Traveling alone to Madrid need advice

Aug 26th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
Traveling alone to Madrid need advice

Going in mid November from Madrid to La Alberca from Hawaii. I am traveling alone and want to be safe. I want to go to Portugal (close to la alberca but not sure how to get to Lisbon from there), or just go back up to Madrid and take day trips from my hotel. There are so many comments about muggings, hit and runs etc., and don't want to travel alone on buses or trains not sure where I am going. Are there reliable tour operators from hotels that I should just take tours from?
Leilanis11 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 636
If you are that worried about it, then you shouldn't go. Towns/cities in Spain and Portugal are no more dangerous than medium and large cities in the United States. You just have to be aware of your surroundings and your possessions.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,411
1) public transport in europe is used by the very best people normally so if you are worried its the most sensible way to travel.
2)like all cities there are problems and worse come to the worse things do happen but generally you will be safer in Spain/portugal than you will in Hawaii
3) to maximise your safety, travel in daylight, stay close to your luggage and be sensible
4) traveling alone on public transport is normal and a chance to meet people, people are people all over and will chat if you want help
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I travel to Spain twice a year, usually solo and taking public transportation. I've never had a problem or felt unsafe in all of my visits. I definately don't limit what I do or take group tours. I feel much safer in Spain (even with my limited Spanish) then I would traveling in the US! I wouldn't think about taking a bus around the states and I'd feel weird going out at night on my own here. In the larger cities I pick central hotels near tapas bars & cafes so I can go out in the evening and end up somewhere close to the hotel so I don't have to walk far at the end of the night. Even in the larger cities I don't wear a moneybelt or hidden pouch - BUT when I'm sightseeing or out at night I only carry a limited amount of cash, a copy of my passport (not the original) and one credit card (with a spare at the hotel). In other words, never carry around more than you can afford to loose. Worst case, I would loose 50 euro (at most), a credit card (and I have contact information kept at the hotel so I can cancel quickly), my drivers license (replacable) and some makeup.

Just take normal precautions and you should be fine.

bilboburgler is correct - I think you actually have more of a chance to meet people when you are solo. I think you're more approachable and people are curious why you are traveling by yourself (curious in a good way).

Hope this helps put your mind at ease.
CathyM is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,755
I do wear a moneybelt, but other than that, I agree with the above. In 2000, I traveled by train overnight from Lisbon to Madrid, with side trips to Sevilla, Granada, and Barcelona. I was in Madrid for a month and in the other places on weekends. I was 64 years old.

I traveled by train the whole time. I took a bus to Toledo, and I used the subways (which are super) regularly.

In 2004 my sister and I spent 3 weeks in Spain. We traveled mostly by car. Her purse was stolen ln Barcelona, but she had given me her ATM card and her passport to keep in my money belt, so she was out only a camera. If she had taken better care of her purse, the thief never would have gotten it.

There is no need to be afraid in Spain. Just use ordinary precautions.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 04:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4
Mahalo for your quick replies and let me know if coming to Hawaii maybe I can help with questions too!
Leilanis11 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
I have got e-book tour and hiking trails guides of Madrid Region. Are available for download by email, on your iPad, Kindle, or simply as a PDF.
If you want, I could send you a list .
Thank you.
walkinspain is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 02:46 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,755
I've taken two more trips to Spain since I posted the above, one in 2011 and one in 2012. I traveled by public transportation the whole two/three weeks I was there. A woman on the train to Montserrat got too close to my purse, but I knew what was happening and just moved it out of her reach.

I feel absolutely safe in Spain as far as my person goes. I just have to be careful to keep track of my belongings.

As I said above, I always wear a money belt everywhere, even in countries (like Germany) that don't seem to be plagued by pickpockets or the like. That way I don't have to be especially careful.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Oct 20th, 2012, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Don't know your age but as an 80 yr old I went to Spain 2 times in 2011/12. travelled but from MAD to Salamanca RT 2 times and train RT 2 times. Spent 3 days each trip in MAD alone and as DD was in classes 4-8PM in Salamanca I wandered around on my own, got to know the barmaid at the little wine/Iberco shop across rom the school and went every night to meet DD at 8:03-9. 2nd trip her classes were 2 -6PM and again I wandered. Never once felt threatened. Off the tourist track to find a seamstress and got lost and got redirected to my destination. Language was a bit of a problem here but a smattering on Spanish and lots of gestures did the job. Never carried $, CC, or passport in my shopping bag but under a bra strap..So had no worries there. Did not travel metro to the hotel(Best Western, Don Carlos) as I needed help with my bags and was not sure where to tranfer from Charmartin Train Staion to Puerto del Sol. Long story shortened..Go, have a great time and keep your wits about you.
amer_can is offline  

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