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Spain Trip Ideas -Critique Welcome

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Jul 31st, 2014, 10:40 AM
  #1
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Spain Trip Ideas -Critique Welcome

For those of you also on Trip Advisor, yes this is a duplicate. SInce I have made the decision rather late I figure the more advice I get quickly the better

Ok. I finally decided yesterday to commit to this trip so here are my thoughts. Suggestions welcome

Background. Single female in her 50's. Fairly experienced traveler. Knows a little Spanish. Trip is first week in September so hotels need AC

Arrive in Madrid. 2 nights there at Europa

Train to Cordoba. Overnight there. Hotel options Hotel Gonzalez or Hotel Mastre.

Train to Seville. 2 nights. Still looking at options but Hotel Akcantara is one possibility another is to use my Hilton Honors points for their hotel but location looks iffy


Back to Madrid 2 nights. Probably Hostal Adriano, but considering some Marriott options.


Just a note. I have done Granada and really don't want to go back. Last summer I spent several days in Barcelona so I decided to skip there this time.

Thoughts? The one place I left out I thought about was Toledo, but.. I have been there twice. Granted it's been a long time, but....
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:53 PM
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OK Now I have option two. Just found out a friend is going to be in Barcelona that week. So now I am thinking of flying from Madrid to Barcelona when I land and spending three nights there and finishing with 4 nights in Madrid. Less moving around.

Biggest question seems to be would I rather see Seville or Barcelona agian (I have made quick visits to both of them)
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Jul 31st, 2014, 01:31 PM
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And what did you do on your 'quick' visits to Barcelona and Sevilla?

7 days doesn't allow for much if you spend part of that time traveling between destinations. What are your interest?
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Jul 31st, 2014, 03:13 PM
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Robert, I agree so on the way home tonight I made a decision

New plan. I am dropping Cordoba and just doing Madrid and Seville. Probably 5 nights total in Madrid and two nights in Seville. I would love to spend longer in Seville, but this is what seems to work best.

I played around with just doing day trips from Madrid, but right now this is the current plan. Have a day or so to keep researching

This MIGHT allow me to spend a day in Toledo, but I will have to play that by ear. I have also considered just staying in Madrid and doing day tours, might still happen. I figure I have to book hotels this weekend and then just accept what I did and start cramming on what I want to see and do!

My interests are art, music and people (Spain is great for people) Since I have visited both cities I can just revisit what I loved and enjoy exploring the cities.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 08:54 PM
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If you get a chance, recommend seeing the special exhibit at the Prado Museum, "El Greco and Modern Painting." It was a highlight of my recent trip to Madrid.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 09:01 PM
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Sounds reasonable.

If plane connections are a problem, remember there is a nigh speed train between Barcelona and Madrid.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 12:38 AM
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I think 2 nights Sevilla is rushed if you have never been there. You can easily stop in Córdoba on way to Sevilla, leave luggage across the street at train station.. see mosque/church.. have a nice meal and continue on with frequent cheaper commuter train to Sevilla or take the Ave.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 04:19 AM
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Thanks!

This weekend is research so I will make sure to look up the Prado exhibit!
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Aug 1st, 2014, 07:19 AM
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meant to say " at BUS STATION".
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Aug 1st, 2014, 10:04 AM
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she has already seen Seville, so it isn't the first time.

I'm surprised you would think you don't have time for a day trip in Madrid with five days. I am not sure I've spent five days in Madrid, but maybe -- I know I've spent four and I always do day trips then. Even the first time I went, and you've been there before. But you know what you want to do.

I'm going to Seville in October, just bought the ticket. I plan to take the train to Malaga for a couple days and do a day trip to Granada from there, as it isn't really feasible for a day trip from Seville. Also, a lot of flights go out of Malaga airport, so it was easy to get cheap flights to other parts of Europe from there. It was surprisingly hard to find a good flight into Seville with only one connection from where I am in the US. I did not want to go to Madrid again as I was just there (and Barcelona). Last time I went, I got a flight on BA from London but they don't do that any more. Finally found one from Brussels on Brussels airline.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 10:47 AM
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If you have never been to Cordoba and the mosque / mezquita there - GO! You can either stop there on the say to Seville, or do it as a daytrip from Seville - I've seen alot of sights in Europe - it is unique. Add in a day to Seville and make Cordoba a part of it.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 10:50 AM
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even though you've been to Seville before, I think I might give it more than 2 nights, but if you really don't want to spend longer than that, I [sorry about this] wonder why you are going?

