3 Nights Barcelona, 3 Nights Madrid with Toledo, 2 Nights Seville, 1 Night Cordoba & 2 Nights Torremolinos (DBC)

“Lady of Spain, I adore you. Right from the night I first saw you.” We’re sure you’ll be joining Bing Crosby and Eddie Fisher in singing these lyrics when you return from this 12-day vacation to Spain—you may even be inspired to grab an accordion and sing along! That’s because Monograms has made it easy for you to travel to Spain. We've arranged your hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing, transportation between cities, and transfers from/to your hotels to/from the train stations. Plus, a one-of-a-kind feature is the Monograms Local Host®, someone who is there for you throughout your stay to answer questions, share little-known secrets, help you personalize your trip, and help ensure your vacation runs smoothly. You’ll have a Local Host in each city, so you’ll have someone to help you feel at home and at ease.

Your vacation begins when you arrive in Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city. We can pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel, where your Local Host will be waiting for you with a set of materials to help familiarize you with the city. The next morning, after an included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for guided sightseeing. Hear the inside stories and fascinating details of the must-see attractions, and visit works by the famous architect Gaudí, including Casa Batlló and the unfinished La Sagrada Familia Basilica. A day at leisure in Barcelona gives you time to explore on your own (with the support of your Local Host, of course). You may want to take an excursion to Montserrat with its unique natural park and 1,000-year-old Benedictine monastery, visit the Camp Nou football (soccer) stadium, or relax at the beach.

Then, it’s off on the high-speed train to Madrid, where your guided sightseeing with a local expert features the Prado Museum, where you’ll see the world's finest collection of European art by masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. From Madrid, we’ll also take you on an excursion to Toledo, where you’ll visit an early synagogue, the 13th-century Gothic cathedral, and the Church of Santo Tomé, home to El Greco's painting The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. From Madrid, you’ll travel once again by high-speed train to Seville, where we've arranged for you to enjoy guided sightseeing with a local expert. You'll hear the inside stories of must-see attractions, such as the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. We’ll take you to the Santa Cruz Quarter and to Seville's Alcazar, founded in the 11th century as a Moorish fortress. A full day in Seville will also give you the opportunity to explore on your own. Your Local Host will have suggestions and can help arrange the activities you desire, such as a Flamenco show or a cruise on the Guadalquivir River.

Next up is Cordoba for one night. Here, we’ve arranged for you to have sightseeing with a local expert. You’ll see the city’s Alcazar (royal castle), the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish Quarter. You’ll also visit the Mosque of the Caliphs, built in the 8th century. Finally, after all this exciting sightseeing and time spent in the cities, there’s time for relaxation. Like we’ll do in each city, we’ll pick you up at your Cordoba hotel, take you to the train station, and get you on the correct train. You’ll journey to Malaga, where we’ll pick you up at the train station and take you to your hotel in the resort town of Torremolinos. Here, you’ll relax and have time to explore. You may want to visit the local amusement park, take a trip to the botanic gardens, stroll along the Costa del Sol’s extensive beaches, or just relax and sample the seafood restaurants for which this area is famous. Be sure to ask your Local Host for suggestions on where to go.

And did we mention that your train travel will be first-class on Spain’s high-speed trains? Between the transfers and transportation we've included, the sightseeing and guides we've arranged, and the hotels we've booked, all you have to do is have fun. Add the comfort of knowing you’ll have a Local Host in each city to help you navigate, translate if needed, and feel at ease, and you've got yourself a vacation that is more like a fiesta.


Always Included:

Your Choice of Hotels

We've carefully screened and selected the right hotels in the heart of the destination and you can choose your accommodations to match your style and budget.

Local Host

& Destination Guides with city maps

Meals Included

Buffet breakfast daily

Sightseeing & Activities

Guided sightseeing; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE

Baggage Handling

Monograms has taken care of porterage at your hotel, so feel free to let the bellman help get your luggage to your room with no tipping required.

Day-By-Day 2018 / 2019

FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

Your Monograms package includes an excursion from Madrid to Toledo, including transportation to Toledo and an expert guide while there.

DAY
1
BARCELONA, SPAIN

Bienvenido—welcome! Time to relax or to begin exploring Spain’s second-largest city, and the capital of Catalonia. Your Local Host is on hand to help you maximize your time.

