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Nine Days in Spain Prior to arrival in Barcelona.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
132 posts
12 reviews
Nine Days in Spain Prior to arrival in Barcelona.

Hi,

I am a solo traveller with 9 days spare before meeting a friend in Barcolona. I will be flying to Spain from Manchester. I'm interested in sightseeing at a leisurely pace and am happy to see whatever comes my way. I would prefer to spend 3 nights in each place if possible or at least two nights. As Barcelona is my final destination should I concentrate on the north only or the south only and then head to Barcelona. I would prefer to train or bus between destinations. I have heard San Sebastian is lovely but I'm not sure if 9 days up on the northern coast would be too much. I understand if I go to San Sebastian and I want to see Andalucia I would need to fly south. I would also be happy to spend some time at a beach/coastal area for a couple of days.

Thanks,

Fiona

4 replies to this topic
New Orleans...
Level Contributor
189 posts
16 reviews
1. Re: Nine Days in Spain Prior to arrival in Barcelona.

Hi Fiona,

No need to fly domestically in Spain. The trains are great, and you can book online at www.renfe.com.

San Sebastián is lovely and definitely worth visiting. While in the Basque region, consider Bilbao and Guernica. You can also visit a winery. You may also consider Madrid, where you can see Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia.

Don’t try to squeeze in too much. Each region is Spain is so unique! You’ll want some time to absorb and enjoy your surroundings. Spain is absolutely wonderful- the people, the food, the cultures, the architecture, everything. Have a great trip!

Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
71,368 posts
3,815 reviews
2. Re: Nine Days in Spain Prior to arrival in Barcelona.

For trains:

https:/…Buying.Renfe.Tickets.Online.html

My sugestion is Andalusia because there is so much to see here. My suggestion:

1. Madrid - 4 days. Take the train to Seville.

2. Seville - 3 days. Take the train to Granada.

3. Granada - 2 days. Fly Vueling to Barcelona.

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.

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 Granada:

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

https:/…

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 Barcelona:

Downtown Barcelona is the Plaza de Catalunya. Use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in Downtown Barcelona. A good place to stay is the Eixample, the modern barrio of the city built in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a square grid of streets. The Passeig de Gracia is the most elegant avenue, with upscale stores. Good shopping streets downtown are Portal de l’Angel, Portaferrisa and Pelayo.

El Corte Ingles is a large department store located at Plaza de Catalunya. Maremagnum is located by the port and is a mall that is open also on Sunday, when most shops are closed.

The most important sights are the Modernist sites, which are the Gaudi sites and the Lluis Domenech sites. Prebook the Sagrada Familia Basilica, the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Park Guell and the Picasso Museum. A day trip to Montserrat is suggested. Other must see sights: La Pedrera (Casa Mila), Casa Batllo, Palau Guell, Torre Bellesguard, Cathedral.

Good restaurants in the Eixample:

1. El Nacional (Passeig de Gracia, 24; Tel: 935-185-053) - A big building with a very beautiful and original interior design, with 5 restaurants and one long bar. Moderately priced.

2. La Palmera (Enric Granados, 57; Tel. 934-532-338) - A small family run restaurant with a very good tasting menu.

3. La Rita (Arago, 279; Tel: 934-872-376) - An attractive restaurant with an inexpensive menu of the day. Great food.

4. Cerveseria Catalana (Mallorca, 236; Tel: 932-160-368) - Very good tapas place.

Have a great trip!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
132 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: Nine Days in Spain Prior to arrival in Barcelona.

Thanks so much for your information. I appreciate your reply.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
132 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Nine Days in Spain Prior to arrival in Barcelona.

Thank you very much for all the wonderful information you have provided. It is very helpful and I am always very appreciative of the great information fellow TA travellers provide to make my holidays really fantastic.

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