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Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

Los Angeles...
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190 posts
5 reviews
Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

We'll be flying in and out of Madrid, which we have visited before. Here's what I'm thinking (this would be early Oct):

-- arrive Madrid airport, train to Atocha and then on to Cordoba- 3 nights. Maybe a little long, but also time to recover. And we're "slow travelers".

-- train or bus to Granada, 3 nights.

-- train or bus to Seville, 5 nights.

-- train back to Madrid, 2 nights. Stay near Atocha for day trip to Toledo next day. Then the next day we fly out.


6 replies to this topic
Pueblo Nuevo de...
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8,483 posts
129 reviews
1. Re: Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

Looks like a good plan.

London, United...
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24,233 posts
292 reviews
2. Re: Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

Feels good. By October the engineering works to bring faster trains into Granada may (and I mean may) have been completed so you could have a train ride without the need for a bus transfer from Antequera Santa Ana station.

You could also look into the opportunity to call into Ronda in the hills which is a very pleasant place. You can do this by taking the train to Ronda. Then a bus to Seville. Easier if staying overnight so if you had thought of a day trip to Ronda from Seville then perhaps do this detour? Another option is train from Cordoba to Ronda (Altaria train without changes) then continue to Granada. Then over to Seville.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
190 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

so you book the train from Cordoba to Granada, and then see when the time comes if you need to transfer to the bus?

Good suggestion about visiting Ronda, but I don't want to add a hotel night in another location, so I guess we would do a day trip from Seville.

Thank you both.

Little Canfield...
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1,460 posts
434 reviews
4. Re: Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

It looks like a great plan! All too often people try to do a whistle stop tour and pack too many destinations in. You have plenty time to appreciate the cities you are staying in.

London, United...
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24,233 posts
292 reviews
5. Re: Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

The RENFE train will show if there is still a bus transfer. So look in September or read about it before of course. Nobody knows when it will operate normally.

If it is operating without the bus transfer it makes that day trip to Ronda a bit easier only if you take an early train. You can fit in quite a few hours similar to a day trip from Seville. You can leave luggage at the Hotel Andalucia opposite the train station in Ronda. Or at the Ronda bus station not too far away.

Malaga, Spain
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72,858 posts
3,830 reviews
6. Re: Is this a good plan? Madrid to Southern Spain / Andalucia

For trains:


For Cordoba:

Use Booking.com to look for hotels and apartments in The Real Heart of Cordoba. For those making a day trip to Cordoba, the train station does not have luggage lockers but the bus station beside it has luggage lockers. A taxi to the Mezquita will cost only about 5 euros because the distance from the train station is only 1.8 km.

The best sights in Cordoba:

1. Mezquita/Cathedral - The most important architectural feature of the Mezquita are the double horseshoe arches, made of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. There are 856 columns in the church and they seem to be a sea of arches and columns to the visitor.

2. Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos - Has beautiful gardens.

3. Palacio de Viana - The palace has important artwork and there are 12 different patios, all beautiful.

Good restaurants near the Mezquita:

1. Casa Pepe de la Juderia (Calle Romero, 3; Tel: 957-200-744).

2. El Caballo Rojo (Calle del Cardenal Herrero, 28; Tel: 957-475-375).

Shopping streets are the area around the Mezquita, Calle Jose Cruz Conde, Ronda de los Tejares, Conde de Gondomar and Avenida de Gran Capitan.

Dress code for churches: Shorts or bare shoulders are not allowed for either women or men. The Mezquita is a Catholic church.

For Granada:

For Alhambra Tickets (Book early- at least 3 months in advance):


If you are too late in buying tickets for the date you want, you can try calling your hotel and ask them to buy tickets for you, since the Alhambra allocates tickets to hotels for their clients. If this fails, you can buy the Granada Card for 40 euros, which includes a ticket for the Alhambra.

Downtown Granada is Calle Reyes Catolicos. Use Booking.com to screen hotels and apartments in the Granada City Center. A good hotel downtown with parking is the Vincci Albayzin. Shopping streets are Calle Reyes Catolicos, Calle Zacatin, and Calle Recogidas. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department Store at Carrera de la Virgen, 20. The Alcaiceria is beside the Cathedral and has many shops.

Good restaurant: Restaurante Chikito (Plaza del Campillo, 9; Tel: 958-223-364) - A gastronomic restaurant that has won many prizes for its food. Reservations are a must.

For Seville:

Seville is one of the cities in Spain with the most charm. A very good hotel in Seville is the Hotel Becquer (which has a garage), walkable to most sights. Use Booking.com to look at other hotels.

Must see places in Seville:

1. Church of El Salvador - One of the most beautiful Baroque churches. The ticket from this church allows one to also see the Cathedral and one can skip the queue there.

2. Cathedral/Giralda Tower - The Cathedral is the third biggest church in Europe.

3. Alcazar - The palace rivals the Alhambra. See the King’s apartments.

4. Plaza de España - The most beautiful plaza in Spain.

5. Palacio de las Dueñas - This palace is beautiful and has just opened up for the public. This is the residence of the Duke of Alba. A wonderful place to see.

6. Casa de Pilatos - Beautiful palace with wonderful gardens. See the upstairs apartment.

7. Museo de Bellas Artes - One of the most important art museums in Spain.

8. Museum-Palace of the Countess of Lebrija - Has some of the best Roman mosaics in Spain. See the upstairs apartment.

A good flamenco place is Los Gallos (Plaza de Santa Cruz, 11). The main shopping streets are Calle Tetuan and Calle Sierpes. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department store at Plaza del Duque de la Victoria.

Good restaurants:

1. Cuna 2 (Calle Cuna, 2;Tel 954-211-107) - A large, elegant restaurant with traditional Andalusian decoration and with beautiful ceramic tiles lining the walls of the dining rooms. There is a beautiful bar at the top of the building.

2. Casa Robles (Calle Alvarez Quintero, 58; Tel: 954-213-150) - An elegant restaurant near the Cathedral.

3. For tapas, go to Mercado Lonja del Baranco (Calle Arjona, 24; Tel. 917-582-420).

For Madrid:

Downtown Madrid is the Gran Via, which has many hotels, restaurants and stores. Most of the biggest attractions are all within a 2 km radius of each other. You can use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in this area (Madrid City Center). The most upscale area is the Barrio Salamanca (the safest barrio) and Calle Serrano is the 5th Avenue of Madrid. It is suggested to stay in Madrid for at least 4 days. One can do day trips to Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial. Read about these day trips in the top questions of the Madrid forum.

Must see places are the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Thyssen Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Sorolla Museum, Cerralbo Museum, Plaza Mayor, El Retiro Park, Basilica of San Francisco El Grande.

Good Restaurants:

1. Botin (Calle Cuchilleros 17-19; Tel. 913-664-217) is the oldest restaurant in the world, since 1725 and has good Castilian food. Roast suckling pig is the specialty. There are many other traditional dishes such as lamb. This was Hemingway’s favorite restaurant.

2. Casa Lucio (Calle Cava Baja, 35; Tel. 913-653-252) is famous for its "huevos rotos" (broken eggs).

There are many good tapas bars at Calle Cava Baja. Do your own tapas tour here.

3. Platea (Calle Goya, 5-7) is a new gastronomic site with about 20 restaurants that are open every day, where one can eat tapas and different types of food in the food courts.

Shopping in the Barrio Salamanca: Calle Serrano, Claudio Coello, Ortega y Gassett, Calle Goya.

Shopping downtown: Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle Fuencarral.

Shopping in the Barrio Chueca: Calle del Barquillo has many good small boutiques.

El Corte Ingles is a large department store chain with branches at Calle Preciados, 3; Calle Serrano, 70.


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