Andalusia Train or Car?

Old Feb 10th, 2022, 01:51 PM
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Andalusia Train or Car?

Two of us flying into Seville one night, then visit Cordoba and Grenada for only 4 days, then back to Seville for 2 days B/4 flying out. Should we rent a car for those 4 or 5 days, or book train seats? Unfortunately it is not enough time to see everything I know but it is what we have. Any suggestions? This would be end of April, beginning of May. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 07:43 PM
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I definitely recommend taking the train throughout your trip. The Spanish trains are modern, clean, comfortable, and on time. A car would be more of a hindrance trying to drive in these cities with traffic, narrow streets, pedestrian areas, and it's also difficult to find parking. You can check ALSA bus schedules. We used the bus for two trips in Andalucia and they are clean and modern and comfortable like the trains.

How many nights do you have in Andalucia? It's easier to plan by the number of nights. Typically 2 nights will give you one full day and perhaps a half day or less on the day you arrive and the day you leave. Are you planning on 2 nights in Cordoba and 2 nights in Granada? That's what I would do. You need to make your reservations well in advance for the Alhambra. And you should do the same for the Alcazar in Seville.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 08:14 PM
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Because you'll only be visiting these 3 Spanish cities, whose tight and narrow inner cores are often described as "Moorish mazes", I would most definitely choose train travel.

The handicaps of a car in these 3 cities:
traffic congestion getting in and out, with large motorway networks confusing to the uninitiated, narrow streets in the historic quarters that were designed before the invention of the automobile, needing to maneuver through these streets crowded with tourists, some tiny streets that are completely inaccessible by car (Sevilla's Barrio de Santa Cruz, for example), strict traffic restrictions in certain areas of these cities (ex: Granada), plus hefty, daily underground parking garage fees and underground garages with very narrow ramps, sharp turns and tight parking spaces designed for compact cars.

All the above makes having a car in Andalusian cities honestly a hassle, especially when your itinerary consists only of those cities, and you aren't planning any or little rural tourism.

When I visit major Andalusian cities, even though I'm familiar with them, I choose the train. When I tour the countryside, I rent a car. When I have a combo of both, I pick up my vehicle upon departing the city and turn it in before entering the next city (at an airport location, for example) just to avoid those handicaps.

From Seville to Córdoba you have the high speed AVE train, from Córdoba to Granada you also have an Ave and from Granada back to Seville you now have a 1:18 pm direct AVANT train with no change or several daily Alsa bus departures, taking 3 hours. I've taken the Alsa Granada-Seville bus multiple times, and it's fine.
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