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Spain: Help with 16 day itinerary in May 2011!

Spain: Help with 16 day itinerary in May 2011!

Old Apr 16th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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Spain: Help with 16 day itinerary in May 2011!

Hi,

My boyfriend and I have just booked our first trip to Spain arriving in Madrid 5/14 (Sat morning) and flying out of Barcelona on 5/30 (Monday morning)! We are from NYC & have previously traveled extensively through Europe, Asia etc. and would really appreciate a little advice with our Spain itinerary!!

Things we would like to do: take lots of chilled out long scenic walks, visit and definitely eat at beautiful viewpoints, find out the best tapas places, take in a few cool museums etc.

So far we are thinking of 3 days in Madrid with a Toledo day trip, 4 days in Seville, 2 days in Granada, and 6-7 days in Barcelona as follows:

1. Sat 5/14--Madrid (bull fight during the San Isidro Festival)
2. Sun 5/15--Madrid (museums)
3. Mon 5/16--Toledo (what will be closed on Mondays?)
4. Tues 5/17--fast train to Seville
5. Weds 5/18--Seville
6. Thurs 5/19--Seville (flamenco show one day)
7. Fri 5/20--Seville
8. Sat 5/21--Train to Granada
9. Sun 5/22--Alhambra
10. Mon 5/23--afternoon flight to Barcelona
11-16. Tues 5/24--Sun 5/29--6 full days in Barca w/ day trips to Monserrat & Dali Museum

QUESTIONS:
1. Is Segovia/Avilla or Cordoba worth an extra day taken away from Barca or not? Why?
2. Is Toledo worth an overnight? Will we miss anything major on a monday?
3. Do we need more days in Seville or Granada?
4. Is 7 days too much in Barcelona? Anything else we could use that time for in Spain?
5. Can you recommend any nice clean hotels for under 100 euros anywhere please? How are the NH hotels?
6. Can you recommend a few amazing or unique restaurants in each?
silvermist3 is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2011, 04:22 AM
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This sounds like a great plan!

When it comes to flamenco in Sevilla, you arrive just on time! On the 17th of May the dance genious Rocío Molina premieres her latest work in the wonderful Lope de Vega thater. She recently won the Spanish National Dance Prize as the youngest artist ever. Mikhail Baryshnikov fell on his knees in front of her after a performance in New York a year ago and New York times described her as "one of the finest soloists in the world today". She is mind-blowing. Just a few tickets left:http://www.generaltickets.com/

Some special restaurants in Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona:

Madrid:
Have breakfast or lunch at Café del Círculo de Bellas Artes in down town Calle Alcalá, 42. One of the city's most emblematic cafés. Grab a window table and watch Madrid life on bustling Calle Alcalá. Take the lift up to the roof topp terrace (the azotea) for the most spectacular views of the city. http://www.esmadrid.com/en/cargarApl...ntificador=179

Watch the sunset over the Guadarrama mountains from the terrace at El Ventorrillo in the Vistillas park. Great pollo al ajillo, some say the best in town. Map, video and some pictures: http://11870.com/pro/restaurante-ventorrillo

Have lunch or some tapas at Casa Granada, on the 6th floor of an apartment building just off Plaza Tirso de Molina. Hard to find and a great terrace. http://www.tripfilms.com/Travel_Vide...ada-Video.html

Café Central, just off bustling Plaza Santa Ana, is a fabulous jazz venue with live performances from the best artists every night at 10. Entrance 11€. Good food also. Populart, a little further down the street, is also a great place.

Txirimiri in Calle del Humilladero, 6 gives you an idea of why the Basque kitchen is considered among the best in the world. In the midst of one of the best tapas/restaurant districts in town, in and around Calle Cava Baja in La Latina.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...ri-Madrid.html

I never leave Madrid without having had the squid in its own ink and the famous cod at Casa Revuelta, also in the same district.
http://11870.com/pro/casa-revuelta

First class dining at El Mentidero de la Villa:
http://www.mentiderodelavilla.es/
http://11870.com/pro/el-mentidero-la-villa

Sevilla:
Sevilla has got one of the finest tapas scenes in Spain. El Rinconcillo from 1670 is the oldest restaurant in the country and well worth a visit. They do the best chickpeas with spinach, one of the city's signature tapas. http://www.elrinconcillo.es/

My favourites in town would be in the San Lorenzo district north of the more touristy Santa Cruz area.
Eslava: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/category/eslava/
Bodega dos de Mayo: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletap...omment-page-1/

I can also recommend El Cairo in Calle Reyes Católicos, 13, close to the Triana bridge (Puente Isabel/Puente de Triana). Excellent paella tapas at lunchtime (at the bar), and great local atmosphere: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Andalusia.html

I also love Bodegas Diaz Salazar in the vibrant Arenal district. http://www.minube.com/fotos/rincon/1...slideshow-mode

And you can't miss out on Enrique Becerra: http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletap...rique-becerra/

Barcelona:
Try to get a table in the small restaurant in the back of extremely popular Cal Pep. Above all a tapas place, but it was ranked nr. 66 restaurant in the world in the prestigious San Pellegrino guide a couple of years ago (think it was 2006/2007). Most people queue up in line 15 mins before opening to get a place at the bar. But I would perhaps recommend to get a table in the back and just sit down and splurge. First and foremost fabulous seafood.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

