• 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

2018

2019

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 2019
  • 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 including a visit to the lively, legendary La Boquería market, before setting you free for dinner on your own. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Barri Gòtic and Picasso

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

Day 4: Montjuïc and a Speedy Train to Madrid

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

Day 5: Madrid's Royal Palace

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

Day 6: Masterpieces of Madrid

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

Day 7: Toledo

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

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Steven

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Jordan

Plano, TX

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour as usual with incredible food and wine, and plenty of free time to explore on your own. Our guide James was excellent and provided great recommendations of restaurants in both cities. Local guides were informative and fun, especially Sonia and Frederico. This tour was a great introduction to Spain and its history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the views of Toledo from a neighboring hill was breathtaking."

Marcela

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fue mi primer viaje a España y desde el primer día que nos encontramos con el grupo y James , fue una experiencia única, los hoteles, comidas y todas las actividades planeadas cada día fueron de primera clase. Conocimos y aprendimos tanto de la cultura española, tanto de su historia como de su gastronomía al cual disfrutamos al máximo , cada guía con sus conocimientos nos llevaron a esos tiempos históricos, desde su arquitectura, iglesias y famosos pintores . Una experiencia única

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cuando visitamos La Sagrada Familia, ese primer encuentro me quito el aliento, tan irreal y a la vez tan espectacular, verla frente mi el sentimiento que sentí es inexplicable"

Morris

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide James was wonderful. Every aspect of our tour was better than I imagined it could be. Our group became one big family.The walking portions,local guides, & plenty of free time was the perfect combination for a wonderful & informative vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food in both cities. The history & historic buildings of Barcelona & Madrid were incredible. Our guide Fredrico was very informative & entertaining .Our best local guide."

Robert

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was much much more than we could've imagined. We enjoyed every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many things, it's hard to pick just one. Just to travel back in time and to see and experience the history of Spain and Europe."

Nelson

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

James, our guide was excellent. Open, friendly, concerned for our welfare and a wealth of information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose."

Charles

Spring, TX

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very enjoyable tour (my 6th with RSE) primarily due to our enthusiastic and jovial guide, Frederico. I've been to Barcelona and Madrid before and enjoyed those cities, but I learned new things this tour, enjoyed some new dishes, saw a few new sights, and had a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia - a surprise for me, as I generally prefer more traditional architecture. Now that the building is getting closer to completion, I can appreciate it more. The light from the colored windows embracing the interior was fantastic. That Gaudi imagined and designed this place of worship over a century ago amazes me."

Tina

Piedmont, CA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moment was experiencing the overwhelming grandeur and beauty of Sagrada Familia. Previously seen photos did not capture its essence and enormity."

Nora

Sun City West, AZ

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Frederico was so good! He took on the roles of kings to tell us about his family and what was going on at the time of his reign. It made history live. He was distracted with telephone calls sometime, but he was very attentive to all of our individual needs making sure the vegetarians and gluten - free people were all taken care of. This is my 3rd tour this summer with RS and it was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Frederick sang to us.!!!! Loved the history, Gaudi,Picasso, everything."

Bob

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Guide was knowledgeable, helpful and entertaining. My first experience in Spain and I learned more than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi"

Mary

Hemet, CA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I always love the people on the tours and the people in the country I'm visiting.k

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything we did. The cooking class was a genius activity, wine tasting, touring the cities could not have been better."

Gregory

Hemet, CA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amanda our guide was great. The group got along great. The first night cooking class was the best icebreaker I have experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not one stand out wow moment just a great trip. However I did learn how to hold a chopping knife properly and how to store an opened bottle of wine. Also why Spain eats so much pork."

Leslie

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The activities and tours were scheduled perfectly so that you had plenty of time on your own. Both hotels were in locations that were walkable to great sites, restaruants, and shopping. Our guide Amanda was fantastic as well as the tour guides for the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See the city of Toledo from a distant and visiting Toledo. It was like going back in time. I didn't know the history of Toledo but our guide for the day was amazing with the wealth of knowledge and history he shared. Also seeing and touring the Sagrada Familia. Truly an ongoing work of art amazingly constructed. Being in Madrid during the actual vote to impeach the priminister and appoint a new polictical party."

Donald

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was blown away! I was the one person out of our little circle of friends that originally didn't want to "go on a formal tour". I eventually caved in and went along with the flow. ...And I'm so glad I did! I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and am sold on taking future tours with the Rick Steves Team. The itinerary and agenda was thoughtful, the organization superb and our entire Tour Group was Amazing, which made my overall experience a very positive one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Way Too many WOW moments to count! ... from the night we all met and participated in the cooking class, to our spiritual experience in Toledo! All were amazing! I guess the one thing that stands out was my first sight of Gaudi''s Holy Family Church in Barcelona. Jaw Dropping WOW!"

Michelle

North Chelmsford, MA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After taking the Italy tour with Ferdi, it seemed like Spain, and our guide, had a lot to live up to. Amanda lived up to the Rick Steve's standards. She was extremely helpful in planning our free time from helping us find places to eat to even helping us plan our extra day in Spain during which we wanted to go to Segovia. Although there is still so much of Spain I'd love to see, getting both Barcelona and Madrid in hit the 2 major cities and sights of Spain. Absolutely loved and would recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first night dinner with the tour we did a cooking class. The class was so much fun, a great way to get to know the other members of the tour, and taught us a lot about Spanish cuisine. It was the tours first time doing this and I absolutely loved it. Rather than typical "name games" or other ice breakers, we quickly introduced ourselves at the meeting then really got to talking during the dinner making for a much more natural, spontaneous and unique introduction to each other."

Cheryl

North Chelmsford, MA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed the 8 day Barcelona and Madrid tour. Having been on the heart of Italy tour I was afraid that nothing could compare, however I was wrong. Barcelona and Madrid had wonderful charm just like Italy, the tour group was great and I enjoyed all of our travel companions. I think Spain is underrated! I'd love to see more! In addition, our guide Amanda was wonderful. She was super helpful during the tour and even was available to answer questions during our free time. Muy bien!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say la sagrada familia inside seeing the colors from the stained glass."

Melinda

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves Tour and I will tell you they don't disappoint. As usual they find they best tour guides, Amanda. She kept us up to date on the local news as well as the culture of Spain. We walked and walked and walked! It was and is the best way to see and experience the culture. I would say if you are a vegetarian this tour might be hard, but there are work arounds and you will still enjoy the food. I love the fact that you are encouraged to go and have an adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was walking back to my hotel after taking some great photo's by myself, with my camera bag on my backside and my money belt securely tucked in my pants when I felt a tug on the outside pocket of my bag. I immediately turned around only to find this women trying to steal out of my bag. Lucky for her there was nothing of value is the pocket. She went her way and I went mine laughing to myself saying, I know Rick Steves and my money belt is securely tucked away, go find another tourist to rob!"

Susan

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Barcelona & Madrid Tour gave us a delicious taste of Spain, its atmosphere, aromas, architecture, and artwork. Our guide Amanda Buttinger arranged for cooking lessons for our first night together as a tour group which made for a comfortable introduction to each other. We drank wine while cutting vegetables and cooking a Spanish omelet, Paella, and other dishes. A great group of people to travel with our fantastic teacher, Amanda.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia from the outside and inside. Before exiting the metro station, Amanda asked that we not use our cameras until we see the church with our own eyes. She asked that we reach the top of the stairs, turn around, and just look. It was an amazing site and for me the first "wow" moment. Inside the church, with the morning sun shining through the windows and later in the afternoon on our own, was spectacular with the sun painting the columns green, yellow and orange."

Meghan

North Chelmsford, MA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have always wanted to go to Spain, and this tour was the best way to go. The tour did a great job of making sure I saw the highlights of Barcelona and Madrid without feeling rushed through any of it. I am not a huge fan of art so having the guides in the different museums allowed the famous pieces have a much bigger impact on me than they would have alone. I learned a lot from the local guides, and had a wonderful time getting to know our tour guide, Amanda. She was the best resource.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Sagrada Familia was definitely my "wow" moment. The way the colors played off the walls throughout the entire cathedral was incredible and nothing like I'd ever seen before."

Scott

North Chelmsford, MA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the second time our family has taken a Rick Steves tour and it was fantastic once again. Our guide Amanda was fabulous, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable on the history of Spain as well as current events. The group that we traveled with were exceptional. It was so enjoyable to walk through the cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo with everyone hearing the tales from the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many sites that were amazing. But seeing the natural light through the stained glass windows in the Sagrada Familia was unreal. The church itself is a giant WOW. But as the tour moved inside and walked around, the light streaming in through the stained glass was unbelievable. The layout is such that the east facing windows receive the light to start the day in blues and greens and yellows. The west facing facade is colored with reds, oranges and yellows."

Richard

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nygil really made the tour for me.His enthusiasm for Spain, the history of Catalonia in relation to Spain was very interesting and thought provoking.Our walks were great, not only did we get history, architecture, local hot spots to eat buy leather goods,chocolates,olive oil,coffee,beer but the natural and effortless way he spoke was most enjoyable and enabled me to retain the most. Monica was a great local guide, her knowledge and personality were very engaging and brought me into the time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia, especially the stain glass and the way the light came in at different times and angles. The enormity of the project and what is still yet to come is very cool."

