Canterbury on this trip, but nothing compares to Gaudi's miracle."

Nancy

Dayton, TN

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour led by Federico, an amazing, knowledgeable, attentive, charismatic guide. Even though this was my second visit to Barcelona and Madrid, I was inspired and eager to learn and appreciate new 'takes' on art, history and architecture. The local guides were very good. And our group was interested and interesting. Our day trip to Toledo was great, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose only one!"

Karen

Piney Flats, TN

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

really enjoyed our guides. very informative and helpful!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"loved Toledo!! Guide was amazing. Lived in Toledo and was greeted by all the locals!!"

Peter

Pacific Palisades, CA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, interesting places to visit, excellent and knowledgeable tour guides, delighted with the tour participants and delicious food

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An epiphany to the civilization and history of places we visited."

Barbara

Marthasville, MO

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves tour. The tour was very well organized and it was nice to focus on two cities. Our RS guide and the local guides were all excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving into Toledo and then the whole Toledo tour, especially the cathedral and the art. And, not that Rick Steves had any control over it, but the weather was fantastic. We left cold and ice and snow and experienced 8 beautiful, sunny days walking the streets of Barcelona, Madrid and Toldedo."

Joyce

Valparaiso, IN

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized with a tremendous guide, Fredrico. He loves his country and was anxious to show it to all of us. The tips about how things work in each city we visited helped us gain confidence to do more touring in our off time. After the tour we knew enough to spend 2 days exploring on our own, using high speed train and other local transportation. The members of the tour group were interesting and interested. The small size of the group made it easy to tour as a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving into Toledo and seeing the village ahead."

Scott

Lakemont, GA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding, we enjoyed all of it, particularly having Frederico as our guide. He was great. Very knowledgable and entertaining. The types and kinds of venues were just right. Moderate visits to the museums combined with short walks and other interesting places. Perfecto!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When on our last dinner Frederico sang a few songs from several operas. He is really good !"

Alan

Lake Forest, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour with a outstanding guide that made the very most of our week in Spain. This was our second Rick Steve's tour and feel that the combination of guided tours in the morning and free time to explore on our own in the afternoon on this trip was perfectly balanced to make the most of our time in Spain. The Hotel we stayed at in Madrid was wonderful and my favorite of the hotels we have stayed at while traveling with Rick Steve's

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Família in Barcelona was my favorite wow moment the history around it and the true beauty of it is something everyone should see."

Thomas

Madera, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish this was a wonderful experience. Our guide Federico was a delight. Starting with Barcelona, I loved the location of the hotel in the heart of the old city, but the hotel itself was not up to par. In contrast, the hotel in Madrid was wonderful, clearly of a higher quality. The sights of Barcelona and Madrid were amazing and Toledo was a gem of a visit. I really enjoyed the architecture of Barcelona and the grandeur of Madrid. Everyone in the group was good company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia of course was awe inspiring. The Toledo day trip took you back 1,000 years and our local guide Fernando was perfect, but I have to say we enjoyed everyone on the tour group and the final dinner with Federico serenading the group with many Spanish songs was really a treat. He has set the bar high for future guides."

Stephanie

Placerville, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was smooth as expected on this tour (my 3rd). There were no grumps and everyone looked out for each other and of course our wonderful guide Fede took care of all the details of our day. Free time when we needed it and great interpretations of the art, and the history that would have escaped me Fede really brought the history to life for us, especially at the Royal Palace as he welcome us to "his home". I feel like I not only learned a bunch of stuff, but saw with new eyes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was wow for me, but there were so many on the tour including hearing our guide tell the back story to Don Quixote while we were standing at the foot of the statue. The detail on the Sagrada was what I expected to be blown away by and I was."

Rita

Placerville, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For 40 years I've wanted to visit Spain and finally....it happened! The culture, art, architecture, and all around beauty exceeded my expectations. Of course, the most important part of that was due to our exceptional guide, Federico. His wit, charm, and knowledge made the trip feel like I was walking into an art history class come to life. During Fede's detailed description/explanation of the "Guernica" I was so moved that tears flooded my eyes. Is that good or bad?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I choose just one "wow" moment? Picasso's "Guernica" would be the tops but so many more to follow closely behind."

