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annakarina Apr 7th, 2011 11:41 AM

Sugestions on traveling to Spain
 
We will be in Spain for 7 full days. We want to start our trip in Madrid. Any suggestions as to where else to go in Spain and how many days/city? We will be off to Paris by train after.

Michael Apr 7th, 2011 11:53 AM

You can spend all of the time in Madrid and close-by locations: Segovia, Toledo, Avila; or split the time between Madrid and Barcelona.

annakarina Apr 7th, 2011 02:23 PM

Thanks, Michael. How do you get to the close-by locations? Is it by bus? Are they just day trips?

I was also thinking about Barcelona. But, if this is my last trip to Spain, what would you recommend visiting?

chillout Apr 7th, 2011 03:16 PM

Sounds like such an exciting trip! Madrid is such a great city and I absolutely prefer it to Barcelona. People usually recommend Barcelona over Madrid solely due to the fact that Barcelona is on the Mediterranean and has a larger old town area. But you could certainly visit the Mediterranean from Andalucia, which is the most amazing part of Spain.

Madrid is very well connected to the southern region of Andalucia through the super high speed train AVE so you can take it directly to Seville, which has the biggest and best preserved old town in Europe. I would spend two days in Madrid, then two days in Seville with a day trip to Cordoba, then perhaps a night in Granada to see the Alhambra, and two nights in Malaga to visit the beaches of the south in Malaga or Marbella.

Malaga has an international airport so you could consider flying out of it, but then Madrid is only two and a half hours away by train so you can simply book a round trip ticket for Madrid.

chillout Apr 7th, 2011 03:18 PM

I just realized that you will be taking the train to Paris afterwards, so you can ignore the part about flying out of Malaga :-)

annakarina Apr 7th, 2011 03:38 PM

Thanks, chillout..I am already excited. I am even thinking of extending our stay in Spain from 7 to 11 days...

Will the weather in August be scorching hot?

danon Apr 7th, 2011 03:58 PM

yes, I was in Spain in August and would not go to Madrid or Andalusia again that time of year.
Barcelona( also hot but not over 100F) and the North would be my choice.
It is already 86F or 30C in Seville today.

chillout Apr 7th, 2011 04:05 PM

Yes it will be hot but that wouldn't deter me from visiting Spain. If you have four more days I would add two days to Madrid and do a day trip to Toledo, and another one to Salamanca, which is one of the most architecturally superb cities in all of Europe. Then perhaps you could spend the last two nights in Barcelona since it already is close to the French border and is 3 hours from Madrid by train.

annakarina Apr 7th, 2011 05:20 PM

Again, thanks to danon and chillout...
Pls help me plan my itinerary. Should we buy a Spain rail pass? Should we fly in to Seville instead of Madrid and travel north from there? Also, what's your recommendation on the hotels. We will be staying at the Westin in Madrid.
I truly appreciate your help!

Aduchamp1 Apr 7th, 2011 05:53 PM

By the way Chillout, the main attraction in Barcelona is not the water but Gaudi and how the city is infused with his sense of design.

What I like to do in Madrid is visit one of the major museums every other day and break it up with either visits to the other parts of the city or a day trip to one of the worthwhile nearby towns.

chillout Apr 7th, 2011 05:57 PM

On my one and only time in Madrid I also stayed at the Westin and I highly recommend it not only for the great location but it is also one of the timeless Madrid institutions that used to be the Palace hotel. As for the rest of the cities, I would go to tripadvisor.com and type the name of the city, then select the star ranking etc to narrow down the search, read the hotel reviews and go from there.

I'm not familiar with their train passes. But yes, I would consider flying into Seville or Malaga if possible, then take the train up towards Madrid, then on to Barcelona if you decided to go there. But then again if it is more convenient to fly into Madrid it's close to the south anyway.

annakarina Apr 7th, 2011 07:08 PM

Thank you!

danon Apr 7th, 2011 07:53 PM

the best way is to purchase tickets on Renfe ( Spanish rail)
for the trips you are interested in

http://www.renfe.com/


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