single female going to spain

Sep 10th, 2000, 09:59 AM
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single female going to spain

I'm going to spain for 2 weeks in december. I speak Spanish and mostly want to mingle with the locals to practice the idioma. I want to spend days in Madrid and then hit Seville. Does anyone have any advice or tips. I have never been there so experienced single travellers could really help me. I am only taking a backpack.

Oct 17th, 2000, 10:16 AM
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Wow! You are more daring than I. I went to Barcelona and Madrid this March with a group of friends. Since, the same group could not travel in the fall - I have decided to travel solo to Barcelona in November. Spain is beautiful and a wonderful place to visit. But I would just show more caution than normal. My friend get pickpocketed when she had her backpack on in Madrid. While in Madrid, I would do a day trip to Segovia. It's spectacular! Have a great time.
Oct 17th, 2000, 10:48 AM
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Hey i just did a solo trip to amsterdam for the first ever. It was awesome what an experience of feeling a live. I did everything sat in cafes talk to people. You have to be careful never carry more than your willing to lose. Dont look like a tourist take extra time to plan routes. I went out and met people and always kept my eye on my drink even took it to the toilet. You will have a great time. And Pickpocketing is one thing i always think, vs here if you walk into the wrong neighborhood a lot worse could happen. You will be great. Stay in nice places.
Oct 24th, 2000, 07:15 PM
Steve Bird
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Hi Magda,

I spent about forty days in Spain last year and will be living in Bilbao for four months from Nov 2, 2000 until February 25th , 2001. I have travelled from Bilbao to Burgos, Selemanca, Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza. The bet place in Spain is the North. The food is amazing the people are nice and there are not alot of tourist.

Hope this helps.
Oct 26th, 2000, 04:14 PM
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Just be cool and go with your feelings. We just got back from Spain-2 days in Madrid downtown. We felt safe with all the people in the streets. Just like in US keep money etc close to you. We had a great time. In the country not much between the cities except the views. You can see for miles-clean skys. Have lots of fun.
Oct 26th, 2000, 04:47 PM
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Most women, on their home turf, know how to protect themselves, but often let down their guard when traveling. Don't. That doesn't mean being paranoid, but it does mean use your everyday 'woman-smarts'. If you don't give out your address to a fellow bus rider at home, then don't when traveling. I've walked into a bar in my city, and walked right out again because it didn't "feel" right; I've done the same in Paris. Use your same instincts.
Oct 30th, 2000, 06:27 PM
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I'm a single female (but older) and just returned from three weeks back packing in Spain (alone). I had no problems at all. But I'll mention that I did not spend a lot of time interacting with locals - you might need to be cautious...but not overly suspicious.
Nov 1st, 2000, 08:55 AM
Lydia Hartwig
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you will not have lots of trouble if you are as careful as usual. The Spanish are very politly and respectful to women, if the dress as the spanish women do.
For Seville: Tapas at "Robles Placentine", you will enjoy it.
Nov 3rd, 2000, 04:43 PM
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Be careful as usual in Europe. I think you will like a lot Seville and Madrid...but if you could make a trip to Granada ( is special in winter, but cold ),Ronda or Segovia ( always nice ), you wonīt regret it.

Have a nice trip!
Nov 3rd, 2000, 05:09 PM
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I've traveled several times to Europe alone over the years...
...When I moved to Lisbon, three years ago, (I was there for a year), I drove to Sevilla several times to meet back up with my boyfriend (of the time). When I was by myself with the locals, or whomever, I was totally myself (pretty gregarious...)but I was also more aware... When I was with my friend, I was probably "ultra outgoing" because I felt "safer" LOL
There's alot of great people, (that's why I love to travel so much...) Then again, there's alot of people you need to be aware of...

(...I have a great backpack too!!!)
(just beware the ole' hiking boot "hook laces"...I bit the dust w/ my big backpack and hiking boots in the middle of the Lucerne Rail station...Felt like a kid in a snowsuit!)

Happy and safe travels!