Leah

Kenosha, WI

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Barcelona/Madrid tour is my 7th RS tour and it was fantastic. I've held off on going to Spain and now that I've gone, I'm looking forward to another visit. As usual, the RS guides are outstanding and Federico is no exception. A tour group can sometimes be like herding cats, but Federico took great care of us all while providing insight on the art, culture, events, and politics of Spain. He is truly one of your best guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention. See Picasso's 'Guernica' at the Reina Sofia was monumental for me, and Federico's telling of the story behind the masterpiece really gave me a greater appreciation. Another 'wow'- being treated to a performance by Federico our last night of the tour. I heard him sing at the 2014 RS Tour Reunion get-together in Edmonds, and asked him if he was the same person, he modestly admitted to this. We were treated to an after-dinner performance our last night- unforgettable!"

Anne

Lakemont, GA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We've been on other Rick Steves tours and have enjoyed all of them. Spain wasn't my favorite but that really didn't have anything to do with our guide or the tours presented. Am I glad we went? Absolutely!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was amazing. Also I enjoyed our day trip to Toledo and the optional bus tour recommended by Federico to Montserrat."

Jordan

Fresno, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Barcelona and Madrid in 8 days was an awesome tour. One of the reasons why our tour was so great was our guide Frederico. He was very knowledgeable with Barcelona and Spain and kept his tours very interesting. Frederico also made sure that each tour member was enjoying the tour and offered to help anyone who needed it. He even arranged taxis to take us to the airport. Another great aspect of the tour was the choice of hotels and the free breakfasts that came with the room.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two best parts of the tour were the excursion to Toledo outside of Madrid, and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona."

Marty

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 11/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very enjoyable and different that prior tours. This tour was more concentrated and had less time for tour participants to casually interact. Having said that, the content was very good and a mixture of great museums, local history and architecture, and local activities. The tour guides as well as the local guides were excellent, both from covering the local history and activities as well as a general local resource. We were well prepared to explore Barcelona and Madrid on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our best WOW moment was the time in the Picasso Museum. We knew a bit about Picasso but did not realize the breadth of his skills and varied nature of his works. And we got to know much more about him as a person. An excellent museum tour. Second was our side visit to the Thyssen museum in Madrid. A great collection and varied pieces. A great comparison to The Prado."

Laura

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 11/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable trip to wonderful cities and wonderful areas of Spain. Lots of learning and that is something I always appreciate. Wonderful hotels and location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking tour in Barcelona"

Lynn

Naperville, IL

Tour: 11/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm about to pull out my copy of Roget's Thesaurus in order to find synonyms for exceptional. Hotels, transportation, restaurants were all topnotch. However, our guides, Helen and David, magnificent, knowledgeable and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This, no doubt, is a random moment - we were told to be mindful of pickpockets. While we riding the crowded Metro, our guide, Helen, noticed that a gentleman in our group was about to be pick pocketed. Helen loudly admonished the woman just as she was about to snatch the wallet. The thief was dressed as if she shopped at Neiman Marcus. She was stunning. And with that, we learned we learned that some thieves are so successful that they can afford to look like Rihanna or Cate Blanchett."

Sean

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves trip and we couldn't be more pleased. It met our expectations at every level. The thing we appreciate the most is the opportunity to become fully immersed in the culture of the places we are visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Sagrada Familia"

Stephen

Huntington, IN

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized.There was very little waiting and just the right amount of free time in the afternoons or evenings. the Guides were knowledgeable with excellent presentation skills. They did a good job of navigating the group through the Holiday crowds in Madrid. We had a really nice representation of Spanish food with the included meals and restaurant suggestions. It's a good thing we walked a lot because the portions were substantial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments included walking up out of the subway and seeing the Sagrada Família cathedral. Also in the Prado seeing the original paintings of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights and Goya's Third of May. As an added note we enjoyed touring the Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona before our tour began. It was interesting to learn how hemp was used and what a beautiful museum with the stained glass and tile."

