Just Madrid or more cities? 1st time to Spain
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Mar 24, 2013 5:11 PM Last Post By: Daichovo
Feb 11, 2013 11:43 AM
15I would make Madrid my base, if you try to go to many places you´ll get to know none. Madrid has a lot to offer: lots of museums and art galleries, wonderful walking tours, nice restaurants and bars, live music and great flamenco ( which if you like flamenco, I strongly recommend Cardamomo) and a very lively night scene. There are plenty of 1 day trips you can make: to Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, La Granja.
I, personally, prefer to stay in one place and sip in the local culture, meet locals etc..than running from one place to the other.
Mar 8, 2013 5:22 PM
16I ended up doing what y'all said, 4 days in Madrid, 4 in Granada. I went to Segovia (loved it!) El Escorial (very cool, also made some nice friends on that trip), Acala de Henares (fun, there was a random Polish-Spanish religious parade/procession, also made friends with someone), Aranjuez (I liked it but better in summer with the gardens and you can go on a boat on the river then) free museums, tours etc. Going to San Miguel market with people from hostel for tapas was a highlight. Also Cardamomo tableau, even if a little touristy, was very good. They have a student discount, saves like 10 euros or so.
Granada was cool but I got there at a bad time, Sunday-Weds on off season. I saw music every day but every jam I went to was canceled or just music, no one allowed to sit in. Good music and big scene at Booga club (samba/bossa nova, cool though disappointed since it was supposed to be a latin funk jam). It rained/misted every day which sort of sucked but wasn't awful. I heard a Roma trumpet player at the Sacromonte museum, the museum owner let me go back behind the gates and up to the caves with my horn and that was the only jam I had, lol! Hiking tour to Sierra Nevadas and waterfalls was really great, highly recommended! The guide Wayne was really great and we had a good afternoon at a local pub after. Alhambra was just ridiculous, I think THAT should be in the 7 wonders of the world.
I also enjoyed the hamam there, which is a little touristy, but nice, VERY clean if not authentic. They have a student discount which is quite reasonable, I think 23 Euros including a massage.
Herbal/traditional medicine is very strong in Granada and there are herb shops all over town, I wasn't expecting this. Very good quality for this, also honey.
I was a little tired from school and studying for midterms, I think I could have gone to Seville with one more day but oh well. At least I know I definitely would like to go back.
Edited by: Daichovo
Mar 9, 2013 12:38 AM
Mar 22, 2013 3:09 PM
18I just got back from Madrid. I had an overnite stay prior to my transatlantic flight back to the USA. Here are some tips that I think may be useful. You can store your bags in a large locker at Barajas airport for 6 Euros. This is very convenient esp if u do not want to risk taking ur luggage with u at nite while u try to locate ur hotel. My hotel was located in the Atocha area and it was very frustrating to find because the train station has so many exits and no one seemed to know where I should exit to find Calle Doctor Drumen. Finally, I walked outside, at nite, in the dark and asked a police officer. I speak basic Spanish. I understood that I had to cross the street and make a series of right and left turns to find the hotel. I was glad I did not have my luggage! Also from the airport, you can take an airport express bus to Atocha train station for 5 Euros. This too is good because u dont have to worry about changing metro lines or pickpockets. The area around Atocha station felt relatively safe with lots of ppl around and many fast food places. Atocha itself is huge, confusing and a nightmare to navigate with so many exits both up and downstairs. It is very busy and the food courts are reasonable.
Mar 24, 2013 5:11 PM
19Or, don't take luggage! I only travel with a backpack (keep my pocket trumpet inside). No worries!
Metro is super easy and comes free with the tourist Metro pass you can buy in train station that will get you to a lot of the attractions in the suburbs as well as in town (not the one that includes activities though they will try to sell you this. You don't need it).
Did you have a map? I found Madrid really easy to navigate. Atocha area was really touristy for my taste though, I didn't see as many budget places there either. I stayed at Way Hostel which yeah is backpacker central, but a fair amount of activities even in off season, rooms were very quiet at night, price was like $12-13 including breakfast (churros/coffee but still) can't beat that! Met a lot of fun people there, not everyone was 21 (I sure wasn't).
(5 star Hotel)
From US$504.99 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$173.14 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$288.56 per night