Granada is upwards of eight hours by train from Madrid, so that may not fit in with your plans.
Zarragoza, which is halfway between Madrid and Barcelona, is pretty fantastic!
And four by bus, or maybe it was a bit longer, but far.
This is the Basilica in Zaragoza.
Zaragoza is absoutely gorgeous. Check out the restaurants, some of them are pretty interesting.
And make sure to go to the Plaza Mayor when you’re in Madrid! GO.
Royal Leamington Spa
I went to madrid a couple of years ago around Christmastime, and it was fantastic. the weather is cool to cold, but everything is decorated and beautiful…each city and town has a nativity scene on display. not your run of the mill ones but big diorama type displays (this description does not do them justice).
we spent three days in madrid and then headed via bus to Ávila, a Unesco World Heritage Site. it’s where Mother Teresa was from, and there are beautiful ancient city walls. I’d highly recommend it, and you can get there straight from madrid via bus or train in about an hour and a half.
have fun and good luck!
Yeah … Granada is pretty far away. :) But in Madrid — I’d hugely recommend seeing El Gran Retiro (like a Spanish Central Park), as well as el Palacio Real — the official residence of the king. Both are incredible!!
I do speak Spanish almost fluently but my roommate on my trip didn’t speak hardly any Spanish, and she got along fine (w/o my help). :) A lot of people in Madrid speak English as well as Spanish.
(And I have to admit … the Starbucks is pretty darn good in Madrid! And I’m from Seattle …)
I only went to Barcelona so I can’t say much but I would absolutely go see La Sagrada Familia. Its the coolest building I’ve ever seen.
Toledo and Segovia aren’t too far from Madrid and they are both beautiful!
I got by fine only knowing a tiny bit of Spanish that I learned just before my trip. Most of the people know some English, and were very kind and patient when I attempted to speak Spanish (albeit horribly, but I was able to get by).
I live in Malaga and I would recommend Granada highly, I have an area guide and included in that is Granada, telling you about the history, where to eat and stay etc http://www.directestates.com/area_guide/granada.php
The La Alhambra is the place to see in Granada and is just amazing, I hope you enjoy your tour of Spain.
I am not sure how much time you have, but as far as other cities go, I think the Basque Country of Spain is unbeatable! You can book cheap plane tix with vueling.com, or take the overnight (6-hr) bus to Pamplona as a jumping off point. Around Madrid, visit Toledo for an old castle feel and Salamanca for a fun university vibe. Or, just take a bus to the small towns around and make your own adventure! That’s one thing I would do for sure.
I don’t know how many days you’re gonna be in Spain, and also how many days you’ve plan to be in Madrid in Barcelona. So it’s depends how many days you have available I can recommend you some places or anothers. You need unless 5 days to see Barcelona properly. I’m Spanish, so I know a lot of places here, just tell me which kind of things you wanna visit and I’ll help you.
IF you are going to Grenada, then check out Seville and maybe Cordoba. I think those 3 are all relatively near each other, though I dont know how far from Madrid they are. Much closer to Madrid is Toledo, which is a pretty cool town, even if it is kind of touristy.
Sagrada Familia is a truly cool place!!! to be 100% honets with you spain is mucha blur, due to the fact the night life is to die for is you like to party adn have a great time this is the place to do it!!! either way spain is a beautiful place you’ll have a ball!!!
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