DAY
2
BARCELONA

Morning guided sightseeing, starting from Plaza Catalunya, includes a drive along elegant Passeig de Gràcia to see the captivating façade of La Pedrera, and to visit Gaudi’s CASA BATLLÓ. Passing through the central Eixample district, reach the extraordinary but still unfinished SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA. Your included entrance fees contribute to its completion.

DAY
3
BARCELONA

A full day to enjoy this splendid city at your own pace. Spend time at the Olympic Port with its modern sculptures, restaurants, and bars; or visit the Camp Nou football (soccer) stadium. Your Local Host can help you organize your day.

DAY
4
BARCELONA–MADRID

Transfer to Atocha Station with its beautiful interior garden, and catch the HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Madrid.

DAY
5
MADRID

Morning guided sightseeing features a visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM to admire one of the world’s finest collections of European art. Also see Plaza de España, Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, Orient Square with the ornate Royal Palace, Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat), and Puerta de Alcalá. Your Local Host will have suggestions for your afternoon at leisure.

DAY
6
MADRID. EXCURSION TO TOLEDO

Enjoy a special HIGHLIGHT EXCURSION TO TOLEDO, spectacularly situated on a granite hill surrounded by a loop of the Tagus River. See the Moorish bridge, an early SYNAGOGUE, the 13th-century gothic CATHEDRAL, and the CHURCH OF SANTO TOMÉ, home to El Greco’s painting, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.

DAY
7
MADRID–SEVILLE

Travel by HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Seville. During your guided sightseeing, hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. The highlight is a visit to Seville’s ALCAZAR, founded in the 11th century as a Moorish fortress, with its Palacio de Don Pedro.

DAY
8
SEVILLE

Your Local Host will have suggestions for things to see and do, such as a visit to Casa de Pilatos, an Andalusian palace adorned with precious azulejos tiles; and where to shop for locally produced food items.

DAY
9
SEVILLE–CORDOBA

Journey by HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Cordoba. During your guided sightseeing, admire this city’s Alcazar (royal castle), the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish Quarter. Visit the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper.

DAY
10
CORDOBA–TORREMOLINOS

Travel by HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Málaga, then transfer to your hotel in the resort town of Torremolinos to relax, soak up the atmosphere, and sample the seafood restaurants for which this resort is famous.

DAY
11
TORREMOLINOS

Your Local Host will have many ideas for your day at leisure, such as a trip to the botanic garden with its massive stone water wheels, or a visit to the local amusement park, Tivoli World.

DAY
12
TORREMOLINOS

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (nearest airport is Malaga).

Transportation

Travel by high-speed AVE train (first class) between cities; by coach round-trip Madrid-Toledo; transfers to/from train stations

Included Hotels

Other Hotel

Monograms offers an impressive choice of hotels pre-selected for their location, amenities and service. When booking your package check to see what other hotels are available for your dates. Some hotels may not be available for this package.

Barcelona
Madrid
Seville
Cordoba
Torremolinos

NH Collection Podium

Bailen, 4-6
Barcelona, Spain

Check-in - 15:00
Check-out - 12:00

This modern 145-room hotel, which has preserved its early 20th-century facade, is conveniently located and offers Free Wi-Fi access throughout. Dining options include a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine, café and cocktail bar. A highlight is the pretty rooftop terrace and bar with seasonal outdoor swimming pool, complete with sun loungers and parasols. Other amenities include a sauna, solarium and gym.

Location & Highlights

This hotel's location in the city's Eixample district is well known for its modernist landmarks, including Gaudi's famous Casa Milà building and Sagrada Familia Church. The city center and La Ramblas are within walking distance and there are many different boutiques, trendy bars and restaurants in the surrounding area.

Room Amenities

  • Coffee Maker
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Climate Control
  • Iron/Ironing Board
  • Television
  • Window Opens
  • Complimentary Newspaper
  • Mini-bar
  • In-Room Safe
  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
  • Alarm Clock
  • Voicemail
  • Non-smoking Rooms
  • Room Service
  • Desk
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet Access
  • Phone
  • Disabled Access / Rooms

Hotel Amenities

  • Pool
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Business Center
  • Currency Exchange
  • Luggage Storage
  • Fitness Room
  • Parking/Valet
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Elevator
Colorful, modern, bright guestrooms.

