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Flying into Madrid and out of Paris. Any input is greatly appreciated!

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Feb 21st, 2013, 10:12 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Flying into Madrid and out of Paris. Any input is greatly appreciated!

Hi!
I am in the he midst of planning a 14 day trip to: Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Bordeaux, and Paris.
I am so excited about this trip and would greatly appreciate all your input to make it an unforgettable one.
So far, I put the following itinerary together. Again any input is greatly appreciated, including recommendations for scenic sites, restaurants and hotels. Thanks!
Itinerary: Flight from Chicago into Madrid and out of Paris
• Madrid (3 nights with a possible day trip to Toledo (train 0h33))
• Madrid – Barcelona (train 2h38)
• Barcelona (2 nights)
• Barcelona - San Sebastian (train 5h45)
• San Sebastian (2 nights)
• San Sebastian – Bordeaux (train 2h55)
• Bordeaux (2 nights)
• Bordeaux – Paris (train 5h34)
• Paris (4 nights)
Karolina0824 is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,643
For hotel info you need to give us a specific price in euros or $ and tell u show many in your party.

For restaurants, a budget, atmosphere and likes/dislikes would help.
nytraveler is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2013, 10:32 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,623
If it were my trip, I think I would add a day to Barcelona, a day to Paris, skip Bordeaux this time, and fly from Bilbao (a bit over an hour by bus from San Sebastián) to Paris.

Leaving the trip as is, you should be able to find a train from Bordeaux to Paris, TGV, at around 3.15 hrs to 3.45 hrs. Go to www.voyages-sncf.com

You don't give your travel dates but cheap TGV PREMs tickets go on sale on line three months out. Good fares can be had inside that window, depending on the time of year, holidays, etc. but the earlier you can book, the better.

What is your budget for hotels and restaurants?
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Feb 21st, 2013, 10:51 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
In SS the Pension Alemeda, on a ped. street was just the ticket for us..Around 81 Euros..very central, super clean and quiet. It is a 2* but we found out the * rating was basically because there is no dedicated front door from the street. 2nd flr with lift. Wery, very satisfactory. Train to Pais??Fly from Bilboa?? Depends on the relative costs. The TGV doesn't allow much in the way of sights. The train gaoes too fast to enjoy the surroundings. Sounds like a feasible plan as it stands.
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Feb 21st, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
Honestly unless you are someone who likes a VERY fast paced trip I think you're trying to cover way too much (geography and cities) in 13 nights.

My minimum recommendation for each of these cities, not including travel time is 4 nights each for Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and San Sebastian and 2 for Bordeaux. This also doesn't account for jetleg on arrival day (or travel time between).

I'd probably choose 3 of 4 cities: Barcelona, Paris, San Sebastian and Madrid for 4 nights each. This will give you one extra night for one of the cities.

What time of year is this trip?
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Feb 21st, 2013, 11:13 AM
  #6
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Plan to travel in September. Also, why would it be best to fly to Paris from Bilbao instead?

Looking for hole in the wall type of dinning (where the local eat) and budget friendly clean hotels centrally located (close to transportation and sites)
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Feb 21st, 2013, 11:31 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Personally I'd fly from Bilbao to Paris - it's an easy 1 hour flight and I love the Bilbao airport.
CathyM is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2013, 11:48 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,774
It might help to peruse your guide book (or whatever source you're using) and list what it is you want to see and do in each place to determine if you think you have enough time. This is because two nights in a place really only gives you one full day. I have not been to Barcelona, but I am sure one day is not enough. Even for tiny San Sebastian you may want more time. You may prefer a faster pace than most people here, and that is fine, but make sure you will not feel shortchanged. Consider where you might be most likely to return, is there an outlier in the trip you could cut to make room for more time elsewhere?
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