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best side trip from Madrid for 3 30 something women?

best side trip from Madrid for 3 30 something women?

Jan 30th, 2007, 06:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
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best side trip from Madrid for 3 30 something women?

hi everyone-
I will be in Madrid for work in late september - and from Saturday to Tuesday my friends and I are trying to decide where we should go outside of Madrid. The two leading suggestions are Granada and Seville, but I don't think we can do both in a short time if traveling by train.

Having read that Seville is very romantic, I am thinking that Granada may be the better choice for good food, wine, shopping and some sights, but I'd like some feedback.
Alternatively - is there another city on the way to one of these that we could stop over in for perhaps Saturday night or monday night if we take a train?

Everything looks so beautiful that I can't really decide.
thanks in advance!
kak113 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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I have been to both cities.There is more to see and do in Seville. Most people only visit Granada to view the Alhambra, which is extraordinary.

Have you thought about Toledo? I really love the architecture.
marginal_margiela is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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The high-speed train takes you from Atocha to Seville in a couple of hours, and its probably the better choice of the two you listed. As the other response wrote, the Alhambra is incredible, but I think Seville is preferable w/r/t food, shopping, etc.

Toledo is a beautiful city, but I'm not sure it justifies three entire days (its only an hour or so from Madrid, and is a very easy daytrip) -- with the luxury of three days, I would use it to get a bit further from Madrid.

I have never been to Bilbao, and I'm not sure how far it is by train from Madrid, but I have heard its a very interesting city, with lots to see and do. Its also close (at least relatively close) to San Sebastian, where I had my best meals in Spain (at Arzak, but its not a place you simply drop by, and you'd need to book in advance).
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Another vote for Seville.
mcm3f is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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I loved both Seville and Granada! As other posters have noted, there is a high-speed train from Madrid to Seville. I believe that train stops in Cordoba, which might make a nice stop over - the Mezquita is remarkable! If I recall, there are also bus connections between Granada and Cordoba. Hope this helps.
kja is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Toledo can easily be done as a day trip and really should not be missed.

Seville was our favorite in Spain and as the others have noted, there is lots to see and do: The Cathedral, the Alcazar, riverboat ride, nearby Roman ruins at Italica, delicious helado (close second to gelato), flamenco. In other words, you won't be bored!

We haven't been to Granada so have no basis for comparison, but I can highly recommend Seville.
Giovanna is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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You want "good food, wine, shopping and some sights"? How about Barcelona? Checking with Air Europa, I see that a September return flight MAD-BCN would be 68€, more or less the cost of the AVE to Sevilla.

Better yet, go to Paris: 80€ on Vueling.
Ginto is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Trips from Madrid:
* Sevilla & Córdoba by AVE (hi-speed train).
* Day trip to Salamanca (historic university town) by bus.
Revulgo is online now  
Jan 31st, 2007, 03:40 AM
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I agree with ginto; but maybe for a different reason. Sevilla could still be very warm in late September. So, my advice would be to have a plan 'B' and to keeep your options open. Your list could include Santiago de Compostela, San Sebastian, Barcelona, and many, many alternatives.

Sure, Toledo is a great daytrip from Madrid as is Segovia, Escorial, Aranjuez, etc., etc.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 03:55 AM
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Just check into the issue of Seville being kind of in transition due to the building of a metro. I read that many streets were torn up..not sure if that would have much of an effect on the average traveler.....

You certainly cannot go wrong with either BCN or San Sebastian if you decide against going south. Both are fabulous food cities.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 04:21 AM
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If you can hire a car, you will be able to visit all the usual, very worthwhile spots near Madrid. Please check out Maribel's guides to Madrid & Segovia at http://maribelsguides.com/

Assuming it's your first time and you do have a car, I would drive to Toledo for one overnight; drive to Pedrazda de la Sierra (via El Escorial) and overnight; hop over to Segovia and overnight there; return to Madrid (seeing La Granja's gardens enroute). Make sure you eat lots of roast baby pig and lamb everywhere you go.
Ginto is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 04:53 AM
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About Seville -- as of October, they were still building the (underground) metro and the (aboveground) tram at the same time. In one of the main tourist areas, many of the roads and sidewalks are under construction, and just about everything is covered in dust. This shouldn't deter you from visiting Seville (its sights are still beautiful), but if you do go, be aware that you'll need a few extra sets of clean clothes -- everything will get dusty.
mcm3f is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 02:23 AM
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Barcelona has now a new train connection with Madrid in less than 4 hours , I think you could include it in your choice.
But it will be either Sevilla-Granada or Barcelona.
car is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 10:27 PM
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How does one get from Madrid to Barcelona by train in 4 hours???
lesleejd is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 04:06 AM
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The fastest train takes 4h, going direct from Barcelona-Sants to Madrid-Atocha. See http://horarios.renfe.es/hir/ingles.html#
Ginto is offline  
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