William

Greer, SC

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We found the tour to be educational and fun. Our tour guide, Nigel, was superb. It was the first organized travel tour that I had participated in and I enjoyed letting someone else do the planning. We will certainly consider taking another Rick Steve's tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"sangria familia barcelona"

Noel

Crescent Springs, KY

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was much better than expected. The hotels and experience was first class. Our tour consisted of 24 people and we enjoyed each and everyone of them. Our tour guide, Nygil, has to be the best in the business. He was knowledgeable and very much a people person. We were very comfortable with him. This will not be our last Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow' moment was seeing La Sagrada Familia. We visited in the morning and the sun coming through the stained glass windows was breathtaking. It very well could be my favorite building in the world."

Celestia

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thanks to Nygil our tour was most enjoyable. He had the ability to build rapport and a sense of community within our group. Nygil's knowledge, professionalism and sense of humor made the tour fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be our Antoni Gaudi day. I will always remember the sunlight shining through the stain glass in the Sagrada Familia! La Pedrera and the Picasso Museum was also a highlight."

Leslie

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best thing was the quality of the guides. Nigel was a fountain of information and always kind and helpful. The local guides were amazing in their depth of knowledge. I think Rick Steves tours are the best way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi church"

William

Edwards, CO

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional - Nigel kept this disparate group intact . I got lost in the Gaudi Cathedral the first day since I was over medicating-drugged on that damn transatlantic trying to sleep. Nigel had to find me and he did quickly. When I finally woke up around 1 Pm, the tour went efficiently despite the hospital admission for a gall bladder/ pancreas acute abdomen. Nigel took care of that, while the guide through the Prado was exeptional. Spent time analyzing "las meninas' for us and then Gu //

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guernica - didn't know it was so big"

Marilyn

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized! Great group! The best tour guide! We saw a lot of the the cities and had enough free time to explore on our own. Tour was packed full of experiences yet felt relaxed.

Robert

Lodi, CA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip made all the better by an outstanding guide in Frederico. He was extremely knowledgeable about the history, architecture, art, and people of Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo and Spain. He presented this information in a very entertaining way. We highly recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food!!!"

Diane

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have always traveled without a tour. So, my comments are on the contrast between traveling on my own and the tour. I have never been to Spain, so all the places we went were the highlights. In addition, it was fun to have a group we were traveling with so we could sit with different people. Always had another couple or two to join us for outside adventures. The tour kept us on tract, so that we did not waste any time. Did not have to think about where to stay or eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pin that one down. Loved the Guadi tour and Sagrada Familia. Toledo was spectacular. Madrid is a beautiful city."

Elaine

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great organization and planning! Wonderful group of "fellow travelers" and the Best Guide Ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi House museum!"

Theresa

Northampton, MA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed all of the activities the tour offered and appreciated the suggestions for activities to do on our own. The hotel locations in both Barcelona and Madrid were centrally located to sites and transportation which made it very easy to become familiar with both locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the description Federico gave us of the Guernica painting. He was enthusiastic & passionate and really wanted us all to have a great experience. As a fellow tour member noted, he "made history come alive"."

Robert

Glenside, PA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A delightful trip with an excellent guide, manageable group size, met or exceeded expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Madrid - Guernica Barcelona - concert hall"

Pamela

Northampton, MA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, RSE exceeded a high bar of expectations. Our guide Federico was exceptional. He is an attentive host and a knowledgeable teacher. I heard actual yips of delight as he transformed himself into various historical figures. Side trips, evening entertainment, and final morning end-of-tour transfers were seamlessly facilitated. He kept our random group of travelers happy, organized, and well fed. All this with a thoughtful balance of scheduled and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many moments[INVALID]mostly outdoors. The Pedrera rooftop, a Montserrat hike (thx, MN ladies!), Toledo views, Barri Gotic passages, Barcelona waterfront. And of course, Gaudi, El Greco, and Picasso!"

William

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well paced, great guide, lots of insights and information.

Cynthia

Boylston, MA

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RS Tour and once again it was fabulous. Our guide William and co-guide David were all one could ask for. Their love for Spain, it's culture (and all that entails) was evident and infectious. They took us to several terrific restaurants, and introduced us to that aspect of the culture as well as the wines. The local guides were great as well; I particularly enjoyed Fede at the Royal Palace. We did not have a "free day" as I've had on other RS tours, but there was free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia of course! William even orchestrated a group "wow" view as we came off the metro. I loved all of the Gaudi buildings, but nothing can top that. Madrid architecture. The trip to Toledo and the view across the river was unforgettable, and of course the museums and exceptional art. Oh, and the Sabor Jamon potato chips (not part of the tour)."

Mina

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THis was our second RS tour. Last summer we did the Best of Rome with Sarah. THis tour seemed less "busy." It seemed that we did less as a group and had more free time. I feel that we got a big "taste" of Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo. Just like I felt after the Best of Rome, I don't feel that I need to return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None in particular."

Dan

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very upbeat and well organized. William made everyone feel like they were the one that mattered. Outstanding person.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "Guernica" in the Reina Sofia Museum. Tears coming down my cheeks."