Activities & Excursions

The following activities & excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Activities and Excursions are available for purchase on our MyMonograms site as soon as initial deposit or payment is received.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

Barcelona
Madrid
Seville

Barcelona

Private Barcelona Discovery Tour

Explore Barcelona in your own way and at your own pace on this private tour. Just decide what you want to see and do with your certified Local Guide the choice is yours!

Price Range: $$$$

Tapas-Tasting in a Real Basque Tavern

You simply cannot go to Spain without trying its world-famous tapas, and you'll sample some of the very best specialties on this fun tapas-tasting outing to an authentic Basque tavern.

Price Range: $

Barcelona Spectacular Waterfront & Montjuïc Discovery

Visit two of Barcelona's most beautiful areas: the magnificent waterfront and Montjuïc hill with its recreated Iberian village, sports stadiums from the 1992 Olympics, and spectacular panoramic views of the city below.

Price Range: $

Flamenco

Experience the passion and spirit of Spain's most traditional music and dance at this delightful evening of traditional Spanish Flamenco entertainment.

Price Range: $

Barcelona Hop-On/Hop-Off City Sightseeing Tour

Explore Barcelona the fun and easy way! This hop-on/hop-off bus tour includes three different routes, 44 stops, and an all-day pass, so you can experience the city exactly the way you want!

Price Range: $

Barcelona Half-Day Private Shopping & Lifestyle Tour

If you love to shop `til you drop, then this private half-day Barcelona shopping tour with a personal shopper is for you!

Price Range: $$$$

Spanish Tapas Walking Tour for Foodies

Explore and taste your way through a gastronomic center, La Boqueria market, and some of Barcelona's most lively tapas bars on this fun guided foodie walking tour!

Price Range: $$

Private Barcelona Photo Safari

Join a professional photographer for an interactive walking photo safari that shows you the best ways and places to photograph this incredible city!

Price Range: $$$$

Creatures of the World Zoo Encounter

Explore the animal kingdoms of Asia, Africa, Australia, North & South America without ever leaving Europe! This fun day at the Barcelona Zoo introduces you to animals from around the world in recreations of their natural habitats.

Price Range: $

Under the Sea Adventure at Aquarium Barcelona

Come face to face with the underwater kingdom's most fascinating creatures at Aquarium Barcelona, one of the world's best exhibits of Mediterranean sealife!

Price Range: $

Discover Montserrat

Experience the magical beauty surrounding Barcelona on this memorable guided excursion to the soaring mountains of Montserrat.

Price Range: $$

Spanish Dinner in Barcelona

In the heart of Barcelona, framed in the Olímpic Port, enjoy a 3-course meal, including local specialties and drinks, in a typical Spanish restaurant. Dine in one of the many air conditioned rooms inside the restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean sea.

Price Range: $

Spanish Chef for a Day: Catalan Cuisine

Hands-on cooking experience consisting in the preparation of a 4-course seasonal, Catalan and Spanish meal.

Price Range: $$

Authentic Spanish Lunch at the Marina

Enjoy a delightful lunch at one of the most popular restaurants at the former Olympic Port. This place offers his guests the opportunity to taste Mediterranean cuisine prepared with special care and expertise.

Price Range: $

Blue Side of Barcelona Boat Excursion

Sail along the magnificent eastern coast of Spain for a unique view of Barcelona and some of its most incredible sights.

Price Range: $

Catalonia Wineries with Tastings

This exclusive day trip into the Penedès wine region includes an introduction to Catalonia¿s fine wines by local wine experts, visits to two historic wineries, two separate wine tastings with tapas, and a 4WD drive through the area¿s ancient vineyards.

Price Range: $$

Barcelona by Land, Air & Sea

Barcelona's magic comes to life by land, air, and sea as you travel by electric bike, cable car, and boat to discover the city's most iconic sights!

Price Range: $$

Dalí Theatre & Museum Tour

See a bathtub suspended from the ceiling, weird optical illusions, and other unusual curiosities when you visit the quirky, interactive Dalí Museum in Figueres, dedicated to the life, imagination, and works of Salvador Dalí.

