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A couple of Barcelona/Madrid tour questions


We're on the Oct. 2-9 Barcelona/Madrid tour and have a couple of itinerary and schedule questions. I know the RS office is swamped right now, so I'm hoping some folks who've been on the same tour this year can help with current information.

-- Is the interior of the Cathedral in the the Gothic Quarter (not Sagrada Familia) included or is that something we should try to do on our own? It's a little hard to tell for sure from the RS itinerary.

-- The walking tour itinerary mentions seeing Gaudi's Casa Mila. Am I correct in assuming the group perhaps stops in front of the house, but doesn't go inside?

-- Finally, wondering in terms of the general schedule, are group dinners on the late side given the culture of Spain? On the flip side, if dinner is late, how early do group activities begin in the morning? We tend to be night owls and can probably handle a late/early schedule, but we've been on tours where everyone but us is in bed by 9 p.m. They might have more trouble with that kind of schedule.

Cheers and thank you!

Posted by
771 posts


We were on the Best of Spain in the spring, so not exactly the same. We spent 2 nights on tour in Barcelona. We did go in the cathedral prior to going to the Salgrada Familia, and walked past Casa Mila.

For meals, our guide tried to arrange them around 8:00 PM. It seemed to work out because we were so busy during the day, dinnertime seemed about right.

The morning times depended on the activities and scheduled tours. On our one full day in Barcelona, we departed at 10:00 am because of our scheduled entry to the Salgrada Familia. The day we took the train to Madrid we left at 9:20 from the hotel. One day in Madrid it was 9:30 because of museum entry. We had plenty of other days on the tour that were at 8:30 or 9:00, but those were other places.

Have a great time!

Posted by
2 posts

Did the BAM in May. I don't remember touring a cathedral in the Gothic Quarter but that doesn't mean we didn't do it.

Our tour did include a guided tour of Casa Mila. Unfortunately, we thought it didn't and toured it the day before. We stopped outside Casa Batllo but didn't enter.

Meals were not really late in fact some, like the tapas in Barcelona were early, around 6p maybe. The itinerary started at 9a almost every day, at least with our guide, Federico.

Posted by
786 posts

Our tour did include a guided tour of Casa Mila. Unfortunately, we thought it didn't and toured it the day before.

A pre-tour e-mail from RS suggests Casa Mila and Botllo as things to do on our own, as the group will not visit them. I guess the lesson here is to not take the pre-tour itinerary as gospel. It's ultimately determined by the individual guide. We had a couple of similar situations on our VFR tour in 2017. We visited Murano on our own (and were underwhelmed) only to be taken there again with the group. Fortunately, the group also went to Burano, which we loved. We bought Borghese gallery tickets in advance based on the expected schedule, only to have our guide change things up and make it impossible for us to use the tickets. Disappointing, but we still loved the tour. I think we've decided to concentrate on planning some day trips and other activities we're certain the BM tour does not include, and play other things in the city by ear, depending on what the guide includes.

Thanks for the input!