Amazing tour guide, James, who was immediately very comfortable to be with and talented. Locals still join hands and dance the everyone's-welcome sardana in front of the cathedral, and neighborhood festivals jam the events calendar. David was a great tour guide. Unfortunately I did not get to say goodbye in person since my kids woke me up during the middle of the night telling me to get home STAT. 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. We really liked the Midmost in Barcelona. The trip is rated as one of the most strenuous and that's not hard to believe. And you could tell how much Amanda loves it. Toledo was historically well-preserved and fascinating. The insights we have come home with are rich and vivid! Going to Spain was on my bucket list and we enjoyed our time in Barcelona, Madrid and I really liked Toledo. On the normal tour the art museums were the highlight.". 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.". Our guide James was informative, very smart, engaging and had a measured personality that was very reassuring. Our guide Nygil was the best RS guide we have had. "It is so hard to pick just one, but I have to say La Sagrada Familia with the colors from the streaming sunlight through the stained glass was a real "wow". "Oh my, that is hard to say as I feel that whole trip was one "wow" moment after another. It was very well timed that key aspects were shared tasted and experienced. Frederico began his explanation not only vocally but in body language that brought the painting to life and the extent of the tragedy that had occurred.". Time is maximized, itinerary ve y well designed. Overall, I thought the Spain tour was wonderful; and when it is safe to do so, I would like to do the whole tour! Especially the freedom to explore on our own. Visiting between November and March offers the benefit of missing out on the sweat, stress, and crowds of the tourist season, along with cooler weather. Very good group of travelers. ", It surprised me by walking my way through the country really was the best way to go. 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. We plan to sign up for another tour! Barcelona and Madrid were both delightful cities with many great attractions. It truly was a wonderful tour. Travel arrangements were top notch. Add to that, our band of fun-loving fellow travelers = a week of non-stop fun! It's a shame the Rick Steve's Europe can't make 36 hour days for these trips. Gaudi. "It is so hard to limit my observations of this trip to a favorite "wow" moment. Our tour educated us and exposed us to the rich culture of Spain, encouraged us to explore it on our own, and promoted cross cultural understanding. The hotel accommodations were superb and our meals at the various restaurants were delicious and great fun! seeing the hilltop city of Toledo in the morning light. He also surprised us with a stop at a tapas bar, and other small surprises like marzapan! Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, and generally I had the feeling that our group was "VIP." Although our trip was overshadowed by a global pandemic we had a fantastic time. "There were so many "wow" moments that it's hard to pick a favorite. Jorge was a good guide and was very helpful when someone needed extra help, like when my daughter was sick at the beginning of the tour and we had to find a pharmacy that was still open before our first group dinner. Join us for the Best of Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days! It was both my best experience just being there, and my saddest when I had to leave this church. "Gaudi. This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. David was the best, very attentive to our needs and very informative about Spain and Spanish culture. "One of the most unexpected experiences which brought tears to my eyes was viewing of Guernica at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. A marvel of architecture and art. And ... the best part was that I barely incurred addition costs. There was no disappointment in that regard. He went way out of his way to act as concierge, helping us plan our free time and extra days. So fun!!!". If I have to pick, the sight of Toledo as you arrive along the gorge and hear the history of this city. Guide was amazing. The tour was well planned and executed. Very well organized. 2. Barcelona was easy to explore because of the central location of our hotel. Very nice way to get to know our tour mates. Thanks for putting together such an amazing itinerary!". Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Spain. The meals and wines were outstanding. Augustin was fantastic. We were expecting a lot from our first Rick Steves' tour and we were definitely not disappointed. 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. "Holy Toledo"!!". Rick Steves Barcelona was excellent and indispensable for our 2 weeks vacation in Barcelona. I would say it is probably not to my taste. "I think, for me, seeing Picasso's Guernica was the most surprising and inspiring thing that we did. ▲ Magic Fountains Lively fountain spectacle near Plaça d'Espanya. Skip to main content. 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. From Barcelona to Madrid where opposing view points were not hard to find it was fun and interesting to discover the culture and the food of the Spanish people (oh the tapas and the ham). Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo. I don't know if there was a specific wow moment, but I really enjoyed the wine tasting we did in Barcelona, but generally my wow moment was how Javier handled the situation and still let us make the most of our trip.". This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we loved it! "Wow! There was a lot of sharing personal stories as well as responding to the tour itself. "Seeing Picasso's preteen paintings. My expectations have been well over achieved. Because of the earlier experience of using mass transit, it made our later travels much easier. Like our other Pocket guides, Pocket Barcelona is smaller than the complete city guidebook and in full color (but still offers our best sightseeing advice and a handful of self-guided city walks and museum tours, plus a foldout map). It was a great experience. As always, the tour was well designed and presented a nice balance of key landmarks with plenty of free time and suggestions. "Sagrada Familia, and everything Gaudi was very impressive, and very well explained by our local guide.". Both hotels were centrally located and within easy walking distance of major attractions and sties. I can only echo the responses that my wife, Vicki K, posted in her evaluation. Agustin was outstanding! As well as the other guides that joined.I really appreciated him taking care of my dietary restrictions as well as making sure I was always looked after and safe since I was by myself. My guide, Fredirico, was an amazing storyteller, knowledgable, and a fun guy. That and, of course, virtually every meal !!!! It is so beautiful. All of Toledo and especially the Jewish museum.". "Its difficult to pick out any one moment, but perhaps the visit to Sagrada Familia. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 20,000 travelers to Europe annually. Overall, everything was coordinated and managed well. What a wonderful way to travel! For more information about transportation options to get to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Spain guidebook. The "whisper system" was such a wonderful way to communicate during the tours/walks! 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. The balance between group activities and free time was just right. This being our third Rick Steves tour we were somewhat underwhelmed. There were many others.". It definitely met all my expections. And how can I complete this review without telling you how awesome our tour guide Amanda is! Our guide Federico was excellent as was all of the local guides. Enjoyed the small winding streets.". He was resourceful, creative and pulled in exceptional local guides for particular experiences who were also extraordinary in every way. We'll stroll through the Eixample neighborhood, home to the Block of Discord, on our way to tour the greatest work of Barcelona's master builder — the towering, dizzying Sagrada Família. For me the rest of the tour was a very rich icing on the cake. Our 3rd Rick Steves tour and it was an amazing tour from start to finish. THE LARGEST VEG AND FRUIT AT THE MARKET PLACE. -- the centrally-located hotels (great locations for self-exploring) He later explained that he told the teens that, "This is your history and if you can't respect it you need to leave." Absolutely spectacular! Inside Rick Steves Barcelona you'll find: Jorge Ramon and David Gillison were an awesome team. I love Spain. Our trip was wonderful. Hotels were good and all our travel went smoothly. What a contrast with the large crowds at the Prado.". I loved our local guides who I looked forward to meeting on each part of the tour- They were knowledgeable and all had their own special charm. I enjoy art, but have never experienced it like that before. The members of the tour group were interesting and interested. The arrangement of colors was stunning.". My wife and I have never been on a guided tour before this one. All the group meals were wonderful as well. The room got very quiet after that.". I had had tours with other companies in other countries and none compared to this Rick Steves' tour. Above all we were impressed with our tour directors organization and knowledge! Our RS guide (Amanda) along with local guides were interesting and well versed in the history of what we were seeing and provided an ease in traveling that allowed us to feel more relaxed. For two of the three days in Barcelona many of the shops/attractions were closed for a national feast day. "Most definitely it was experiencing the rainbow of light streaming through the stained glass windows of the Segrada Família in Barcelona. This was our second Rick Steve's tour. Our tour guide, Amanda, was great. The tips about how things work in each city we visited helped us gain confidence to do more touring in our off time. The building as many of the modernist houses in Barcelona, is a must see and definitely a famous landmark you cannot miss. Then we all turned around at the same time to see the huge church rising . Our hotels were centrally located. Most days are strenuously paced with 2–8 miles of walking, including hilly terrain and lots of stairs. As far as sites and vibe, Barcelona's old town and the Familla Sagrada were my favorites. Terms of Service | Privacy, Barcelona’s Beaches & Gothic Quarter (clip), Beyond Barcelona: Montserrat, Figueres, Cadaqués, and Sitges, Engaging Experts Enrich European Experiences, In Studio: Roaming the Homes of Europe’s Top Artists, Park Picks: Favorite Green Getaways in Paris, London, and Barcelona, Barcelona's Sagrada Família Nygil is the best tour guide we have had. Agustin our tour guide was outstanding. The other participants were all friendly, intelligent and ready for adventure. Barcelona provided particular fun with its liveliness. No one felt left out. Good pace- not scheduled all day(adequate down time). The group dinners were some of the best we have ever had with a RS tour. We were absolutely unanimous in our enthusiasm for his work with us. The group was warm, friendly and very considerate. All the guides are excellent. Coverage of Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo was excellent. Learned a lot about the history of Spain. A long time cook, I learned a few techniques about using a knife and cutting up potatoes, learned how to make a new dish, and made better acquaintance with the tour members in my cooking group. Enjoyed both scheduled and free time. (photo: Cameron Hewitt) The beach at Sitges is ideal for a sightseeing time-out. Deliciously memorable in so many ways. Ramble down Las Ramblas, relax on Mediterranean beaches, and marvel at the sweeping curves of Gaudí's architecture with Rick Steves!