Spain Travel Itinerary 7 Days in Barcelona & Madrid

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Discover an unforgettable journey with our detailed Spain travel itinerary for 7 days, covering the best experiences in the beautiful cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

spain travel itinerary

Planning a trip to Spain and unsure about how to make the most of your time? This Spain travel itinerary for 7 days will guide you through an unforgettable journey in two of Spain’s most beautiful cities, Barcelona and Madrid. From historic sites and vibrant nightlife to delicious cuisine and beautiful beaches, this itinerary will help you experience the best that these cities have to offer.

We’ll cover our detailed Spain travel itinerary 7 days, best time to visit Spain, Spain travel cost, and more!

This post is all about our daily Spain travel itinerary 7 days.

Everything You need for

In our Spain section, you’ll find detailed cost of travel itineraries to help you plan your journey. We also share our favorite accommodations to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

Best Time to Visit Spain

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The best time to visit Spain largely depends on your preferences for weather, cost, and crowd levels. Generally, the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) offer the most desirable combination of pleasant weather, smaller crowds, and lower prices. 

We traveled during October and found it to be an ideal time with mild weather, fewer tourists, and more affordable accommodations and flights. The summer months (July and August) can be hot and crowded, particularly in popular destinations like Barcelona and Madrid. On the other hand, winter (December to February) is less crowded but the weather can be quite chilly, especially in the northern regions.

1 Month Europe Itinerary Overview

This 7-day itinerary in Spain is the perfect start to our larger one-month European adventure. Diving into the rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine of Madrid and Barcelona, we set the tone for an exciting journey across the continent. But Spain is just the beginning! In the following weeks, we’ll be exploring Italy, Czechia, and Paris. 

Week 1: Spain

Week 2 + 3: Italy

Week 4: Czechia + Paris

Planning a trip to...

Dive into our Europe Guides, including itineraries and cost posts! Or look at individual countries to start planning your European Adventure!

Transportation in Spain

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Spain boasts a well-developed and diversified transportation network which makes it easy to travel around the country and explore various cities.

Flights in spain

Spain has numerous airports spread across its major cities, making it possible to take domestic flights to cover larger distances in a shorter time. The cost of domestic flights varies depending on the airline, the time of booking, and the distance. However, you can generally expect to spend around $50 to $150 for a one-way ticket between major cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

Train in spain

Trains are another popular option for traveling within Spain. The country’s high-speed AVE trains connect major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, offering a comfortable and scenic journey. A one-way ticket for an AVE train can range from $40 to $120, depending on the distance and the class of service. Our preferred method of travel is by train, as it usually takes less time than flying. Additionally, it’s an inexpensive way to enjoy the scenery along the route.

Travel all over europe

via train!

Rental Car in Spain

If you prefer driving, rental cars are widely available in Spain. Renting a car can provide more flexibility and the opportunity to explore more remote areas. The cost of car rental depends on the type of car and the rental period, but you can expect to pay around $20 to $50 per day for a compact car. Remember to take into account additional costs such as fuel and tolls when budgeting for your trip.

Traveling in Spain can be quite affordable compared to other European destinations, but prices can vary significantly based on your travel style. We have laid out a detailed analysis of the travel costs you can expect during your one week in Spain, including accommodations, meals, transportation, and sightseeing. This will help you to budget your trip effectively and make the most out of your travel experience. To get a comprehensive understanding, check out our ‘Spain Travel Cost‘ post.

Our Total:

$1,450 for 2 people

Daily Total:

$207 per day for 2 people; or
$103 per person per day

Value for Money:

Spain Travel Itinerary 7 Days

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid

Take some time to adjust to the new time zone and explore some nearby attractions. We personally don’t do anything big on our first day. If you have time, you can explore the Puerta del Sol and enjoy some people-watching over tapas and sangria.

Day 2: Madrid (Top Sights)

Spain Travel Itinerary 7 Days
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Hopefully, you’re ready for the day after a long flight. Luckily, Madrid is a town that stays up late and sleeps in (most places aren’t open until 10 or 11 am), so you should fit right in. Today, you’ll want to catch some of the top sights in Madrid. Visiting the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family is a great way to start your trip. On the same property is the gorgeous Catedral de la Almudena. Just a short walk away is the Egyptian Temple of Debod. End your day by exploring the vibrant nightlife of Madrid in the bustling Gran Via area.

Top sights in Madrid

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Day 3: Madrid (Park & Museum)

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spain travel itinerary 7 days

Today, you’ll want to visit the gorgeous Retiro Park, a beautiful and expansive park in the city center. You can find the Great Pond of El Retiro, where you can row the cutest little boats, and the Palacio de Cristal. 

Just near the park are some of the best museums in Spain. The Prado Museum is a must-visit for art lovers, home to one of the finest collections of European art. Don’t miss the Reina Sofia Museum, where you can see Picasso’s famous Guernica. Dine in the cool evening air in one of the many patio restaurants throughout town.

Park and museums in madrid

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Day 4: Madrid (Food and Culture)

7 days in spain starting in madrid

On your third full day in Madrid, immerse yourself in the city’s food and culture. Start with a visit to the historic Mercado de San Miguel for a breakfast of Spanish tapas. Next, explore the trendy Malasaña district, known for its vintage shops and hip cafés. In the afternoon, visit the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which complements the Prado and Reina Sofia with its historic and modern art collection. Finish your day with a flamenco show at one of the city’s traditional tablaos.

madrid food tours!

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Day 5: Travel to Barcelona

Begin your journey to Barcelona from the stunning Madrid Atocha Train Station. This station is a marvel in itself, with a botanical garden right in the center of the concourse, creating a relaxing environment. You can reach the station by metro, taxi, or bus from various points in the city. We recommend taking a later train, as the station is beautifully illuminated during the day, offering great photo opportunities.

The journey to Barcelona will be on a high-speed AVE train, which you can catch from Madrid Atocha to Barcelona Sants Station. The trip takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, providing great views of the Spanish countryside along the way. Upon arrival at Barcelona Sants Station, you can easily get to your accommodation via metro, taxi, or bus.

Day 6: Barcelona (Top Sights)

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7 days in spain starting in barcelona

Since we only have a few days in Barcelona, you’re going to fill your first day with all the top sights. Start your day at the iconic Sagrada Familia, the stunning basilica designed by Antoni Gaudi. Next, head over to Park Guell, another Gaudi masterpiece, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. In the afternoon, explore the historic Gothic Quarter, with its narrow medieval streets and beautiful squares. Don’t miss the Picasso Museum, which houses an extensive collection of the famous artist’s works. End your day with a stroll down Las Ramblas, a vibrant street lined with shops, cafes, and street performers.

Top Sights in Barcelona

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Day 7: Barcelona (Beach Day)

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Spend your last day in Spain relaxing at one of Barcelona’s famous beaches. Start your day early and head to Barceloneta Beach, the city’s most popular beach, to secure a good spot. Spend the morning bathing in the Mediterranean sun and enjoying the waters. For lunch, try some fresh seafood at one of the beachfront restaurants. Stroll along the seaside promenade in the afternoon and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Beach day activities

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Day 8: Depart for Home (or onward)

Unfortunately, the week is over. It goes by so fast! You’ll likely be flying out from the Barcelona airport. This is a great hub for flying internationally, whether you flying back home or continuing on with more European travels. This is also a great port of call for many Mediterranean cruises!

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