Spain for a week- flying into Barcelona and out of Madrid. Need to know best way to get around and which cities to see in between. What is realistic? Really would love to see Seville and Granada, but not sure what is the best way to get there from Barcelona. We're thinking 2-3 days in Barcelona, 2 elsewhere and 2 in Madrid before flying back to the U.S. Any ideas would be appreciated!!!!!!! Thanks!!!
You could easily spend a week just in Barcelona and Madrid, but if you don't mind rushing about a bit I would add either Seville or Granada - but not both. If you haven't been to either, go to Granada and enjoy the free tapas, check out the Alhambra (yes it's a tourist cliche but still amazing), and just hang out with all the other visitors from all over the world. I think a day and a half should be enough and spent the rest of the time in the two 'capitals'.
Getting overnight trains between destinations means you're not wasting a day travelling and you're not having to pay for a hotel as well as travel costs. It's also more environmentally friendly than flying. Look at the not very user-friendly renfe.es website if you can bear it, for more details on trains in Spain.
But if you do want to fly, check out iberia.es and spanair.es.
I would recommend you to get focused on both Barcelona and Madrid, and not trying to go elsewhere. 3 days in each city is the average to get to know everything. And if you feel like 3 days is too much, you can always do day trips (in Barcelona to Sitges or Montserrat and in Madrid Toledo, Segovia or El Escorial).
Sevilla and Granada are way too far from either Barcelona and Madrid if you only have one week. Just to give you some hints, here you have the mileage between cities:
Barcelona - Granada = 890 km
Barcelona - Sevilla = 1150 km
Madrid - Granada = 435 km
Madrid - Sevilla = 550 km
If you really want to go to these places, from Barcelona the easiest way is flying out. For this check out www.iberia.es
What a lot of people do is to get the AVE High Speed Train for Córdoba (another impressive city) or Seville. Córdoba can be done as a day excursion takin the AVE (just 1h30 min), but Sevilla is way to far for just one day, and many things to see.
If you really want to see something apart from Barcelona I would recommend the following:
2 days in Barcelona
4 days in Madrid (as a base for:
1 day trip to Toledo (former capital of Spain like 3 centuries ago)
1 day trip to Córdoba (impressive Mosque, best well preserved from the Morish time in Spain)
From Barcelona to Madrid the easiest is to take a plane. Since there are plenty of connections each day, it wont be difficult to find a great deal. Check in Google for IBERIA, SPANAIR, AIR EUROPA and VUELING. These are the major companies doing the route. If you are on a budget, the best thing is to take a bus (www.movelia.es) or a train (www.renfe.es), which will take you longer.
From Madrid to Toledo there is AVE (buy tickets upon your arrival to Madrid, one or two days in advance), which takes 35 minutes, by far, the best option, even if the train Station is 10 minutes stroll from the city. Check www.renfe.es
From MAdrid to Córdoba as I have said also the AVE www.renfe.es.
For more information on Toledo: www.toledoweb.org
For more information on Córdoba: www.turismodecordoba.org
I believe that all the websites have a version in English.
Well, hope it helps, and hope you will enjoy your trip!!!!!
Any questions, feel free to ask, that's why we are here for!!!
I'm desagree with these two opinions:
Barcelona is a beautiful city, really beautiful but 2 days are enough to see the most important: One day for the centre of the town and a second one for Parque Güell and Montjuic.
Madrid, on the other hand, it's (being nice) not half as beautiful as Barcelona, there are a lot of museums but the city doesn't have much more. But cities near Madrid are worth: Toledo the most recommended.
Valencia or Zaragoza would be good choices too. Choose one of them and make a second stage between Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia is my city and I would be more helpful if you were interested. It's just five hours to Barcelona and 3 to Madrid by train. One day would be enough.
So I would say: Spend 2 days in Barcelona, the third one in Valencia, and the other 4: One in Madrid and one in Toledo Salamanca, Alcalá de Henares or other cities close the capital.
I really agree with elsebas. If you are staying for 1 week in Spain, I think you should visit Madrid,Barcelona, and Valencia.If you want you can visit my weblog http://www.valenciaestademoda.com where i explain interesting things about Valencia Enjoy your trip!