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Madrid Highlights Tour 5res

Discovering the Best of Spain: An 8-Day Tour of Barcelona and Madrid

by Christian Petzold - updated November 28, 2023


  • All tours, transfers, meals, and activities as described below
  • Modern, air-conditioned bus
  • Accommodation in a 3*** star hotel with buffet breakfast
  • Local 24-hour assistance and emergency phone number
  • Map of Madrid & Barcelona for every traveler
  • One of our great experienced and fun guides in your preferred language
  • Trip from Barcelona to Madrid


In both Madrid and Barcelona, you will stay in a three-star hotel in a quiet and safe residential area of the central city. This offer is based on twin and double rooms, but of course, we can also arrange single rooms for a small surcharge.
Although we cannot guarantee one specific hotel at all times, rest assured that the hotel will always be similar in terms of quality and location to Hotel Astoria in Barcelona and Hotel Lagasca in Madrid.
An excellent buffet breakfast will be your start to our activity-packed days. The group will always be picked up and dropped off directly at the hotel.


Based on a group of 20 persons, the price of the program will be per person in double rooms will be from 765€
The whole program can be 100% customized to your requirements, your budget, and your flight schedule.

Print & Download Programme

Barcelona & Madrid in 8 days / 7 nights (pdf file)

Barcelona & Madrid Itinerary in 8 Days / 7 Nights

Day 1

After a “Meet and Greet“ at the airport with our guide, you will drive in a modern and comfortable

bus to your hotel in Barcelona. Check in and refresh before we start our first tour. Since you already traveled a lot this day we will go for a relaxed sightseeing tour, mainly staying on the bus. During a comfortable two-hour introductory excursion you will get a first impression of the amazing charm of Barcelona.

Afterward, you will be rewarded with a delicious welcome dinner in a typical Spanish restaurant, consisting of a three-course meal including wine, water, and coffee.

Satisfied with the meal the bus will drive you back to the hotel. Enjoy the first night in Barcelona with some free time to explore the famous nightlife or just take a “cerveza“ in one of the countless bars.

“Barcelona is a city that is full of color and life, with a unique blend of Mediterranean and Catalan culture.”

— The Independent


Day 2

The day begins with a buffet breakfast in your hotel. Afterward, our guide and bus will pick you up for a full-day excursion to the highlights of Barcelona. The awe-inspiring architecture of Antoni Gaudi will be our starting point.

Side Of Casa Mila 1 1

Admire the UNESCO heritage buildings of Casa Mila and Casa Batllo in the picturesque Eixample quarter before we will approach Barcelona’s most famous landmark, the cathedral of Sagrada Familia: this still unfinished gem of modernism architecture was begun in 1882 and the final completion is planned for 2026, the 100th anniversary of the death of Antoní Gaudí.

Gaudis Vision And Inspiration For The Sagrada Familia 1

“Casa Mila is a building that is defined by its sense of harmony and balance, with a design that seamlessly blends form and function.” 


We will continue to the upper city and the slopes of the Sierra de Collserola mountain range to reach Parc Güell. Your guide will take you for a short walk through this fairy-tale garden with its beautiful mosaics and amazing views up to the Mediterranean Sea. Take a short break on its terrace for a picture of the famous curved benches.

Parc Guell

After this refreshing break, we will continue with the bus to the Olympic facilities on Montjuic. This mountain between the historic center and the port has already been part of sports history for decades as Barcelona’s old Formula 1 track. For the 1992 Olympic Games, it was reformed as the central venue and 80% of the competitions took place over there. We will visit the beautiful plaza and the Olympic stadium before reaching the castle on the top of the mountain with its 360-degree views of Barcelona and its shoreline.

Olympic Stadium

Making our way down from Montjuic our next stop will be the ancient heart of Barcelona. Step deep into history and explore the foundations of Barcelona as a Roman colony 2000 years ago. Our guide will tell you the rise and fall of the ruling empires over the centuries on a walking tour from the world-famous Las Ramblas through the narrow lanes of the Gothic quarter. On the way to Barcelona’s greatest medieval icon, the cathedral of La Seu you will also explore the indoors of the Roman Augustus’ Temple, the palatine chapel of Santa Àgata, and the cloister of the cathedral.

Now you will hop on your bus again to pass the old port and the former fishermen’s district of Barceloneta to reach the lively beach promenade. We will then enter modern Barcelona with the Olympic Port and the futuristic Forum area. On our way back to the hotel the tour will finish with the oddly shaped Torre Agbar, the icon of modern Barcelona in the new business district.

The Torre Glories Agbar Tower In Daytime 3

After this extensive tour get some rest in the hotel or take a look at Barcelona’s extensive shopping opportunities along fashionable Passeig de Gracia or discover hidden boutiques in the Born district.

Day 3

Start into the day with another great breakfast. Today you will go on a trip to Girona and Figueres in northern Catalonia.

