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Many questions regarding transportation in Spain (bus/train etc)

Many questions regarding transportation in Spain (bus/train etc)

Feb 8th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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Many questions regarding transportation in Spain (bus/train etc)

Heading to Spain next week and I'm working on the details of transportation. Here are several specific questions for you experts:

#1 - I plan to buy AVE tickets on Renfe website ahead of time. I understand that I can print the tickets out on pdf file. What happens if my itinerary change and I need to take either an earlier or later train (same day, same route)? Can I still use the prepaid ticket? Do I need to go to the ticket window to change the ticket? Will I need to buy a brand new ticket?

#2- One of the routes I will be taking is Sevilla-Cordoba-Madrid on the AVE. I want to stop at Cordoba for a few hours to see the Mezquita. Can I just buy one ticket for Sevilla-Madrid and get off at Cordoba? Or do I need to buy 2 separate tickets Sevilla-Cordoba then Cordoba-Madrid (it's a few euros cheaper for the one ticket)

#3 - I fly into Barcelona airport. I plan to take the Aerobus to Placa de Catalunya. My hotel is Hotel Colon next to the Catedral de Barcelona. Looking at the map, it appears to be maybe 500 meters? I probably will just walk but are there buses that run south along Portal de l'Angel?

#4 - I will be taking a bus from Granada to Sevilla. The bus station in Sevilla is the Prado de San Sebastian. My hotel is Hotel Alcantara in the Santa Cruz area. I think it's a bit far to walk - are there buses that run from the bus station to Santa Cruz? I have emailed the hotel for suggestions and have yet to hear back from them.

Thanks in advance!
yk is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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Have you ever bought tickets online from Renfe before? Because if not, I don't think you can print them out ahead of time. You always have to pick them up at the train station if you are a first-time buyer. You sould have to go to a ticket window to make any changes, of course. I know I've bought an AVE online and I could not print it out.

You are required to have seat reservations on AVE trains, so you cannot use one ticket for two different trains, even if they are on the same route. You have to have two separate tickets if you get out in Cordoba.
Christina is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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Christina, that has changed since last month. Now you can print them

yk, if you are unsure of your route..wait till you are in Spain for buying tickets. You can buy them at the airport in Madrid or Barcelona and almost in every travel agent in Spain. Don't need to worry
kenderina is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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Oh, I forgot..no cars or buses can get to Santa Cruz, too narrow streets so it is a pedestrian area.
I think best solution is taking a taxi from the bus station (it's far to walk but not as far for a taxi to be very expensive), they can get into some streets that private cars cannot..so they will leave you as near of your hotel as possible.
kenderina is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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Hi there-

The reason I want to buy in advance is (thanks to Maribel), I can qualify for the "estrella" fare which will give me a 40% discount on the train tickets.

So, I want to know what are the consequences if I take an earlier train?
yk is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 10:19 AM
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The web fares are non-refundable so you can't change your mind and take an earlier train or missed you planned trip.

Also, I'd try to book in advance the Ave as you may not be able to book the exact time you want if you don't do in advance.

Do you plan on storing your bags in Cordoba at the train station while you do your daytrip? If so, I would email the Cordoba tourism office and make sure the lockers are open. I experienced an issue in Girona last September where the lockers were closed for security reasons. The woman at the TI told me they had done this throughout Spain and only private lockers were available in some cities. I read a posting on Madridman after this and someone noted the lockers in Cordoba were closed. Please let us know what you find out as I know many travelers do daytrips to Cordoba using hte Ave from Madrid to Sevilla (or vice-versa).

As for the Prado de San Sebastian bus station, I've walked from my hotel near the Cathedral to the station several times with a large (and heavy) suitcase and carry-on - both on wheels. Once you're outside the Santa Cruz quarter the streets are wider and not cobbled so it shouldn't be a problem to walk.

You could walk from the Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona to your hotel. It wouldn't be any more than in Sevilla from the Alcantara to Prada San Sebastian. I'm not sure about buses but there is the metro - however, this may mean negotiating stairs. I'd walk versus the metro! There's always a taxi as they're plentiful.
CathyM is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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For the Colon you can walk it from the Placa Catalunya or take the Metro to Jaume I (a bit closer to the hotel) and walk from there.

Beware of pickpockets on the Barcelona Metro.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Thanks. Looks like it should not be a big deal walking to my hotels. I heard back from Hotel Alcantara and they said it's a 10-min walk from bus station.

How are the streets in general? I'm debating between a backpack vs 20" rollaboard. The backpack will be convenient regardless of what the pavements are like, but of course it'll be harder on my body. But I don't want to bring a rollaboard when I will end up carrying it because the streets are too poor for rolling.

one more question: anyone wants to comment on bus ride between Granada and Sevilla? (it's faster, more frequent, and cheaper than the train)
yk is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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It looks like for the "estrella" fare (40% off), I have the option of changing the ticket, but there's a fee involved (like 15% or 30%). So, if I choose to do so, at least I don't need to buy a brand new full price ticket on the spot.
yk is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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changes must made before the train leaves..as i understand from my telephone conversations.
lincasanova is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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If you buy your Madrid-Córdoba and Córdoba-Sevilla tixs online at the 40% discounted ESTRELLA fare, they are exchangeable, but as lin says, the exchange has to happen before your ticketed train leaves.

But you'll incur a 15% penalty, if exchanging for another ticket on that same day. If exchanging for another day, there's a 20% penalty.

(The 60% discounted WEB
fare is NOT exchangeable but IS refundable with a 50% penalty.)

To exchange your Estrella fare ticket for an earlier or later train that day, you would have to pay the difference in price between your 40% discounted Estrella fare and the regular fare (Estrella fares must be purchased a minimum of 7 days in advance).

You would need to go to the ticket window to exchange your pdf ticket for a brand new one.
You could only get another Estrella fare if you were able to do this at least 7 days in advance and if there were still Estrella fares available (these are strictly limited).

Maribel is offline  
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