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Seville/Granada/Somewhere else

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I’ve been thinking about taking an extended trip/vacation in Spain for some time now and would greatly appreciate some thoughts on my thoughts. Initially, I was focused on Barcelona and Madrid, since, well, Barcelona/Madrid are the most well known cities. As I got to thinking, however, I realized these cities might not be conducive to what it is that I’m trying to achieve. So what am I trying to achieve?

-I’d like to rent out an apartment for a month to two months in a neighborhood in a Spanish city that isn’t totally overrun with tourists. Also, I do enjoy artsy/bohemian neighborhoods.

-Ideally, I’ll be doing some traveling to other cities, but for the most part, I’d like to really dig into the place where I’ll be renting. This isn’t an expedition in which I need to take in the sights at as many places as possible. I want to relax and get some painting done—I’m a painter—so the idea of Barcelona/Madrid, which seemed appealing at first, has lost some of its luster. I might be too distracted in those cities, trying to see and do everything. So this brought me to Seville, which then brought me to Granada—two smaller cities with enough to do and with proximity to other places that I could visit when I do decide to venture out some. Am I right to assume that the quality of life/pace will be better in Seville/Granada than in Madrid/Barcelona?

-Short term rent is always pricey, but it is infinitely more expensive in Madrid and Barcelona.

So should I stay in Seville? Granada? Or should I be looking into other affordable/smaller cities along the coast, etc? Keep in mind, I’m an American male in my late 20s who speaks Spanish.

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