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Spain Summer 2016

I meant to post this months ago. Better late than never I guess. Here are a few tidbits from our first time in Spain (June 2016).
Barcelona: We stayed at the Hotel Do Placio Real, which was well situated for exploring the Gothic Quarter (a taxi stand is also a few yards away). Nice boutique hotel, very clean, and helpful staff. In Barcelona, we enjoyed a couple of tours by the Barcelona Guide Bureau (Sagrada Familia and the day-long Figueres and Girona tour). Both tours were very well-coordinated and the guides were knowledgeable and accommodating when some of the clients needed to rest. I would highly recommend these tours. I purchased tickets to the Palau de la Musica and the LaPedrera (untimed tickets) prior to leaving the US and printed the vouchers. I would recommend this to others as the websites were very easy to navigate and the untimed tickets for the LaPedrera included skip the line access and use of the elevator (very helpful for those who may have difficulty with stairs). For those interested in history, the Barcelona History Museum is also worth a visit. Segovia: We took the AVE from Barcelona to Segovia. Follow Rick’s instructions for changing trains in Madrid (Atocha-Sol-Chamartin line). I showed our AVE tickets at the ticket booth and received two tickets to ride the Cercanias train across Madrid to depart from the Chamartin station to Segovia. The train station in Segovia is in a field, but don’t be alarmed. There is a bus that arrives about 10 minutes after the train arrives which will take you to the city. We stayed at the Eurostars Convento Capuchinos (large room, very clean, and good breakfast). We followed Rick’s instructions and took the bus to LaGrangia Palace for half a day and then spent the other half in Segovia at the aqueduct and Alcazar. The town is a bit touristy during mid-day, but was quiet at night. Madird: We made Madrid our home base for several days and day tripped to Toledo and LaMancha. We stayed at the NH Palcio de Tepa. It is a business hotel, but well situated near a laundry (Colada Expres on Calle Magdalena, 38, near the Anton Martin metro stop, English directions) and within walking distance to the market, pedestrian squares, and the Hop-on, hop-off bus at Sol. I recommend purchasing the Madrid Card if you want to skip the line at the major sights. We literally walked right in at the Prado and the Bosco exhibit was included! We also skipped the line at the Royal Palace. The Madrid Card also covers other museums (though the longest lines were at the Palace and Prado). If you are interested in prehistory or archeology, Madrid recently removed their Archeological Museum and it is one of the best collections I have seen. We day tripped to Toledo and toured with Vidal of VisiToledo tours. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned more about Toledo in 3 hours than we could have on our own. We also took a day-long tour of the LaMancha area with Letango Tours (our guide was Victor who has a tour company called Receptivo Cuenca). Our tour included Manchego cheese, the Ucles Monastery, windmills, lunch at a family hostal near the windmills, and a tour and tasting at a winery. If you fly out of Madrid airport, I recommend you 1) leave plenty of time given traffic and the size of the airport, and 2) know which terminal your flight is departing from before you get to the airport. There are signs posted at check-in that note your estimated walk time to your gate once you pass through security. FYI - It took us 45 minutes to get to the gate after check-in and security.

Posted by
2500 posts

Thanks for posting your trip report. We are taking a trip to Spain in October and appreciate reading about yours. In 2014 we had to change planes at the Madrid airport and the trip between terminals seemed to take forever.

Posted by
5211 posts

Thanks for the report. We like your museum suggestions and transportation notes.