Author Topic: Trip to Spain  (Read 1312 times)

FireAnt

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Trip to Spain
« on: December 25, 2019, 11:53:17 AM »
Finally succeeded travel hacking and booked a trip to Spain for next fall, business class one way, on points! This little hobby is making my travel dreams come true!

Everyone was so helpful when I asked about Hawaii so I thought I'd ask for any Mustachian tips for Spain. Especially since from what I've read, it seems to be a great country to retire in. We'll be there for 2 weeks and we're going to Madrid, Seville, Granada and Barcelona. Probably a day trip to Toledo and/or Segovia.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2019, 12:09:18 PM »
Awesome trip. We did this for 10 days over Christmas break. Our trip was almost similar to your itinerary.

If you are vegetarian like me, remember the national vegetable of Spain is the Iberian Ham ;-) If so, get the happy cow app on your phone and you can find great places. Hot chocolate and churros are a great mid-afternoon snack. Make sure you get the freshly squeezed orange juice that every place has. And coffee everywhere is awesome.

Start off in Madrid and end in Barcelona. So your trip is not exactly round trip, flying into Madrid and flying out of Barcelona.

In Madrid, make a day trip to Toledo. Awesome little city. You can book tickets locally and you can do this when you are there, so you can pick a good day to go there since you will have a lot of walking within Toledo. Also, make advance reservations for the Prado museum, much before you leave for Spain.

Madrid to Seville, take a train. Nice to see the countryside and trains are awesome.

Seveille to Granada, also take a train. Make sure that you book tickets for the Alhambara much in advance. Again, book this much in advance of your trip to Spain.

But Granada to Barcelona, take the plane. I am not much into cathedrals, but the Sagrada Familia blew me away. Gaudi was a genius.

Get a phone with data for your trip. Google FI will work, we took an old iPhone and bought a SIM card there. Just take your passport when you need to get the SIM card since you need id for that. We used taxis when we were there, but with a phone, you can use Uber.


FireAnt

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2019, 12:32:11 PM »
Wow! Your trip itinerary really is similar to ours CowboyAndIndian! We are flying into Madrid and out of Barcelona. I think we're doing 4 nights in Madrid, 3 nights in Seville, 2 nights in Granada and 4 in Barcelona. Although I'm considering going to Granada first then Seville. The train is about 30 minutes longer from Madrid, but there are way more flights from Seville to Barcelona (and cheaper!) in comparison to Granada to Barcelona. Think it makes any difference? I had not anticipated taking inter-country flights-- I really had no idea how large Spain is.

Haha I've already read about this Iberico Ham. Can't wait to try the churros. My foodie soul is going to be so happy.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2019, 12:48:15 PM »
Glad to be of help.

I think Seville to Barcelona should be fine.

In Barcelona, take a day trip to Montserrat. Even if you are not a vegetarian, try out Teresa Carles here. Must book far in advance, it is always packed.

Oh, and eat tapas everywhere. I would find a few vegetarian options and it was fantastic. The only time we had some food problems was on Christmas evening. Every restaurant was closed and finally, we found a falafel place which was quite good.

If I had to do this again, I would add Valencia and a trip to Gibraltar also.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 12:53:39 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

Shwaa

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2019, 07:52:46 PM »
I did a similar trip a cpl years ago, hit every spot on your list aside from Barcelona (too touristy for me).  I have family in Madrid so that was my home base more or less. Toledo and Segovia are both definitely worth the side trips, along with obviously Sevilla and Granada as you already mentioned.  I am jealous, have fun!

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2019, 08:55:36 PM »
Buy tickets to Alhambra as soon as they become available, I think 3 months in advance! These were the hardest to get for us because we didn't think about them until a bit over 1 month in advance, and they were sold out for our dates.

Part of the grounds are free to visit, but you'll need tickets for the fortress, for the palace and for the gardens - 3 separate entrances. The palace ones are timed, you have a 30 minutes interval to get in or you'll be denied entry.

In Barcelona you can visit Parc Guell for free if you get there early, 10 minutes before they oficially open (7:30 or 8:00, I don't remember). Once you're in, you can spend there as long as you want. If you  don't want to get there early, buy the paid tickets in advance and beware they are also timed.

Also in Barcelona you could check the free shows of the Magic Fountains of Montjuic. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Sagrada Familia, also timed tickets you have to buy well in advance.

If it fits your schedule, Ronda could be a nice day trip from Seville or Granada. Not sure about how to get there, we rented a car.

V

FireAnt

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 02:40:48 PM »
Yay, thanks so much! I'm writing this all down.

cchrissyy

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2019, 05:51:03 PM »
This is really good advice. Honestly! I have nothing to add but I've been to Spain many times and you're getting good advice.  I know all these cities well except Barcelona.

Telecaster

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2019, 06:44:47 PM »
Wow! Your trip itinerary really is similar to ours CowboyAndIndian! We are flying into Madrid and out of Barcelona. I think we're doing 4 nights in Madrid, 3 nights in Seville, 2 nights in Granada and 4 in Barcelona. Although I'm considering going to Granada first then Seville. The train is about 30 minutes longer from Madrid, but there are way more flights from Seville to Barcelona (and cheaper!) in comparison to Granada to Barcelona. Think it makes any difference? I had not anticipated taking inter-country flights-- I really had no idea how large Spain is.

About two years ago, my wife and I did almost the exact same trip as you are planning.  We simply flew from Granda to Barcelona. 

One of our favorites from Granada was Mirador de San Nicolás.   

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2019, 07:24:22 PM »



One of our favorites from Granada was Mirador de San Nicolás.

Yes, definitely visit Albaicin! We visited once during the day and a second time during the night. Best views of Alhambra... Nice patios to sip a drink or have dinner vith views of Alcazar across the valley!

There's a bus from the city to the top of the hill, and another one from Alhambra to Albaicin. For 1.5 eur/person, it's a steal. On return you can take any downhill street or alley, it's a relatively short walk to city centre.

V

Telecaster

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Re: Trip to Spain
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2019, 10:50:23 PM »
There's a bus from the city to the top of the hill, and another one from Alhambra to Albaicin. For 1.5 eur/person, it's a steal. On return you can take any downhill street or alley, it's a relatively short walk to city centre.

V

That's exactly what we did.  Lovely way to spend the day.