Spain at a Slower Pace: The Best of Barcelona and Madrid

Madrid and Barcelona are two of Europe’s most culturally fascinating cities. Join our experts for an insider’s perspective of these Old World gems, all at your own comfortable pace.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22311RJ
10 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

First, enjoy the city of Barcelona, with its modernist architecture and considered the gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean. Then, visit Madrid, the great capital of Baroque culture and art, basking in the power and excitement of this historic city. Today, both cities boast magnificent architecture, prolific legacies of culture and cuisine, considered some of the best in the world. Come join experts to explore these two treasures of Spain as you learn their individual and connected stories, enjoying plenty of opportunities to explore at your own leisurely pace.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Climbing on and off the motor coach for city visits, 1.5 miles of walking, plus standing at sites and museums. Looking for the same great program but a more challenging activity level? Check out "The Best of Barcelona and Madrid" (#21336).
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn about and see the architectural masterworks of Antoni Gaudi.
  • Take part in a hands-on cookery class and enjoy the meal you prepare.
  • Attend an authentic Spanish “Tablao” to witness a traditional Flamenco performance.

General Notes

You may be interested in a more active version of this program, "The Best of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid" (#21336).
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Teresa de la Vega
Teresa de la Vega studied history and geography at Complutense University of Madrid and has received degrees in American Anthropology, Ancient History and Art History. She has taught courses in art history throughout her career.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image
Teresa de la Vega
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Silvia Riera
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Cecilia Ceriani
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Tony Muldoon
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Pilar Arizaga
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell
Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.
Love and Revolutionary Greetings: An Ohio Boy in the Spanish Civil War
by Laurie E. Levinger
Follow the story of a boy name Sam Levinger who travels to Spain in 1937 to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Based off of letters home to his mother, this story will captivate and educate it's readers of the American involvement during the Spanish Civil War.
Cadogan Guide Barcelona & Catalonia
by Dana Facaros
This savvy guide combines practical details and maps with illuminating background on history, culture and sightseeing.
Adventures in Spain
by Catherine Petit
From Madrid north to Santiago and south to Granada, join Catherine Petit as she shares her journeys through the countryside, hills, mountains and quaint cities and towns of the breathtaking country of Spain. Catherine serves as your personal guide through cathedrals, museums, parks, gardens, and architectural delights as she treks her way through the enchanting landscape. The photographs will bring the experience of Spain right to your door. The friends she made, the people she met, and the cultural extravagance she witnessed will ensure you make Spain your next destination.
Food and Wines of Spain
by Penelope Casas
This classic collection of 400 recipes, interwoven with cultural commentary and culinary history, is a pleasure to read, but prepare to become hungry.
Gaudi, A Biography
by Gijs van Hensbergen
A vivid account of the architect and his work.
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Set in the brooding atmosphere of post-WW II Barcelona, this gripping story-within-a-story has it all: murder, doomed love and a mysterious book which draws the young hero, Daniel Sempere, into the city’s dangerous underworld.
The Arts in Spain, From Prehistory to Modernism
by John Moffit
From the cave painting at Altimira through the Golden Age, to the works of Picasso and Miro, this book documents the course of art in Spain, with 150 illustrations.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This lavish little collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
Barcelona Map
by Borch Maps
A detailed city map, laminated and folded for easy reference.
Ghosts of Spain
by Giles Tremlett
Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interview, anecdote and observation.
by Robert Hughes
A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback