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If you had one choice would you visit Seville or Granada?

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Aug 4th, 2009, 09:25 PM
  #1
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If you had one choice would you visit Seville or Granada?

My husband and I are visiting Spain at the end of September.
Our plan is to spend 5 days in Madrid and use the city as a home base for day trips to Toledo and Segovia. But would appreciate other day trip recommendations.

We were planning on visiting Seville and Granada for 4 days but realize that we may be spreading ourselves too thin .

Now the question is do we stay in Seville for the 4 days and take day trips or is Granada a better choice.

I also read that there is a high crime rate in Seville and travelers should be very careful.
Is this true and should i avoid visiting , or was the article written by an inexperienced european traveler ?
( we are seasoned travelers and enjoy spending time in each place we visit rather than
rushing through a city /town)

Thanks
diguiseppi is offline  
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Aug 4th, 2009, 09:38 PM
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I really liked Seville. The architecture is unique, and the Alcazar, while not in the class of the Alhambra in Granada, is also beautiful. Overall, I would recommend Seville.

Or maybe you could stay in one of the two and take a day trip to the other. They are both wonderful places to visit.

I have not heard that Seville has the reputation for pickpockets and the like that Barcelona has, and I haven't heard of violent crime in either place. I wouldn't worry about crime, and don't let it interfere with your enjoyment.

That said, I always keep my money and credit cards in a moneybelt and am cautious.
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Aug 4th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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I studied in Madrid for a year and was able to travel over most of Spain; from that, here're my suggestions. For other day trips out of Madrid, if you are renting a car, I'd recommend La Granja (an immense palace modeled rather convincingly after Versailles); Valle de los Caidos (that's the huge cross in the mountains that you can see from almost anywhere in Madrid; bear in mind though, that the cross and the monastery underneath it is a memorial/crypt for a fascist dictator-Franco- so be prepared to be a little creeped out while you marvel at the view of Madrid); and Chinchon, a quaint village with a Romanesque church where they still have bullfights in the Plaza Mayor (not in a bull ring) and you should spend siesta having drinks in a balcony overlooking the square.

If you don't have a car, I would stay in Madrid instead of navigating the Spanish trains. You can easily spend a day each in the Prado (for the Velasquez's, at least), the Reina Sofia (seeing Picasso's massive Guernica should definitely be on your to-do list), the Retiro (rent a paddleboat and see the Egyptian temple, hauled back to Spain piece by piece), the Plaza del Sol/Plaza Mayor (spend one night eating at the taperias in the old bull pens). Finally, if you're up for it, see a bullfight in the Plaza de Toros. By the way, if you're interested in seeing a live bullfight, I'd suggest looking through Hemingway's _Death in the Afternoon_, still the best English-language book on Spain's peculiar institution, before you go so you'll understand what you're seeing.

As far as Sevilla or Granada, I'd say it depends what your priorities are. Sevilla is more culturally important today- it is the home of the Sevillana (flamenco) dance and the Triana district is traditionally gypsy (though gentrification has changed this to a large extent). Also, Sevilla's Plaza de Toros is arguably the most prestigious is Spain and you might see a truly fascinating "first fight", again, if bullfighting is intriguing to you at all.

Despite all that, for my money, I'd go with Granada. The Alhambra is indeed a staggering achievement- honestly, a work of art in stone- and you can see the Mediterranean Sea from the nearby mountains. Also, if you stay in Granada, you can take a day trip to the Costa del Sol (I'd recommend Marbella/Puerta Banus to see extravagance afloat or Nerja to see the cave paintings).

I hope all that helps!
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Aug 5th, 2009, 02:54 AM
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With four days at your disposal, it's possible to see both without feeling too rushed. Go to Granada first (5 hours by express bus or fly), with a pre-booked entry to Alhambra early for the following morning, then to Seville (by bus or train: around 3-4 hours) for three nights and return to Madrid by AVE (2.5 hours).
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Aug 5th, 2009, 03:05 AM
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alec is right but if you go for one make it sevilla, definitely.
and sorry, but why would anyone going to spain want to visit marbella/puerto banus? there are a hundred of these hideous glam resorts around the world, though not all of them attract low-renters...
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Aug 5th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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bookmarking

amy
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Aug 5th, 2009, 08:27 PM
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If you have 4 days, you have plenty of time to see both. Do it.
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Aug 6th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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I appreciate your post, nomadstravel. I am going to Spain in November, and I'm taking note of your suggestions.
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Aug 6th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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I would make sure to see the Alhambra, but would rather spend the rest of my time in Sevilla. I think Sevilla is magical. It has a smaller feel, and is, in my opinion, way prettier.

