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Madrid and Seville

I am flying into Madrid on 9-19 and out of Lisbon on 10-13. I would like several days in Madrid, train to Seville - a couple of days there? Then fly from Seville to Porto.
My question is how many days in Madrid and Seville. How would I best spend my time in these cities? I definitely want to see art in Madrid.
Traveling solo. Airbnb vs Hotel?

Posted by
46 posts

I just got back from a trip that included both. When in doubt, I would tip my days toward Seville and away from Madrid - Seville's better in every way (except museums). Aside from the obvious spots in Seville, I'd make sure to include a visit to Palacio de las Duenas and spend time in Triana. And if you happen to get over to Cordoba, be sure to eat at Bodegas Campos - order the cod.

Posted by
833 posts

With Madrid your arrival city after flying in from Seattle you’ll want a day or two extra to get over jet lag. For that reason, four days is not too many. The Prado, the Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisze art museums are tops in Madrid. Pencil in an extra day for Toledo- it was Spain’s capital prior to the 18th century and is packed with museums including the El Greco art museum, in addition to its historic architecture. Consider staying overnight so you can see Toledo floodlit at night- it is magical.
Toledo is just a 35-minute train ride from Madrid.
You can book a 2.5-hour AVE bullet train from Madrid to Seville now or in July when discount train tix first go on sale and get a great deal on an online ticket at the Renfe website or at if the Renfe website is too difficult, which many say it is.
Seville is fantastic- you can easily spend 4-5 days here in the capital of Andalusia.
You can check hotel prices for your dates of travel at,, AirBnB and VRBO. I have found VRBO ( Vacation Rentals By Owner) to have great deals on apartments with AC and kitchens.
It usually gives you more space and feels a bit more like living like a local,
Have a great Trip!

Posted by
1334 posts

Most of the people in these forums think Mardid isn't worth more than its major museums, but I have a different take on the city. True that it doesn't have Roman or Morrish history. True that it lacks charm—certainly devoid of the "typical Spanish" charm that you'll find in Sevilla. But for centuries it was the capital of a vast empire, so it had loads of history and is now the second-largest city in Europe—the live, beating heart of a major contemporary society.

And for art... The Prado is amazing, of course. There are global contemporary art museums much better than the Reina Sophia, but Guernica is a must-see. (I've seen it three times and wept at the sight each time.) The Thyssen is such a curatorial mess it actually makes me mad. But some of Madrid's minor museums are amazing! One cannot go to Madrid for art and skip the Sorolla Museum. The Cerralbo, the Palace of Liria, and the Lazaro Galdiano, to name just a few more. Bonus points that these museums get you a bit off the tourist trails, and into neighborhoods where you can have lunch or coffee sitting next to locals.

If you're interested in a deeper dive into the city I'd say 4 full days is a minimum, with time added for any side/day trips.

Posted by
833 posts

I remember walking down a major Madrid boulevard and stumbling on an interesting building that turned out to be the Madrid Archaeological Museum. I went in and ended up spending two hours inside- only leaving because it was 2pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. The amazing artifacts in that museum are art and history combined and few guidebooks even mention this museum.
After hitting the top 5 attractions, Madrid is a city best explored by wandering and letting spontaneity take over.

Posted by
276 posts

I would definitely try to stay in Madrid at least four nights. I loved taking day trips from Madrid to Segovia and to Toledo. As others have mentioned, the art museums are excellent. I took a wonderful food tour, led by "Devour Tours", that was so informative and fun. I've been to Madrid twice and had planned on going back in May, but the plans fell through, but think it is such an under-rated city.

Posted by
5678 posts

I agree with Scudder and Kenko, who have identified the Madrid museums most worth visiting -- including the archeological museum for a dive into Spain's amazing prehistory and history. (I liked the Thyssen by the way, though not in the Prado's league.) I'd give Madrid at least three full days, better four, plus a day trip to Toledo. Seville is smaller and more laid back, the main sights are the cathedral and alcazar, but there's a lot more. Three days would be enough for me, I think, but others would say more. You might consider an overnight in Cordoba on the way there, or if necessary just a long stopover on your travel day.

So, arrive in Madrid Sept 19, spend that day in a fog, then five full days (including Toledo) takes you to Sept 25 for the train to Cordoba, one night there, then to Seville Sept 26, and four full days takes you to Sept 30 to fly to Porto, leaving almost two weeks for whatever you have planned in Portugal. That's a pretty good trip.

Posted by
31 posts

We stayed in Madrid for 3 nights - 2 full days and it wasn’t enough. So many museums and things to see. Small side streets to walk around in. 3 full days minimum if you want to explore.

We just spent 5 nights and 4 full days (really 3 1/2 because one day we took train to cordoba) and wish we did 4 full days in Seville with a half day to cordoba.

Family of 5 and did hotel and Airbnb. Loved the hotel in Madrid bc the concierge was there for everything…Westin palace hotel was great - walk to JUSTA train station to seville and right at the prado. Highly recommend.

Train from Madrid to seville very easy.