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Madrid and Cordoba Itinerary Help

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Apr 1st, 2012, 03:21 AM
  #1
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Madrid and Cordoba Itinerary Help

We land in Madrid from Dubai (originally from Australia) on Saturday the 1st of September mid-afternoon. Once settled into our accommodation in Plaza Mayor we will walk from Puerta Del Sol to the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral. Will visit the Palace as should be enough time since it closes at 8 pm and might(?) have time to visit the Cathdral. May take a horse and carriage orientation tour after this as well.

The following day (Sunday) intend to visit the Rastro flea market, Parc El Retiro and visit the Prado either by paying or after 5 pm when it is free. On the Monday I have planned a day trip to Toledo – should arrive back in Madrid after 6 pm so night out later at tapas etc. The current plan has us spending the next day, Tuesday, in Madrid and leaving for Seville with a stopover (4 hours) in Cordoba.

I am debating whether to leave Madrid instead on Tuesday late afternoon (a bit more Madrid touring in the morning) and stay in Cordoba that night. This would give us a good look at Cordoba and not having to store luggage etc. Could you please let me know what your thoughts are about cutting short Madrid and instead having more time in Cordoba?
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Apr 1st, 2012, 04:07 AM
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I would've stopped over in Córdoba, deserves much more than a quick tour of the most obvious sights. The "other" Córdoba around Plaza de las Tendillas, the Plaza Mayor-like Plaza de la Corredera, the Roman ruins etc can be highly recommended. All very close to the main tourist attractions but a totally different and more local atmosphere. Bustling outdoor cafés long into the night.

Several fine bodegas/tabernas in this area. Here you'll find great local places on every corner. Just had some excellent meals in a couple of them. Taberna Salinas comes recommended in the Michelin guide, and we were perfectly happy after two raciones, a bottle of wine and a couple of brandys for some 35€. http://www.tabernasalinas.com/

Bar Santos in Calle Magistral González Francés, 3 along the eastern side of the Mezquita is a laid-back and small respite in this heavily touristy area. Wonderful Jamón Ibérico.

Felt immediately at home in Plaza de las Tendillas. The clock here has got no bells. Since 1961 the hours has been chimed in by recorded flamenco chords from the guitarist Juanito Serrano. Great atmospehere and good spirit well into the small hours, at least in the week-ends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fexMbX4EsRE&NR=1

We recently stayed in modern Hotel Córdoba Centro, just excellent, some 300 meters north of the Mezquita, next door to the main Tendillas Plaza. http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/cord...?rid=702348143

And the worlds largest and most prestigious flamenco festival starts in Sevilla on the 7th of September. http://www.flamencotickets.com/festi...o-sevilla.html
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:21 AM
  #3
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kimhe - thanks ever so much for all this wonderful information and your advice. I have been keeping your info for Madrid etc as well. So it looks like we will take the train in the afternoon and have time to visit a few of Cordoba's sites.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 04:19 AM
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A great way to orient yourself in both Madrid and Seville is to take one of the 'free' walking tours - you tip the guide at the end.
People queue up for the Prado free entry at about 4:30 or earlier, when I reached at 4:45 I had to stand way back. Once it opens, it takes at least 15 mins to get in. And they push you out 15 mins before closing time. There is much to see in this limited time.
Its best to buy the Toledo ticket a day or two in advance; we couldnt get tickets when we rocked up to the station one morning...had to waste half the day waiting.
If its only the Mezquita you wish to see, 3 to 4 hrs is sufficient. Cordoba is pleasant but if you are squeezed for time, you can at least see the most important monument there. A night's stay would make it more comfortable.
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