I think that either i would got to Barcelona and meet your friend, or just stay in Madrid and do day trips to new places, - Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, even Avilla - see this website for ideas:

http://gospain.about.com/od/madri1/q...iddaytrips.htm

Seville seems a long way to go for just 2 nights!
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Aug 1st, 2014, 05:06 PM
  #13
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Thanks for the feedback.
Just to let you know I have been to Spain several times and hit all of the 'biggies' at least once. (Although when I went to Valley of the Fallen Franco's death was still news. I was in high school then ) So that's why I decided I could skip Cordoba.

Barcelona is out. Having waited so late the transportation options were either too costly or too complicated. Plus something big must be going on there as hotels are high and hard to find. (I can't stay with my friend, she's already crammed into her apt with two kids LOL! She may try to come to Madrid for the weekend though)


I love Madrid, so while I know it's not "popular" as a destination for a long stay I know I will be fine. Plus I want this to be a low key trip, not a "race through the sights" experience.

Thanks for the ideas. It did point out to me that trying to do three cities meant I was spending a lot of time moving around.

My only flight options are in and out of Madrid. The whole "basis" of this trip was the cheap frequent flyer mile flights I found.

The final issue will be can I fight with Renfe. When I priced things on there the prices for trips looked good, but... when I tried to buy fatal errors occurred. (I have fought with Renfe before and won so there's hope! It's just one of the most challenging sites out there)
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 12:08 PM
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CarolA...

(This is a duplicate of a post that was responding on your tag-on post to my madrid TR):

If you can only visit either Cordoba or Granada, I'd opt for Granada -- because of the Alhambra.

However...trains between Granada and Madrid stop in Cordoba.

If you are heading back to Madrid, you can easily take a morning train (9:10) from Granada that arrives in Cordoba before noon (11:31), see the mosque, have some lunch, and still have time to catch a late afternoon fast train (15:06 or 16:29) that gets you into Madrid (16:55 or 18:15) with plenty of time to relax before dinner.

SS
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Aug 4th, 2014, 06:07 AM
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@CarolA - instead of a hotel would you consider renting an apartment in Madrid since you're planning to stay 5 nights? I know airbnb is popular but the rental company below is recommended by my Madrid tour guide whose opinion I would trust. I am traveling solo to Madrid next year and planning to rent to rent with them.
http://www.estanciasconarte.com/en/

As far as dining recommendations - my favorite place was La Carmencita on Calle Libertad and a nice spot for a drink is the outdoor bar tucked away in a garden setting at Casa de America on Paseo de Recoletos.
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Aug 4th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Thanks everyone.
I decided to stay at Hostal Adriano in Madrid, it's hard to beat the price and it gets pretty good reviews. (It's about half the apt rental and it's really all I need )

I am skipping both Granda and Cordoba this trip as I have been there before. Really enjoyed them both, but just decided it was not something I wanted to try to rush into this trip.
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Aug 7th, 2014, 06:00 AM
  #17
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Well after ALL of that.... I am going to Salamanca! LOL! I went back through my Spain notes and photos and decided that this was one place we really just spent the night and regretted not staying longer. So now it's Madrid, with a day trip to Toledo, and then a night or two in Salamenca. Will spend the last night back in Madrid as the plane leaves too early the next day to risk coming in from anylace.

Now to arrange the exact dates.

So new questions in case anyone is still reading

1. Does anyone know if they still have the Cermonial Changing of the Guard on the first Wednesday of the month at the Royal Palace in Madrid? And if so, is it worth planning around?

2. Being a solo female I was thinking a tapas tour might get me more comfortable with the whole scene. Any suggestions for one in Madrid?

3. Hotel suggetions for Salamanca are welcome. My only two real requirements are near the Plaza Mayor and with AC. Cheaper is good
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Aug 7th, 2014, 06:15 AM
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@CarolA - Madrid Food Tour offers an evening tapas tour - Tapas, Taverns, & History - that gets very good reviews. I did their Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour which I really enjoyed. http://madridfoodtour.com
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Aug 7th, 2014, 06:32 AM
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Thanks NomadLass will go check them out!
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Aug 7th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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Hello CarolA,

I just got back from Madrid, spent 5 days there. And even though I've been in Madrid many times I never tire of it and find it lots of fun.

I'm also female and although I was traveling with friends they were staying at a different hotel so I spent several evenings on my own (I've also been in Madrid on my own other times). I recommend doing tapas for dinner , that's what I do when I had dinner on my own and you will not feel "conspicuous" . My preferred spots for this was Mercado San Miguel, any of the bars around Plaza Santa Ana (my favorites are Vinoteca Barbechera and Cerveceria Alemana, Museo de Jamon on Plaza Mayor.

I also went to the El Greco exhibit at Prado, it was great!

Enjoy!
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