Sue

Houston, TX

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jorge and all the guides did a wonderful job presenting the history of Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo. This is my second Rick Steve's Tour and I plan to take more because I learn so much about the history and culture of the countries and the individual cities that I have toured.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The explanation of Guernica when we toured the Reina Sofia. The guide in Madrid was amazing. Apart from being a great guide, he was also a great historian and actor. We looked forward to the fans that matched the color of his outfits. He brought that painting to life by explaining each element and the emotional and historical significance behind them."

Elizabeth

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am filling this out for my husband, Don Ponec, and myself. We had a fantastic time. This was our second Rick Steves tour, first was Best of Scandinavia in 14 days. We had high expectations after our great Scandinavia trip and they were all met on this adventure to Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo. Having the wonderful, experienced guides is what makes these tours so worthwhile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name, Sagrada Familia definitely up there."

Jayna

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goal was to visit Spain learn the people, food, culture and history and to visit the major monuments and museums. The tour overall was comprehensive and complete. The local guides were all fabulous at tying together art, architecture and history. I came away with a good understanding of Spain an appreciation of the culture and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our cooking class on the first night. it was a great ice breaker and a memorable way to learn about delicious Catalon cuisine."

Sheri

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was much better than expected, It was highly organized yet allowed for individual preferences. The activities fostered a great sense of community and enjoyment. I was able to see all the things I wanted to, and much much more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class, the wine tasting event, art museum tours"

Michael

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of it. We saw many wonderful places, tasted excellent food and drink, and experienced Spain even more than I had hoped for. The free time was amazing as we got to see and experience even more while making friends with our tour mates. There wasn't a moment I wouldn't happily redo

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two. the first night cooking class was one of the highlights of the whole tour. It was just plain fun making the dinner and meeting everyone for the first time. We may not have had everyones names down just yet but we knew everyone after that. Second emerging from the Metro in Barcelona, turning around and having the Sagrada Familia right in my face."

Stuart

Hoover, AL

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nygil made the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nygil took us to his wine school for a tasting. His knowledge and presentation was outstanding and the highlight of the tour."

Janis

Hoover, AL

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sorry to be slow to respond! We had a very enjoyable trip. It was well planned, other tourists were pleasant, and overall it was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Stratavarius instruments made from the same tree, kept under glass at the Royal Palace! WOW! I would love to hear a concert! The Picasso museum was fabulous. Gaudi--well I learned to appreciate his work as the guides taught us more about him. Sagrada Familia was super impressive, and I like the attention that was paid to Gaudi's spirituality and desire for all to know and relate to God."

Debora

Warren, RI

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is no better way to get to know a group of people than starting out with a Spanish cooking class! Everyone contributed to bringing a fine Spanish meal to the table for everyone to enjoy.From that first day we were off experiencing all the wonders of Spain. The museums, art and architecture were amazing but experiencing Spanish life by mingling on public transit, using taxi's and communicating with waiters and other service workers was a truely exciting experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To this day I can not get out of my head the awe I felt walking into the Cathedral of Barcelona. One can feel the sense of living history that occured there from the thirteenth century to present day. Sitting inside the choire where the Order of the Golden Fleece once gathered was a real treasure. The wood carvings of their coat of arms was fascinating for me."

Kate

Painesville, OH

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we could not have been more pleased. Nygil was an absolutely wonderful guide. His passion and excitement for the people, places, food and drink that he was helping us to discover was contagious. You could never be tired because Nygil's passion for the things he was sharing would not allow it. All the local guides were knowledgeable and entertaining and provided a much richer understanding of the cities, art and architecture we were trying to discover.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be entering the Sagrada Familia on that beautiful sunny Monday Morning. Nothing can prepare you for what you are about to see. I had tears in my eyes as I tried to take it all in. The light through those windows was beyond description and you stand in awe of what man is capable of."