Price Range: $$$

Walking Tour Picasso and Gothic Quarter

Roman emperors and Pablo Picasso are just two of the influential characters you' ll encounter on this captivating guided walking tour through Barcelona's Gothic Quarter and Picasso Museum.

Price Range: $

Barcelona eBike Ride with Winery Visit

Enjoy a half-day devoted to wine and the great outdoors on this exceptional guided electric bike tour featuring a ride along the Mediterranean coast, and a stop in the Serralada de Marina Natural Park for a tasting and tour at an organic winery

Price Range: $$

Barcelona on Two Wheels: City Highlights

Explore some of Barcelona's greatest wonders on this exhilarating guided bike tour.

Price Range: $

Barcelona Markets Tour with Tastings

Learn all about Catalan cuisine and Spanish gastronomy on this exciting foodie market tour with a professional chef! Taste and sample your way through two of Barcelona¿s most famous markets, and visit traditional grocers selected by the chef.

Price Range: $

Magical Montserrat with Monastery, Funicular & Nature Hike

Experience the magic of Montserrat on this engaging day trip featuring the thousand-year-old Benedictine monastery, a scenic funicular ride, and a guided nature trek through Montserrat Natural Park!

Price Range: $$

Barcelona Sailboat Brunch Cruise

This memorable excursion has it all-a relaxing sailboat cruise past Barcelona¿s most famous sights, a delicious brunch at sea, and even time for a refreshing plunge into the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean!

Price Range: $$

Magical Montserrat with Monastery, Cable Car & Horseback Ride

Experience the magic of Montserrat on this engaging day trip featuring the thousand-year-old Benedictine monastery, a relaxing cable car ride down the mountain, and a guided horseback ride through the pristine countryside!

Price Range: $$$

Madrid

Hop-On/Hop-Off Madrid Sightseeing

Explore Madrid the fun and easy way! This hop-on/hop-off bus tour includes two different routes and an all-day pass, so you can experience the city exactly the way you want!

Price Range: $

Las Ventas Bullring

Step behind the scenes at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, the largest bullfighting ring in Spain! Explore the ring, bull-holding areas, Bullfighting Museum, and more at your own pace.

Price Range: $

Flamenco Evening

Experience the passion and spirit of Spain's most traditional music and dance at this authentic evening of live Flamenco entertainment.

Price Range: $

Spanish Dinner in Madrid

Enjoy a typical Spanish cocido madrileño (chickpea and meat stew) dinner on this delightful outing in the heart of Madrid.

Price Range: $

Real Madrid Stadium Tour

If you are a football (soccer) fan, you won't want to miss this unforgettable, behind-the-scenes tour of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of the Real Madrid Football Club since 1947!

Price Range: $

Private Guided Tour of Madrid

Explore Madrid the way you want on this private guided sightseeing tour. Just decide what you want to see and do with your expert guide-the choice is yours!

Price Range: $$$$

Spanish Wines & Iberian Ham Tasting

Discover Madrid's unique culture and quintessential tastes on this enriching (and delicious) excursion focusing on Spanish wines and Iberian ham!

Price Range: $$

Royal Site of Aranjuez

Discover the wonders of the Aranjuez, converted into a royal site by Ferdinand and Isabelle in the 12th century and famous for its luxurious palace and stunning gardens.

Price Range: $$

Seville

Flamenco Night in Seville

Experience the enchantment, passion, and spirit of Seville on this incredible evening with a Flamenco Show - a must when visiting Seville!

Price Range: $$

One Hour Cruise on the Guadalquivir

Get a unique perspective of Seville on this unforgettable sightseeing cruise along the ancient Guadalquivir River.

Price Range: $

Insider

Barcelona
Madrid
Seville
Cordoba
Torremolinos

Barcelona

Barcelona Must See SightsMonograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Barcelona and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Barcelona and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Barcelona insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Barcelona

Hello, my name is Francesca and I am a Monograms Local Host in Barcelona. I would like all Monograms visitors to enjoy this amazing city as much as possible; my goal is that they depart loving Barcelona as much as I do.

Casa Vicens

This is the first house, first important work, and one of the key pieces of Antoni Gaudí’s artistic career. It is the work that marked his point of Departure, an architectural gem which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.

