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  • Sagrada Família
  • Park Güell
  • Retiro Park
  • Tapas in Madrid
  • "The Parasol," Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Prado Museum, Madrid
    Prado Museum
  • Toledo

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Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days Tour

from $2,195 per person + air

Single Supplement $575

See Dates & Prices

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

2022

    • Mar 27–Apr 3 (Su–Su)
    • $2,495 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Feb 13–Feb 20 (Su–Su)
    • $2,195 + Air

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    • Feb 14–Feb 21 (Mo–Mo)
    • $2,195 + Air

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    • Mar 13–Mar 20 (Su–Su)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Apr 17–Apr 24 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Spain!

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    • Apr 24–May 1 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

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    • May 15–May 22 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • May 29–Jun 5 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

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What's Included

You'll get at least 17 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Barcelona & Madrid tour:

  • Sagrada Família
  • Casa Milà
  • Gothic Quarter walking tour
  • Barcelona Cathedral
  • Picasso Museum
  • Barcelona panoramic bus tour
  • Park Güell
  • 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 The Burial of the Count of Orgaz)
  • Toledo Cathedral
  • Tránsito Synagogue
  • Wine tasting

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 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 (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 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.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Barcelona

Barcelona, the proud capital of Catalunya, may be the most festive city on the Mediterranean. We'll meet 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Barcelona.

Day 2: Gaudí and Modernista Eixample

This morning is devoted to the swirling architecture of Antoni Gaudí and Barcelona's Modernisme movement. We'll stroll through the Eixample neighborhood, visiting the Casa Milà and Block of Discord, on our way to tour the greatest work of Barcelona's master builder — the towering, dizzying Sagrada Família. The remainder of your afternoon is free to explore more Art Nouveau delights throughout the city. This evening we'll regroup for an introduction to Spanish wine at a local bodega, before setting you free for dinner on your own.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Barcelona.

Day 3: Barri Gòtic and Picasso

Today we'll visit the Picasso Museum, Europe's best collection of Picasso paintings, where we'll trace the story of this hometown boy-genius' art as he evolved from a kid who painted like an adult…to an adult who painted like a kid. We'll end our tour in Barcelona's maze-like Gothic Quarter, exploring from its Roman foundations to the spires of its candle-, relic- (and geese-!) strewn cathedral. This evening we'll toast to our last night in Barcelona with dinner together.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Barcelona.

Day 4: Park Güell and a Speedy Train to Madrid

We'll start today with a panoramic bus tour of Barcelona, leading to Gaudí's famed Park Güell. Then 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. 

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Train: 3 hours. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Madrid.

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 lesson on Spain's delectable jamón and time-honored tapas culture.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Madrid.

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 and home of 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 flamenco performance.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Madrid.

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 Tránsito Synagogue, and El Greco's The 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!

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Madrid.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate in cities on your own.
  5. Eat group dinners as late as 9 p.m.

Reviews

Laura

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Touring Spain in the time of Corona Virus was an adventure non of of will forget. In the time it took to go from Barcelona to Madrid the world turned upside down. Our guide stayed ahead of events, managed conflicting news and a vast array of concerns and anxieties with grace, calm, and expertise. He was resourceful, creative and pulled in exceptional local guides for particular experiences who were also extraordinary in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! The entire country is shut down, there is conflicting information coming from the U.S., 50% of our tour has left, the rest are trying to figure out how to get out of Spain and back home, anxiety is running at peak levels and this is the best Vermouth I have ever tasted!"

Phyllis

Canal Winchester, OH

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Unfortunately, our tour was cut short due to Covid 19. Our time in Barcelona was wonderful. I liked that we had time each day to do what we chose to do. I do think that trip probably should have been cancelled prior to departure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Segrada Familia by far"

Julia

Mission, KS

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? I was on the BAM tour that cancelled in the middle due to COVID-19. It boils down to Javier made me feel safe at all times. Unfortunately I did not get to say goodbye in person since my kids woke me up during the middle of the night telling me to get home STAT.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It might seem silly but I LOVED our hotels. I said "wow" when I walked in both rooms. They next time I walk into a "Holiday Inn" type room will be so depressing."