Beverly

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our amazing guide William. His enthusiasm and love of Spain was infectious. He interacted with each and every person on the tour which added to the comfort level in spite of a very active agenda. His partner-guide David is a fun, caring, and vigilant person. Every additional guide for our museums, history tours, and palace tour brought our experiences of Spain to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. The architecture of Barcelona, the palace of Madrid, the town of Toledo were all magical in their own diverse manner."

Mark

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

William was an amazing guide! I appreciated the areas selected for us to experience. He was very good at teaching us how to "do it yourself" using our maps and our Rick Steves Travel Guide. The hotels & restaurants were excellent and I learned so much about eating/drinking in Spain thanks to William and our local experts teaching. It was our first guided tour in Europe and I wasn't sure we would like it, but we finished the tour with many great new friends. Can't wait to do this again next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many Wow moments, but for me it was on the hillside across the river from Toledo. Absolutely breathtaking. For my husband it was Picasso's Guernica and the lecture the local guide gave on the subject. I think we left with a better understanding of the Spanish people."

Paula

Denver, CO

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on this tour! It was my first time going on a tour to Europe after having always traveled independently and the leader, the group members, and all the learning were fabulous. After the tour, I spent a few days on my own visiting Sevilla and while I enjoyed visiting, I realized how valuable it is to be on a tour and not have to make all the arrangements as well as to be able to be learn more and experience more than one can do individually.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments - Prado Museum and especially the moment that took my breath away - walking into a room and to be surrounded by El Greco paintings, Toledo, seeing and learning about Guernica, the frescoes at the art museum in Montjuic, this wonderful historic ice cream place in Barcelona, churros and chocolate (the best ever) in Madrid, any dinner that we had as a group - love all the food and drinks that were chosen for us."

Manuela

Greenbelt, MD

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was incredible. From a religious moment seeing the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to our guide, Federico singing opera arias on our last night; this trip was more than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count. Gaudi's masterpieces, especially the Sagrada Familiar, to seeing Picallo's Guenica, to actually seeing El Greco's view of Toledo in real life, The flamenco performance organized by Federico was spectacular. Our guide was attentive, knowledgeable and fun. The food was wonderful and the wine inspiring. Love the fact that we had families with teenagers on this trip."

Gerald

Carbondale, CO

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso Museum"

Trudi

Hyattsville, MD

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. Great group of people, lovely food, informative guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was in Barcelona at the Sagrada Familia, as the sun broke through a cloudy day, illuminating the stained glass."

Linda

Los Altos Hills, CA

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was too short of a trip but perfect just for Spring Break. We brought along our 3 kids, age 12-14 and happy to find out that there was another family with 3 kids going to the same trip, although they are slightly older. As usual, the group is small, 24 people, and all of them are pretty nice and like minded. Both hotels in Barcelona and Madrid are centrally located. Transport system was well explained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sight of Barcelona was a "wow" moment by itself. Old building, Gaudi, stylish people and great food every where. Spaniards really like shopping!"

Michael

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour very much. There was a perfect blend of sightseeing and downtime. The hotels we stayed in were in perfect location for walking and exploring. The choices of restaurants were excellent. Above all, our tour guide Federico, was superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A tie between La Sagrada Familia, and the panoramic view of the city of Toledo"

Nathania

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with every aspect of this tour from the organization, to the guides, meals and hotels. Everything exceeded my expectations making for a very enjoyable and memorable experience. I totally appreciated the focus on learning about other countries, peoples and cultures. This makes for a better understanding of how others live and enriches our own lives. So...no complaints!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me came a few times during the tour which involved our guide Frederico and specifically his explanations of art work in Madrid. He brought the paintings to life for me with his animated, passionate manner. Qualities of a good teacher and being attentive students we will not soon forget our lessons. PS: There were six teens/preteens in our group and he held their attention...good work Frederico!"

Thomas

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2nd Rick Steves tour met and exceeded all of our expectations. Efficient, courteous planning and coordinating of all of the events. Great interaction with others on the tour. And a tour guide, Federico, who was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia was my favorite "wow" moment. Truly amazing!"

Vallie

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to see the ceiling and surrounding walls of the Sagrada Familia. It was an amazing "wowwie" moment for me. What a difference from my first visit in 1975 and then again in 2005. How lucky I am to have seen it in various stages of construction."

Maxwell

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was absolutely amazing!The tour was perfectly scheduled, and I had fun the entire time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was definitely when I saw Picasso's "Spanish Civil War." Federico made the painting come to life."

Lana

Warren, PA

Tour: 03/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted easy planning and good educational value because I was taking my Granddaughter, a college student who was on spring break. The trip more than met these expectations. Directions to join the tour were fun to follow. The group meeting had 20 of us befriending each other immediately. Easy. Knowledgeable guides fed us facts and fun information many hours each day - educational. I have traveled extensively, and this trip was a fine experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This could be the Gaudi apartment or the Picasso museum. But the surprise was being in the midst of a procession, a Spanish tradition during Easter week. There were crowds of people on the streets of Madrid experiencing this local tradition of bands and floats of Jesus and Mary, carried by about thirty men. Our guide was alert and knowledgeable to get us in a good position to enjoy the celebration."