As for crime, you'll hear that about so many cities. You'll probably hear it about NY, but I've been living here my whole life - including the 1970s - and never even got pickpocketed. The trick is: don't look like a tourist. In any city. Don't sling your purse across your body as though you're protecting it from thieves. Wear it normally, like you would at home, and just be aware of your surroundings. And don't stand in the middle of the street with a giant map unfolded. If you have to look at a map, be subtle, keep it folded small, and stand in a doorway.
This may sound obvious, but i see so many tourists looking like tourists, and I almost want to mug them myself.
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Aug 6th, 2009, 12:09 PM
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Though the Alhambra is a marvel I would actually say Sevilla if I were in your place. I would use th time to see Sevilla extensively & also take a full day trip to Jerez & a Sherry winery tour as described in Maribel's guides. You might even consider doing that & staying over the one night & returning to Sevilla.

But this way you can do so at a leisurely pace & not feel rushed or shortchanged by using up the entire day.
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Aug 6th, 2009, 07:55 PM
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we just went through the same decision-making process, and settled on granada. we're in barcelona for 5 nights and granada for 2. a friend who knows spain VERY well highly recommended sevilla over granada, but our hearts were set on the moorish culture and alhambra...

good luck making your decision!
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Aug 6th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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"i see so many tourists looking like tourists, and I almost want to mug them myself"

LMAO
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Aug 7th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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To make it all the way to Andalucia and not see Granada and Seville is a shame. I would spend 3-4 nights in Madrid, 3 in Seville and 2 in Granada, this is the perfect trip.
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Aug 7th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Is there a posibility of future trip? That is a good factor & question.
amsdon is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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I would definitely do both and I think you can do Sevilla in one day. I did that on a group trip when I was there my junior year in college and we saw alot that day. or maybe you could do two days in Sevilla and two days in Granada. anyway, I would absolutely see both cities. I remember that the Plaza de España had these gorgeous tile works for every (? not sure if it's all cities) city in Spain. that plaza is definitely worth a look! and you gotta climb La Giralda and La Alhambra....well, everyone should really visit it. It's very beautiful.

good luck with your decision! you've got lots of different opinions here. enjoy your trip!
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Aug 7th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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addendum to my note above, that beautiful plaza I mentioned? it's in Sevilla. forgot to mention that! oops....
tobyo is offline  
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Aug 8th, 2009, 12:23 AM
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Maybe do 4 days in Madrid (include Toledo and forego Segovia or vis versa) and then go to Granada. Its beautiful for two days, then onto Seville for three. Take the AVE train back to Madrid if you are flying out of there. We were there in March of this year and each city had an essence of its own. Would not miss either one.
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Aug 8th, 2009, 03:50 AM
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I would choose Seville, although I love Granada. As for ´doing´ Seville in a day - I have no idea what that means, but feel that about everywhere really.

We have spent weeks at a time in Seville, have visited many times and each time find something new. As for pickpockets, take the same precautions you would anywhere. For some reason people seem to think Spanish cities are crime ridden, which is largely untrue.

However, if you had time to see them both, that would be great. The Alhambra is wonderful, and much besides, including the Albayzin area.
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Aug 8th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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I would visit both Granada and Seville. If I wanted more time in these two cities, I'd spend a day less in Madrid. Madrid has a major airport so it would be easy to visit again - either for another entire vacation or for a few days before flying elsewhere in Europe.
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Aug 8th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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I would stay in Seville. We took day trips to Granada and Ronda from Seville with very little trouble. The lines to the Alhambra were very long so I would try to pre book.
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