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Spanish Architecture Tour – Gehry, Gaudi & back to the Royals ​

Spanish Architecture Tour – Gehry, Gaudi & back to the Royals ​

MAP OF THIS ITINERARY

Trip Overview:

This  9-night/ 10-day  three city trip to Spain will open in Barcelona, move to Bilbao and finish in Madrid. Connection by air from Barcelona to Bilbao and Madrid. You’ll start the architecture tour in Barcelona and explore the work of Spain’s wildest architect Antoni Gaudi. Must-sees include the Sagrada Familia c...

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Trip Summary:

Barcelona (3nts), Bilbao (3nts), Madrid (3nts) Visit Gaudi’s crazy cathedral in Barcelona that has been 132 years in the making, see Foster’s fun metro entrances, and Gehry’s giant dream ship in Bilbao and discover every royal’s whim and imperial fancy in the capital of Madrid. This tour of Spain’s architecture feat...

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Access:

Fly into Barcelona International Airport. Departure from Madrid.

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Itinerary

Barcelona, Spain

Arrive in Barcelona International Airport. You’ll be met at the airport by your private driver who will transfer you to your centrally located 4-star Barcelona hotel.

Barcelona is without doubt one of Europe's most exciting cities.  It is a place of extraordinary architectural dazzle, achieved by what has been called both Catalán Art Nouveau and Modernisme, by architects Gaudi, Domenech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch.  Monumental sculptures by local masters like Joan Miró adorn public spaces, and museums house extraordinary treasures ranging from works of the ancient Romans to those of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.  The city is further enhanced by brightly colored outdoor markets, a magnificent Mediterranean port , and a plentiful array of stylish restaurants.  Needless to say, the nightlife is splendid.

This afternoon is at leisure to get settled in and adjusted to Spanish time.

You can reach the very top by cable car or funicular and really enjoy the great panoramic of the city and the harbour. This park offers a perfect blend of the old and the new. Compare the modernity of the modern sports halls built nearby for the Olympic Games of 1992 with the 17th century castle. Also in Monjuic you find the Palau Nacional by Josep Puig i Cadafalch built for the International Expo of 1929, which is now home of the Museu Nacional d’Art Catalan, hosting a great collection of medieval art (especially for Romanesque frescoes).



Activities & Services Included today

  • Private transfer from Barcelona airport to your Barcelona hotel
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request

 

Barcelona, Spain

Enjoy a hearthy breakfast before meeting your expert private guide and driver.  Today you’ll see why Barcelona is the heart of architectural modernism and experience the work of Antoni Gaudi, the maximum exponent of this spectacular artistic movement.

You’ll visit the remarkable Sagrada Familia - one of the most famous and spectacular of Gaudi’s works. It’s a Christian temple where Gaudi worked on fulltime from 1915 until his death in 1926 – even living on-site in the year leading up to his death. His remains are buried in the crypt. Work continues to this day on the building!

You’ll also visit Parc Guell – adored for brightly coloured mosaic tiles in animal forms and its great views over the city. Gaudi lived here from 1906 until 1925 – his former residence is now the location for the Gaudi Museum. Finally you’ll see the private residences Gaudi worked on in downtown Barcelona including Casa Mila- La Pedrera  on the Passeig de Gracia. This last building you will visit the interior on your own.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.   You might like to visit Montjuic or head down to the Barceloneta area for a seafood lunch by the sea.
 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private Half-Day tour in Barcelona with expert, English speaking guide
  • Private driver and transport for half-day
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for Sagrada Familia
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for La Pedrera (Casa Mila)
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for Park Güell
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request


Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Barcelona, Spain

Today you'll enjoy a daytrip in a small group (16 maximum) from Barcelona to visit the Monastery of Montserrat and afterwards, a charming winery.  You'll make your own way to the departure point which is very centrally located although a transfer can be arranged if required..

Montserrat is the most important mountain in Catalonia. A unique massif, famous for its gothic shapes and beautiful views. On the way to Montserrat your guide will introduce you to this “magic mountain” where Mother Nature meets religion, history and the identity of the catalan peopple. Enjoy the stunning landscape of this Natural Park. The guided tour includes a short walk to the monastery where you can enjoy spectacular views and get a true feel of spirituality Montserrat has to offer.