Terry

West Kelowna, BC

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe, it was everything I hoped it would be. It was extra special as I travelled with my daughter. The first night we started with a cooking lesson, it was a very easy, comfortable way to meet new people. Nygil and all our guides were great. As I had never been to Europe before, I really appreciated the direction and all of the stories from our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick - the churches, the palace, the museums......it was all unbelievable."

Barbara

Rochester, MN

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. All elements of the tour were well done and so very interesting. The pacing of our days was just right - with whole-group experiences and plenty of "free time" to pursue the particular sights that interested us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! My absolute favorite was the Sagrada Familia."

Ada

Sanford, NC

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was breathtaking."

Richard

Hoover, AL

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first, but definitely not our last, Rick Steves tour. Nygil, our guide, was the ultimate host and provided a marvelous experience for all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Spanish Royal Palace in Madrid."

James

Newtonville, MA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally, things went well. Our tour guide, Javier was very good. The whole tour was just short of being outstanding. See below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was visiting Sagrata Familia in Barcelona. The guide was good and it is a magnificent and awe-full experience."

Karen

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had one week on our own before hooking up with the Rick Steves Tour in Spain. We traveled Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Munich on our own. More than once I commented that I could not wait to start our Rick Steve's tour because this is so much work figuring out where to go and and how. I also mentioned that I just do not feel as though we used the most efficient use of our time the first week like we do on our Rick Steve's tour.

Gerald

Montesano, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Javier, our tour guide made the whole trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo guided tour"

Harold

Montesano, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

due to illness my tour was cut short, but in that short time I really enjoyed it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night's dinner."

Lynn

Byron, IL

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience could not have been better. My fellow travelers were courteous, kind, and interesting people. The selected sights for the tour were ideal. I felt that I received a good basic understanding of life, art and architecture in Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day there was a new "wow" moment, but the best of all was Sagrada Familia."

Susan

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Frederick was the most thorough tour guide we have experienced on our Rick Steve's tours. His abilities to navigate our group through the busy cities gave us a feeling of security. He completely immersed himself into the historical character he was portraying for the day complete with a fan that matched the color of his shirt. He knows how to tell a story.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing El Greco up close and so personal brought his work to a vivid place in my memory. The Sagrada Família was also a wow because a musician was playing on the organ "Sleepers Wake" when we entered the sanctuary. That was a remarkable moment for me complete with visuals and sounds."

Thomas

Richardson, TX

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was excellent! We enjoyed learning about the art and history of Spain. There were also generous amounts of free time which we appreciated. We will definitely take another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia and the Prado museum"

Paul

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Federico was phenomenal! I have never seen anyone bring so much passion and enthusiasm to his work. He is a gifted story teller and was able to bring history to life. Logistically, everything went off without a hitch. Transportation was on time, restaurants were ready for us (they were well chosen as well. Food was great, wine was plentiful and the staff was friendly and inviting.) the museums were perfect and entry was uneventful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia....I am an Architect and have seen photos, but to experience the church in person was breathtaking."

Margaret

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The weather was a more intrusive factor than in past tours. I realize you and your guides have no control over the weather, but the torrential rain in Barcelona was inconvenient and impacted my enjoyment of the rest of the trip because my one good pair of walking shoes didn't adequately dry out. Nevertheless, our guide was fabulous, the art and architecture was amazing and the hotels were very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Prado, specifically the Goyas. It was wonderful to see them in person."

Maureen

Reston, VA

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was excellent, as we expected it to be. We would be happy to take another Rick Steves tour and have shared our impressions with our friends. We love art, architecture, and history, and this trip focused on these things to our satisfaction. We also like having blocks of free time to pursue our interests and our tour provided a good balance of structured and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We said "Wow!" when we discovered that our room at the Villa de la Reine in Madrid included a large terrace with a wonderful view."

Ellen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, a well-planned itinerary, a great tour manager guide, outstanding local guides, and friendly travel companions made the Barcelona and Madrid trip educational and fun. Wonderful to be located in the very heart of two great cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overall ambiance of Barcelona was my favorite part of the tour - the old gothic quarter and waterfront, the crazy Gaudi architecture, Montjuic hill."

