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Spain

Looking for opinions on my upcoming trip to Spain.

Leave for Spain August 12th
Arrive in Madrid August 13th and stay until 18th. Will have day trip to Teledo.
Travel to Seville August 18th and stay until 20th.
Spend day in Cordoba and travel to Granada the 20th.
Granada 20th until morning of 23 and then travel to Barcelona.
Barcelona August 23 through Sept. 3.
Travel back to Madrid Sept. 3 and spend night and fly back on Sept. 4th.

What is best train ticket for my travel? My wife and I plan to spend several days at the beach and felt we might stay in the Barceloneta area. Would the Las Ramblas area be better? What is distance from Las Ramblas to the beaches?

Posted by
9110 posts

Las Ramblas is an string of streets with 'rambla' as part of the name. The chain runs perpendicular to, but not from, the beaches. The nearest point, around the Columbus statue, is about a mile from the beaches since you have to walk around the harbor complex. The further east point is about another mile up the hill.

Posted by
1390 posts

Recommend you check into renting an apt in Madrid and Barcelona. Great rates, more space, a kitchen and sometimes better interaction with locals. Check out aribnb to find opportunities. Anywhere we stay for three nights our first choice is an apt.

The overall pace of your schedule is great. Be sure and max the enjoyment by staying up late and getting into the Spanish frame of mind for their use of time.

Check out the RENFE site, a real pain to use, but offers great price specials. When possible use the AVE, a great experience, buy second class tickets. Check out trip advisor RENFE forum for how to best deal with the renfe site.

the Barceloneta area is convenient to beaches as is the former olympic village. However, it is easy to take the subway to the beaches and common to find folks on the subway in their beach attire. It will be hot, stay hydrated. Take few, if any, valuables to the beach. Also suggest you rent a couple of chairs and an umbrella at one of the many beachside stands/bars.

Definitely stay away from Las Ramblas, a nice place to be pick pocketed.
If you rent apt make sure it has AC!

Have you purchased airfare? If not, then check out option for an open jaw where you fly into Madrid and out of Barcelona. You might consider flying into Granada and working your itinerary in reverse, ending up in Barcelona.

In Madrid we stayed in the La Latina district, kept us close to old town and very much a locals artsy district. If you want to be in the thick of things then suggest staying across from the Prado. Grab an apt with a terrace , makes a great place to enjoy the end of a day with your own bottle of wine, cheese and iberico ham.

Posted by
3 posts

Just looking at this rather quickly, I would suggest carving out more time for Seville. That was my favorite big city in Spain. Traveling from Seville to Granada with a stop in Ronda would be a good call as well. I think ten days in Barcelona would be more than ample.

I would definitely suggest at least three days in Seville with a night in Ronda on route to Granada. We drove a rental car and took the scenic route from Seville to Granada with a night in Ronda and it was beautiful.

Just my two cents.

Below is a link to a photo blog I made of our trip. The cities are listed in the order we visited them. I hope this helps. Have a great time!

http://pittmansvisitspain.weebly.com

-Jake

Posted by
9110 posts

Las Ramblas is part of the city.

It's where all the street performers are.

Up at the top is La Boqueria , one of the legendary markets of the world.

It's also full of cops, many in plain clothes that you'll never notice until something happens.

We usually stay within a couple of blocks off to the east and wander the area late in the evening for entertainment.

I also park on the street. The worst thing that every happened was having to wake up a drunken hooker early one morning that was asleep against a tire.

Posted by
4535 posts

My comments:

6 days is a bit long in Madrid in my opinion, even with daytrips. You can certainly add a few more daytrips, like to Segovia and Escorial or spend a night or two in Toledo instead of just making it a daytrip.

2 days is not really long enough for Sevilla, especially with travel included. I'd try and stay at least 3 days and cut one from Madrid.

Cordoba is not on the way to Granada and needs the better part of a day so don't make it a stop on the way to Granada. It's an easy daytrip (45 minutes) from Sevilla.

How are your going from Granada to Barcelona? Flying is most efficient and shortest method and several airlines give good fares. Trains don't connect the two cities well.

Can you get an open jaw plane ticket: into Madrid and home from Barcelona? You'll spend more for the train and extra night in Madrid and waste time.

Pick-pockets ARE NOT a reason to say away from Las Ramblas. Make sure you have a moneybelt or neck pouch secure wallet system, or a secure travel purse and you won't have to worry about pick-pockets. It's a nice and popular area to stay, though a ways from the beaches. The city itself is typically worth about 3 days. Several daytrips by train are also possible. Factor those in and determine if you are spending too much time there.

Posted by
15329 posts

I thought Cordoba was charming after dark, but you can certainly see the highlights, especially the Mezquita, as a day trip from Seville. I also would shave a day or two from Madrid for a bit more time in Seville. Ronda is not on the train line between Seville and Granada. For an easy-to-follow map of the trains, go to http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/mediadistancia/mapas_y_trayectos/Madrid.html and choose the "Andalusia area pdf map" You could stop in Antequera for the day on the way to Granada.

You can get huge discounts on train tickets if you buy in advance (many restrictions on changes). The official website is renfe.com but before you go there, it's best to read the detailed, but excellent, instructions on the Trip Advisor Spain Forum, under "top questions."

It does sound like a lot of time in Barcelona.

Posted by
9363 posts

I didn't see any reason to stay away from Las Ramblas. You just have to be aware of your surroundings, like you do anywhere. If you miss Las Ramblas, you miss any important part of the life of Barcelona. Great people watching, street performers, etc.