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day trip from madrid

Old Aug 9th, 2005, 08:16 AM
  #1  
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day trip from madrid

my 21-year old daughter and i will be in madrid for a week later this month. i'd like to take a day trip (we've been to toledo which is the easiest one). any recommendations?

seville looks the most interesting to us - but is it too far for a day trip? what's the best (and least expensive) way to get to seville? and if we spend the night, what section of town would be the most fun?

thanks in advance for any ideas!
terryb900 is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Seville it's very very far for a day trip. In a normal train (not AVE) it takes around 6 hours to get there. And then you have the Ave which takes 3 hours but it's not cheap
Maybe it will be cheaper if you go flying.
Seville is not big enough to have very different sections. But the better place to be its in the city centre, around the cathedral and Alcazar.

If you decide to stay in Madrid then you can do a lot of day trips : Avila, Segovia, El Escorial, Aranjuez and a bit farther Salamanca which is absolutely wonderful.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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It is an ambitous itinerary for a day trip but it is possible using the AVE highspeed train. We did this a couple years ago, and if I had it to do again would spend the night in Seville, but it was better than not going at all. If you do go to Seville, there is a really neat Roman ruin site just out of town called Italica. You reach it by taking a local bus, if that sort of thing holds any interst for you.

Another option is Segovia.
Seamus is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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segovia, el escorial.. valle de los caidos combination would be nice.

there ae so many options. you would get more done on a tour if you do not want to do it on your own. probably be able to do at least two on same day.

sevilla merits more than a few hours' visit coming from madrid IMO.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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Holy Toledo is to me by far the best day trip from Madrid - a thoroughly ancient city draped over a hill with an unGodly number of old highly decorated churches. exceptional! and only 45 minutes by train.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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I always advocate for a day trip to Cordoba from Madrid. It is a little closer than Sevilla, about 2 1/2 hours by AVE. The mezquita (mosque) there is to me is a very unique site and then there is the alcazar that I think is similar to the ones in Seville and Granada. So visiting Cordoba gives you a great taste of moorish Spain without going quite so far. I think Seville has more sites and is further so if you decide to go there I think you should spend at least one nite there. But the mosque in Cordoba is one of my very favorite European sites - very different than the churches and cathedrals. Have a great time in Spain - are you going to eat a roasted suckling pig while you are there? A Spaniard urged us to try it the first time we visited - we reluctantly agreed (and my daughter is a picky eater!)but we loved it.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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thanks for such quick replies - i think we may plan an overnight. maybe a stop in cordoba for the afternoon and overnight in seville. spend the next day - then back to madrid.

are there flights from madrid to seville? i keep reading about the AVE trains.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Yes, there are flights in Iberia.
cruiseluv is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Yes, the AVE can get you to Sevilla in no time, but it really needs more then a day trip to see it properly. Cordoba is a day trip also, but from Sevilla, not Madrid! We flew into Madrid and did Toledo and another day Segovia, stopping at Avila on the way. Avila is half a day, Segovia and Toledo take the whole day. Both are wonderful. No matter which you choose, you win!
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 10:47 AM
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AVE trains are pricey - about $80 each way in second class so expensive day or two day trip. they do go 186 mph so are much faster than much cheaper buses and quicker than planes when factoring in airport rigamorolle.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 11:03 AM
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I'd check prices for the flights and the trains. If there's not much difference, I'd go with the train. It is less than one hour to fly from Madrid to Seville, but you still need to get to the airports, check in at least an hour ahead of time, yadda, yadda, yadda. The train is easier, takes probably the same time and it is more comfortable.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Segovia is terrific. I recommend it highly!

The Alcazar and the aqueduct alone are enough to put this town on the top of your list, IMO. And the rest of the town is fabulous, too. Here's the appropriate page from our trip report (scroll down to day 3):

http://www.onelittleworld.com/madrid_2.html
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Since you have been to Toledo I would opt for Segovia, as others have mentioned: amazing acuaduct, the Alcazar (castle) is postcard-perfect, the old city is nice to wander in, and you can eat, as mentioned here, suckling pig and other local specialities.

Another city closer to Madrid (maybe more of a half-day trip!) is Alcala de Henares, with Cervantes' home/museum (very nice), the beautiful, historic university (good free tour given by students), storks nesting on the chimney tops, churches, and an old quarter nice for wandering. It is a world heritige site (But Spain has many!).

I went there in June while I was spending a week in Madrid, mostly because the friend I was visiting worked there and dropped me off for a half day -- I really enjoyed it.

I went to Salamanca on a previous trip so not sure if it is doable as a day trip, but it is wonderful and filled with student life, which your daughter might enjoy.
Have fun.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Airfare vs. train prices to Sevilla.
I believe the airfare prices are maintained at a high levelby the company and govt to support the train
business. The train is more convenient...downtown to downtown in
2 1/2 hours. When I have priced flights around Spain, I noticed you can
get deals Barcelona-Madrid, Malaga-Madrid and even Asturias-Madrid but not
Sevilla-Madrid. They want to keep that
train running. And it's a beauty!
If only our country could support the
rails like that!!!
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 02:31 AM
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I agree with the recommendations for Segovia and Alcala de Henares: you can get to either by public transportation (the 11/03 Terrorist explosions were on a Commuter train coming into Madrid from Alcala).
Once, on Friday of Holy Week, we took an early AVE to Sevilla and strolled & watched the Processions - returned on the AVE at 8:00 PM. There's a 20 0r 25 percent discount on 'same day return.'

Next time, I decided to forego the discount, take AVE from Madrid around 8:30PM, spend the night at a Tablao Flamenco in Sevilla, and catch AVE back to Madrid early AM. In addition to the Turista, Preferente and Club, there are time-of-day based (Valle, Llano, Punta) fares. We could probably structure our trip to take advantage of 'valle' fares (6:00 AM??).

If you're in Madrid on a Sunday, spend some time in Retiro Park watching the street performers: they begin around 11:00 AM.
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 05:33 AM
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Hola

If you do stay overnight in Seville stay in the Barrio Santa Cruz. Very atmospheric. The Hotel Amadeus - http://www.sevilla5.com/hotels/amadeus.html - should be lovely for you.

Another good pastime on a Sunday is the El Rastro flea market. Lots of funky things for sale. Your daughter will love it (so will you).

Adios
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 07:38 AM
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Terry
Let me second Toledo. It is a short train trip from Madrid - easily to do in one day. Toledo is a small city perched on a hill. The train leaves you off at the train station so you need a cab ride to Toledo. REMEMBER - negoiate the fare before getting into the cab.

They make the swords for West Point In Toledo.

Segovia has more to offer, but it is not as quaint. It is a longer train ride from Madrid. They have a Castle and an interesting church next to the Plaza, but the most interesting is a Roman Aquaduct that has been recently refurbished...

Greg
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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No offense, but I think it's surprising that several people suggest terry return to Toledo -- the ONLY city apparently where they've already been. Is it that you all feel that a return to Toledo is more important than exploring any other "new" city? Or did you just not read the question?
Patrick is offline  
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