Park Güell

Visit the only park designed by Gaudí in Barcelona, with it sinuous and organic shapes, integration with nature and broken mosaics. Opened to the public in 1922, the park was declared World’s Heritage by Unesco in 1984.

La Pedrera Secreta

Antoni Gaudí's last residential building, and one of his most innovative landmarks, is a work of art in its own right. The Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera (Catalan for quarry), was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. “Secret Pedrera” will allow you to discover the secrets hidden inside the building when night falls.

Catalan National Art Museum

Housed in the National Palace, the Catalan National Art Museum includes one of the most important Romanesque painting collections in the world.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Take a short train ride from the center of Barcelona, then catch a funicular train from the half-way point, to reach the top of the mountain and Tibidabo Amusement Park. It was built in 1889 and many of its 25 rides date back to this time, giving the park a whimsical feel.

Magic Fountain

Enjoy this spectacular show of water, lights, and music held in an area which stretches from the National Palace to Plaza de España. Ask your Local Host for details about days and times of this entertaining attraction.

Football Club Barcelona Stadium (Camp Nou)

If you're a football (soccer) fan, ask your Local Host for directions to view the stadium of the world-famous team. Maybe even see a match!

Cosmo Caixa Science Museum

A museum, for people of all ages, designed to stimulate knowledge and opinion of science through exhibitions and a wide variety of activities.

Sardanes Folk Dancing

La Sardana, sometimes also called the "sardanes" dance, is the traditional group folk dance of Catalonia. The music is provided by a "cobla" woodwind band. Ask your Local Host for more information.

Miró Foundation

Contemporary art lovers should visit the Miró Foundation to view the permanent collection of Joan Miró.

Port Olimpic

Barcelona's Port Olimpic was built to coincide with the 1992 Olympic Games, and its appearance on the city landscape is perhaps the most notable of the building projects the sporting event left behind; one of the most attractive areas of the city to visit, full of bars, restaurants, leisure facilities and modern sculptures.

Catalan Cuisine

Among the most typical dishes, you will find Escudella i carn d'olla (a delicious soup of pork, beef, & chicken with vegetables, rice, noodles, & potatoes); Butifarra (Catalan sausage); and Arroz a la cazuela (similar to paella). Seafood specialties include La zarzuela (a mixture of halibut, monkfish, prawns, squid & mussels); or Suquet de peix, (cod fish soup). Two of the most popular dishes of the region are Escalivada (grilled eggplant & red peppers in an olive oil & garlic sauce); and Esqueixada de bacalao (a cold codfish salad). For dessert, taste the famous Crema catalana (custard); Mel i mato (cottage cheese with honey); and Postre de músico (the traditional Catalan “musician's dessert” nuts). In Barcelona, you can also enjoy a fine selection of wines from the nearby Penedès region.

Traditional Souvenirs

Take home Cava, a local sparkling wine similar to champagne. It can be white or rosé - both are delicious; Anís del mono, an anise-based liqueur is also popular. Spanish sausages such as Fuet or Chorizo; Carquinyolis, artisan crunchy almond biscuits; a handcrafted Gaudí keepsake; a souvenir of the legendary FC Barça football team; or the traditional porrón, a Catalan glass wine pitcher.

Barcelona Beaches

Barcelona's coastline is over 4 km. long and offers a wide variety of excellent beaches. Barceloneta beach, nearest to the city center, is located in the traditional fishing district “La Barceloneta” and is one of the city's best-loved beaches due to its sandy beach and many restaurants and nightclubs along the boardwalk.

Madrid

Madrid Must See SightsMonograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Madrid and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Madrid and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Madrid insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Madrid

Hola! My name is Nieves. I was born and raised in Madrid, and I am in love with this city! It is full of beautiful things, and I will be happy to help you discover them. Also, conveniently nearby are several UNESCO World Heritage sites including Toledo and El Escorial.

Habsburg Period Walking Route

Ask your Local Host about this walking route to see architecture of the Habsburg Period. Start from Plaza Mayor to Plaza de la Villa and Mayor Street; stop by the old Arabic wall, return to Puerta del Sol, discovering along the way the old convents, churches and narrow lanes of the city that was the capital of a world empire in the 16th century. A stop at a café, a pub, or an old market turned into gourmet center, makes a charming stroll, ending at the Plaza de Oriente, next to the Royal Palace.

