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Safety for first trip

Connecticut
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352 posts
112 reviews
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Safety for first trip

My husband and I are planning a trip to Spain in September. However, we are concerned about all the guide book cautions regarding personal safety in Spain. Nearly every page says that one cannot take assaults on tourists lightly. We have always liked to take trains and see sights independently. Would it be better to take escourted tours? Does anyone have a favorite to recommend? What are the absolute must see cities and towns we should consider for a 10-14 day trip? Any feedback from trip advisor members is greatly appreciated. Also would appreciate your favorite places to stay and eat.

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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1. Re: Safety for first trip

I would come to Spain on my own because tours are for the very young. I prefer to go at my own time and pace. I would not worry too much about personal safety because Spain is a very safe country and the crime rate is low compared to other European cities.

If you have been to NYC, you already know what precautions to take.

For a 14 day trip, I would spend them this way:

Madrid - 6 days, taking day trips to Toledo and Segovia.

Cordoba - 2 days (Take the AVE from Madrid).

Seville - 3 days (Take the AVE from Cordoba).

Granada - 2 or 3 days. See the Alhambra.

Read the following articles on TA:

Buying Renfe Tickets Online.

Buying Alhambra Tickets Online.

Best Sights of Andalusia.

In the Things to Do section of Madrid, read about day trips to Toledo and Segovia.

Walnut Creek...
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2. Re: Safety for first trip

Hi Jeanne, My husband and I just returned TODAY from two weeks in Spain. We had a great time! Absolutely no problem at all with safety. We flew from SF to Madrid, then flew to Barcelona, then flew to Grenada, then trains to Seville, Cordoba and back to Madrid. We took no tours except our own! Madrid is wonderful. Stay in the old historical part of town. You can walk to everything, just about. We loved the squares, like Plaza Santa Ana, to sit and eat tappas, people watch and get a feel of the city. Be sure to go to Reina Sophia museum, besides the Prada. Be sure to go to the Chocolateria Sin Gines, right off Arenal street, for thick, thick chocolate drinks with fresh churros to dunk in the cup. Also, go to the park El Retiro. it is gorgeous!

Then Barcelona. HUGE, like NYC. We did the Sagrada FAmilia visit (Caudi's Masterpiece), Guell park (more Gaudi), the National Museum in Plaza Espana, and walk up and down La Rambla. Pick pocket area, but we had no problem. Don't stay there, it is too noisy! The area called Xiemple is close, quiet, and within walking distance of many sights. The hop on, hop off bus tour, will also give you an overview of the city. I suggest the two day pass. Ride the routes the first day and decide what you want to see, and the second day, hop off, hop on at your leisure.

Grenada was our favorite of all. Stay at Grenada B & B, Victor Ovies place. Great neighborhood, close to everything and he is a SWEETHEART, full of information. The rooms are plain, but clean and it is cheap! The Alhambra is a wonder in itself and next to it the Alcazaba, the fortress right next to it. We walked all over at all hours and again no problem.

Seville is bigger than Grenada, but again, a great city. We stayed at the Casa de la Juderia. Perfect location again to walk everywhere. If money is no object, stay in an upgraded room. Only because most of the cheaper rooms have a view of the wall opposite as they all face a courtyard. I personally like to look out at the street or a view of some kind. Hard to find in Spain. Be sure to explore the park, Maria Luisa. Full of museums and interestings things.

Lastly, was Cordoba. We stayed in the Hotel Eurostar Conquistador. Very nice! Again a view across a small courtyard of the neighbors! Located right across from the Mezquita. Small, pretty town, can walk everywhere you would want to go. In the old Jewish quarter, you can wander the alleyways looking at all of the beautiful patios, streets with plants, etc. Be sure to visit the old Jewish temple and the house full of artifacts. The Mezquita was closed when we were there, so we missed it. Huge disappointment, but we made up for it in good food and wine. Hope this helps! Will be happy to answer any other questions.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Safety for first trip

If you are used to independent travel, you'll have no problem traveling in Spain. Simply take the normal precautions, but have some knowledge of the Spanish language would be helpful. It's no different than visiting NYC, Boston or LA, especially since Spanish is very prevalent in all three.

We visit Spain 4 to 5 times each year, spending up to 5 weeks at a time, and have never had a problem, regardless of where we go.

I recommend you download a few of Maribel's Guides (www.maribelsguides.com), Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, the Rioja, etc. You should find them interesting and useful in planning your adventure.

O Savinao, Galicia
Destination Expert
for Galicia
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4. Re: Safety for first trip

I live in Galicia and as yet have never heard of attacks on tourists

5. Re: Safety for first trip

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