City Of Girona

It will be a one-hour drive from Barcelona to the historic city of Girona. Founded by the Romans, Girona was a melting pot of cultures for centuries. Along winding medieval streets our guide will take you up the hill from the riverbank to the cathedral. On the way down we will pass through the narrow lanes of the Jewish quarter, walk along the Roman wall that surrounds the old town, and discover the Arab baths.

“Figueres is a charming town in northern Catalonia, with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant arts scene that attracts visitors from all over the world.”

Lonely Planet

Afterward you will have some spare time for shopping, a coffee break or just to wander around the picturesque old town on your own.

Another half an hour on the bus and we will reach Figueres, the home and workplace of world-famous surrealist, painter, and sculptor Salvador Dali.

Theatre Museum Of Dali

We will get in touch with his fascinating world and visit the Theatre Museum of Dali. Almost completely created by Dalí himself, it is undoubtedly the best and largest collection of surrealism in the world. He wanted visitors to see his massive collection as a whole work, and for this reason, he refused to have his works placed in any order. Step in and get lost in this surrealistic world of fantasy mixed with architecture, paintings, and sculptures.

After this exciting day, the bus will bring you back to the hotel around 18.00hrs. If you wish, we can arrange an optional Flamenco show with or without dinner in the evening.

Day 4

Like the days before, enjoy the breakfast buffet in the hotel before we leave to visit the mystical mountain of Montserrat, Catatonia’s most sacred place.

It is a one-hour ride on the bus from Barcelona. But right after leaving the city, you will already see the impressive silhouette of Montserrat, the serrated mountain, on the horizon. The highest peaks of this massive, weirdly shaped rock reach 1200 meters (4000 feet) and our bus will take us close to the Benedictine monastery at an altitude of 750 meters.

Montserrat 3

With your guide, you will go on a short walk to the basilica and have a one-to-one encounter with La Moreneta – the holy Black Madonna. Afterward, we will take a look into the Basilica, which is home to the oldest boys’ choir in Europe.

For those who want to go a bit further, we will have some free time for a short hike to one of the chapels spread all over the mountain or for a ride with the cable car to the top for awesome views from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pyrenees.

On the descent with the bus to Barcelona in the early afternoon, our guide will give you some ideas on where to spend some free time in the city.

Day 5

After an early breakfast, you will catch the comfortable bus again and travel around 6 hours to Madrid. Check in to your hotel in Madrid in the early afternoon and refresh a bit before we go out to see the city.

During a four-hour sightseeing tour, we will show you the best of Madrid. Our first highlight will be the Royal Palace. It was constructed in the 18th century and the Spanish monarchs used to live here until the beginning of the 20th century. The massive complex spreads over one million square feet and contains well over three thousand rooms decorated with statues and priceless artwork.

Gran Via

Along Madrid’s most famous avenue, Gran Via, and the Cibeles Fountain we will head on to Retiro Park, which is the most appealing open space in Madrid. Originally created to be a royal park, Retiro was opened in 1632, and for over two centuries after that, it was strictly accessible only to the royal family and their visitors. The natural retreat was placed on the outskirts of the city behind the royal palace. In 1868, the park was made public to the citizens of Madrid and remains so today. Soon after that, the development of Madrid rapidly began and the city expanded to totally enclose the park.

“Gran Via is a street that is full of life and energy, with a vibrant street scene and a lively atmosphere that never sleeps.”

— Business Insider

Inside it, we will visit the breathtaking glass palace of Palacio de Cristal and enjoy the entertaining atmosphere created by buskers, street artists, musicians, and jugglers around beautiful Retiro Lake in the center of the park.

Palacio De Cristal

We will move further to the historic center of Madrid. Passing the Fountain of Neptune and the world-famous Prado Museum we will reach Puerta del Sol. The so-called “Gate of the Sun” is the most famous landmark in Madrid. It is not only the center of the city but also the center of the country since all national roads have got their start point over here. The name Puerta Del Sol came from one of the old city gates that used to stand on the square. Ornamented on top of it was a giant sun that symbolized the start of the day, as it faced East. The are two must-see icons on the plaza: the clock tower of the historic post office, the Real Casa de Correos, and, of course, the statue of the bear and madrone tree, the symbol of the city of Madrid.

From here we will quickly reach the most beautiful square of Madrid, the neo-classical Plaza Mayor. Nine entranceways lead into the Plaza which is enclosed with residential buildings, some of which have one of the best views in the world, since over two hundred balconies face into the square.

The plaza was originally constructed in the early seventeenth century, but after a series of tremendous fires, it had to be entirely rebuilt at the end of the eighteenth century in 1790. Plaza Mayor has been named differently over and over during the past five hundred years including “Plaza del Arrabal”, “Plaza de la Constitucion”, “Plaza Real” and “Plaza de la Republica”. It was not until 1939, after the Spanish Civil War, that it was given the same name as it is today.

After this extensive day of traveling and sightseeing, we will go back to your hotel. Enjoy the first night in Madrid with some free time to relax or dip into the famous nightlife.