Rebecca

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although our trip was overshadowed by a global pandemic we had a fantastic time. Javier was an amazing guide, his ability to work under pressure and remain calm as he tried to navigate unforeseen circumstances was impressive. Javier communicated clearly and honestly with the group what was happening. We were part of the final few who stayed until the last day, and although everything was changed we felt incredibly safe and although a slighlty stressful departure were glad to have the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having not been on a tour like this before I was definitely skeptical, the whole thing wowed me and I had a fantastic time. I don't know if there was a specific wow moment, but I really enjoyed the wine tasting we did in Barcelona, but generally my wow moment was how Javier handled the situation and still let us make the most of our trip."

Avril

Pigeon, MI

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first Rick Steves tour and I was very impressed from start to finish. On our third day we arrived in Madrid to find that all the museums were closed because of the Corona virus. Our guide Javier was amazing and reorganized everything so we still had a wonderful time. He took us out of the city to Toledo one day and to Segovia the next. He went out of his way to help people reorganize flights. He organized a hotel at the airport for us the night before we left.

Donald

Bedford, MA

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have sent a separate letter to your home office to give feedback on our great experience in Spain despite the emerging pandemic measures there. I can send it by email as well if that letter cannot be located and you would be interested to hear more detail.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman Viaduct in Segovia. We hadn't planned on visiting Segovia, and it was a treat. The people were warm and interested in our backgrounds."

Eva

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I thought the Spain tour was wonderful; and when it is safe to do so, I would like to do the whole tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some "wow" factors was when Javier improvised the travel itinerary; e.g. when the museums were closed in Madrid, we did day trips/tours to Toledo and Segovia! Another wow factor for me was when Javier was able to get us from the Madrid downtown hotel to a hotel closest to the airport...this was a good AND save move due to the uncertainty with transportation!"

Violet

Romeoville, IL

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I HAD GREAT TIME. I EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT KINDS OF FOOD. I ENJOYED THE FRIENDSHIP OF EACH PERSON IN THE GROUP. I APPRECIATE THE HELP I RECEIVED FROM THE GROUP AND TOUR GUIDE JAVIER

Favorite "WOW" moment

"BARCELONA OLD TOWN. THE LARGEST VEG AND FRUIT AT THE MARKET PLACE. MADRID CITY HALL SQUARE. THE UNIQUE PLACES FOR FOOD AND WINE. AT THE TOP OF THE CATHEDRAL WAS A GREAT VIEW OF THE CITY OF TOLEDO. THE CATHEDRAL IN SEVILLA. THE BULLFIGHTING ARENA WALL THAT IS STILL STANDING."

Jill

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 03/08/20

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had been to Barcelona and Madrid before so much of the tour was a repeat for us but we enjoyed seeing it again very much. Javier was a great guide and we had a great group with us. Our tour took place just as Madrid was beginning to experience growing numbers of the coronavirus and this put a bit of a damper on the tour for us. We, as did some of the others in the group, decided to leave the tour a few days early.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First, Javier. We had met him 9 years prior when he was our assistant tour guide on the Spain tour. The first day of this tour he saw us in the breakfast room, did a bit of a double take, and walked up to us - he remembered our names (which he could have gotten from the tour list) BUT he also remembered our dining preferences from nine years ago! Amazing. Was wonderful to see him again and we were lucky to have him with us with his local experience as the coronavirus unfolded in Spain."

John

Bismarck, ND

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great- we just should have picked a longer tour.

Zora

Sumner, WA

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We met our guide, Amanda, in our hotel, the Gran Villa in Barcelona and she was very friendly, organized and informative. We participated in a cooking class, toured museums & churches and tried some amazing restaurants. We took the speed train to Madrid and did similar there, as well as Toledo. Amanda was very helpful with all questions and suggestions for our free time. The last evening group dinner was lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Sagrada Familia and all of the other Gaudi buildings were my favorite WOW moments! I also loved Toledo."

Sue

Aurora, IL

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Barcelona and Madrid were both delightful cities with many great attractions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that both cities were pedestrian friendly with many streets designed for walking with no or little traffic. Amanda was an excellent tour guide. She was knowledgeable about the cities, and she was approachable at all times. She was calm and reassuring about our abilities to explore on our own during our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping into the Sagrada Familia and seeing the sun streaming in through the stained glass windows was breathtaking. I also loved seeing the royal palace in Madrid with its stunning rooms."

