Rick Steves Best of Spain

Rick Steves Books
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In Rick Steves Best of Spain you'll find essential Rick-tested information on the following top destinations, plus brief coverage of several "Best of the Rest" cities and regions:

  • Barcelona
    • Nearby: Montserrat and Figueres
  • Madrid
    • Nearby: El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen, Segovia, and Salamanca
  • Toledo
  • Granada
  • Sevilla
  • Andalucía's White Hill Towns
    • Arcos de la Frontera
    • Ronda
    • Zahara and Grazalema de la Frontera
    • Jerez de la Frontera
  • Best of the Rest
    • Basque Country (San Sebastián, Bilbao, and Pamplona)
    • Santiago de Compostela
    • Córdoba
    • Spain's South Coast (Nerja and Gibraltar)
  • Practicalities
    • Self-guided walks
    • Easy-to-follow color maps
    • Gorgeously illustrated destination overview
    • ​Trip planning: Pre-trip checklist, festivals and holidays, recommended two-week itinerary
    • City-specific advice on planning your time and avoiding lines
    • Transportation: Trains, buses, city transit, and driving
    • Spanish history, culture, language, and cuisine
    • Handy Spanish survival phrases
    • Advice on managing money, communicating, reserving rooms, handling emergencies, and other helpful hints

Is This the Right Book for Me?

What's the difference between this Best of Spain guidebook and Rick's complete Spain guidebook?

Rick Steves Spain, the complete guide, offers more coverage of more destinations in a mostly black-and-white format, and is updated annually.

The shorter Best of Spain guidebook focuses on Spain's top destinations and sights, is in full color, and is updated every other year.

Both books are packed with hand-picked recommendations and Rick's travel advice and tips for saving time, money, and hassle.

Should I get the Barcelona guidebook (or Barcelona Pocket guide) in addition to the Best of Spain guidebook?

If you're spending only a few days in Barcelona, Rick Steves Best of Spain is all you're likely to need.

If, however, you're spending four days or more in Barcelona, the extra information in Rick Steves Barcelona can be worthwhile. It offers much more in-depth sightseeing information, several additional self-guided city walks and museum/sight tours, and more specifics on shopping and nightlife, plus activities for kids. The city guide also includes a few more hotels and restaurants than the Barcelona chapter of Rick Steves Best of Spain, and generally a more nitty-gritty approach to practical advice.

It would make less sense to supplement Best of Spain with the smaller Pocket Barcelona guide, which offers no more sightseeing advice, walks, tours, or practical information than what's already in the Best Of guide.

Should I get any of the Snapshot guides for Spain in addition to the Best of Spain guidebook?

Generally speaking, no — unless you want to really dive into the Basque Country (covered in-depth in Rick Steves Snapshot: Basque Country but less comprehensively in Best of Spain) or visit Tarifa and Tangier, Morocco (covered in Rick Steves Snapshot: Sevilla, Granada & Southern Spain).