Spain is an incredible country with so many amazing places to visit. From rural country sides to stunning beaches, you could spend weeks in Spain and still not see everything. There is plenty of diversity to be found from the blend of cultures, and this exciting country’s cosmopolitan cities are vibrant, rich in history art, and architecture, and offer plenty of experiences for every visitor. We narrowed it down to two of the most popular cities—Madrid and Barcelona—to explore on a seven day Spanish discovery.
Day 1: Arrive in Madrid
After landing in Madrid transferring to your hotel, you can spend the afternoon or evening exploring the local neighborhood before a late dinner. (You’ll find most locals eat dinner on the later side).
Day 2: Go Back in Time
After a breakfast to fill you up for an active morning, take a comprehensive tour of magical Madrid as you take in historic sites such as the Arabic fortress at the Barrio de la Marería. Follow that with visits to Calle Mayor, Plaza Mayor, and the Plaza de la Villa where you’ll marvel at the Hapsburgs-era Renaissance and Baroque buildings. After a relaxing outdoor lunch, you can explore Bourbon Madrid and the entire urban layout created by Carlos III, which includes the Cibeles Fountain, Neptune Fountain and the Peruta de Alcalá. Talk to a few locals about a great place for dinner. And remember, dinner is definitely later in Spain than you’re probably used to eating.
Day 3: Choose Your Own Adventure
There is so much to see in Madrid, that you’ll have plenty of choices. Soccer (or football, as it’s known around the world) fans will want to see the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (home of the Real Madrid) and perhaps catch a match against your next destination’s team . For the fashion inclined, a visit to the Salamance Barrio (district) will provide plenty of opportunities to gape, gasp, and pull out your credit card with all of the luxurious boutiques located along the “Golden Mile.” The Museo Nacional del Prado is considered by many to have one of the world’s best collections of European art, along with the singularly best in Spanish art. Finally, a must-see is the Royal Palace which was home to the Kings of Spain for centuries. With 3,418 rooms, it’s the largest functioning royal palace in Europe.
Day 4: Madrid to Barcelona
Pack up, transfer to the airport, and take your quick flight to the beautiful city of Barcelona. After settling into your hotel, find a local café for a relaxing lunch of fresh-baked bread with cheese and Iberiam ham—a local favorite.
Day 5: Cathedrals & Castles
Start your morning with a visit to Catedral de Barcelona, an enormous gothic cathedral full of breathtaking architecture at every turn. Originally the site of a Roman temple over 2,000 years ago, today its peaceful beauty is one you can’t miss. We recommend taking an elevator ride to the top for gorgeous views of Barcelona. Then there’s Santa Maria del Mar, filled with beautiful stained glass, tall columns, and a fascinating history of destruction via earthquakes and files (you can still see some of the black scorch marks on the interview roof). Finally, there’s royal palace—Palau Reial Major—a medieval complex of buildings home to counts and kings of Barcelona, that’s thought to be the site of Columbus’s return from the New York.
Day 6: A Taste of Spain
Today is all about the local delicacies you’ll find in Barcelona. Visit the historic Mercat de la Llibertat, a neighborhood market tucked inside the must-see district of Gràcia. After winding through the market and making your purchases, you’ll end up at a table on the intimate and traditional Plaça de la vila de Gracia. Here you’ll open up and sample some of the foods you just bought along with some vibrant, fresh-squeezed juice. After that, wander over to the Picasso Museum or choose the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site for a dazzling display of Catalan Art Nouveau with its stained glass windows, giant pillars, and incredible domes.
Day 7: The Final Day
This is your last chance to explore the city o One of the most impressive public parks in the world, Barcelona’s Guell Park is a stunning visual feast full of colorful tile mosaics and imaginative interpretations of gingerbread gatehouses, a giant dragon statue, columns camouflaged as palm trees, and so much more. Located in the middle of the city atop a hill, visitors also get to take in incredible views of the Barcelona skyline and the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.
Ready to see Spain for yourself? Contact your GOGO-backed travel advisor to get started.