Amy

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a word, amazing. Amanda was an excellent guide; clear communicator, clear expectations, which I appreciated. Excellent hotels, great group dinners (especially the cooking class!), felt like I saw all the highlights while having ample time to explore Barcelona and Madrid with my husband. Also, all the local guides were stellar; I learned more about Spain's history, arts, and culture from them than I ever could have by reading alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without question, seeing Guernica at the Reina Sofia. The experience was enriched by Ana's, the local guide's, expert commentary. I was especially moved at the end of the tour when Ana thanked us, the American people, for keeping this work safe during Franco's reign."

Fred

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned and well executed .... everything on the agenda was handled thoroughly and competently ....actually, our expectations were high and the tour exceeded them ....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the overall trip to Toledo was the best of many wow moments"

Nestor

Sumner, WA

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about our tour. The pace of the tour and attractions were spot on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Gaudi's Familia Sagrada was a wow moment for us.It's hard to describe the feeling you when you first see it up close and personal."

Lesley

Montgomery, OH

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, Amanda was a terrific leader. She has a great personality...very genuine and easy to talk to. She communicated so well her love of the culture and for people of Spain...even though she has done this tour many times, her presentation was always fresh and full of enthusiasm for the day's events. The tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day spent in Toledo with Adolpho.....especially his presentation of two of El Greco's paintings....fascinating. But everything on the tour was terrific...history and art...a perfect day."

Randall

Rogers, AR

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour . Really learned a lot about the history, art and food of Spain. Barcelona was great with all things Gaudi. Picasso museum was wonderful. Enjoyed walking on Le Ramblis Madrid with wonderful Prado museum and Royal palace were great tours Both hotels very nice with great location Really enjoyed the first evening with a cooking class as a way to meet fellow travelers Our guide Amanda was superb. She was both fun and funny with great knowledge. All local guides added a lot

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia both inside and out for first time"

Marcia

Columbia, MO

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, The weather was perfect, not too cold and not too hot. Either we were extremely lucky or this time of year is the best to go to Spain. Amanda, our guide was the most positive, delightful, knowledgeable, accommodating guide we could hope for! Her love for this area of Spain was obvious in a way that rubbed off on us all. She, as well as the rest of the group became family. We were close to tears as we said our good-byes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wows, but one of them was on the first night when a group dinner was planned. Instead of simply dining, we were treated to a cooking class which brought us together in small groups as we worked on individual dishes. A long time cook, I learned a few techniques about using a knife and cutting up potatoes, learned how to make a new dish, and made better acquaintance with the tour members in my cooking group. I loved learning about Gaudi's methods and reasons for designing as he did."

Mary Louise

Bismarck, ND

Tour: 02/16/20

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A warm, friendly & knowledgeable guide sets the tone from the start. Yea Amanda!! Spain was beautiful with many amazing things to see. My personal favorite was the churches. The building of such breathtaking structures by human hands without power tools and often in difficult lighting just does something to my awareness.. Toledo was another fabulous place to visit. Any old city with such interesting "old town" areas are a plus for me to visit. There was no disappointment in that regard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Gaudi's Sagrada Familia church from the outside was a real treat, however stepping inside and catching my first glimpse stopped me in my tracks. It was both my best experience just being there, and my saddest when I had to leave this church. No way could I take it all in. I was thunderstruck."

Michael

Bee Cave, TX

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deliciously memorable in so many ways. Nygil was a superb guide and led us to a wonderful variety of food and wine along with the historic and architectural delights of both cities. Nygil was also particularly attuned to the needs of our group and exceptionally responsive and helpful. Our local guides were both informative and fun, and particularly excellent in teaching us about the historic areas of Barcelona. We must return! Barcelona provided particular fun with its liveliness.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although Sagrada Familia is a never-to-be-forgotten element, Toledo with its location and history was a particular highlight for me. Its beautiful and well-defensible setting, plus the old city streets to wander made it a very special memory."

Nadia

Santa Monica, CA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Nygil is the best tour guide we have had. In Barcelona, we spent too much time in religious museums while ignoring very important art work. The Gaudi building we visited could be changed to his more famous work. The local guides were not the best.

Edward

Pierrefonds, QC

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Learned a lot about the history of Spain. Didn't realize how important Gaudi was to the development of Spain. Barcelona is a beautiful city, but Madrid surprised me at its size and how much they go all in for the Christmas holidays.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The crowds on Grand Via in Madrid every night we were there, and the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the city."

