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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report SPAIN in 10 Days - Madrid, Todelo, Avila, Segovia, Seville & Granada

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Before I start I have to stay I flew Iberian Airlines and I was so disappointed. I had put in a special request for the kind of food I wanted but I didn't get what I was promised. Had stay without food both while going and coming back.

Day 1, Friday 20th Nov – MADRID
Reached Madrid, took line 8 to Nuevous Ministerous and then line 10 from NM to Alonzo Martinez- walked to my hostel- U Hostels, highly recommend this hostel. Left my luggage in the storage and left to explore Madrid.

Walked through Calle Fuencarral (Calle Fuencarral has a lot of shops along the way, made stops looked around) and then walked the Gran Via. Started from the Metropolis building, walked the Gran Via all the way to Plaza de Espanza, took pics along the way. From there, walked through the Royal Palace, to Mercado de San Miguel – loved this place, absolutely loved it for the variety of food. Spent some time there. Came back to the hostel, checked in. Freshened up and left for the night walked around with some hostel guys. Went to Restaurant Botin, the oldest restaurant in Madrid for dinner.

Day 2, Saturday 21st Nov– MADRID
Took the free walking tour from the hostel 2.5-3 hours. (http://www.panchotours.com ) Walked through Gran Via, to Puerta del Sol, to Plaza Mayor, to see the oldest wall in Madrid, to the Almudena Cathedral to the Royal Palace. After the tour went with a few folks to Mecardo de San Miguel. – Yes again ☺. From here walked all the way to El Retiro Park, spent some time there, stopped at Puerta de Alcala for a pic. Later went to La Barraca for dinner – Loved the paella.

Day 3, Sunday 22nd Nov– TOLEDO
Woke up early to go to the El Rastro flea market (flea market every Sunday). I could’ve skipped this as it wasn’t anything new or anything I hadn’t seen before. From the flea market, went to the Reina Sofia Museum, chose Sunday as the day as entry is free on Sunday but little did I know that entry is free after 2 30pm only and since I was there at 10 AM, I paid 8 euros. The museum is gorgeous, absolute gorgeous. (Since I am not much of a museum person, I decided to come to just one and skipped Prado and others). Loved Reina Sofia, sneaked a pic of Picasso’s Guernica. From here walked to Julia Travels, took the guided tour to Toledo (http://www.viator.com). I chose a guided tour over exploring the city myself. I cant say the guide was good as he spoke 90% Spanish and only 10% English. But because Toledo is such a pretty town, I decided to break from the group and went about exploring Toledo by myself. Thanks to the Green Guide I borrowed from a friend. Exploring Toledo wasn’t so difficult. Tour ended late, took the late bus back to Madrid. Didn’t have much energy after the tour, went to bed.

Day 4, Monday 23rd Nov– AVILA and SEGOVIA
Woke up early, I had booked myself on a 2 city tour with Viator, Avila and Segovia and this time our guide was superb. She was so knowledgeable and amazing. Took the early morning bus to Avila- explored the city. Took pics and headed to Segovia. The Acqeduct is so pretty. Broke for lunch. Wine is so CHEAP here. 1.5 euros for a nearly full glass of wine. Explored Segovia and took the late bus back to Madrid. Asked my friend to meet me at Circulo de Bellas Artes, a rooftop bar in Madrid (amazing views of Madrid from here). Had dinner, drank more wine. Stopped at San Gines for chocolate Con Churros. AMAZING. It was 3 am by the time we were done. Went back to the hostel and slept.

Day 5, Tuesday 24th Nov– SEVILLE
Woke up early to check out and took a train (Renfe ave http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html) to Seville. Reached Seville around 9 30 am. Took a cab to my hostel. Hostel one Centro. Good hostel, free dinner but flaky wifi. The hostel receptionist told me about the free walking tour at 10. Left my luggage in the storage and left for the walking tour 3-3.5 hours. Started from The Cathedral, walked through the narrow lanes, through Plaza de Salvadore, Puerta de Jerez, along the river to the Tower of Gold, from there walked to Plaza de Espanza and finished at the Maria Luisa Park. At this point I realized I was ready to pass out as the temperature had risen from 3deg c to 23deg c in 5 hours. Went back to the hostel and slept. Woke up with a fever, didn’t do anything that night except for hanging out at cafes around my hostel.