William

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow, what can I say, except that Jorge was a superb tour guide. He kept all 24 of us together, and on time, all week long, and arranged for really excellent local guides and dinners that were unsurpassed. The highlights for us were Casa Mila, and the Picasso paintings (both at the Picasso museum in Barcelona and in Madrid). Jorge has exactly the right combination of talents -- he's a lovable tour guide with directness when needed and a great sense of humor. We absolutely loved him.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Casa Mila. Picasso. Dinners. Walking around the streets in Barcelona and Madrid. (And the Dali museum in Figueres -- we went there the day before our tour started in Barcelona.)"

Ken

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

They did a very good job showing us Barcelona and Madrid. The local guides were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia in Barcelona."

Marjorie

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our first RS tour and first group tour of any kind! I was especially impressed by the pace of the activities. Very intensive in the morning, then several hours on our own in the afternoon. My husband and I are not super-social people but found that we could be as active with others as we wanted to be. What really stood out was the quality of the local guides and how RS tour meant a minimum of waiting in lines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but for me the most "wow" was the tour in Toledo, lead by Alphonso (?). I particularly appreciated the information about the Jewish presense in Toledo and its significance. In fact, information about the Jews in Spain was meaningful throughout -- and encourage RS to give this due attention."

Howard

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were generally pleased with this, our first, group tour experience. The pace was just right, the walking less arduous than expected. Accommodations were satisfactory if not always quite spacious. Our primary guide, Jorge, did a fine job of keeping us together and on time. The local guides were generally excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been looking forward for decades to The Prado and was not disappointed! Standing before the Velasquez masterpieces was, for me, the high point."

Michael

Ocala, FL

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves Tour. That being said I wasn't sure what to expect. I was impressed with the detail put into the tour from start to finish. Sites visited were presented in such a way that they kept my interest nearly all the time. Tours were laid out in a timely manner with but one exception. Interaction with our guide Jorge was fun and easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the "wow" moment was the day spent in Toledo and learning it's history."

Gil

Ocala, FL

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all aspects of the tour; the location of the hotel, our outstanding guide and the sites visited. First class experience with the coaches and train ride from Barcelona to Madrid. Very well organized. Also met some great people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two - visit to Toledo exceeded my expectations and the unexpected wine tasting and tapas on Day 2 (Oct 1st) provided my best meal of the tour."

Lois

Haddon Township, NJ

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You totally inform us as to the type/duration in walking. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You told us that dinner was on our own however, Jorge surprised us with a wonderful dinner experience. My financial adviser had just returned from Spain and told us to definitely experience the "Stick" (Pintso) tapas....just what Jorge had for us this evening...I was beyond excited! Supposedly, he was walking us all back to our hotel area when he asked us to just step aside and wait for him...then he announced his surprise. It was wonderful Thank you!"

Karen

Richland, OR

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour exceeded my expectations. Greatly appreciated focus on learning about what you were seeing, and enjoying other cultures. Tour well organized; hotels very nice; and guides outstanding. Jorge Roman in particular was extremely helpful to my sister and I when I had a health issue. He helped us find a doctor, as well as helped us re-do our travel tickets to Granada. All guides very knowledgeable with great personalities. They make the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When touring the Royal Palace in Madrid, learning that people embroidered the silk wall coverings - with infinitesimally small stitches. Also Guernica at Reina Sophia."

Bill

Cleveland, TN

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. We arrive the evening before from the Basque tour. There were crowds of people on the street, many with decenting groups. It was 1 year after their vote to leave Spain. The Gaudi day showed many of his designs. The next 2 days of visits were excellent with the local guide, Frederick. He play acted Carlos the III at the Place and at the Prado, El Greco. So enthusiastic and easy to understand. Saw so many churches and museums! We were totally amazed at the number of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I personally enjoyed the Gaudi portion of the tour."

Harvey

Collingswood, NJ

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jorge was a wealth of knowledge and was very patient with our questions!!!! He made our visit to Spain as if we were visiting friends and family. I loved his surprises during our evening dining experiences. He is master of wonderful surprises.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo!! Adolfo was a living history of the the city. He made my experience a wonderful history of people living together in ancient times. I loved entering the city from the opposite side. I needed 2 days in this city to explore the history. What a wonderful experience. PS A wonderful story teller."