Scott

Leesburg, VA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and I was impressed with the outstanding customer service, particularly from our tour guide Nygil. At times it felt like we were getting a private tour because he paid so much personal attention to our particular interests and needs. Whatever he and the rest of the company are doing to make these tours comfortable and enjoyable experiences, please continue... we'll be coming back for another tour next year!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The excursions were very beginner-friendly (I know next-to-nothing about art), and there were many wow moments. One that stuck with me was visiting the Goya room at the Museo Nacional del Prado and seeing all the painful scenes. You didn't need to be an expert to be moved by the suffering shown in these paintings."

Charles

Columbia, SC

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent choices for the two hotels, located in walking distance of the highlights of each city and with very convenient access to public transportation

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing Gaudi's work"

Ella

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A GOOD TIME WITH A NICE BUNCH OF PEOPLE. OUR TRIP WAS FACILITATED BY A SUPERIOR GUIDE. I SAW ALMOST ALL OF WHAT I WANTED TO, INCLUDING SOLO TRIPS TO PARK GUELL AND THE PALAU DE MUSICA CATALANA FOOD AND WINE WERE WONDERFUL.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DISCOVERING THAT I REALLY LIKE CAVA!"

Brenda

Fremont, CA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Barcelona and Madrid hotels were very good. The walking tours in Barcelona were enjoyable and informative - I had been to Barcelona before but it was very nice to visit again and have a guide to show me around. The beach of Barcelona was fantastic - only downside is an airport inspector stole my seaglass and seashells from my luggage. Madrid was lovely and easy walking town. I could have skipped the Royal Palace guide said better than Versailles - I would respectfully disagree

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona beach! Parc Guell, Montjuic I would have loved to spend more time in all 3 of these places"

Sarah

Springfield, VA

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spain was such a welcome surprise; it had not been high on my list, but I came on a whim & I am glad I did. The hotels were great & well located, there was a nice balance of activities & free time, & you got a taste of all the highlights of what both cities had to offer. I meshed with some of the local guides better than others, but they all had incredible knowledge, & their love of their respective cities is obvious. Nygil was the best, his insights (& wine recs!) were a highlight of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the Christmas lights in both cities, but truth be told, I will never forget that wonderful, tasty Croquetas de jamón at our Wednesday night dinner in Madrid. It was filled with bechamel cheese and ham and was just a little piece of heaven."

Ingrid

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first group tour experience ever, although we have traveled to Europe several times. Our neighbors took two Rick Steves tours recently and their wonderful experiences helped us make the decision to sign up. We were surprised at how nice the whole experience was; how easy it made it to travel, how friendly and thoughtful our fellow travelers were, and much more we learned and saw, and how much we loved it. We plan to sign up for another tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is really hard to answer. We have so many memories and special moments we won't forget. Being actually in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo for the very first time was incredible. I wish I could narrow it down but I can't. It was all just very special."

Mary Lois

Bee Cave, TX

Tour: 11/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anything Gaudi in Barcelona!"

Bennet

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife (Rosa Kim) and I are writing this joint evaluation. Overall, we tremendously enjoyed this, our first Rick Steves' tour. Specifically, we really valued the following: -- the centrally-located hotels (great locations for self-exploring) -- the smoothly-planned arrangements for seeing museums and other sights (for instance, we were able to get in slightly early to the Royal Palace in Madrid and thus did not have a crowd to deal with as we walked through the Palace).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment occurred in Madrid when we were shown one of the convents with cloistered nuns who sell almond cookies; we saw where they lived and were able to sample some of their yummy cookies and heard a little about how they lived."

Elizabeth

Potomac, MD

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, this was our second tour with RS. The information sent ahead of time was very helpful and the pace of the tour was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed La Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum, also our time in Toledo."

Ali

Potomac, MD

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, everything was coordinated and managed well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hotels were selected in the middle of the city and easy and safe to move around."

Denis

Yonkers, NY

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guide Xavier was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about Barcelona band Madrid. The tour itinerary was good although Toledo was too crowded on a Saturday. I would suggest going during the week although that might cause other problems for the activities shifted to Saturday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Closest to a wow moment was the interior of the Toledo cathedral. Particularly the monstrance."

Raghvinder

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second Rick Steves tour and I really appreciate how efficient they are logistically. We see so much more than we would see on our own and the local guides are so very good at explaining what we are seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh no...everybody has asked me that and it's very difficult to decide. There were wow moments every day. Maybe Sagrada Familia...but Toledo (especially the cathedral) was very impressive."

