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End of the year in Spain!

Hi everyone,
Planning out a trip with the family it’s 4 adults arriving in Madrid on dec 26 leaving from Madrid on Jan 6. So far this is our itinerary:
26th Madrid arrive and go straight to Cordoba
26th and 27th-Cordoba
Granada 2 days
Seville 3 days ( New Years) fly to Barcelona on Jan 1st
On the 4th of Jan go to Madrid and spend
Jan 4 and 5th in Madrid

Suggestions please on areas to stay in stay in Sevilla ( for New Years)
Also help with finalizing itinerary.
All 4 of us are active and young so can move around easily plus we speak Spanish.

Posted by
6619 posts

Stay near the old town Seville. I did something similar last year ringing in the New Year at a Flamenco club in Seville versus being out doors where there is some kind of Fireworks show. The only wrinkle in your itinerary is having to fly to Barcelona after leaving a more chill area. Coming from hard knock Chicago I am not a worry wort; but pick pocketing is rife in Barcelona so much that the US government issued a warning; I will be in Barcelona December 31 this year though ringing it in

Posted by
18117 posts

You've lost me with your dates. I don't think you have as much time as you believe you do. If you arrive on December 26 and fly to Barcelona on Jan 1, you won't have 2 days in Cordoba, 2 days in Granada and 3 days in Seville. That adds up to 7 days and you will have less than 6, even before you allow for the travel time required to move from city to city. Perhaps you're counting a day in two different cities?

Dec. 26: Fly into Madrid and travel to Cordoba (2 nights?)
Dec 28: Train(?) to Granada (2 nights?)
Dec 30: Train(?) to Seville (2 nights?)
Jan 1: Fly to Barcelona (3 nights)
Jan 4: Train to Madrid (2 nights?)
Jan 6: Fly home.

All those 2-night stops will give you one full day and a few hours. In Cordoba you may be suffering from sleep-deprivation and jetlag on Dec 26, which would mean only one really usable day there.

If your main reason for including Granada is to see the Alhambra, you need to investigate ticket options immediately. The official website has no General tickets available in late December. There are a few Dobla de Oro tickets still being offered, but they could disappear at any time.

If there are other indoor sights you wish to visit, you should check their websites to be sure they will be open during your time in the city--though there are none I'm particularly worried about. You'll want to buy tickets for the Alcazar in Seville ahead of time to avoid an annoyingly long ticket line. Rick's guidebook explains how to avoid the ticket line at the Seville Cathedral. There are several sights in Barcelona for which advance tickets are even more critical. Let us know what you hope to see and we'll tell you what tickets should be bought ahead of time.

Five major destinations is an awful lot for a 10-night trip.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi thanks so much for the reply, yes The dates are pretty much as you depicted (almos 1 day 1/2 in each city/I was counting nights). And what would you recommend, Sevilla and Barcelona are the two cities we are most interested in enjoying. Should we skip Cordoba all together and just do Grenada? How is Cordoba in Dec, I have visited but in the spring for a day trip and loved the flowers etc but not familiar with any of these cities during the winter( I’ve been the only one to visit Spain- parents and sister haven’t). Any help is appreciated? Thanks in advance

Posted by
14225 posts

Are you locked into your flights? If not, open-jaw makes more sense.

Is NYE in Sevilla definitely your choice? Flying vs train to Barcelona: the train takes 5.5 hours. Flying won't save you much time (if any) since you need extra time to get to/from airports plus lead time at the airport. Also check baggage restrictions, if you have to check bags that will add time. Decide if it's worth the hassle to fly. You can have a picnic lunch on the train, catch up on sleep, read, walk around, update your travel diary . . . .

Posted by
18117 posts

I don't go to Europe in the winter, so I have no personal experience with what the cities you propose to visit are like in December/January. They're all large enough that I'd expect them to be nice, just a bit short on daylight hours. There's no question they are all worth visiting--they're basically the top destinations in Spain. If Seville and Barcelona are musts for you (not something I'd argue with), Madrid and/or Cordoba would be a more convenient addition that Granada. But as a city I find Madrid less interesting than the others except for serious fans of art.

There is never enough time to see all that we want to see, and cutting is painful. But time spent checking in and out of hotels, traipsing to and from train stations and sitting on trains is time mostly wasted. You'll see more if you try to see fewer cities.

Although I'm a huge fan of Barcelona, from a logical standpoint it could be left for a later trip when you'd also visit some other places in Catalunya, San Sebstian and the rest of the Basque Country. That would cut out a bit of train time and also remove the city that perhaps requires the most time.

Posted by
14225 posts

Note: the OP has started a new thread, very similar questions and itinerary.