Janise

Needham, MA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Came home bursting with feeling about what we saw. Great mix of learning and adventure! Filled with memorable moments as opposed to sightseeing with a check list! Our guides created these moments for us in the most special way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ummm. Hard to pick one. I and many tour members were in tears as we learned about Guernica (and war)from our guide Freddy. Also emotional as our Toledo guide Alphonso walked us through the history of this awe-inspiring city. A golden age of collaboration where everyone got along. Imagine that!!!"

Elizabeth

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The group was convivial which has been our experience on all 3 RS trips we have taken. This was a full trip with lots of walking, climbing stairs, etc. which was clearly stated in the trip brochure and on the website. All went smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Royal Palace in Madrid and the Gaudi structures in Barcelona were fabulous! Wonderful city guides."

Patricia

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nygil was fabulous. He was so helpful, patient and fun. He got everyone talking and we established some new friends. His knowledge level was great and he was so accommodating. Helping with ways back to the airport etc. He made the trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited a convent and Nygil bought the group cookies. It was something we never would have found on our own and was a wonderful experience."

Joseph

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was outstanding in many ways - Nygil, our primary guide, set the tone at our initial group meeting in Barcelona... to "open your minds and learn something new"...about this great Country and its people, about art, architecture and history. He was right, and the tour gave us the perfect opportunties to do so. The special activities from Nygil were terrific...food walk, vermouth stop, wine tasting, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of several, my best was in the Picasso Museum (Barcelona), much of which is "modern art", which I had never really understood at all. Our local guide, Marieanna, is walking us through the museum and we are viewing a large, black/white modern painting. She then shows us a photo of a (non-modern) painting by the Spanish painter Velazquez-Las Meninas (maids or ladies in waiting), explaining that Picasso has re-interpreted the Velazquez using his own style. I finally got it!!!"

Mary

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed our tour. We learned the history of both cities, saw fantastic art museums and found the Spanish people to be very welcoming. Nygil is wonderful guide. His choice of restaurants and the wine tasting will be fondly remembered. Our local guides were wonderful, Mariana in Barcelona wove so much history into our walks. She is a fantastic art guide, making the visit to the Picasso museum very special. The location of both hotels was great, easy to walk to different sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments, walking out onto the roof of Casa MIla, visiting the Sagrada Familia with the light streaming through the stained glass windows, viewing the Picasso Museum and then seeing Guernica at the Reina Sophia in Madrid. Our dinner at Na!a in Madrid. The trip to Toledo, the beautiful city on the hill."

Patricia

Newmarket, NH

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences on this tour. Becoming immersed in the history and culture of these diverse regions has me now reading more about Spain. As a solo traveler I choose this tour to enjoy the tapas food scene as well as art and history. But I came away with so much more in terms of understanding the history of the Catalan people and their current struggles as well as the impact of the Moors. Nygil was an excellent guide though this discovery, enjoying it in the company of others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well I have to say there were 2- one anticipated -one not. I had long looked forward to seeing La Sagrada Familia and anticipated being awestruck and was- but the one thing that stands out are the colors filtering through the stained glass windows that were just amazing. My not anticipated Wow was the Cathedral of Toledo. I was just blown-away by its enormity and reminded of where all that gold that the Spaniards took from the Americas wound up! I was not expecting the size and grandeur."

Karren

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time which was amplified directly by our guide, Nygil. The food and wine of Spain made the trip more enjoyable and the knowledge that Nygil provided enhanced our experience. The balance of cultural events with off-time was a nice balance and felt with learned a lot because of the expertise of our local guides and the knowledge shared by Nygil.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was just being in the city and experience the day to day life of the people of today and in history."

