Thanks so much for the great advise in the past! We are flying to Spain in 2 weeks. I havent booked any trains for our stay yet. We are going to Barcelona-Cordoba-Sevilla-Malaga-Granada- and back to Barcelona.Does anyone have any recommendations on what web site I should use for train bookings? I did book Vueling air for return from Granada to Barcelona. I highly appreciate the advise!
I would go with the official Renfe website for AVE tickets: https://venta.renfe.com/vol/search.do?c=_amcX
For exactly two weeks from now, the best I'm seeing is an AVE to Cordoba from Barcelona-Sants going for 69 euros, leaving at 8:30 am, and taking 4:42 hr.
If over 60 you can get a discount card that will saving either 40 or 25% off of the standard fare.
Frank's card referenced can only be bought in Spain, so it may be cheaper to do an advanced purchase for your longest run from Barcelona. The other shorter trips can most likely be booked once in country and you have bought the Tarjeta Dorada card (if you qualify as over 60).
Thanks to all. I just purchased on Renfe web site!
Excellent. A lot of folks have had difficulty with that website, so you obviously have talent!
Yes! Thanks-The Renfe page translated to English- It cost $82.00 per person from Barcelona to Cordoba to include the tax-fee of about 7.00
We are so excited about this upcoming trip! Any last minute travel tips are welcomed- You all give excellent advise!
One tip about Barcelona-Sants station, there is a security check with a metal detector before you can get onto the actual platform, it's usually quick, maybe add 15-20 mins just in case for the security.
Thanks for this information Carlos!
Do you know which sights you should buy tickets for in advance to avoid long lines or sell-outs? If not, tell us what you plan to see and we'll help you out there.
Hi, here’s some inspiration maybe:
‘Hunched around a meander of the Guadalquivir river, a hundred miles or so upstream from its cousin Sevilla, Córdoba is refreshingly free of overbaked Andalusian brag and swagger. Córdoba is a quietly confident, and a confidently quiet city which welcomes its visitors with a warm handshake rather than a self-regarding fanfare.
Often overlooked by the international coach brigades, Córdoba only reveals its undeniable charms at walking pace. Once the third holiest pilgrimage site in the Islamic world, and before that the capital of Roman Hispania Ulterior, Córdoba wears its age and multi-layered antiquity well. Against the background of a sluggardly dark Europe Córdoba was once the very epicentre of all understanding and learning. At the close of the first millennium Córdoba was an illumined, pre-Enlightenment, full-tilt laboratory of trade, science and culture, a Silicon Valley cum Alexandria cum Victorian London without the fog and rickets. And now? As a university city the air of learning lingers.
Unlike Granada and its Alhambra, magnificently aloof in its eyrie overlooking the modern city, Córdoba´s main attraction sits plum squat in the midst of the city like a slumbering overfed pet. And, in contrast to the Alhambra’s fiercely steeped approaches, the Mezquita is connected with the modern centre via a web of gently graded lanes and alleys which trickle down towards the river through the JuderÌa, or medieval Jewish quarter.’
An extract from the novel, After Goya: https://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Goya-Haarlson-Phillipps/dp/1908147261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353779502&sr=8-2
Enjoy your trip.
+1 like for Bill's post! That perfectly encapsulates why Cordoba is my favourite city in Andalucia :)
That is exactly what I was looking for-thanks so much for the post Bill! I am really looking forward to Cordoba, home of philosophers, Maimonides and Averroes! Have you read any books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon? They are great-
The only site I advanced purchased for is the Alhambra. Thanks for advise on this-
As for philosophers and Córdoba — don't forget Seneca. Had to study his plays at college.
And…as for having read Carlos Ruiz Zafón… well, obviously yes. Good stuff.
Have a great trip.
Please send me some book recommendations. I just read a great little known book called "The Poet's Wife"...setting pre and post Spanish civil war...Yes Seneca...And Federico Garcia Lorca!
Here are Rick's suggestions for books and movies about Spain: https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/spain/books-movies
You can find recommendations for other countries by clicking on "Explore Europe" at left, choosing a country, clicking on "Plan", then clicking on ": Recommended Books and Movies".
You've taken care of the most critical sight in Spain by nailing down that ticket to the Alhambra. These other sights don't sell out months in advance, but their ticket lines can be an hour long, or I guess possibly more, and they potentially could be sold out by the time you got up to the ticket counter. I wouldn't want to show up at any of them without already having a ticket:
Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell (no tickets sold at the park), Casa Batllo, Casa Mila/La Pedrera, Picasso Museum (monumentally crowded; avoid if not a big fan). English tours at the Palau de la Musica Catalana might not be available if you just walk up.
Seville: Alcazar and Cathedral. There's a work-around for the Cathedral if you don't want to tie yourself down to a specific date and time. You can buy a combo ticket at the Iglesia Colegial del Salvador (which Google says is only 1/4 mile away, but it felt longer to me) then walk right up to the door at the Cathedral. Check your guide book for info on ascending the Giralda Tower; I didn't do that and don't know how it works.
Cordoba: Mezquita, though I can't say I particularly noticed the length of the line.
Malaga: I guess the Picasso Museum is the top sight there. I don't remember buying a ticket in advance.
Big thanks for the ticket advise!
Rick Steve's travel forum has helped us so much! Thanks all...Last question before our trip on October 24- we usually over pack- can anyone recommend a great suitcase type or brand?? My husband and I usually share one larger one but we want to try downsizing and bringing 2 smaller ones. Thank you!
Edited to add: Take a look at the packing forum for lots of suggestions.
You may get about as many suggestions in this thread as there are posters on this forum. Just a few general thoughts:
Consider whether you want to go cheap and expect to replace the bags often or spend more money for something sturdier and with a good guarantee. Unfortunately (from my perspective), the sturdier bags are often heavier.
If you're looking at wheeled bags, recognize that the wheels are by far the most common point of failure. Cheap bags have cheap wheels, and they may fail at an inopportune time. The flimsiest seem to be the wheels on cheap spinner (4-wheeled) bags. I've noticed that a lot of the newer spinner models have 4 dual wheels. I hope the new wheel style is studier, but I just don't know.
Someone on the forum pointed out a potential disadvantage to the majority of the hard-shell cases: Most of those open around the middle of the bag as opposed to the container-and-lid design employed by other bags. Most midline-opening bags have to lie flat when you open them; otherwise, things in the top half of the bag will probably fall out. It can be a problem in really small European hotel rooms to find a place to open a bag like that without putting the (probably dirty) wheels on the bedspread. It's even harder with two such bags to deal with.
You cannot trust the suitcase measurements you see online. Some websites list the size of just the packing compartment, which gives a reasonably accurate representation of packing capacity but isn't what you need to know if you're looking at airline size limits. Others give total external dimensions (including handles and wheels)--good for comparing to airline limits but not helpful in trying to figure out how much they will hold. It's far better to look at bags in person with a tape measure in hand. TJMaxx and Marshalls sometimes have decent selections. Department stores like Macy's are really expensive if there's not a sale on.
For a cheap, not especially sturdy, super-lightweight bag, the IT brand is an option. I had one I loved that weighed only 3.5 lb. for a 23" spinner bag. The first wheel failed on Day 120 of use, which wasn't bad. I wish they made bags of that size with just 2 wheels.
Thanks so much!