Bourbon Period “Age of Enlightenment” Walking Route

When Phillip of Anjou was chosen as the new Spanish King, with the name of Felipe V, in 1700, he became the first Bourbon king of Spain. With the support of his famous grandfather, French King Louis XIV, he brought new spaces, modern infrastructures, splendid arches, monuments, and fountains to the city. Puerta del Sol is a good starting point to see what the Age of Enlightenment gave to Madrid. Walk along Calle de Alcalá to Plaza de Cibeles, union of Recoletos and Prado Boulevards, then on to Plaza de la Lealtad and Cortes to Atocha. Your Local Host can point you in the right direction.

Literary Madrid Walking Route

Madrid has been the inspiration for some of Spain’s best literature. The literary district is a beautifully preserved 17th century area. Strolling along Huertas’ street brings to mind writers like Quevedo and Góngora. Cervantes lived in the area, and you can visit the beautifully preserved home of the great Lope de Vega nearby. Pass streets that bring memories of Echegaray and Moratín; and by Plaza de Jacinto Benavente in honor of the 1922 Nobel Prize winner for literature. Eventually reach Plaza Mayor, which has been immortalized in the novels of Benito Perez Galdós.

Green Madrid at El Retiro Park

Madrid is considered a "green city" with more than 617,000 acres of parks, and some beautiful historic gardens. One of the best options to enjoy Green Madrid is El Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) which dates back to the 1600s. It is the one of the largest parks of the city and belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century, when it became a public park. It features a lake, rose garden, statues, fountains, and museums. Around the lake, Retiro Pond, many puppet shows perform, and all manner of street performers. Rowboats can be rented and horse-drawn carriages are available.

Royal Palace

Built in the 18th century under Philip V, the Royal Palace of Madrid is a truly magnificent example of palatial architecture in Europe. The halls open to the public contain superb fresco paintings, tapestries, furniture, porcelain and all kind of sumptuous objects reviving the past. The Royal Armory and the Royal Pharmacy are also well worth a visit. Opening times: April 1st. to September 30th. 10:00-20:00 (19:00 ticket office); October 1st. to March 31st. 10:00-18:00 (17:00 ticket office); Closed occasionally due to official reception.

Church of San Francisco El Grande

A neoclassical masterpiece with the largest dome in Madrid, its walls and ceilings are decorated with superb frescoes. The church is designed with an unusual floor plan, the nave is circular and surrounded by chapels guarded by imposing marble statues of the 12 apostles; 12 prophets, rendered in wood, sit above them at the base of the dome. The San Bernardino chapel contains a fresco painted by Goya in the early stages of his career – unusually, Goya has painted himself into the scene (he’s the one in the yellow shirt on the right).

Reina Sofía Museum

Madrid's 18th century hospital was beautifully remodeled and converted into a museum in 1992, with two panoramic glass lifts standing out in the façade. Its official name is now the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and it's a treasure-house of contemporary and modern art. A highlight is the 20th century's most famous painting, Picasso's "Guernica". Another highlight is "Woman in Blue" also by Picasso. Miró and Dali are two other influential artists well represented in the collection. Mondays to Saturdays 10:00 - 21:00 Sundays 10:00 – 14:30 Closed on Tuesdays

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

An overview of art from the 13th century to the present day - in the nearly one thousand works on display, see first class works of international art created by two generations of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, including the private collection of Baroness Thyssen. Tuesdays to Sundays 10:00-19:00 Closing day: Mondays

Shopping

Madrid is a shopper’s paradise. You can find everything from luxury goods and antiques to religious items. See its exclusive shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Your Local Host can suggest a walking route with specialty shops (some of them more than 100 year’s old), including a wonderful cake store which supplies the Spanish Royal Family. Typical souvenirs to take home include saffron, a bota bag (leather wine bottle), jamon Iberico (cured ham), a Flamenco music CD, olive oil, and hand-held fans.

Cuisine - Tapas, Cocido

There is a healthy pastime in Madrid: having your aperitif with a small side order of food, the tapa. This wonderful pursuit is one of the most important chapters in fully understanding and enjoying the pleasures of dining out in Madrid. Another traditional local food is Cocido madrileño, a chick-pea based stew, with a combination of different meats and vegetables - it is not a dish for the faint-hearted!

