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First trip to Spain in September 2023, need some help with itinerary

My wife and I are going to Spain in September 2023. It will be our first trip. We are flying in and out of Madrid. I'm looking for some advice on our itinerary/order of travel. Taking out travel days, we'll be there 8 days.

Along with Madrid, we'd like to visit Barcelona, Granada and Seville. I'm looking for the best order to visit these places, and also interested in best modes of transportation to each. Also open to accommodation recommendations.


Posted by
838 posts

Spain is a big country and your wish list, although noble, takes you from the northeast (Barcelona) to the southwest (Sevilla) with stops in central Spain (Madrid) and southeast Spain (Granada) - all in eight days?
Either trim your wishlist or bargain for a (much) longer visit.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks! Was thinking it was a little too optimistic. Any suggestions for a first timer?

Posted by
309 posts

Look at the detail itinerary of RS Barcelona Madrid tour for ideas.

8 Days is a short time. Travel between locations takes away from time to see/do. Consider staying in fewer places.

Posted by
1895 posts

If you are flying in and out of Madrid, I would drop Barcelona and just focus on Madrid, Granada and Sevilla.

8 days- you could do

Madrid-3 days

Granada 2 days

Seville-3 days.

Posted by
838 posts

I would visit Toledo on a day trip from Madrid, and Cordoba and Seville for two days each. If time permits, a day in Segovia, too.

Posted by
3739 posts

Agree with others, seems not very practical with 7 nights to see 4 of the most site-rich cities in Spain all in different corners of the country (factoring in travel you'll only have ONE full day per city).

My suggestion would be to do some research about what excites you the most about Spain, then pick only two cities for your 7 nights. Like Madrid (3 nights) + Sevilla (4 nights) or Barcelona (4 nights) + Madrid (3 nights). Whatever you chose you can do the trip solely with the AVE high speed train.

I'll also mention that September can still be excruciatingly hot in Andalucia.

Also in Barcelona from Sept 21-25 is our annual city festival called La Mercè. It's a city wide festival with 100s of cultural events spread throughout Barcelona's squares, streets, museums, and parks. Best part it's free!

Posted by
320 posts

I would cut Barcelona also. I guess eight days means 8 nights, for me that is two places three tops. I don't know what time your plane lands in Madrid but I would try to get a connecting flight to either to Granada or Seville, train or bus to the other, back to Madrid to see it and fly out. As far as the order of the places to visit if you can arrange to be in Granada on the weekend, then your golden. Granada on the weekend is so much fun, people dancing in the street, wedding parties, buskers. J

Posted by
2150 posts

One advantage of pairing Madrid and Barcelona is that they are the counties two main airports for flights to the Americas. You could maybe change your flight to go into one and out of the other, reducing the travel time 'inside' of your time in-country.

Posted by
6929 posts

Even with more y hd an 8 da out s, we’ve kept our Spain trips to either north or south, but not both. Spain’s as big as Texas.

If you go with Barcelona (north) and want a third location to visit besides Madrid and Barcelona, consider staying in Girona for a couple of nights. Train’s the way to connect between those locations.

If you go south (Madrid/Granada/Seville), I’d still go with the train.

Either way, another daytrip from Madrid that would be worthwhile is Segovia, with a magnificent ancient aqueduct, and a spectacular castle (Alcazar). You can go by bus or train for Segovia from Madrid, but we used the bus.