Ronald

Apex, NC

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's Tour and exceeded our high expectations. We expected to love Barcelona, and we did, but we came away with an appreciation for Madrid that was far more than we expected. Our tour guide, Nygil, did a great job helping our tour members bond as a group and showed a gentle yet passionate love and knowledge of the tours planned and unplanned events and topics. The planned dinners were amazing and spaced in such a way we had wonderful gatherings to remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are several that would qualify but for me it would be the quality and range of paintings in Picasso Museum in Barcelona. This was greatly enhanced by the clarity of the local tour guides explanations of the motivation and evolution of the different stages of Picasso's work. When we saw his masterpiece, "Guernica", later in Madrid a capstone moment."

Elgin

Brookhaven, GA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour guide was excellent as he was knowledgeable of the area, thorough in his keeping us informed of our activities, and very accessible and easy to talk to. The tour group was, by far, the nicest and most pleasant people to tour with in all of our Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tapas were the highlight of the tour."

Suanne

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the local guides, and also Frederico! The art museums and churches were so well guided - I learned so much. My only recommendation would be to reconsider a better location for the hotel; the neighborhood didn't feel very comforting. A couple of the travelers weren't really up to that much walking - it seems like the guides are very clear about the walking requirements. I don't know how you would impact that though; Frederico managed it well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Gaudi apartment and Church.... And we met some wonderful new friends from Maine and Austin."

Jeanne

Center Lovell, ME

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose this tour because we want to see the great cities of the world. Having a Rick Steve's tour guide for a first introduction is a great way to get comfortable quickly and know that it would be easy to return on your own. We understand that 3 days in Barcelona and 4 days in Madrid is short but we really felt like the tour had been "curated" to make the most of our visit. Never reduce the amount of walking or the extended time spent with professional guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Frederico's explanation of Picasso's Guernica--a combination of personal perspective, politics, passion, war and artistry."

Gail

Roswell, GA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

totally wonderful experience. we enjoyed spain more than we anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the art museums ! the picasso museum in barcelona was fabulous!"

Julie

New Lenox, IL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first ever guided tour and believe me, it will not be our last with Rick Steves' Tours. Amanda Buttinger was absolutely amazing - she was so personable and knowledgable. The tours, guides and restaurants were all absolutely wonderful. For our first evening in Barcelona, Amanda planned a cooking class with BCN - SUCH AN AMAZING IDEA! Not only was it fun, it was such a great icebreaker to get to know the other members of the group. We enjoyed it so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many - La Pedera and Segrada Familia in Barcelona. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona. The art in Madrid. Toledo. So many amazing experiences, it is difficult to pick just one."

John

Largo, FL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the trip was perfect. It was our first and my brother has taken several and highly recommended we give it a try. Spain was everything we expected and having Amanda schedule our agenda made it possible to not miss anything. The cooking class to start with brought the group together and we make friends we will stay in touch with. The three Spain cities we a good selection to get a feel for life in Spain and all the culture it has to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide was the best. Amanda took care of all of our needs. I mentioned that I used to hunt for Partridge in Wisconsin when I was a kid with my Grandpa, but it is no longer available in the US. Viewing a Rick Steve show on Toledo, Rick mentioned that Partridge is served in certain restaurants. Amanda found a 5 star place where my wife and I had one of the best meals ever. The bird was just as good as I remembered. Thank you Amanda."

Noel

New Lenox, IL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the 1st time we met Amanda and the touring group to the sad goodbyes on the last night, we had a fabulous time in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo! Listening to Amanda and the tour guides giving us a wealth of information was way beyond what Julie, my wife, and I had expected. The sites and dinners were great choices yet we had time for ourselves to see places we were interested in too. We loved the braking the ice get together the first dinner when we cooked our own food and drank wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My reason for going to Madrid was to see the 'Garden of Earthly Delights' by Bosch. The Prado didn't disappoint, it even WOW'ed me more when I saw they had 7 pieces by him. I was in heaven! The Picasso museum was a total WOW. I have a new appreciation for him. The Sagrada Familia church was a fantastic place to visit. I did not know anything about Antoni Gaudí but now have a wonderful understanding of this architectural talent."