Don't miss the Boquería food market in Barcelona, one of the finest in Europe. A couple of excellent tapas bars inside as well (Pinotxo and El Quim de la Boquería): http://www.boqueria.info/

El Quim de la Boquería: http://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_d.../tapas/el_quim

Pinotxo: http://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_d.../tapas/pinotxo

Hotels. These are all great value places in the middle of everything:

Madrid; Persal or Plaza Mayor:
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/madr...madrid.en.html
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/plaza-mayor.en.html

Sevilla; Alabardero, Vincci La Rabida or Museo:
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/alab...1cc1c3397e310c
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hostal-museo.en.html
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/lara...1cc1c3397e310c

Barcelona, Banys Orientals:
http://www.hotelbanysorientals.com/en/index.html

I would have used more days in Sevilla, very easy to fall completely in love with this city.
kimhe is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2011, 05:25 AM
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... Sorry, two of the recommended Sevilla hotels are very expensive on your dates. But we've been perfectly happy staying at Hostal Museo close to the Fine Arts Museum (59€). Excellent location in what the locals call centre and a 10-15 mins walk to the Cathedral, Alcazar etc. Some of the best tapas places in town would be almost right on your doorstep (Eslava, Dos de Mayo).
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/hostal-museo.en.html

And you should spend an evening/night out in Triana (a cradle of flamenco culture), just across the bridge over the river Guadalquivir. 10 mins walking from Hostal Museo. http://www.sevilla5.com/activities/goingout/betis.html

Perhaps check out extremely popular Casa Anselma in Triana for a genuine Sevilla night. Se nos rompió el amor, from 6 mins, is to die for. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw1atBQq_u0

About Anselma in New York Times:
http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/gui...fe-detail.html

And finally, a Rocío Molina teaser. Have seen her seven times since 2007...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYaY4zZgTas&feature=fvst

About Molina on a previous US tour: "Her Soleá at once seems to lead an audience into the heart of flamenco at its purest and extend it by making it new": http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/26/ar.../26pillow.html
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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IMO
spend more time in Madrid , if you are interested in art.. or wish to visit Segovia
3 days Seville, 2 Granada
I love Barcelona but take a day to see another town , also several day trips are possible from Barcelona
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 07:29 AM
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p.s
we are in Seville right now, unless you go to Cordoba for a day... 3 days here is enough
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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1. Yes it's worth it to take a day from Barcelona but you don't need to spend the night in those places, they're best done as daytrips. I would spend 4 nights in Sevilla and use one day for a daytrip to Cordoba. Sevilla is worth it. Maybe Malaga is worth taking a night off BCN.
2. Universal consensus is that Toledo is best done as a daytrip as it gets very quiet at night and Madrid has an extremely vibrant nightlife. If you like going to bed early Toledo may be worth it as people say it is very different when the daytrippers are gone. I would not miss the El Greco museum.
3. Sevilla and Granada plan is perfect.
4. 7 days in Barcelona is too much for me. Many people would disagree though. I prefer San Sebastian but most people would recommend Barcelona.
5. I can only recommend Hotel Puerta de las granadas for a great clean hotel under 100 euros.
6. kimhe has given some great restaurant choices. Don't miss lamb meatballs in mint sauce at Enrique Becerra, their foie gras w/ apples is also amazing. Read Maribelsguides.com for restaurant recommendations. Revulgo's posts on tripadvisor gives great, more up to date tips on eating in Madrid too.
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Old Feb 11th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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bookmarking
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Old Feb 12th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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1. Is Segovia/Avilla or Cordoba worth an extra day taken away from Barca or not? Why?

I'd consider 4 nights in Madrid if you want to do just one daytrip to Toledo as your first day will likely be jet lagged. You may be able to squeeze in a daytrip to Segovia with 4 nights if you are faster travelers and don't have jet lag on day 1. But if you definately want to visit Toledo and Segovia (which is quite beautiful) I'd probably budget 5 nights in Madrid (taking the 2 days from Barcelona). 5 nights in Barcelona would still give you a nice amount of time for the city plus one daytrip. If you forego Segovia I'd advise 6 nights in Barcelona which would allow for 2 day trips. So the question is - an additional daytrip from Madrid or Barcelona?

2. Is Toledo worth an overnight? Will we miss anything major on a monday?

With your limited time to cover 3 geographies I'd recommend visiting Toledo as a daytrip. Not sure about Monday.

3. Do we need more days in Seville or Granada?

4 days for Sevilla is my personal minimum. I'd advise stopping in Cordoba en route from Madrid to Sevilla. The bus station has luggage lockers and is just across the street from the train station. Visiting as a daytrip en route avoids backtracking and doing as a daytrip once you are in Sevilla. Of course I could easily spend a week in sevilla as there are excellent day trips (Cadiz, sherry triangle towns, Ronda, Carmona, Osuna, etc....).

2 days in Granada is good considering your amount of time for the trip and areas covered.

4. Is 7 days too much in Barcelona? Anything else we could use that time for in Spain?

Personally I'd shift some time to Madrid and/or Sevilla. I think it all comes down to which day trips between Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla are more interesting to you and dividing your time between these cities accordingly.

5. Can you recommend any nice clean hotels for under 100 euros anywhere please? How are the NH hotels?

I'd review the hotel recommendations on Trip Advisor or booking.com to get an idea of what you can afford in each area. You may also consider renting apartments. They are often less expensive than hotels and you have more space.
CathyM is offline  
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