Tamra

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scheduled activities and free time were a terrific balance. The tour guides and our Tour Manager were fabulous. Javier managed the group very well and handled all the important details to insure our trip was flawless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guides insights into the Sagrada Familia - we never would have absorbed all the details surrounding this incredible cathedral."

David

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 11/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide. Excellent city guides. Very good group of travelers. No duds in the group. I look forward to doing another Rick Steve's in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia"

Lindsay

Ballwin, MO

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful is the only way to describe it. The balance between group activities and free time was just right. Loved our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The final dinner together and the tour of the church in Toledo were the two highlights."

Brian

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour to Europe. Spain was a very good starting point. Our tour guide was excellant and had lots of knowledge on all the sites we went to in Barcelona and Madrid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the old architecture in Barcelona."

Martha

Woodbridge, VA

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was wonderful! Barcelona and Madrid were amazing. As always, we went several days early to get settled in and we found that the people were so friendly and helpful. In spite of the demonstrations,it was very easy to get around Barcelona with the guide book. The bus system was convenient and a great way to view the beautiful architecture and parks for jet-lagged travelers. In retrospect, when describing Barcelona and Madrid, I would say we were constantly surrounded by incredible art!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several! Sitting on the rooftop of Hotel Midmost having a glass of wine, enjoying the delicious ham, and overlooking the beautiful city of Barcelona was definitely a wow moment. Another wow moment was shortly after entering Sangrada Familia, the light streamed inside, creating a cascade of colors. I was reminded of Gaudi's comment that God was the true architect!"

Ken

Ballwin, MO

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada familia"

Thomas

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, a very well organized tour schedule with an excellent leader Frederick!

Ronald

Watervliet, NY

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days Tour with Frederico was up to the usual top notch Rick Steves standards! We had a wonderful time and learned quite a bit along the way. Definitly looking at Southern Spain for a future trip. Fun packed , effortless travel, that's what I like!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every seat is not what it might seem..."

Diane

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Did not realize how much art there is in Barcelona and Madrid!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Prado seeing Las medians with the tour guide explaining every detail about that painting and viewing it from different vantage points! Incredible."

Karen

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved both Barcelona and Madrid. I thought the mix between the group time and alone time was great. Perfect mix.

Anthony

St Charles, IL

Tour: 11/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and I have to say that it was fantastic!! Everything was well organized from start to end. We enjoyed every moment and will definitely book another tour and highly recommend a Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments for us. The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, both were ridiculously beautiful and stunning!"

Sandra

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, although I've been reading Rick's guidebooks and watching his shows for many years. I was not disappointed! The tour was well-planned, good hotel choices, reasonable expectations, and a superb guide. My husband and I often travel to Europe on our own, but I can absolutely see the advantage to a guided tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe 2: all of the spectacular buildings in Madrid, and seeing Picasso's "Guernica"."

Daniel

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

These two city tours covered a lot of ground, and were a great introduction to Barcelona and Madrid for first-time visitors like me. Our guide, Federico, was really good - helpful, very knowledgable, took care of all the details, and also had a great personality. The two hotels were nice, particularly the Madrid hotel, Villa de la Reina. Both hotels were centrally located and within easy walking distance of major attractions and sties. I really enjoyed this particular Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day trips to Monserrat Abbey and Toledo were memorable. The architecture and historic sites were of particular interest to me. The food at every restaurant we tried was very good. English was understood and spoken where ever we went, which is not always the case in some countries in Europe."

Amy

Fairfield, CT

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we were very happy with the experience and value provided. The tour was a nice balance of planned and unplanned time which allowed for individual exploration. Barcelona and Madrid are both very manageable cities so this 8 day "best" of tour was a perfect introduction! We spent additional time before the tour in Barcelona which allowed us to do a private one day wine tour in the Penedes region. I also recommend a visit to the MIRO museum and Park Guell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid with Frederico to see Guernica was my favorite moment. He has an amazing ability to teach through story telling and drama. He prepped us with historical context during our break at the cafe, then went deeper in the gallery outside the Guernica. And once we got in front of the painting he spent 30 minutes describing the details and symbolism of the painting. I was brought to tears - it was so moving!"

