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Itinerary help! More time in Madrid or Barcelona....and Seville or Granada.

Hey everyone,

I am leaving in three weeks and spending about six weeks in Europe. For much of that time I will be traveling in Spain. My plan as of now is to go to Madrid, Seville, Granada, and Barcelona. I am having a hard time deciding how many days I want to spend in each city and am wondering if you lot may have some suggestions. Right now I am roughly planning on about 4-5 days in Madrid, 3-4 days in Seville, 3 days in Granada and about 4 days in Barcelona. I would like your opinions as to whether those times seem to little or too much. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you! Also right now I do not have any day trips out of those cities planned but if you think that there are any must-see day trips then please elaborate! Thank you!

Posted by
15060 posts

I've heard that Toledo is much better as an overnight stay than a day trip from Madrid. If you like museums, then you'll want 3 days in Madrid itself - one for the Prado, two for the rest of the city. I spent 3 full days in Granada (4 nights) and it was one more than I really needed. I loved Cordoba, at least stop on the way to Seville to see the Mezquita even if you don't overnight there. Seville will probably be pretty hot, which could slow you down a bit - or make you decide to shorten your stay.

Posted by
4535 posts

I think your schedule is very reasonable. Madrid offers a few excellent daytrip possibilities such as Toledo, Segovia and Escorial. With 4-5 days, you can easily hit 2 or 3 of those. Granada needs a couple of nights with a day devoted to Alhambra and consider a night visit there too. I would squeeze in Cordoba as at least a daytrip from Sevilla or while traveling between Madrid and Sevilla. 4 days in Barcelona will get you all of the highlights and might afford a daytrip to Monteserrat or Figueres.

All of the above daytrips are easy to do on public transit and can be decided at the last minute (factoring in weather and your interests and time).

Posted by
1501 posts

Your itinerary sounds really good. My only suggestion might be that you leave Madrid one day early and spend one night in Toledo. It's on the way to Seville via train anyway.

Posted by
5648 posts

Some people are bigger fans of Madrid, and others of Barcelona, so they would suggest more time in one town than the other. As noted above, Madrid offers lots of good day-trip possibilities, including some towns that could merit an overnight stay themselves. This past November, we visited both El Escorial and Segovia from Madrid. Without a car, we weren't able to visit both on the same day for a worthwhile length of time and still get back to Madrid that night, so we stayed overnight in Segovia and returned to Madrid by bus the next afternoon. Later in our trip, before seeing Barcelona we rented a car and drove to Girona for 1 night, then up to Figueres and Port Llegat for the outstanding Salvador Dali sights the next day. Depending on your Dali preferences, you may or may not want to do that whole journey, but Girona is a quick 1-hour train ride from Barcelona and would make a great day trip. I haven't been to Montserrat, but that's another possible Barcelona daytrip.

Posted by
4 posts

I cannot even begin to tell you all how much your advice is helping with my Itinerary! Thank you so much! I will definitely be taking a day trip to Toledo, and will also be stopping in Córdoba. Figueres is also a must-see for me, but I will be traveling to Nice from Barcelona so hopefully I can stop in Figueres on the way. Thank you all so much. Please let me know if you have any further advice or tips regarding these towns.

Posted by
4535 posts

My only suggestion might be that you leave Madrid one day early and spend one night in Toledo. It's on the way to Seville via train anyway.

No it is not. Toledo is at the end of a commuter rail line; about 30 minutes outside Madrid. One has to return to Madrid and catch an AVE train to go to Sevilla. Cordoba is on the Madrid-Sevilla line though and makes for an easy stop (luggage storage is located in the bus station across the street from the train station).

Posted by
16883 posts

Looks like you're on the right track with this advice, including Douglas' correction. Buen viaje!