After Montserrat continue to the winery, just a few minutes away from Montserrat, one of the most important and beautiful wineries in the region.  Learn how the wine is created there, enjoy a tasting with tapas and time exploring the castle and seeing where the wines are aged.

Return to Barcelona in the late afternoon.  Rest of the day at leisure.

Activities & Services Included today

  • Guided excursion to the Monastery of Montserrat and afterwards a charming winery with a small group. Includes guide, transport, delicious tapas lunch and drinks (16 people maximum)
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch

Bilbao, Spain

Transfer to the airport for short flight to Bilbao from Barcelona. 

Arriving by plane into Bilbao, make sure to look around the airport terminal building designed by Santiago Calatrava. Transfer to your centrally located hotel for 3 nights.

Bilbao, the largest Basque city, has enjoyed a well-planned revitalisation bringing a new lease of life to this very charming old port town. Take a tour of the city to get a sense of where you are. Make sure to walk by the famous Guggenheim Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, and walk the lovely riverside walkway, stopping to admire the white Zubi Zuri Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava, as you make your way to the splendid Old Quarter. Enjoy an evening meal in a traditional restaurant in this Casco Viejo.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room.
     

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

 

Bilbao, Spain

This morning you are joined by your expert local Bilbao guide for a private tour of Bilbao city.

Visit the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry; a masterpiece of modern architecture from the end of the 20th century which has been acknowledged as one of the greatest buildings of the century. Walk around the space inside and out to see the distinctive titanium curves and soaring glass atrium. In addition to visiting the temporary exhibition spaces, you’ll be able to enjoy the Puppy and Tulip sculptures by Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois’ Spider outside and Richard Serra’s Snake inside.

During your tour you will also see the Zubi Zuri Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and the `Fosteritos´ - as they are known locally - on the Gran Via (Norman Foster’s acclaimed metro entrances).  Visit Bilbao’s newest internationally designed library and cultural space – the Alhondiga (meaning wine warehouse) designed by Ricardo Bastida in 1909 and re-furbished by Philippe Starck in 2010.

 

 

 

Activities & Services Included today

 

  • Private guided visit of Bilbao with expert, English speaking guide
  • Pre-Booked entrance tickets for Guggenheim Museum
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room.
     

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

 

Bilbao, Spain

Today you'll be meet at your hotel for a full day private guided tour with transport to Portugalete and sorrounding areas.

Puente Colgante - a remarkable Hanging Transporter Bridge built in 1893 and still in use today to cross the River Nervion. Cross the water into Las Arenas one of the preferred locations for Bilbao’s industrialists to reside. (But if you want to stay within the city centre, take the funicular ride up to Artxanda that affords terrific views of the city.)

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private full day guided visit outside from Bilbao with driver and expert, English speaking guide
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room.
     

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Madrid, Spain

Transfer to Bilbao airport for your short flight to Madrid. 

Arrive in Madrid. You’ll be met at the airport by your private driver who will transfer you directly to your centrally-located Madrid hotel for 3 nights.

Madrid stands at the very centre of Spain –geographically, culturally and politically. This capital not only offers the culture and good times of a sophisticated, modern city but it also retains the charm and elegance of its early years. Among the splendid attractions of Madrid are the Prado Museum; home to masterworks of Goya, Velazquez and El Greco: the 19th century Villahermosa Palace now the Thyssen-Bornemizsa Museum; the Reina Sofia Art Centre showcasing more than 300 modern works by Dali, Miro & Picasso among others; the 18th century Royal Palace on the lovely Plaza de Oriente; the bustling Puerta del Sol with its many shops, restaurants and tapas bars; Rastro Market on Sundays one of the oldest outdoor markets in Europe; and Retiro Park for strolling while admiring local artists and buskers.

Take your time to settle in. Take a stroll in your neighbourhood that is bustling with atmospheric cafes, bars and restaurants.

For Madrid and for all the other places on this tour, we’ll provide you with our Totally Spain City Guides which highlight the best cafes, bars, restaurants along with museums, parks and other cultural spaces you can explore in your free time.  Your Totally Spain agent will also make personal recommendations based on your final choice of hotel and the size of your party.