Sarah

Houston, TX

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience every time!This is my second Rick Steve's tour . Our tour guide Fredrico was fantastic! As well as the other guides that joined.I really appreciated him taking care of my dietary restrictions as well as making sure I was always looked after and safe since I was by myself. Especially the day I opted out of the Toledo trip due to not feeling well, Fredrico took time out to call and make sure I was ok and let me know to contact him if I need something. Much appreciated!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"EVERYTHING!!"

John

Lynbrook, NY

Tour: 10/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The country, cities, scenery and most important the tour guide made this tour truly a treasure. From Barcelona to Madrid where opposing view points were not hard to find it was fun and interesting to discover the culture and the food of the Spanish people (oh the tapas and the ham). This was our seventh Rick Steves tour and like the other six it did not disappoint but exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment happened in the Reina Sofia art museum in Madrid while viewing Guernica by Picasso. Frederico our guide led us into a very crowded room walked up tp the side of the painting while we took positions in the crowd to see the painting. Frederico began his explanation not only vocally but in body language that brought the painting to life and the extent of the tragedy that had occurred."

Laura

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Thornhill, ON

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Yarmouthport, MA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vicki

Yarmouth Port, MA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Durham, NC

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

April

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! Amanda and Andrew took care of everything and made sure we were well taken care of! Buses were there on time, tickets purchased, reservations made. I felt very pampered!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the most unexpected experiences which brought tears to my eyes was viewing of Guernica at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. The room was pretty crowded with school-tour groups, teenagers talking and using their cells phones. Ricardo was explaining the painting to us, when he stopped and started talk in Spanish. He later explained that he told the teens that, "This is your history and if you can't respect it you need to leave." The room got very quiet after that."

John

Woodhaven, NY

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Cooperstown, NY

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Plano, TX

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Duluth, MN

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Guadi sites"

Michael

Renton, WA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jennifer

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marc

Cedar Rapids, IA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marcia

Hammond, IN

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Mount Vernon, IL

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"everything Gaudi"

David

Schererville, IN

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a wonderful week of exploration and dining. Again, the tour had a good mix of group/structured events and free time. A balanced mix of architecture, art, history, eating, and touring. We find the museum strategies to be optimum - tour with a guide for about 1.5 hours, examine a smaller set of art in more depth, then move on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Jewish Quarter of Toledo during the quiet morning. In particular, the visit to the Sinagoga de Transito was inspiring - I felt an affinity with the medieval community as they worshiped, gathered, and lived in cooperation with the Muslim residents."

Otto

North Reading, MA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

North Reading, MA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nothing to report here."

William

Pasadena, MD

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Hanover, PA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurie

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Wilmington, NC

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Curtis

Westminster, MD

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Toledo. INCREDIBLE local guide."

Patricia

West Dennis, MA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Clark

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Kensington, MD

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeanne

West Dennis, MA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christina

Hilton Head, SC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the entire city of Barcelona!"

David

Hilton Head, SC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Greg

Plainfield, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first I wondered how good it could be. IT was beyond what I thought was possible. There was nobody else that could have given the best well. We were taken to the best authentic Spain foods, and experience. I dont want the fake - american tourist trip. Really loved that somebody else set up all reservations, and travel arrangements.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW for me was many of the tours. with the Whispers. Everytime we were given explanations of what i am seeing in paintings, and the royals builiding, where i am being explained what is really happing, and how it changed the world was a WOW. I dont want to just read plaques on the wall, to get some vague idea of what is happinging."

Michael

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Teresita

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Devin

Greenbrier, TN

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Zenaida

Highland Park, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sherrie

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The famous church in Barcelona by far !"

Karen

New City, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

New City, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rocco

North Merrick, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo Spain, church in Toledo totally unexpected."

Roxane

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Liked touring Toledo"

Allen

Marana, AZ

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jack

Saint Helens, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Michael

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prado museum in Madrid."

Carol

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Ringgold, GA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheryll

Valparaiso, IN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Cary, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Portage, IN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Edward

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sacra Familia and Alahambra"

Anne

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Guillermo

Eagle Pass, TX

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

When To Go & Weather

Barcelona and Madrid are lively cities to visit nearly year-round. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with good weather, lighter crowds, and long days. Visiting between November and March offers the benefit of missing out on the sweat, stress, and crowds of the tourist season, along with cooler 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 confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

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

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

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