Local Wine & Sangria

Madrid boasts excellent local wines from the nearby regions of Arganda, Navalcarnero (historically famous for its’ rosé wines), and San Martin de Valdeiglesia. Sangria is a delightful and refreshing drink with origins that date back hundreds of years when the locals were searching for a flavorful drink that contained alcohol, so they set about making a fruit punch out of red wine.

El Botin Restaurant

The Guinness Book of Records calls this the world's oldest restaurant (est. 1725), and Hemingway was a frequent visitor. There are four floors of tile and wood-beam dining rooms. The specialties are cochinillo (roast pig) and cordero (roast lamb). It is rumored that Goya washed dishes here before he made it as a painter.

Opera, Zarzuela Operetta

Ask your Local Host for information about opera performances or the “Zarzuela” a type of Spanish musical play or operetta that started as a popular court entertainment in the mid 17th century.

Seville

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Seville, SpainMonograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Seville and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Seville and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Seville, Spain insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Seville

Hello, my name is Mariana, I am your Monograms Local Host in Sevilla. I have been guiding here since 1982 and I enjoy it very much. It is a pleasure helping people discover the city. Sevilla is charming and beautiful with fabulous monuments and wonderful restaurants and tapa bars. Please come and fall in love with Sevilla.

Cathedral and the Giralda

A UNESCO World Heritage site and resting place of Christopher Columbus, Seville’s cathedral, also known as Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, stands on the site of the Great Mosque of the 12th century. The mosque was converted into a Christian church when the city was conquered by Ferdinand III of Castile in 1248. Today, the only part which remains of the original structure is the minaret/bell tower, also known as the Giralda.

The Golden Tower

The Golden Tower, one of Seville's most photographed landmarks, is a legacy of the Almohades, a Moorish dynasty that controlled much of Southern Spain until the re-conquest of the area by the Christians in the 13th century. Designed as a defensive tower to protect the port, it was given its name (“gold tower”) because it was originally covered in golden tiles. Today the restored tower is a naval museum.

Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de España

Maria Luisa Park is a large public park along the Guadalquivir river, with hundreds of exotic trees lining shady avenues; historic, fairytale buildings, colorful tiled benches; and Moorish fountains and pools. The park is home to many monuments, among the most famous are the Fountain of Lions (Fuente de los Leones) and the Water-lily Pool (Estanque de los Lotos). Located inside Maria Luisa Park, the large Plaza de España complex was built for the Spanish-American Exhibition of 1929 to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. The plaza is surrounded by a canal, and beautiful bridges decorated with ceramic tiles.

Casa de Pilatos & Casa de Lebrija

The Casa de Pilatos (Pilate's House) is an Andalusian palace, built between the 15th & 16th centuries, adorned with precious azulejos tiles and well-kept gardens, which serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli (entrance 8€). The Casa de Lebrija, a 16th century palace, boasts a large collection of Roman mosaics which pave almost the entire ground floor. There is also a great collection of amphoras, ceramics, and sculptures (entrance 6-9€).

Museo Arquelógico (Archaeological Museum of Seville)

The museum is set in a neo-Renaissance style pavilion, Pabellón del Renacimiento, designed by the architect Aníbal González. The visit starts with the Early Palaeolithic period and finishes with Moorish and Mudéjar items from the Middle Ages, and includes interesting intermediate stages such as the Roman world. Items worth noting include the "Carambolo Treasure", from the Tartessian period, with a reproduction of the magnificent gold treasure, and elements relating to its original setting: a shrine dedicated to Phoenician divinities.

Shop for Locally-crafted Ceramics

Shop for ceramics in the old gypsy quarter of Triana, where the beautiful azulejos (ceramic tiles) are made, perhaps even watch the craftsmen at work.

Sherry, Olive Oil, Marmalade & Ham

Food is life here, a Sevillano can argue for hours about whether the best jamon serrano (cured ham) comes from Huelva or Aracena. Recommended buys are locally produced sherry, olive oil, marmalade and, of course, ham.