Kimberly

Warwick, NY

Tour: 03/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Great tour leader (Javier). Really nice group. The hotels were beautiful. The high speed train was cool. The dinners and tapas were yummmm.The art was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia...obviously."

Christina

Studio City, CA

Tour: 03/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As my first Rick Steves tour I wasn't totally sure what to expect, I just knew it would be wonderful. Spoiler alert: it was! Javier and the local guides were clearly passionate about their love for their country, and that definitely enhanced the educational experience for me. When I travel, my favorite thing is to try to experience life like a local, and there was a perfect amount of free time so I could go off on my own and use Javier's wisdom.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought I knew what my "wow" moment was - until we went to Toledo. The view from the outskirts of town was breathtaking. I loved exploring the narrow medieval streets and getting lost far away from the crowd. I was also fascinated to learn about how people of different religions lived harmoniously in this little city. It was the perfect way to finish our trip in Spain."

Marguerite

Lakeland, FL

Tour: 03/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and, once again, it was a great experience. Our guide, Javier, was wonderful, and the local guides were excellent. The group itself was interesting and fun, and we enjoyed seeing Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved seeing the Easter processionals through the streets."

Thomas

Franklin, CT

Tour: 03/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour group composed of both us older guys and three young adults. The cities were alive with both local residents active with Easter holiday and tourist - in our side excursions my wife and I struck up many conversations with tourists from Italy, Sweden, Sardinia, Japan and the Philippines. The art and architecture were, as expected, fantastic to witness and ponder. Unexpected, was the diverse, progressive, youthful, family oriented national character of the Spanish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The play of sunlight through the stained glass windows across the interior of the Sagrada Familia was my WOW moment. Soft hues of blue, green yellow transitioned to orange and fiery reds - moving with the sun across the columns and walls. We plan to return in ten years to see and experience completion."

Samuel

Dallas, TX

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was excellent. The overall experience is not rated outstanding because of the weather, not because of factors under control of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was good. The food and wine were excellent."

Daniel

Davis, CA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We went to Barcelona, where we saw local restaurants, architecture by Gaudi, and paintings by Picasso. Then we traveled to Madrid where we saw the more traditional Spanish culture. Finally, we went to Toledo, where we saw the religious monuments of Spain's past as a theocracy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed seeing Gaudi's work, including la Sagrada Familia and the apartment buildings he designed/renovated."

Michelle

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

By the end of the first day we knew we would be booking another RickSteves tour, and each subsequent day reinforced our decision. We had a wonderful time and wouldn't have changed a thing ( well, maybe some of the rainy weather!!) Nygil was a fantastic guide, full of information and suggestions. He really took good care of us and made sure everyone in our group was given personalized attention. We loved the size of our group,the structure of the days,the meals, everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we exited the metro in Barcelona to arrive at the Sagrada Familia, our guide had us turn around together to get our first up close look at the cathedral. It truly was a wow moment that took your breath away as you took in the effect of this unique, beautiful landmark."

Joseph

Hilton Head, SC

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour and it was excellent. We hope to do our 5th one soon. Nygil, our guide, did a great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The interior of Sagrada Familia with all the stained glass windows."

James

Reading, MA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour. As in the past, the guides were outstanding. This means Nygil as well as the local guides. Nygil is a caring person who went out of his way to help my wife and me, as well as other people on the tour. We had a very rainy day in Toledo, and Nygil treated us to hot coffee and a dry atmosphere, thereby putting a positive spin on what would have been a miserable day. He is also very well informed, as were all the guides. They truly make the experience rewarding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia. Words cannot explain what a wonderful experience it was seeing this wonderful church."

Catherine

Reading, MA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Sagrada Familia"

Debby

Crown Point, IN

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

I did not like the tour, too many art museums and churches. Did not like use of guides in museums, would have preferred audio tour where you could chose exhibits you wanted to see and go at your own pace. I have done different tours of British Isles, and Rome, Israel and Greece within past 2 years. Felt the churches toured in those places were of much greater significant values than those in Spain. Also felt options for free time would be better served with more detailed directions and one pg

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have one."

Bernice

Chicago, IL

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed about 90%, Great food, arrangements for tours, our tour guy was awesome. Downside - very small rooms. Next time I will get a single room.

Cynthia

Dallas, TX

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Only the weather kept me form an Outstanding rating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed all of it."