(PS... I also speak Spanish fluently...)
Nov 19th, 2000, 10:06 AM
Posts: n/a
HiMagda,I'm planning on going to Spain
in Dec.for Two weeks,I'm leaving from
Toronto.I will be back after New Year's
I have never been to Spain,If you are looking for a travel companion,Let me [email protected]
Nov 19th, 2000, 01:42 PM
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Is your hair blonde? If so dye it and you won't receive the "unwanted" attention from the Spanish men and boys. Their not use to blondes over there, so you'll probably end up getting lot of cat calls and possibly even few pats on the ass. Other than that, take the normal precautions (put little locks on your backpack, carry your money and passport under your clothes, carry your purse across your chest) and you should be fine. Also, don't think it'll be that easy to move right in and start talking to the Spanish. Spanish men will take it as a sign that your easy and interested in them. I lived in Spain for 5 months and went to a school with a few hundred Americans and I don't know anyone who hung out with Spanish people while we were there. Send me an email if you have anymore questions.
Nov 20th, 2000, 08:32 AM
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Brad has a good point about blonds, but you are going to stand out as an American no matter what. My prediction is that you are going to meet many wonderful, open people with whom you can practice your Spanish. However, you should also know that it is an accepted fact in Spain that American girls are easy. Stick to crowded spots; while you're going to get lots of comments, catcalls, and yes, probably unwanted groping, the danger is always less serious when there's lots of people around. I am an American girl who lived in Spain for a year and half, and never once was I seriously concerned about my personal safety. Have a wonderful time!
P.S. While you may have nice weather, be prepared for cold and rain.
Dec 1st, 2000, 08:28 AM
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I just spent 11 days in Barcelona & Madrid mostly on my own (my honey joined me for a couple of days during the middle of my trip -- he was there for work)and found it was very safe.

However, I took some normal percautions. I always had my day bag in front of me with my hand looped through it, I kept limited amounts of money with me, and when I paid for things I was pretty discreet and did not overtip. I also made sure the hotels I stayed at were in more traveled areas: Hotel Atlantico on Gran Via in Madrid and Hotel Allegro which was 2 blocks from Placa de Catalunya on a wide pedestrian street (Avinguda del Portal de L'Angel). I also chose hotels that had a safe in the room and used them for storing passport, etc. (BTW, what is everyone's opinion about the safes in rooms? Are they truly secure? The ones I had didn't seem tampered with ...)

Had my first experience with metros and it was eye opening! I traveled the metro alot in both cities and found it extremely easy and efficient to use. (P.S. I bought a 10 pass ticket in Barcelona which choked after the 4th ride and was able to get it replaced. Most metro stations have machines that sell passes, etc.)

What else? I typically didn't stay out too late when I was by myself ... 10:00 pm. It was easier to stay out later on the Gran Via, because it's so crowded.

I think the key is to be aware of yourself, your surroundings and others. It doesn't mean be paranoid, but be conscious. It also helps to have a good game plan for the day and be aware how the city is laid out so being "lost" only lasts a short period of time. Also, if people came up to me in the metro asking for money, etc. (it didn't happen too often), I just didn't give it much of my time, I would just say "no gracias" and be on my way.

The irony is ... I was probably safer from being pickpocketed on my own then when I was with others! With others it's easy to have a false sense of security ... all of a sudden, day bags are slung over the back, which, I confess, I did, but corrected quickly
; >.

I have to admit, I read this site before my trip, and it made me a little nervous. But it also helped make me more prepared. I can't wait to go back!
Dec 1st, 2000, 10:37 AM
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That advice for blondes is ridiculous. I'm blonde and spent a semester in Spain and travelled alone during the weekends, and no one ever harrassed me or patted me on the ass, and yes, I hung out with Spanish people on a regular basis, and no, I was never propositioned or treated like an easy American girl. If you go to Spain thinking you'll be ostrisized and objectified like Brad suggests, then you will. Keep an open mind and go with the flow.

Dec 5th, 2000, 08:00 AM
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I spent a year in Spain in college too, and do remember that many of the women in my program mentioned being harassed by Spanish men when they were out in public alone. And it did happen more frequently to those with blond and red hair. In fact one woman with very red, curly hair mentioned men often tried to caress her hair. And while I loved my time there and go back for vacation often since, I must admit that Spanish society is a bit more chauvenistic than what American women in the days of hypersensitvity to sexual harassment are accustomed to. There is no need to be defensive about Spanish culture, it is simply a fact of life there.
Dec 10th, 2000, 04:48 PM
Maria Ines Mader
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Hi, Magda. Hope you havenīt gone yet.
I noticed people havenīt mentioned the
gypsy women in Madrid. Be careful with
them. They "attack" in restaurants or cafes (never leave your bag on the back of chair, better put it on the floor between your feet). They also "work" on
metros. Keep always an eye on your handbag and bag. All the other informations are ok: donīt be paranoic, just be cautious. Youīll love Seville, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Donīt miss the flamenco show at
Los Gallos, the most authentic flamengo in the city. Itīs at Plaza Santa Cruz.
Be happy !!!
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