For most travelers, 6 to 9 days is the perfect amount of time for a Spain trip with stops in both Barcelona and Madrid. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as about 5 days. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop, or explore more of the country—some of our favorite itinerary extensions include Seville, Valencia, or Córdoba. See more ideas for Barcelona and Madrid itineraries below.

How many days do you need?

  • Most travelers spend 6-9 days in Barcelona and Madrid combined
  • Visiting Barcelona and Madrid in 5 days is possible, but will feel rushed
  • With 10 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip 
  • The most common extensions are Seville, Valencia, and Córdoba

How Many Days Should You Spend in Barcelona?
How Many Days Should You Spend in Madrid?

Recommended Itineraries for Barcelona and Madrid

Recommended Itinerary for 6 Days

spain
spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid - Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Private City Tour - El Prado Museum - Meet Local Artisans Madrid
Day 3 Train from Madrid to Barcelona - Evening Tapas Tour Barcelona
Day 4 Private Tour of La Sagrada Familia & Sailboat Cruise Barcelona
Day 5 Gaudí Architecture Tour & Markets of Barcelona Barcelona
Day 6 Depart Barcelona  


Even in less than a week, it's possible to get to the heart of Spain—you just need to focus on the right places. This six-day whirlwind cultural tour achieves exactly that by focusing on Madrid and Barcelona, ensuring you get the most out of each. Not only will you see famous sights like the Royal Palace and El Prado Museum, but expert local guides will give you a delicious introduction to both cities on private food tours.  Read more

Recommended Itinerary for 7 Days

Discover the many corners of Spain
Discover the many corners of Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Private Tour of Madrid - El Prado Museum Madrid
Day 3 Day Trip to Segovia & Pedraza Madrid
Day 4 Train from Madrid to Barcelona - Evening Tapas Tour Barcelona
Day 5 Gaudí Architecture Tour & Markets of Barcelona Barcelona
Day 6 Private Bike Tour & Luxury Sunset Cruise in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 7 Depart Barcelona  


With a full week, you can experience both the highlights of Spain's most famous cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Not only that but on this seven-day whirlwind itinerary, you'll also find time for day tours to historic towns outside the nation's capital. And when you do finally end up in Barcelona, prepare yourself for a delicious food tour and sunset sailing experience on top of visiting its most famous neighborhoods. Read more

Recommended Itinerary for 8 Days

spain
spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Private Tour of Madrid - El Prado Museum Madrid
Day 3 Day Trip to Segovia & Pedraza Madrid
Day 4 Gourmet Walking Tour of Madrid Madrid
Day 5 Train from Madrid to Barcelona - Evening Tapas Tour Barcelona
Day 6 Gaudí Architecture Tour & Markets of Barcelona Barcelona
Day 7 Private Bike Tour & Luxury Sunset Cruise in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 8 Depart Barcelona  


In just over a week you can not only experience the highlights of Spain but go off the beaten track as well. This eight-day itinerary delivers on the famous sights and neighborhoods of Madrid and Barcelona, but you'll really immerse yourself on gourmet walking tours of these cities. Throw in a sunset sailboat cruise around Barcelona and you have the recipe for the perfect Spanish holiday.  Read more

Recommended Itinerary for 9 Days

Spain
Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Private Tour of Madrid - El Prado Museum Madrid
Day 3 Day Trip to Segovia & Pedraza Madrid
Day 4 Gourmet Walking Tour of Madrid Madrid
Day 5 Train from Madrid to Barcelona - Evening Tapas Tour Barcelona
Day 6 Gaudí Architecture Tour & Markets of Barcelona Barcelona
Day 7 Day Trip to the Costa Brava - Coastal Hike Barcelona
Day 8 Private Bike Tour & Luxury Sunset Cruise in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 9 Depart Barcelona  


If you really want to do Spain differently, you'll not only visit the famous sights but you'll opt for cultural tours as well. This 10-day itinerary offers just such an authentic experience as you'll not only visit the plazas of Madrid and Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, but you'll take foodie tours and road trips to country villages. For a finishing touch, you'll enjoy a luxury sunset cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. Read more

Extended Itineraries

10-Day Itinerary Including Seville

Madrid's Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena Cathedral and Royal Palace
Madrid's Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena Cathedral and Royal Palace
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Seville Seville
Day 2 Private River Cruise & Tour of Triana Seville
Day 3 Private City Tour of Seville Seville
Day 4 Drive from Seville to Córdoba - Guided Tour - Train to Madrid Madrid
Day 5 Private Tour of Madrid with El Prado Museum Madrid
Day 6 Free Day to Explore Madrid Madrid
Day 7 Train from Madrid to Barcelona - Evening Food Tour Barcelona
Day 8 Private Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Day 9 Free Day to Explore Barcelona Barcelona
Day 10 Depart Barcelona  


This 10-day itinerary combines Spain's three most exciting cities with a nice mix of private tours and free time. Kick-off in Seville where you'll experience the beautiful historic center and up-and-coming Triana district. Next, train to Madrid—with a stop in Córdoba—and stroll through the elegant streets and world-famous Prado Museum. Finish in cosmopolitan Barcelona for Mediterranean beaches and Gaudí highlights. Read more

11-Day Itinerary Including Seville and Granada

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spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Private City Tour - Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Train from Madrid to Seville - Flamenco & Tapas Experience Seville
Day 4 Private City Tour of Seville Seville
Day 5 Day Trip to Córdoba - Private City Tour Seville
Day 6 Olive Oil Tour of Andalusia Seville
Day 7 Private Transfer to Granada - Wine Tour in Ronda Granada
Day 8 Private Tour of the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Granada
Day 9 Flight from Granada to Barcelona - Private Cycling Tour Barcelona
Day 10 Visit Park Güell & Sagrada Família Barcelona
Day 11 Depart Barcelona  


The opportunities for fun and adventure in a country like Spain are inexhaustible. That said, this itinerary packs as much excitement into 11 days as possible and includes city tours of Madrid and Barcelona as well as visits to multiple locales in Andalusia. In this region, you'll enjoy the tapas and flamenco of Seville, wine tours of Ronda, and visiting the famous Alhambra fortress in Granada. Read more

12-Day Itinerary Including Seville, Granada, and Ronda

spain
spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Private City Tour - Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Train from Madrid to Seville - Flamenco & Tapas Experience Seville
Day 4 Private City Tour of Seville Seville
Day 5 Day Trip to Córdoba - Private City Tour Seville
Day 6 Olive Oil Tour of Andalusia Seville
Day 7 Private Transfer to Ronda - Wine Tour Ronda
Day 8 Hiking Ronda - Transfer to Granada Granada
Day 9 Private Tour of the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Granada
Day 10 Flight from Granada to Barcelona - Private Cycling Tour Barcelona
Day 11 Visit Park Güell & Sagrada Família Barcelona
Day 12 Depart Barcelona  


With 12 days in Spain, you can visit three of its most famous regions. On walking tours of Madrid, you'll see historic sights like the Royal Palace. Then you'll travel down to the Andalusia region, making its capital of Seville your home base before embarking on wine tours around Ronda and visits to historic palaces in Granada. The tour ends in Catalonia where you'll visit its best neighborhoods and beaches on a cycling tour. Read more

How to travel between Barcelona and Madrid

Madrid and Barcelona are 386 miles (620 km) apart, and the quickest way to make the trip is by plane, which will take just over an hour. There are other options to consider, including by train, car, and bus, depending on your preference. Read more

Map

Map of Barcelona & Madrid: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Barcelona & Madrid: Best Itinerary Ideas