Stuart

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would like to praise Amanda as our tour guide. Her knowledge of the large and small bits of information kept us all on our toes. If she did not have the answer, she found it. Everything seemed to be tied together. The food, buildings, artwork, and history. Each became a part of the whole. I am already planning my second visit to Spain and hope that I will meet up with Amanda when I do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to say which wow to say was my favorite. I was awed by all that is Gaudi. The Palace. But I think that Toledo overall was most informative. This giving a better view of what life was like to be hundreds of years ago."

Karen

Farmington Hills, MI

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the history and background information presented!! All the guides knew a lot about each city and even took us to hidden places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was going inside an apartment atrium and seeing 2000 year old Roman columns!!"

Eric

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A joy from start to finish. So glad I read Barcelona section of RS' Spain guide, & arrived 2 days early because I learned to get around and felt at home in the city. When I joined the group and tour guide Amanda, things only got better. Great food, friendly staff at the hotels and the restaurants. I eat mostly vegetarian and I don't drink alcohol - and each time there were still choices that I enjoyed. It rained the final 2 days, I fell and scraped my hand - but still had the very best time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How to pick - there were so many. Here are a few. 1) Connecting with Amanda and a number of good people taking the tour. 2) Mastering the public transportation system in Barcelona - with my T10 in hand I took trains, subway, trams, buses, and the funicular up to Montjuic. 3) Discovering the 3 Spanish masters El Greco, Goya, and Velasquez. 4) The walk-ability of Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo."

Julie

Farmington Hills, MI

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We covered everything that was promoted by Rick Steves Tours in a pleasant and efficient way. The only thing i would add is a short bus trip around Barcelona upon arrival instead of on the last day. Barcelona was so teaming with people and places, it was difficult to get ones's bearings without seeing the big picture first.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both WOW moments came from the local Spanish people themselves. In Barcelona people were protesting for the future of Cataluña itself. Very cool. The second was in Madrid on the International Day of the Woman. The hotel in Madrid could not have been in a better spot to to see the outpouring of Madridleños take to the streets. It was a magical moment made even better by our guide, Amanda, who provided the background necessary to comprehend and capture the excitment of these events. Wow."

Patricia Jo

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was amazed by all that we learned and saw on our trip to Barcelona. Amanda was incredible. she gave direction and ideas for our own adventures her love of this city was infectious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful food ART and beauty of the city was wonderful."

Charles

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had traveled to Colombia, but never to Europe. So, the tour to Spain was anticipated as a way to see a mix of the medieval and the contemporary. It did not disappoint me that way. I enjoyed Barcelona more than Madrid, as did most of the tour members from what I heard from discussions. Perhaps if we had been in the "high" season it may have been different. Despite the warnings that the population of Barcelona is getting tired of tourists, I had several memorable positive experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia. The most wonderful structure on earth, and I am a Structural Engineer. It is a piece of artistry and architecture. Next the Guernica by Picasso. Then my use of "Merci" rather than "Gracias" to thank a waitress in Barcelona, who was obviously pro-Catalan independence. She replied, "The pleasure has been mine !" 300 KMH train. Barcelona's clean subways. Meals that were feasts !!!! Several of them, so that I started to take them all for granted, but I should not have."

Tracy

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been designing our Europe trips around the Rick Steves guidebooks for more than 15 years and have really enjoyed them. This was our first organised tour and it didn't disappoint. For roughly the same money we would have spent on our own we gained so much more in inside information as well as the opportunity to make some new friends with like-minded travelers. We will do it again, although we still intend to go it alone as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing Picasso's early works at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona was my most "Wow" moment. I had read that he was a wunderkind, and had even seen some of his early paintings. But to see the scope presented at the museum just blew me away. That said there were many wow moments, such as the Casa Mila in Barcelona and everything at the Prado. Watching the Women's March in Madrid on International Women's Day gave us a strong sense of unity with our sisters around the world."

Janet

Olympia, WA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed everyone in the group - I hadn't done a Rick Steves (or any official) tour before - So nice to have decent hotels already arranged, and the meals we had as a group were excellent. I especially enjoyed getting the history of each city, and Amanda was great at noting the navigational tips and mentioning local things to do - and just taking care of everyone in general. I also appreciated the knowledge and skill of the guides who took us through other venues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The round window in the Toledo Cathedral - really everything about that building."

Marvin

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best (out of three) Rick Steves adventures I've experienced. The Tour Guide(s) were excellent in their material, presentation, and personalities. We only visited three cities, Barcelona, Madrid, y Toledo, but we would go back to re-visit again....it was that good. Great Tour, great guides, food & accommodations. Loved it. We're looking ahead next year for another trip with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've been doing genealogy since 1973 and have accumulated a vast family tree, and I found it electrifying when our tour visited the old Cathedral in Barcelona and I found myself standing before the hanging Sepulchers of my 27th Great Grandparents, Ramon Berenguer I y Almodis de la Marche! That was the most outstanding 'Wow' moment. Then again were the visits to the Prado in Madrid and that beautiful old city, Toledo."

