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Madrid and Seville Over Christmas

Old Aug 28th, 2018, 02:29 PM
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Madrid and Seville Over Christmas

We are a family (kids ages 11-17) and are going to be in Spain for Christmas. We have 9 nights, landing in Madrid on December 22 and leaving from Madrid on December 31st. My current thoughts are to take the train to Seville on the 22nd and spend 5 nights there (understanding things will close on 24th and 25th) and then head to Madrid for 4 nights (Dec. 27-31). I am trying to decide: (1) if we should fit in Cordoba either as a day trip from Seville on 26th or stop there on the way to Madrid on the 27th, (2) whether to add a day trip from Madrid on Dec 29 to Segovia, and (3) if we should take one night away from Madrid and stay an extra night in Seville given Christmas eve and day closures. Welcome any advice.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 03:02 PM
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I'd do Cordoba as a leisurely day trip from Seville - otherwise you have a lot less time there and have to put luggage in train station left luggage - Segovia is nice but Toledo is a shorter day trip from Madrid and one of the nicest cities anywhere. Segovia however has the castle of your kids' dreams perhaps. Anyway about trains - book your trains ASAP - think 90 days out but could be 60 to snatch limited in number discounted tickets that can sell out quick - Renfe Spanish Railways' site - www.seat61.com has great info on doing just that yourselves online. Other rail sites for general info (like 1st v 2nd class) check www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.

I suppose cathedral will be open Christmas Day but otherwise...
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 03:20 PM
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Christmas time in Spain

Spending Christmas in Spain can be exciting, but you really do need to plan ahead if you won't be spending time with local family and friends. Some restaurants will be closed from Christmas day through the New Year, so having lunch and/or dinner reservations is very important.

I don't know where you're from, but the days are a little shorter in Madrid than Sevilla. It will be pitch dark before 6:00 pm in Madrid, with sunrise not arriving until after 8:30 am on the 26th. The sun sets a little later in Sevilla, giving you sunlight for only about 9-1/2 hours during this time of year.

You'll also find that Madrid, Sevilla and Cordoba will be lit up with Christmas lights, as will most of Spain. It's a fun time to be there because of all of the celebrations going on. Too bad you'll miss the close of the season, January 6, Epiphany, Three Kings Day, the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

Sales officially start on January 7, but some stores get a jump on the season.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 04:02 PM
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Thank you for the advice. Very helpful. I had not realized we needed to book the trains so far in advance, so appreciate the heads up. I think that makes sense on Cordoba as a day trip so glad to hear that (but was worried about losing a day in Seville - hence, why I wondering if I should take a day away from Madrid). Thank you also for the advice on reservations for dinners/lunch over the holiday season. Will be staying in airbnbs and I enjoy visiting foreign food markets/grocery stores and eating in some evenings. We were in London last Christmas so aware of the shorter days. But again, all advice appreciated .

Last edited by AK_1357; Aug 28th, 2018 at 04:04 PM.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 04:16 PM
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At that time of year, I’d be inclined to spend all of my time in the south. Madrid (and Segovia) will be colder than Sevilla or Cordoba. You can check climate data (and sunset / sunrise times) on timeanddate.com

Although many people visit Cordoba as a day trip from Sevilla, I was glad to spend 2 full days there.

And do check the opening hours for anything that matters to you. It isn’t just the holiday closures to which Robert2016 has spoken – at any time of year, many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break.
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