Cordoba

Cordoba Must See SightsMonograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Cordoba and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Cordoba and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Cordoba, Spain insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Cordoba

Hello, my name is Luís and I am a Monograms Local Host. Cordoba’s historic center is a beautiful maze of narrow streets and alleys, whitewashed courtyards and patios. The fascinating Mezquita (Mosque) which became a Cathedral in 1236, blends history and beauty. I look forward to meeting you and telling you more about this amazing city so you too can feel its "soul."

Shopping – Leather, Gold & Silverwork, Pottery

Shop for Cordobanes and Guadamecies, which are leather pieces embossed, modeled and colored with modern or classical designs. Gold and silverwork is a driving force of the city's economy and one of the best known techniques is Cordoban filigree work, which consists of soldering gold or silver threads onto a metal structure to create different shapes. There is a strong tradition of pottery-making in the north of the province using high quality clay that, after baking, is decorated with designs and motifs which originated in Moslem Cordoba.

Olive Oil, Wine & Liquers

Cordoban olive oil comes from the Guadalquivir river valley and is an essential ingredient in the local cuisine. Several types of well-known wines also come from this region such as Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Cream, Pedro Ximénez, Blanco Joven (Young White) and organic wines. There is a wide range of liqueurs, including the dry or sweet aniseed liqueurs from Rute, a village in the Subbetica hill region of Cordoba province, which has a long tradition dating back to the 17th century, of distilling this type of liqueur.

Torremolinos

Torremolinos Must See SightsMonograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Torremolinos and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Torremolinos and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Torremolinos, Spain insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Torremolinos

Born in Malaga and an enthusiast of the U.S thanks to his mother, David is an experienced professional in tourism and loves all aspects of the business. He also loves sports and healthy living. He is looking forward to meeting Monograms guests and sharing his love and knowledge of Torremolinos and the Costa del Sol.

La Carihuela

La Carihuela, historically a traditional fishing village, is now a cosmopolitan center with innumerable hotel, leisure, and gastronomic establishments. It is precisely the district’s gastronomy that has earned this strip of the Torremolinos coast it’s well deserved fame for the remarkable pescaíto frito (small fried fish) that is served in the area restaurants.

Jardin Botanico Molino de Inca

The Torremolinos Botanic Gardens are a delightful oasis in the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol. Two water wheels are the center-piece of the gardens which power the two massive stones that still grind wheat to produce flour. The gardens are home to palm trees, tropical fruit trees, woodland trees and flowering shrubs, but the real beauty of these gardens lies in the under-planting. The choice of color and form is inspired and blend together with an understated ease and grace.

Theme Park, Aquarium, Water Park

Tivoli World is the Costa del Sol's biggest theme park, with two dozen rides to choose from, including those geared towards tiny tots. Sea Life, located at the entrance of Benalmadena Port, is an excellent aquarium with a "touch pool" educational section for young children with crabs and starfish, as well as the possibility to see tiny sharks and rays swimming in their egg cases with the aid of magnifying glasses.

Journey to nearby Malaga

Visit Malaga’s still unfinished Gothic style cathedral, popularly known as La Manquita (the One-Armed One); the Alcazaba an imposing edifice, built between the 11th & 14th centuries, which served as a fortress and palace. Also see Gibralfaro castle located high on the hill overlooking the city and the Roman theater built during the times of Augustus and used until the 3rd century.

Museums in Malaga

Museo Picasso Malaga with donations made by Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso for a total of 155 works by Pablo Picasso, have been the cornerstone of the whole of this project. The museum also displays the Phoenician remains found during the renovation of the Palace. Carmen Thyssen Malaga Museum, one of the city’s latest museums opened in 2011, is in a renovated 16th-century palace in the heart of the city’s historic center. The extensive collection concentrates on 19th-century Spanish and Andalusian art and includes paintings by some of the country’s most exceptional painters, including Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Ignacio Zuloaga and Francisco de Zurbarán.

Sun & Sand

Enjoy the extensive beaches on the Costa del Sol; their diversity and climate have transformed the region into a great holiday destination in the summer and almost all the year round. Two favorites are Playa La Carihuela, and your Monograms hotel overlooks Playa El Bajondillo.

* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. Pricing may vary on this date due to hotel availability. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some packages require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Monograms).