Terry

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

good

Joanne

Claremont, CA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've traveled to, and worked in,Everett, WA and Seattle area and south for 10 yrs. Thus, I knew of legendary Rick Steves. However, I've never taken a tour on any prior European excursions. This trip was important to me: I was traveling alone, this was my first European trip since my recent retirement, these were the two cities I have wanted to see in Spain, and once I decided to try a tour group, the small group size was very appealing. Overall experience: OUTSTANDING.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Day 2 Barcelona: The Sagrada Familia. Hands Down. Think I said or was thinking WOW for 2 hrs straight."

Aranka

Racine, WI

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is hard to put to words. The whole trip was amazing. All the sites, museums, monuments, churches, palace the art masterpieces, unbelievable. To see all those masterpieces especially by El Greco and Picasso was once in a lifetime experience. Our guide Federico is a very knowledgeable and funny. We learned so much from him, and he's got a nice voice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose between Sagrada Familia and the view of Toledo arriving to the city. Since it was my first visit to Toledo, I say Toledo was my favorite WOW moment."

Jennifer

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved this tour. I've usually taken longer tours and really liked having more time in Barcelona and Madrid than the typical two days. It was great only having two hotels, really no bus time and being able to cover the big sights and then have time to visit personal interests or just walk through the Botanical gardens/shop and explore different neighborhoods. I was on vacation and I really liked that the morning starts times were not too early and we usually left the hotel around 9.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Federico's explanation of Man of La Mancha by the Don Quixote statue. The guided tour of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. And Federico's explanation of Picasso's masterpiece Guernica. I also really enjoyed taking the Ave train between Barcelona and Madrid. Made me feel like a local."

Douglas

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a spectacular time. Barcelona and Madrid are beautiful, exciting and dynamic. This was our first RS Tour - what a wonderful introduction to Spain and to the Rick Steves' experience. Highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing we were in the company of greatness - Spanish Royalty, Artists and Musicians - all portrayed and characterized by our magnificent guide, Federico. We miss you, your majesty. Additional admiration for Aldofo- our guide in Toledo. A man of great character and compassion."

Claire

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day in Toledo."

Gina

Port Richey, FL

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a lot of fun, nice variety of things to see and our tour guide Federico was very friendly, genuine,and fun. I met some really great people on the tour and I actually enjoy getting to know them during the tour as we share travel and life experiences. The hotel in Madrid was outstanding, so pretty and great location. The hotel lobby way was ideal for us to meet other tour members and chat over a drink and gather plus it was an ideal spot in Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually really enjoyed the first day in Madrid, when Federico had us stop at a beautiful park that had the statue of Cervantes and Don Quixote characters. I love history and the information that Federico presented was so passionate and interesting. A second wow moment was when we got to Toledo and it was rather early, walking the cobblestone streets and hearing our tour guide share his knowledge and experiences gave me chills and tears. He was also very passionate."

Eric

Deephaven, MN

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really had a great time. The proper amount of guided group time and on our own free time. Everyone in our group was pleasant and engaged. Learned so much more as a result of having a guide and our guide Federico could not have been better .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pin down a precise moment, because the entire trip was a wow."

Greg

Lee's Summit, MO

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves trip and it exceeded all expectations. My wife and I loved the balance between group activities and individual free time. Both hotels were centrally located and easy to access from all areas and our tour guide Fredrico was amazing. Barcelona and Toledo were by far our favorite locations. We will definitely be taking another Rick Steves trip!

Adrienne

St Petersburg, FL

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute! This was my first tour of any kind. Now I understand the hype of Rick Steves Tour. A lot is packed into every day with time tacked on to explore (or rest) on your own. The group dinners were fun. The day I got back home, I already missed my new tour friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved learning about the art and history of Spain, while standing in front of glorious works of art listening to Federico and the other guides bring them to life. Toledo was breathtaking. Next time, I'll plan to stay there a couple nights."

Gary

Baldwin, WI

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the 4th Rick Steves' city tour that my wife and I have taken since 2013. We feel that these tours are a great way to be introduced to major cities in Europe. On this tour, we liked how our time was divided between these two very different cities. We liked seeing the countryside of Spain between them on our high-speed rail journey and also our bus trip and guided tour of Toledo. This was our favorite tour so far. We felt that we got to know the culture of Spain and its beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This would be a tie. I love trains and the high-speed AVE trains were the "best" trains I have been on in my life - better than the high-speed German trains; better than the high-speed Japanese trains; better than the high-speed South Korean trains All are good, but Spain's are the best. A "Wow!" to the AVE trains. My second "Wow!" goes to the moment we got off the bus and looked across the river and saw this most incredible sight - Toledo perched up on a hill. Absolutely "perfecto"."

