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Seville-Granada-Madrid March 2023

My husband, 12 yo son, and I will be traveling to Seville-Granada-Madrid at the end of March. I was thinking 4 nights in Seville/3nights in Granada/3 nights in Madrid. We have been to Madrid several times and always love spending a few days there. My question is really whether 3 nights in Granada is ok or too much? And if not Granada is there a different city we should visit instead? TIA!

Posted by
1779 posts

I spent three nights in Granada due to a national strike and while I loved Granada, I think two nights would be okay as well.

Have you been to Cordoba? I would at least spend a night and see the church/mosque there.

Have fun, I absolute love Spain and using my Spanish and the food is really good-which is surprising to many people. Also just walking around after dark and seeing all the families out is so different than my suburban neighborhood.

Posted by
1752 posts

I spent three nights in Granada this July, and I thought it was the right amount of time for a full, but relaxed visit. (Mid-afternoon arrival, a day at the Alhambra, a day exploring the city and other sites, and some more exploring before departing after lunch.)

Posted by
2485 posts

Granada was my favorite city in Andalusia but two nights is sufficient. Instead of sleeping in Cordoba, a day trip from Sevilla’s Santa Justa station works well by direct train (45-minutes). Buy your train tickets before leaving home because Spain’s trains sell out:

Posted by
110 posts

Thank you all--this is exactly the information I was looking for. I had not thought about doing a day trip from Seville to Cordoba and that is a great idea. Should I extend our time in Seville to 5 nights and then 2 nights in Granada and 3 in Madrid? Or would 4 nights still be enough in Seville? Again, many thanks!

Posted by
1629 posts

Keep in mind that two nights = 1 full day of sightseeing. I think this is not enough for Granada. We spent 3 nights there in Nov. 2019. We arrived on a rainy afternoon. The next day we did a harrowing Segway tour in the morning and explored the Albaicin area in the afternoon. Then we went to a Flamenco show in the evening. On day 2 we went to the Alhambra and spent 4-5 hours there. We could have stayed longer, but didn’t realize that you can’t return to the summer palace gardens once you go to the summer palace. We wandered through the beautiful shops in the old town in the afternoon. In the morning of day 3 we went to the cathedral. Hardly scratched the surface in two full days.

Posted by
663 posts

We had two nights in Granada between Sevilla and Madrid and I wished we had three nights. Just felt like I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do.

We did visit the Alhambra by day and by night and I loved experiencing it in both settings.

FWIW, we did an olive oil tasting while in Granada and loved it. You might look into that if it interests you :)

Posted by
2827 posts

I am another “I love Granada” vote. In fact I have 4 nights there scheduled for March - and I have been there before for 3 nights. There’s so much I didn’t see. On the other hand, there’s no real wrong answer so it depends on you and what you want to see most in the amount of time you have.

Posted by
5900 posts

I think you have a good plan, except that I'd suggest a long stop in Cordoba on your way from Seville back to Madrid, rather than a day trip from Seville. No backtracking that way. I haven't looked at train schedules, but hopefully you could get an early train from Seville to Cordoba, spend as much of the day as possible there, and take a late train on to Madrid, where you've been before. Splitting the trip that way will probably cost you more than tickets straight from Seville to Madrid, but Cordoba would be worth the cost and time, I think.

I liked Cordoba better than Granada, though that's probably a minority view here. The Mezquita is one of my favorite sights in Europe.

Posted by
270 posts

I love Granada, been 4 times, always stay 3 nights: Friday, Sat. and Sun. If you can arrange your trip to be in Granada on the weekend do so. All the locals are out in the square dancing, buskers are performing, wedding parties. Such fun!! J

Posted by
2485 posts

I'd suggest a long stop in Cordoba on your way from Seville back to Madrid, rather than a day trip from Seville.

You will need to store your bags at the bus station across the street from the train station in a locker. A direct train from Sevilla Santa Justa to Madrid takes 2h 45m. A direct train from Cordoba to Madrid takes 2h.

Posted by
1253 posts

I like Granada, too, but I do think that 2 nights is sufficient. So, if it were me, I would take one night away from Granada and add it to Cordoba. There is more to Cordoba than just the Mezquita, which is amazing, and Cordoba is also so lovely at night when the daytrippers have left and the city is illuminated.

And if you decide to visit Cordoba as a daytrip from Seville, I would spend 5 nights in Seville instead of 4 nights. Seville is a larger city with more important and interesting sites, so based on my first-hand experience, I would want 3 full days in Seville. Four nights gives you 3 full days.

Posted by
248 posts

I think 2 or 3 nights in Granada would work, but we preferred Seville over Granada. I would do 2 nights in Granada and 5 in Seville, taking a day trip to Cordoba. I know 5 nights sounds like a lot, but it's really not. Five nights is 4 full days (3 in Seville and one in Cordoba). We wished we had had 3 full days in Seville! And we didn't see such things like the bullring, which your son might enjoy (a tour, not sure if he wants to see a fight). We didn't tour it because we visited the museum/ring in Ronda.

Posted by
10 posts

I completely agree with others that Granada is a truly captivating city. My wife and I just returned yesterday from a Sevilla (3 nights/2 3 days) - Granada (3 nights / 2 days) - Madrid (4 nights / 4 days) trip. Loved all three, but Granada was our absolute favorite. We would have traded a day in Sevilla for an extra day in Granada.

Caveat: we were not traveling with a 12-year old son. :-) I don't know your son's interests, but I don't think Granada would have fascinated my son when he was 12 enough to warrant 3 full days. 3 nights in Granada may be fine, but not sure about 3 full days for a pre-teen (though I do think he would love the San Nicolas viewpoint at sunset/night).

Posted by
133 posts

Perhaps a slightly different option ... years back, after flying into Madrid where we stayed for a couple of days with friends, the four of us ventured into Andalucia for 2 nights in Sevilla, two nights in one of the "white towns" (Vejer de la Fronterra was the one where we lodged), two nights in Granada and two nights in Cordoba. That was a pretty special trip and visiting several of the white towns along the way, in addition to the one we stayed in, was a great part of the journey.

Since you've enjoyed a few days or more in Madrid several times, maybe you don't need to spend several days there, again.

BTW, how does your trip match up with Semana Santa? That is a very special and crowded time in Andalucia with families and religious Catholics parading through the streets nightly. Enchanting, but also a logistical challenge.