Ten Days in Spain October 2022

Old Sep 28th, 2022, 09:03 AM
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Ten Days in Spain October 2022

Hi
My wife and I are heading to Spain in a couple weeks. It is a sort of do-over of a trip (honeymoon) a few years ago where we ran into visa problems (and a holding cell in Madrid airport) so I am hoping to make sure things go smoothly this time around. We are both now US citizens and have booster shots completed last week in order to be current. My understanding is that for travel in two weeks, the vaccination cards and a valid US passport is what is needed. I will also bring proof of funds and have purchased travel medical insurance.
Our general plan is this:
Fly into Madrid from Chicago
Spend 3 nights Madrid - Grand Via neighborhood (nice hotel with hotel points)
Travel by Train to Santiago de Compostela.
Spend 2 nights at Parador in Santiago de Compostela
Travel by air (Flights booked and paid for) to Seville from Santiago de Compostela
Spend 3 nights in Seville (in Historical Center)
Travel by Train to Madrid
Spend 1 night in Plaza del Carmen neighborhood before departing back to Chicago.

I am looking for any input into my plans. We have not done much international travel so much of this is new to me. We generally just explore around when we travel. We are a bit introverted but would be willing to do activities (maybe not so much group) where we can learn about the history/culture of a particular area. I'd hate to be somewhere neat and not visit and eat/drink at the interesting places or stay in boring neighborhoods. I am a former chef and we both really enjoy food (though not necessarily fancy) and drink and those things would be of particular interest to us. I also enjoy history/architecture and we are of Catholic background so the grand Churches and Cathedrals would be of some interest to us. Neither of us are big into art but I feel like we would be remiss not to go to at least one art museum in Madrid. Is there a particular one that would be more accessible to simpletons like us?
Some concerns that I have:
-I am having a bit of trouble learning about the goings on in Santiago de Compostela. Seems like the Parador would be a neat place to stay and it was part of our last undone itinerary so it is kind of "on the list" so to speak. Any tips on restaurants or must dos besides the Cathedral here?
-Should I purchase train tickets ahead of time? Is the rail system easy to navigate with very basic Spanish language skills?
-What is the best plan for paying for things? My plan was to get Euros in the US and to use mostly a Chase Sapphire or AMEX credit card when there.
-The plan is to not get a car, though I did get my International Driving Permit. I'm not big on renting cars and leaving them mostly in parking lots though I don't mind renting one if it makes more sense to get somewhere.

Thanks so much for any help. I am sure I have more questions though not a big sharer typically, but do appreciate any input. I have been reading Maribels guides and really appreciate the wealth of information there. Some things are flexible at this point but the hotels in Madrid were booked with points to save a few dollars to make the rest of the trip more reasonable. I know it may be a somewhat ambitious itinerary but was hoping to kind of finish that trip that was left undone and also wanted to make sure my wife got a bit of time in the sun/wamth of Seville (we are from Wisconsin so I think should be warm to us.)

Thanks much.
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Old Sep 28th, 2022, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ottsta View Post
I am having a bit of trouble learning about the goings on in Santiago de Compostela. Seems like the Parador would be a neat place to stay and it was part of our last undone itinerary so it is kind of "on the list" so to speak. Any tips on restaurants or must dos besides the Cathedral here?.
Maybe this will be of help.
https://www.santiagoturismo.com/ sections cover a daily whats is on guide and a what to see guide. These is a section covering gastronomy routes too. I think it will have you covered for those few days.
Originally Posted by Ottsta View Post
Should I purchase train tickets ahead of time? Is the rail system easy to navigate with very basic Spanish language skills?
Yes it is essential. The government has just allowed free/discounted travel to Spaniards. It has blocked up many trains.Before that it was impossible to just rock up and purchase tickets. Download the train app before you are in Spain as you have to register. Purchase the tickets a number of days before you need them.
Or go on line and use https://www.renfe.com/es/en
Read this https://www.seat61.com/train-travel-in-spain.htm
Originally Posted by Ottsta View Post
-What is the best plan for paying for things? My plan was to get Euros in the US and to use mostly a Chase Sapphire or AMEX credit card when there.
Everything is accepted. Even payments via phone app. If you want to use CC or phone just look out for the signs at the entrance as to what is accepted . I never use them for small amounts like a coffee or bar snacks. Cash is better.

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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 02:11 AM
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Some tips for Madrid:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/vi...4A7FG-Tf&hl=en
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 06:01 AM
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Thanks so much...I appreciate all the help and the map...I'll purchase the train tickets within the next day or two.
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 12:36 PM
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We really enjoyed this walking tour that we did a few years ago our first night in Madrid: https://www.walksofspain.com. We learned a bit about the history of Madrid and its wine and food culture. We also got some good tips about other restaurants to visit and things to do during our stay. Andres, the tour leader was very personable. We were in a very small group of about seven or eight people.

I can also recommend Rick Steves tour book of Spain to help you decide what you might want to see while you are visiting your different locations.

Last edited by KTtravel; Sep 29th, 2022 at 12:40 PM.
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 12:46 PM
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It is a shame to turn the gold mines of Las Medulas, Salamanca, Avila, Merida into fly-over part of Spain.
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 01:05 PM
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12th October this year is a public holiday. Things can be busy during that week.
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 01:48 PM
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I hope you have already made reservations at the Parador in Santiago de Compostela. We booked our rooms very far in advance and could not book the class of room we wanted. It is wonderful to go right outside to see the Pilgrims arriving. It is one of two most popular Paradors in Spain, built as a hospital for the arriving pilgrims in 1499,
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Old Sep 29th, 2022, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
I hope you have already made reservations at the Parador in Santiago de Compostela. We booked our rooms very far in advance and could not book the class of room we wanted. It is wonderful to go right outside to see the Pilgrims arriving. It is one of two most popular Paradors in Spain, built as a hospital for the arriving pilgrims in 1499,
Thanks for all the advice all.
I booked the train tickets today.
Our timeframe is limited by work schedules but I would like to see more, maybe someday.
We do have our reservations for the Pardor made about a month ago.
I did not know it was a holiday, thanks. Prices did seem elevated.
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Old Sep 30th, 2022, 06:37 AM
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Must-try bites in Madrid
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...H46pi1_NT2Q4A&
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Old Sep 30th, 2022, 09:06 AM
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Awesome map! Thanks
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