Day 6

Start the day with a great buffet breakfast in your hotel. Today we will go on a full-day trip to the historic towns of Avila and Segovia.

Around an hour’s drive northwest of Madrid, Avila is one of the most picturesque cities in Spain. It is most famous for its medieval walls from the 11th century that are close to the city. Due to these walls, Avila resembles an immense castle and it is the best sample of a fortified city with monumental treasures. On our visit, we will see the Romanesque-style churches, gothic palaces, and the fortified cathedral of the 12th century.

Our excursion continues to Segovia on the slopes of the Guadarrama Mountains. On our tour of the city we will reach the Roman Aqueduct from around 100 A.D. Will take your breath away. Spanning 818 meters, the aqueduct is a sight for the eyes and was used for almost two thousand years to bring water into the city. Made of over twenty-five thousand granite blocks it is one of the most impressive structures in all of Spain.

Guadarrama Mountains

From here we will head to the historic center and visit the beautiful cathedral. Being the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain it impresses with its elegance and brightness. At 90 meters high, at the time of its construction, its bell tower was the tallest structure in all of Spain.

Spend some free time in the city before we return to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day experiencing Madrid at your own pace.

Day 7

On your third day in Madrid, we will visit the legendary city of Toledo. It was the capital of the Spanish Empire during the golden age of the monarchy in the 16th and 17th centuries and shows the wealth of the richest and most powerful empire of its time.

But the heritage of Toledo dates even further back. It has been populated for thousands of years by almost every major empire to conquer what is now central Europe. The city is famous for being the main place of co-existence for Jews, Christians, and Muslims from seven hundred A.D. until fourteen hundred A.D. Many different religious monuments and buildings stood next to one another and people were free to practice whatever religion they wanted to.

Toledo 2

The first thing you see when entering Toledo is the Puerta Bisagra, the main entrance to the fortified city. When we pass through this gate we are passing through fifteen hundred years of history!

During our way through Toledo, you will see old cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, and monasteries all over the city.

On the top of the hill, we will reach the spectacular castle of Alcazar. It once was a fortress and thus it had to be rebuilt numerous times due to conflict and fires.

Castle Of Alcazar

After some free time in Toledo, the bus will drive back to the hotel. Get some rest before our farewell dinner in a Spanish restaurant where you will taste the local specialties and wines.

Day 8

On your last day enjoy some free time. Let Madrid seduce you once again while having a coffee on Plaza Mayor. Don’t miss out on the great shopping opportunities along the famous Gran Via. And for those who prefer another bit of culture, visit the Golden Triangle of Art with Prado, Reina Sofia Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.

We will pick you up from the hotel according to the departure of your flight. Make your way home with a lot of impressions and hopefully already thinking when you will return to Spain.

Optionally, we are happy to include the following activities in your program:

  • Visit the Prado Museum: There is no better place in the world to see Spanish art than the Museo del Prado. Inaugurated in the 18th century, it is the largest and most well-known art museum in Spain – 14€ per person
  • The inside of Sagrada Familia with VIP-Entrance: Explore Gaudi’s masterpiece with your guide and no queuing – 19€ per person.
  • Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium & museum: Visit the stadium & its museum and experience the history & present of the world’s most successful football club of the last century. – 20€ per person
  • Watch a bullfight: On Sundays from March to October, we can arrange a visit to a bullfight for your group. From 10€ per person, depending on the venue and the seats.
  • FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium & museum: Europe’s largest stadium will be yours from the player’s changing rooms to the pitch. Feel like Lionel Messi when you hold the Champions League trophy in the Barca Museum – 25€ per person
  • Poble Espanol, the Spanish village: since the 1929 world exhibition, this open-air museum shows you the diversity of Spain in one place. Wander through the cobble-stones streets lined by white-washed Andalusian houses and enjoy Spanish architecture, cuisine, handicraft workshops, and artists – 9€ per person
  • Andalusian Flamenco shows: Experience the fantastic spectacle in a typical palace in the center of Barcelona. Having its roots in Andalucia in the south of Spain, Flamenco nowadays is popular throughout the whole country. Combine it with a Paella Menu and the typical drink of Sangria while sitting at a table on the ground floor next to the stage. – 45€ per person for the basic show or 60€ for the longer show including a delicious Paella menu.
  • Lunch in a typical Spanish restaurant – from 15€ per person
  • Choice of freshly prepared lunch boxes including salad, sandwich, and drink for a lunch break during your tour – 15€ per person

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Did you know?

Barcelona and Madrid are two of the most popular destinations in Spain, offering a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty.

One fun fact about traveling in Barcelona and Madrid is that the two cities are home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Europe, including the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Royal Palace in Madrid. Additionally, both cities are known for their vibrant food scenes, with a variety of traditional and modern dishes that showcase the best of Spanish cuisine.

Another fun fact is that Barcelona and Madrid are both home to some of the world’s most famous art museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Prado Museum. Finally, traveling between Barcelona and Madrid is easy and convenient, with high-speed trains that can transport visitors between the two cities in just a few hours.

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