Day 6, Wednesday 25th Nov– SEVILLE
Woke up and was ready to explore Seville on foot. Walked from my hostel to the Mushroom Building. Had brunch there at a café called café al grano. Loved this place, walked the Tetuan Street, explored the shops there, walked through Avenida de la Constitución, went to Santa Cruz, from there walked to Plaza de Espanza, this is where I decided to spend a couple of hours. I can’t describe how beautiful this place is, totally magical. I fell in love with this place.
After this, went to The Alcazar, another beautiful monument. After which I walked around a little bit, stopped at a couple of bars, grabbed drinks with friends, came back to the hostel, had dinner and slept.

Day 7, Thursday 26th Nov– SEVILLE
Woke up and left early to see Plaza de Espanza again, from there walked to the bridge crossed it to go to the other side of Seville called Triana. Explored Triana, loved it. Since it was my last day in Seville, decided to not end the night early, danced with some locals performing on the street. Came back at night and went to see a Flamenco show at Auditorio Alvarez Quintero. I highly recommend a show here. After which, some friends and I explored Seville by night. The cathedral looks so pretty at night it’s unbelievable.

ABOUT SEVILLE – picture this: this place has a beautiful cathedral, cobble stone streets, horse carriages, narrow lanes, orange trees, fountains, small houses, some of which are colored, artists either dancing on the street or playing something beautiful for you. I absolutely fell in love with Seville and would go back in a heartbeat. I found 3 days to be the perfect amount of time to explore Seville.

Day 8, Friday 27th Nov – GRANADA
Woke up and left for the bus station where I took an early morning bus to Granada. If you book early, you can get tickets for as cheap as 5 euros. I booked my tickets https://www.alsa.es . Reached Granada, dropped my bags at the hostel and left to explore the city. My hostel was near Plaza Nueva. From what I understood, Granada is divided into 4 parts. Albaicin and Sacromonte, which are the old parts of Granada, Centro which is the center and Realejo. Granada is also famous for Graffiti and Realejo part of Granada is full of Graffiti and that’s why I went to explore that part of Granada first. After Realejo, I went to grab lunch at babel world fusion. The food is absolutely amazing here. It’s on Calle de Elvira. After lunch I went to http://www.feelthecitytours.com/en/ and booked myself a walking tour of Albaicin and Sacromonte. The tour is cost me 12 euros which I felt was totally worth it as our guide was very good. Also, the free English speaking tours were cancelled because there weren’t enough people who wanted the tour in English. Hence had to go with the paid one. On the walking tour, we walked through Albaicin, went up to San Nicholas, from where you get the perfect view of Alhambra and if you go to San Nicholas when the sun is setting on Alhambra you will get the most astounding view ever. After Albaicin, walked through Sacromonte, saw all the cave houses. Came down to Plaza Nueva and ended our tour. Had dinner and then went back to my hostel.

Day 9, Saturday 28th Nov - GRANADA (ALHAMBRA)
I had already purchased my ticket to Alhambra, Generalife and Nasrid Palaces. I booked this through Viator.com and guided tours are available for morning and afternoon. I chose the morning tour. I cannot describe in words how beautiful Alhambra is. Everything that you hear about its beauty is true. Every corner will have a story; every wall is a piece of art. Words fail me. I have no doubt that this is the most visited monument in Spain. After the tour ended, I hung around to explore Alhambra a little more. You need ¾ of a day to a full day to explore Alhambra. Once I was done, I took the bus back to Seville. Spent the night in Seville and took the early morning flight back to New York City.

My $0.02

- Hostels are great for all ages. There are party hostels and others. I chose the non-party ones.
- Madrid has a lot of pick pockets – be careful- I actually lost my phone day 1 in Madrid.
- Always take the free walking tours, they give you a general overview of the place and show the highlights to you. You can always come back to the places you loved the next day and explore them at your own pace.
- I know I asked on this very forum about taking Euros from here versus withdrawing from Madrid airport. Since this was my first solo trip I took euros from here, but I did withdraw from Deutsche bank in Madrid and I wasn’t charged any fee except for the 3% percent transaction fee, which BOA had already made me aware of.
- Walking is the only way to explore these cities in great detail. I was walking on an average of 15 miles each day. Tiring but totally worth it.
- Last, have lots and lots of coffee from the local cafes in Spain. I am not a coffee drinker at all but I so miss my Café Con Leche in NYC.

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