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Help - do you need train reservation + tickets

Help - do you need train reservation + tickets

Old Nov 8th, 2002, 04:53 AM
  #1  
June
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Help - do you need train reservation + tickets

for train travel between Madrid and Alicante or on the high speed between Seville and Madrid??? Those reservations really add expense to train travel. Have made reservations to stay in the Alcazar in Seville, Carlos V in Madrid, and the Hotel Alhambra (170 euros - isn't this high) Any comments on the hotels and the train reservaions would be GREATLY appreciated.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 05:07 AM
  #2  
Geoff Hamer
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In Spain, reservations for long-distance trains are not optional - they don't sell tickets without reservations. Whether you need to reserve more than a day in advance depends on when you are travelling. I've always bought tickets in Spain and never found a train full, but once from Sevilla to Madrid, the "turista" was full and I had to pay the "preferente" fare. You can see the fares on www.renfe.es.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 05:42 AM
  #3  
cooter
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June:

I'm wondering why the reservations are adding an expense to the train travel. I've bought tickets ahead of time via Renfe, but, regardless of when you buy them, they cost the same.

And, yes, they do sell tickets without reservations. I've bought tickets for both local and long distance trains just before departure. Now, I don't think you can buy tickets on the train as you can in some other countries, but I'm not positive.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #4  
Maribel
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June,
I agree with cooter; there wouldn't be any extra charge for making a reservation through Renfe. Tickets purchased through Rail Europe, though, cost more because of their heavy mark up. I do think you should reserve for the AVE Madrid-Seville on the Renfe site. The lines at Atocha station can be exasperatingly long sometimes, particularly during holidays and in peak season, and as was Geoff's case, you may not find an available last minute seat in a non-smoking tourist class. car.

Depending on your travel dates, you could wait until you arrive in Madrid to purchase the ticket to Alicante. You could just pick it up at the Renfe counter to the left of door 1 of the International Arrivals area at Barajas. There's also a Viajes Corte Ingles counter upstairs in the Intl departures area. I often buy my train tickets at the airport to avoid standing in those long lines at the main ticket office in downtown Madrid or at the stations or having to remember to dash into a travel agency.

I've never stayed at the Hotel Alcazar in Seville (it's on the avenue across from the Alcazar palace/fortress gardens), but I do know the Carlos V. It's been recommended here repeatedly as a "dependable, tried and true" budget choice right in the heart of the bustinling Puerta del Sol, an easy-to-book Best Western with shuttle service to/from the airport. You might want to do a text search though, as some recent posts (including mine) have recommended the Intur Palacio San Martin, a couple of blocks away, as a nicer, newer, more upscale but slightly more expensive (mid-week-good wkd. rates) alternative. It might or might not appeal to you.

The 170 euro rate seems a bit high for the Alhambra Palace (I thought it was running 150 this yr.), but again, it depends on your dates. But it's a classy 4 star, very comfortable, and you couldn't find a better location on the Alhambra hill other than the Parador's. But it's hard to find a room at the Parador at any time, unless you book 6 months to a yr. in advance (I booked by late April room in Sept.), and it run 200+ euros. I've posted on the Alhambra Palace here many times, because I really enjoy staying there and find the staff very helpful. (I'd ask for a room in the back facing the city-they have wonderful views). Valet parking is also a plus, and by taking the Carretera de Circunvalacion straight up to the Alhambra hill before entering the city of Granada, you avoid getting lost in the downtown maze. It's easy to find.

The other property I like, next to the Parador, is the quaint 1 star Hotel America, a Karen Brown and Alistair Sawday favorite, (cozy but tiny rooms-a modest, budget property but charming in its own simple, homey way), but it's equally difficult to book. Under 100 euros.

Hope this helps.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 01:53 PM
  #5  
Marsha
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Maribel,
How does one contact the Hotel America? Do you have an e-mail address?
Thank you.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 04:57 PM
  #6  
cooter
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I believe Maribel is currently in Spain (lucky her), but I found this information online for what seems to be the right hotel:

Tel: 34-958-227-471
Fax: 34-958-227-470

 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:39 PM
  #7  
Ferdinand
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Hotel America
http://interhotel.com/spain/en/hoteles/2721.html
 
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