Susan

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My guide, Amanda, was fun. Barcelona is a gem city with a beach paradise and palm trees, white sand, bicycle taxis, juice shacks, great restaurants, and friendly tourists!Don't miss the beach. Our first night cooking class was a super fun way to get to know our group and enjoy the local cuisine.Best meal of my trip. Madrid shows you what they did with all that gold from the Americas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia Gothic cathedral really is one of the world's greatest churches as a work of art! The stained glass windows and natural light illuminated the interior in a rainbow of segregated colors. Spectacular! Worth the trip right there!"

Afsaneh

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour with the company. I loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach in bercelona!"

Ruth

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo"

Jennifer

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour, and again a wonderful experience! I cannot speak highly enough of our guide, Federico, along with the local guides. They all truly made the art and history come alive. Perfect balance of guided and free time. Everything I'd dreamed of seeing, like the Sagrada Familia, Royal Palace, Picasso Museum, etc. was done flawlessly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada Familia for the first time, the flamenco show in Madrid, and loved walking around Toledo."

Fred

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was thoroughly impressed with the organization of the tour from the opening meeting and dinner with Federico, to the last night's supper. Our group was a good age and geographical mix from the US and it appeared that everyone had his or her special interest in arts, architecture, history, gastronomical delights and, of course, night life. The special tours, provided, were also very well received. The accomodations including location, service and meals were well received.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No doubt, Federico's insight into many of the special paintings that he showed us, and also Federico's operatic voice after our final night together."

Steven

Fernandina Beach, FL

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned with knowledgeable tour guides. Frederico was interesting to listen to and knew the "back story" behind the various sights. Every event was planned well and went off without any issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia - such an impressive structure with so many different areas to marvel over. Once again, guide was had so much knowledge of the basilica and the various statues, lighting aspects back story."

Mike

Napa, CA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Federico (Fede) was fantastic. And he can sing! The group meshed very well and we often socialized after dinner. Plenty of food and wine were provided. Great advice from Fede on individual activities. Everything was done very well. I have only one suggestion for improvement: for the portions where we did little bus tours of the locality, I suggest using buses with overhead windows to facilitate photos and observing the sights our guide was pointing out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedral in Toldeo and the beautiful river gorge around that city."

Daniel

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, great group, fantastic cities, what's not to like. Every morning we had something new and exciting to look forward to, and then, we would eat, drink wine and laugh with the best group of travelers I have ever encountered on a Rick Steves tour. My 3rd tour and in no way my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was breath taking!"

Grant

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well-organized, even things that might not be easily noticed like downtime in the afternoon, and regularly scheduled availability of bathroom breaks. Jorge was a great guide. He was an insider who knows how things work in Spain but very friendly and outgoing. He did a great job of keeping us one step ahead of what was coming up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Playa Major in Madrid. Reminded me of the Piazza San Marco in Venice. Playa Major is a classic Renaissance square, and a lot of history has taken place there."

Michael

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on the tour. It was very informative and educational. There was plenty of personal time to do things on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia."

Shane

Eastvale, CA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everthing about the tour was perfect. I appreciated that all tickets for museums, subway, buses and excursions were already taken care of. This was the perfect introduction for us to Spain and Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day trip to Toledo by far was the most enjoyable due to the slower pace of the city."

Steven

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A good blend of fun, education, exercise and new experiences.

Constance

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! This was our second Rick Steve's tour and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Jorge was amazing and we developed a close bond with everyone on the tour - we feel like we are a family now. It was a wonderful, educational and enriching experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The new view/understanding I know have of Gaudi - I never liked his style until I came to Spain and learned more about him and his life. The local guides made this possible."

Sylvia

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful to experience a very diverse group come together as one to learn about one another as well as a different culture. All were considerate and supportive of the needs of other tour members. Of course, the experience level of our guide in leading groups helped prevent any potential problems!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be impossible for me to select only one "wow" moment! Each day supplied a new highlight."

Weather

Spain / Barcelona

Barcelona Weather

Spain / Madrid

Madrid Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your online customer account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your customer account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Barcelona (BCN) and out of Madrid (MAD) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Spain.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options to get to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Spain guidebook.