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spaniardmama Jan 11th, 2012 05:26 PM

Going to Madrid this Summer, need your advice!!
Going to madrid this summer and will be traveling by train southward. Going with Teenagers, what sights should be see? sidetrips? Escorial and Valley of the Fallen? What's good to do? How about restaurants? Any tour companies you recommend?

Julie_Grable Jan 11th, 2012 05:34 PM

Funny. I am going to Spain this summer, also with teenagers and need advice!

Julie_Grable Jan 11th, 2012 05:35 PM

Trying to decide between "winging" it or booking through a tour.

Sassafrass Jan 11th, 2012 05:41 PM

How many days? How many teens? What are your interests? Exactly when in Summer? Gets super hot in S. Spain in summer. What are the teens intersted in?

Generally, get up early to do outside touring like walking in Toledo or Seville. Hit a museum and take a long break in the middle of the day to swim and nap. Tour and walk in the early evening. Go to a central plaza in the late evening. There are often artists and muscians playing. Eat very late. I took a small group of teens to Spain. They loved Barcelona and Segovia. They were impressed by the cathedral in Toledo and the Prado in Madrid.

Sassafrass Jan 11th, 2012 05:45 PM

Your options are not limited to "wing it or book through a tour". You can plan it yourself based on your personal interests.

nytraveler Jan 11th, 2012 06:20 PM

A tour with teens is a really bad idea. They will be bored by long days on the bus and early morning starts (luggage packed and outside the door by 7 am).

Definitely do the planning - and have the kids be responsible for certain parts - and you will enjoy it much more. Also be aware that Spain in the summer is VERY hot - can easily be more than 100 degrees for days on end - and not every hotel, restaurant or shop has AC. So be sure you always stay hydrated, carry water with you = and rest in the afternoons if the weather is too bad.

Aduchamp1 Jan 11th, 2012 06:38 PM

Please note that El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen have been discussed here recently and someone noted some closings. Also note that the Valley of the Fallen was built with slave labor and is always controversial and will not be interesting to teens who are not conversant in the Spanish Civil War.

Madrid also has a very lively night life that begins around midnight, I mention this if your teens are older.

Here is the website for Time Out Madrid which is one of the more hip websistes:

spaniardmama Jan 11th, 2012 07:14 PM

Thanks for all the information! As it happens, the kids had AP Euro and my son's relatives worked for the spanish government during the Franco era, so they wanted to go to this place...Thanks for the Time out madrid website. We will also go on the red bus hopping on and off, would this be good?

Pegontheroad Jan 11th, 2012 08:08 PM

My first response to posters who don't know what they want to do or to see is to get a guide book or two. A guide book is invaluable for getting ideas for hotels, sights, transportation, etc. Planning your own trip can be part of the fun. I think it's also generally cheaper than a tour if you plan well.

I decided not to go to el Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen, partly because of remarks on this board, partly because I came up with other ideas.

Revulgo Jan 11th, 2012 09:55 PM

El Escorial is a World Heritage Site that has nothing to do with Franco.

lincasanova Jan 11th, 2012 10:12 PM

A shame people confuse the two or think because tours conveniently do both the same trip that they are related!

lincasanova Jan 11th, 2012 10:14 PM

why south? why not north? Nice beaches, cooler weather, plenty fo castles.. hop over to france.

Aduchamp1 Jan 12th, 2012 02:26 AM

Revulgo and Linca,

I specifically referred to the Valle de los Caídos as controversial, not El Escorial. They are always discussed together because they are so geographically close.

lincasanova Jan 12th, 2012 02:31 AM

Was not referring to you in particular.. I know YOU know the difference!

Revulgo Jan 12th, 2012 04:39 AM

I referred to << I decided not to go to el Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen… ...partly because I came up with other ideas >>

spaniardmama Jan 15th, 2012 03:06 PM

Thank you for all your comments on this. We will get a guidebook and go to Viator tours. Then we can also visit Tolego as well. I think we will "wing it" as well!

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