We can also assist with restaurant reservations and booking other attractions to avoid queues.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private transfer from Bilbao hotel to airport
  • Private transfer from Madrid Airport to your Madrid hotel
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Madrid, Spain

After a delicious buffet breakfast you’ll be met at your hotel by your expert local Madrid guide who will take you on an private tour of the historic city centre. You’ll enjoy visiting such places as the principal streets and squares including the Plaza del Sol, Plaza Santa, Plaza Mayor as well as the Mercado San Miguel, one of Madrid’s famous food markets.  Remember this tour can be tweaked if you have other special interests. You only need to let your Totally Spain representative know this.

You will continue with your guide to Plaza de la Villa and the Plaza del Oriente. Visit the Royal Palace that stands on the site of an old alcazar fortress and a former Moorish castle. The current building was completed in 1764. With 3,418 rooms there’s something to represent every style (and every monarch) since its construction.

This afternoon visit the Prado Museum at your leisure as we have included pre-booked tickets for you that avoid lining-up.  The museum is a wonderful space dating back to 1785 that now houses art from the 12th to the 19th century including large permanent collections by Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.

 


Activities & Services Included today

  • Private Half-Day Walking tour in Madrid with expert, English speaking guide
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for the Royal Palace
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for the Prado Museum (open date & entry time plus skip-the-line)
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Madrid, Spain

Today you'll have a private half day walking tour visiting Reina Sofia museum and Atocha station. Begin your day at the Reina Sofia Museum, home to one of the world’s most prized permanent collections of 20th century art including Picasso’s infamous Guernika. The building, formerly an old general hospital built by Sabatini, was designated a historic-artistic monument in 1977. In 1986, it re-opened as an art museum and has been extended on a few occasions, most notably in 2005, when the 8,000 m2 expansion designed by French architect Jean Nouvel was opened.

From here, proceed to Atocha Train Station which was opened in 1851. Today it’s a modern railway station. Spanish architect Rafael Moneo carried out a significant redesign and expansion which saw the original building converted into shops and a huge botanical garden.

 


Activities & Services Included today

  • Private Half-Day Walking tour in Madrid with expert, English speaking guide
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for Reina Sofia Museum
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Departure,

After breakfast you’ll be collected at your hotel by a private driver who will transfer you to Madrid International Airport for your departure.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private transfer from your Madrid hotel to Madrid Airport

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

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About this trip

This Trip Includes

Accommodation (based on 2 people sharing)

  • 9 nights accommodation in quality 4-star hotels in a standard room. Upgrade options available on request.

Meals

  • Full Buffet breakfast daily


Transport

  • All private transfers from airport / stations as indicated above
  • Half-day private driver in Barcelona
  • Full-day private driver for the Portugalete tour

Private Guided Tours

  • Private Walking tour in Barcelona with expert English speaking guide (includes transport + private driver)
  • Private Walking tour in Bilbao
  • Private Excursion from Bilbao to Portugalete with expert English speaking guide (includes transport + private driver)
  • Private Walking tour in Madrid with expert English speaking guide
  • Private Walking tour in Madrid with expert English speaking guide
     

Pre-Booked Entrance Tickets

  • Barcelona – Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera (Casa Mila) & Park Güell
  • Bilbao – Guggenheim
  • Madrid – Royal Palace, Prado Museum & Reina Sofia Museum

 

Group Guided Tours

  • Guided excursion to Monastery of Montserrat & a winery  with a small group in Barcelona

Other

  • Comprehensive personalized trip documentation including local maps, guides and tourist information
  • Totally Spain's specialist trip planning service and support
  • Spanish Government tax


NOT INCLUDED
Flights, Personal Travel Insurance, Porterage (not commonly available in Spain), Tips, Meals, drinks or hotel extras other than those described above. Anything else not specified above.

 

 

 

Customer Reviews

Hello Belen. I wanted to write you to tell you we had an amazing trip. Everything was perfect from the moment we landed in Madrid- when the driver so graciously waited for our late arrival and while we dealt with our lost bags.  We were so impr...

NANCY VALENCIA, Houston, TX, USA
2019-08-11

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