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

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

Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days Tour

from $1,995 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2019

2020

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Barcelona and Madrid come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 17 group sightseeing events • Sagrada Família • La Pedrera • Gothic Quarter walking tour • Barcelona Cathedral • Picasso Museum • Barcelona panoramic bus tour • Museum of Catalan Art • Madrid panoramic bus tour • Madrid walking tour • Royal Palace • Prado Museum • Reina Sofía museum • Toledo day trip and walking tour • Santo Tomé Chapel (El Greco's Burial of the Count of Orgaz) • Toledo Cathedral • Sinagoga del Tránsito • Wine tasting…and more
  • All group transportation from Barcelona to Madrid
  • 7 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2020
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Barcelona

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

Day 2: Gaudí Day

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

Day 3: Barri Gòtic and Picasso

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

Day 4: Montjuïc and a Speedy Train to Madrid

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

Day 5: Madrid's Royal Palace

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

Day 6: Masterpieces of Madrid

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

Day 7: Toledo

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

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Denise

Buffalo, NY

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Westerville, OH

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jason

Newburgh, NY

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

North Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Virgil

North Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shirley

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suzanne

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting"

Dennis

Sisters, OR

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sagrada Familia was amazing to visit"

Isabelle

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joe

Harvest, AL

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Happy with the tour.

Alice

Harvest, AL

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deborah

Marysville, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tom

Marysville, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jacqueline

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kevin

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nonstop food, art and fellowship - terrific!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sagrada Família!"

Susan

Chehalis, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christopher

Mansfield, MA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rita

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Waukesha, WI

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melissa

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jerome

Yellow Springs, OH

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Songcha

Fort Mill, SC

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristy

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Sagrada Família."

Kevin

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Culver City, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Yellow Springs, OH

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Culver City, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inside tour of Familia Sagrada"

Ann

Canby, OR

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carmen

New York, NY

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Mary

East Falmouth, MA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Madrid Cathedral was fantastic!"

Andrea

Franklin, WI

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrea

Irondale, AL

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lesley

Davis, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dane

Greenland, NH

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Segrada Familia and Flamenco dancing."

Kris

Fountain Valley, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Edwin

East Falmouth, MA

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrew

Irondale, AL

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Randy

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Tour: 04/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Everett, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erin

West Lawn, PA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tracy

Sequim, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vivian

Longmont, CO

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Benicia, CA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Ogden, UT

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Sue

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Beth

Graytown, OH

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jan

Estero, FL

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Royal Palace Madrid"

Arthur

Benicia, CA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Irene

Dartmouth, MA

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Burlington, CT

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ron

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Washington, DC

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia"

Jonathan

Burlington, CT

Tour: 03/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Leilani

Dulles, VA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Annandale, VA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Liz

Platteville, WI

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Holly

Eastham, MA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barcelona- all things Gaudi!!"

Vicki

Paradise Valley, AZ

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Saint Peters, MO

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Toledo!"

James

Los Fresnos, TX

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dennis

Dallas, TX

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Paradise Valley, AZ

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Rancho Viejo, TX

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patty

Fort Smith, AR

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Johnathan

Wilton Manors, FL

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Monnie

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Grapevine, TX

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Russell

Davison, MI

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Stephen

San Tan Valley, AZ

Tour: 03/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Beverly

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Sagrada Familia was amazing."

Peter

Pacific Palisades, CA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joyce

Valparaiso, IN

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving into Toledo and seeing the village ahead."

Gary

Athens, GA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another excellent tour as expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lily

Athens, GA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wayne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Dayton, TN

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose only one!"

Karen

Piney Flats, TN

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

really enjoyed our guides. very informative and helpful!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Marthasville, MO

Tour: 02/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rita

Placerville, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alan

Lake Forest, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Leah

Kenosha, WI

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anne

Lakemont, GA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jordan

Fresno, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Placerville, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Lakemont, GA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Madera, CA

Tour: 11/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marty

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 11/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynn

Naperville, IL

Tour: 11/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 11/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking tour in Barcelona"

Sue

Houston, TX

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Huntington, IN

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sean

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Sagrada Familia"

Elizabeth

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ada

Sanford, NC

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia was breathtaking."

Barbara

Rochester, MN

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kate

Painesville, OH

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debora

Warren, RI

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheri

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Hoover, AL

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Spanish Royal Palace in Madrid."

Jayna

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terry

West Kelowna, BC

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stuart

Hoover, AL

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nygil made the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janis

Hoover, AL

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Newtonville, MA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Harold

Montesano, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night's dinner."

Gerald

Montesano, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Javier, our tour guide made the whole trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo guided tour"

Karen

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Lynn

Byron, IL

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Reston, VA

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Richardson, TX

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia and the Prado museum"

Gil

Ocala, FL

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Ocala, FL

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Howard

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lois

Haddon Township, NJ

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ken

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia in Barcelona."

Marjorie

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Harvey

Collingswood, NJ

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Cleveland, TN

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Richland, OR

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janise

Needham, MA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronald

Apex, NC

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karren

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Newmarket, NH

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elgin

Brookhaven, GA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tapas were the highlight of the tour."

Gail

Roswell, GA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suanne

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeanne

Center Lovell, ME

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Noel

New Lenox, IL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

New Lenox, IL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ruth

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo"

John

Largo, FL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Afsaneh

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach in bercelona!"

Steven

Fernandina Beach, FL

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mike

Napa, CA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jennifer

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Fred

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toledo was breath taking!"

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."

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."

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."

Steven

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Michael

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia."

Shane

Eastvale, CA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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."

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.

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

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!!!"

William

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

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!"

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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)."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

Gerald

Carbondale, CO

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picasso Museum"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Catherine

Reading, MA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Sagrada Familia"

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Terry

Portland, OR

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

good

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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"."

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."

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."

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!

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!"

Weather

Spain / Barcelona

Barcelona Weather

Spain / Madrid

Madrid Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly into Barcelona 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.