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Query about a week's solo trip to Spain--very confused!

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Nov 4th, 2015, 08:51 AM
  #1
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Query about a week's solo trip to Spain--very confused!

Hi all,
I am visiting Spain on my own to attend a conference at a place near Grenada in December. I am coming in from New Delhi, India, and this is my first trip to Spain. As a woman, I have traveled alone earlier, but since this is to Spain, and I don't speak Spanish, am quite nervous! Therefore, would really appreciate any advice here.

I am planning the following:
1. Day 1: Fly into Madrid. Spend a day there.
2. Day two: Take the train to Cordoba, spend the night there.
3. Day three: Take the train to Seville; spend two nights
4. Day five: Take the train to Granada. Spend two nights
5. Day seven: Attend the conference.

Queries:
1. Is the best itinerary?
2. Should I plan to go to Malaga as well?
3. Are trains the best option to go between these cities?
4. Can I get some recommendations for places to stay?
5. i am traveling alone, and as a woman traveler, am nervous about it. Any advice on this?
6. How good are the guided tours to these cities? Any recommendations?

Hope to hear back soon.

Jo
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Nov 4th, 2015, 09:40 AM
  #2
 
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Your itinerary is fine as is train travel. There might be a diversion between Seville and Granada at Antequera because of construction, but from what people have said here, their trips went very smoothly. Not to worry. And, don't worry about being a solo woman traveler. All will go well. Enjoy Spain !
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Nov 4th, 2015, 09:43 AM
  #3
 
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Posts: 3,987
Order your tickets to visit the Alhambra in Granada now.
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Nov 4th, 2015, 02:03 PM
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1. Maybe, you could spend the night in Cordoba or move on and spend 3 nights in Seville. Either way you can't go wrong.
2. You don't have time for Malaga.
3. Yes although it's a tossup train/bus between Granada and Seville.
4. Seville, Hotel Murillo -Granada, Puerta de las Granadas (There are many more these are just the last ones I stayed in)
5. Nothing to be nervous about. If some old men make a hissing sound as you walk by just ignore them.
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Nov 4th, 2015, 06:21 PM
  #5
kja
 
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1. Is the best itinerary?

It's a reasonable plan, given your time frame. Are you also flying out of Madrid? If so, I would put all of your time there at the end. (No reason to stay there at both the start AND end of your trip, if you can put all of your time there in one block.)

2. Should I plan to go to Malaga as well?

With the time you have, I wouldn't. Depends on your priorities.

3. Are trains the best option to go between these cities?

Yes -- with the qualifications noted above by others.

4. Can I get some recommendations for places to stay?

Consult booking.com

5. i am traveling alone, and as a woman traveler, am nervous about it. Any advice on this?

I've spent a total of nearly 2 months traveling in Spain as a solo female -- no problems! Of course, safety cannot be guaranteed, but if you take normal precautions (use a money belt, pay attention to your surroundings, etc.), you shouldn't worry.

6. How good are the guided tours to these cities? Any recommendations?

They are all easy to see on your own -- just get a good guidebook. If you want to join guided tours, you might see what you can find on city tourism web-sites.

"I don't speak Spanish"

For these cities, I doubt that will be a problem, but it would be a big advantage if you can learn at least a few civilities -- hello, thank you, please, pardon.... IME, people are MUCH more patient and willing to help if you make the attempt to use at least these few words. (And you don't need to perfect them!)

Spain is delightful -- enjoy!
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Nov 4th, 2015, 07:13 PM
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You should not have trouble as a woman alone in spain as long as you don;t wander around alone late at night - but I would be sure to learn at least a few polite phrases - including that you don't understand Spanish.

As for hotels - it would help to know your nightly budget in euros.
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Nov 4th, 2015, 10:33 PM
  #7
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Thanks a lot, everyone!

Jo
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Nov 5th, 2015, 01:17 AM
  #8
 
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as above, I'd base either Seville or Cordoba and catch a train between, since they run so often you could stay in your non-hotel city until late and still get back to bed ok. Remember that the Spanish day is very long due to the siesta in the middle so supper in restaurants will not start until 8:30 9:00 and you'll see kids running around at 11:00 at night. That does mean that finding things to do in the middle of the day can be a little hard.

The civilities are very important, you'll find English is spoken in the places you visit (though not in every little shop) but starting with "hello" in the Spanish (and all your cities are Spanish speaking) really helps. Any good guide book will have some basic phrases.

Men, some bars are... well.. bars and best avoided, depending on your eating culture you may want to try tapas (there are vegetarian options but all will be cooked in a meat based kitchen) and these snacks can get you through the day while you wait for a proper meal, so you may want to chose with care which ones you go into but as a foreigner you'll be well treated.

I was in one a few months ago and only after I walked in did I see the masses of tattoos (a sign of a criminal gang possibly) still the guys were as nice as pie (and yes they were from south america).
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