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Malaga to Madrid, then short stay before flight departure

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Feb 18th, 2015, 08:05 AM
  #1
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Malaga to Madrid, then short stay before flight departure

I'll be traveling from Malaga to Madrid (I tentatively am thinking fast train) on March 22nd, then will fly out from MAD to Chicago the morning of March 24th.
I'm seeking recommendations for a convenient, affordable place to stay for the two nights, one which might be easily accessible when I arrive by train - give me a location for a quick visit of Madrid- and then not too much of a hassle to the airport on the morning of the 24th.
To that point, is it wise to stay in the Atocha area, since it is central and by the station?
and - Are there then easy, relatively swift transportation options from there to the airport, say between 8-9AM (I assume rush hour) on the Tuesday I leave?

Or- should I just fly budget airline in from Malaga, and stay somewhere closer to the airport to eliminate any transportation issues getting to my flight on the 24th?

Thank you in advance. All informed replies are welcome - as well as any other tips relating to a short stay in Madrid.
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Feb 18th, 2015, 11:06 AM
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>I'm seeking recommendations for a convenient, affordable place to stay for the two nights, one which might be easily accessible when I arrive by train < Check out the Hotel NH Madrid Nacional, Paseo del Prado, 48.

>Are there then easy, relatively swift transportation options from there to the airport< The fastest way to get to the airport is by taxi, cost €30. The airport bus, which leaves Atocha station, takes around 40 minutes, in traffic, depending on which terminal you are leaving from. Metro takes around 1 hour.

>Or- should I just fly budget airline in from Malaga, and stay somewhere closer to the airport to eliminate any transportation issues getting to my flight on the 24th?< No! Why waste the day.
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Feb 18th, 2015, 12:14 PM
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Thanks, Robert. This gives me lots of options. I didn't really want to stay by the airport anyway (it's just that I hate getting jammed up getting to check-in for flights). I was hoping I'd get some information that would indicate I could spend some time in the city, however brief that might be. I will check out the reviews on the hotel. Much obliged . . . Z.
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Feb 18th, 2015, 12:32 PM
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Robert:
addendum to my above reply to you-
Just checked your hotel recommendation. You must have missed my "affordable" adjective when I indicated where I hoped to stay. Wow! $278/night at the NH Madrid Nacional is a bit - ok, more than a bit - over my budget.
Can you suggest anything closer to the $100-125 range in that area?
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Feb 18th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Take a look at booking.com near Atocha...many affordable hotels.
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Feb 18th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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There are a few places in the area, but nothing I can recommend within your budget. In checking some of the other hotels near Atocha, many are already sold out for your dates, even though Holy Week doesn't start until Palm Sunday, the 29th.
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Feb 19th, 2015, 02:58 AM
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You could stay in one of my two usual great value hotels in the heart of Madrid, just off majestic Plaza Mayor and fifteen minutes walking or a 5€ taxi ride from the Atocha station (taxi to the airport is a 30€ flat rate and usually 20 mins).

Persal (90€ for a double on your dates): http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/persalmadrid.en-gb.html
Plaza Mayor (65€ for a double): http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/plaza-mayor.en-gb.html

Both hotels are one to four mins walking from the best tablao in Spain in recent years, Casa Patas. Only top of the shelf flamenco artists perform here: http://www.casapatas.com/

and from Cafe Central, the best jazz venue in town. Live performances with excellent national and international musicians every night at 10pm. Changing artists every week. http://www.cafecentralmadrid.com/

About the area:
http://www.gomadrid.com/sights/plaza-mayor.html
http://www.gomadrid.com/sights/plaza-santa-ana.html
http://www.barrioletras.com/
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Feb 19th, 2015, 04:16 AM
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Just to give you an idea of the excellent flamenco and jazz venues close to Hotel Plaza Mayor and Persal.

Casa Patas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbO_lw2xWtU
Cafe Central: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLJqn6CNnPQ
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Feb 19th, 2015, 12:57 PM
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Kimhe: Again- can't thank you enough. I will be going to your links and printing out your replies.
For now, since you are such a wealth of information, I have another question, if you don't mind. I'm now checking trains from Malaga to Madrid on 22 March and think I've spotted what I want. There seem to be two sites: Rail Europe link to Renfe is one, and direct to Renfe is another.
Question a) better to go directly to the Renfe site? It appears the converted price for the same trains on the Rail Europe link is higher - or am I wrong?
Question b) should I purchase in advance (do ticket prices go up closer to the date?) or can I wait and purchase in Spain from counters or vending machines? (For example, In Italy it has always been better/cheaper for me to buy tickets in Italy rather than buying in advance from the states).

As always, your advice and counsel are much appreciated! Z.
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Feb 19th, 2015, 01:04 PM
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You are traveling close to Semana Santa..get the tickets soon...they will not get any cheaper.
RENFE is sometimes tricky to buy from.
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Feb 19th, 2015, 03:18 PM
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If you have trouble buying on renfe website try rumbo.es
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Feb 19th, 2015, 05:05 PM
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We stay at the Hotel Mora on the Paseo del Prado which is near Atocha where we drop our rental car and take the Express Bus to the airport in the morning. It's in your price range.
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Feb 20th, 2015, 01:36 AM
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I've never had trouble buying directly from renfe, but I'm bying within Europe.
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Feb 20th, 2015, 03:12 AM
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I've been using http://petrabax.com/ to buy my tickets within Spain, and the prices are fair (minimal markup), while I believe Rail Europe has a much higher markup.
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Feb 20th, 2015, 05:29 AM
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Bookmarking
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Feb 20th, 2015, 09:17 AM
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Petrabax was much easier than anywhere I could find. I will be staying at the Marriott AC Atocha, which I think is walking distance from train station. Rates were pretty good for March. We decided to bite the bullet and pay for a cab to the airport.
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Feb 20th, 2015, 09:42 AM
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The AC Atocha Hotel is practically on top of Atocha station, but you would have a shorter walk to the station from the AC Hotel Carlton, which is on the corner of Paseo de las Delicias and Murcia.
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Feb 26th, 2015, 01:55 PM
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kimhe: On your recommendation (and very favorable reviews found elsewhere including tripadvisor), I booked the Hostal Persal. It's a little more expensive than Hostal Mayor, but it appears worth it, particularly after seeing the photos and their website.
Is it a hassle to take the Metro to the Sol stop, then walk to the Persal from there? seems like that might be the happy medium between walking all the way from the Atocha station or taking a taxi - no?

For you and others: I booked my train ticket from Malaga to Madrid on the renfe.es website- it took a little patience since it quickly switches to Spanish even with the English starting point, but in the end it worked fine (I'm now trying to give myself a crash intro to espanol). They sent a confirmation/ticket quickly, and the cost beat going through Rail Europe - the rip off artists.
I will look at your other suggestions for both Barcelona and Madrid. Again: You have been very helpful. Many thanks.

Bedar: how long does the "express bus" take to get to the airport - particularly on weekday rush hour mornings? It actually leaves from Hotel Mora?
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Feb 28th, 2015, 03:44 AM
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Take the metro to the Antón Martín stop, before Sol. From Antón Martín it's some 300 meters walking to Persal: http://subway.umka.org/map-madrid/li...on-martin.html
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Feb 28th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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I don't think it's worth the one stop metro ride!
Just walk up Atocha-about 10 minutes! It will be easier going back to the bus stop -all downhill!
Make sure to orientate yourself as to where the airport bus stop is-walk down to the sign for Cercanias.
The ride to the airport is about 30-40 minutes depending on your terminal.
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