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Advice Planning First Trip to Spain (10 Days)

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Advice Planning First Trip to Spain (10 Days)

Old Jan 29th, 2018, 12:26 PM
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Advice Planning First Trip to Spain (10 Days)

Hi everyone,

I'm very excited to be traveling to Spain with my mother March 14 - 25 (arriving in Madrid and flying back from Barcelona) and appreciate your advice!

We definitely want to see Sevilla and one or two other cities (either in day trips or by stopping on the way). Unfortunately La Alhambra tix are sold out so I was thinking of Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga, Toledo, Costa de Sol or others?? as I really don't know much about this region. We're coming from cold NYC winter so a place with sunny weather and beach or nature would be nice (unless we are sure to get that in Barcelona during mid March).

We are thinking 3 nights in Madrid and 3 in Barcelona which leaves us with ~3 other days, let me know what you recommend

THANK YOU!
lcaruiz is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2018, 12:57 PM
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Going by car or train - train makes way more sense than cars for cities and tocover long distances as trains go up to about 190 mph many places and city driving can be hectic.

Fly into Barcelona - possible day trips like to Montserrat - popular pilgrimage mecca in hills near Barcelona.

Madrid- nice day trips like Toledo and many others

Seville base - day trip to:
Cordoba
Jerez de la Frontera (sherry houses tours)

Fly home from Seville

For lots on Spanish trains check www.renfe.com; www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 02:43 PM
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You don't have a lot of time to see and do everything you mention. How many nights do you actually have? 10 nights? What day do you arrive in Madrid?

This could be a possible itinerary if you have 10 nights:

Madrid for 5 nights including a day trip to Toledo (or 4 nights Madrid and one night in Toledo)
Barcelona for 5 nights with a possible day trip to Montserrat or Girona

Another possible itinerary if you really want to see Seville on this trip:

Barcelona for 3 nights (not a lot but better than nothing)
Madrid for 3 nights (perhaps a day trip to Toledo but you won't see much of Madrid)
Seville for 4 nights with a day trip to Cordoba

My suggestions are based on you having 10 nights, but you might only have 9 nights.

All places are wonderful and interesting. But you need to decide what interests you. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend purchasing some guidebooks.
Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 06:09 PM
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Are you sure that you can see and experience what you want with this plan in this time frame? I would find it unpleasantly rushed to see Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla in the same 10-day trip. YMMV.

And I’m not sure how you are counting your time. Do you have 10 days on the ground, or does that include your days to get there and back? As KarenWoo notes, that makes a huge difference!

Please remember that 3 nights really means just 2 days – which IMO, is not enough for either Madrid or Barcelona.

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/ oriented, etc.). As you plan, note that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays, too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break. Once you've plotted your itinerary out on a calendar, you see what you can actually do in the time you have.

BTW, I think the question of a little versus nothing is a very personal one. I know that many people want to get a least a little time in a lot of places; personally, I’d rather skip something entirely than just skim it. No right or wrong answers – just difficult decisions.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 07:29 AM
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I'd suggest doing Barcelona and Madrid or Madrid and Seville area. Less can be more.
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 07:48 AM
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Mid March is not beach weather...you might encounter some rain and coolish weather in Madrid or Barcelona.
Train connections are excellent and easy.
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 07:56 AM
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danon brings up good reason for spending more time in sunniern Seville area.
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 08:26 AM
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I think even in the south it is not going to be beach weather - but should be warmer than NYC. I think 3 nights Madrid, 3 nights Seville and 3 nights Barcelona would work to give you at least a nice taste of each city. If you have one more night, I'd add it to Barcelona.

Toledo can be done as a day trip from Madrid. Try to see the Mezquita in Cordoba on your way to Seville. There is an Alcazar in Seville that IMO is just as good example of the moorish architecture as the Alhambra. Hope for good weather and you might get a beach day in Barcelona, at least to walk along but maybe not sunbathe. Enjoy!
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 09:26 AM
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3 nights or 3 days -figure much of a day going in between those three cities and if do day trip to Toledo just about a day for Madrid? Think have to pare down to 2 cities and Madrid is just 2 hours by train from Seville - or of course Barcelona and Madrid. Too bad can't add a few days to make all three better.
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Old Jan 31st, 2018, 10:27 AM
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Yes to Cordoba en route to Seville just to see the cathedral (really nice city but you have such little time) -put bags in locker at Cordoba train station.
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