Trisha

White Plains, NY

Tour: 02/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. It was organized and a lot of fun. I was able to see the major sights in Barcelona and Madrid without having to wait on any lines and all the guides were very knowledgeable. The main tour guide, Frederico was absolutely amazing and he is what truly made this tour so special and great. Everything exceeded my expectations and I was so pleased with my experience. I am looking forward to going back to Spain in the near future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments on this tour. Seeing Gaudi's architecture in Barcelona was breathtaking, experiencing an authentic flamenco show in Madrid was fantastic, and Frederico singing opera to us at our last dinner truly made this trip one of my favorites. However, my "wow" moment was seeing the painting, "Guernica" by Picasso. It was a beautiful moment to see such an amazing painting by one of the master artists of the 20th century!"

Nancy

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ashley

Saint Petersburg, FL

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denise

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Henry

Alhambra, CA

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Morgan

New York City, NY

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Saryl

Toronto, ON

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tuscumbia, AL

Tour: 11/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia Church--- amazing"

Dennis

Basking Ridge, NJ

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Oakland, CA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Kathleen

Appleton, WI

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beautiful city of Toledo, Spain."

Michael

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maria

Brighton, MA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Evanston, IL

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rachel

Port Matilda, PA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Pittsfield, MA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

West Chester, PA

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Basking Ridge, NJ

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jasper

Dallas, TX

Tour: 11/05/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely La Sagrada Familia!"

Sara

Novato, CA

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vida

Mayfield Village, OH

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jack

New York, NY

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Mount Kisco, NY

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debbi

Omaha, NE

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anthony

Rancho Mirage, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were too many to list!"

Rochelle

Clarksville, MD

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Omaha, NE

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Bowling Green, MO

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Bowling Green, MO

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overlook at Toledo."

Billy

Green Valley, AZ

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None"

Lisa

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tracey

Mattawan, MI

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Crystal

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! William was super cool and easy going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso painting in the Madrid museum."

David

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Richmond Hill, ON

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Graham

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Tulalip, WA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darlene

Vernon, BC

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment was on every tour."

Wayne

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was the surprise jewel on this trip."

Sara

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Detroit, MI

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi tour"

Janice

Roseville, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrida Familia tour."

Michelle

Marietta, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ken

La Center, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi architecture was really something."

Philip

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Elyria, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dori

Hartford, CT

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joyce

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Derrel

Irving, TX

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to select only one."

Lissa

Garden City, ID

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gerald

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane Lyons

Penfield, NY

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Elyria, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debbie

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Evelyn

Woodbridge, VA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

North Oaks, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Glen Rock, NJ

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada de Familia church."

Jan

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Barcelona harbour and the Gaudi buildings."

Lisa

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi, Gaudi and more Gaudi."

Kathy

Caldwell, TX

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Quechee, VT

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rachel

Port Orchard, WA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love the tour and our guide!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Toledo!"

Robert

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rubina

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Lawrenceville, NJ

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Howard

Jefferson, MA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, everything spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurie

Novato, CA

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sue Ellen

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jay

Wantagh, NY

Tour: 06/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

Cummings, KS

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eve

Berea, OH

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shelly

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marilyn

Lawrence, KS

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Picasso museum."

Steve

Fairview Park, OH

Tour: 06/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeff

Pompton Lakes, NJ

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marilee

Napa, CA

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Betsy

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 06/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Leslie

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Federico sang 3 opera songs to us."

Kim

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tracy

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kenneth

Glendora, CA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 05/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dana

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Leann

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting"

Elizabeth

Barrington, NJ

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

June

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanne

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wayne

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peiyu

Schaumburg, IL

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Paul

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia and visit to Toledo"

Michele

Brighton, MI

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Medford, MA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Camille

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Raymond

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dawn

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Salem, NH

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Lexington, KY

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lewis

Mount Pleasant, SC

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo and WOW what an elevator experience"

Thomas

Brighton, MI

Tour: 05/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melanie

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Martina

Liberty, TN

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bruce

Burbank, CA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Longview, TX

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

San Jose, CA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Awesome hot chocolate."

Mike

Albany, OR

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Albany, OR

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patrick

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Theresa

Huntsville, TX

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Columbus, IN

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 04/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour to be introduced to Spanish culture!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Monroe, MI

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Olga

Monroe, MI

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Princeton, NJ

Tour: 04/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's works. unique and preposterous."

Mike

Yakima, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Matthews, NC

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Bothell, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Susan

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Matthews, NC

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathryn

Dalton, GA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rajasekhar

Dallas, TX

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THROUGHLY enjoyed the vacation

Frances

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Rochester, NY

Tour: 04/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelons."

Jewell

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Palace in Madrid. Amazing!"

Thomas

Olive Branch, MS

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julia

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Salem, OR

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Teressa

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stuart

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 03/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Sagrada Familia and Royal Palace in Madrid"

Jon

Omaha, NE

Tour: 03/19/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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 your online customer account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your customer account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly into Barcelona and out of Madrid ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, 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.