(hotels,breakfast, meals, activities and local transportation includedd)
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Enjoy Spain´s 3 main cities in a short 6-day or 7-day vacation in Spain. Fantastic airport connections to most countries and high-speed train in Spain to get to Madrid or Barcelona and superb high-speed train (AVE) to connect Barcelona with Madrid and Madrid to Seville makes this itinerary a perfect introduction to the beauty and contrasts of Spain. If you are interested in more options for a Spain by train itinerary in this section.
All 3 cities do offer great day excursion opportunities in case you would like to extent your stay
At Makesdpain we work hard to find the best trip ideas for you in Spain. We do not sell travel. We would however appreciate if some of the services proposed are booked through the links you will find. By doing so you help us in our aim to provide great content and trip advise.
Our budgets are based on average costs if you enjoy the different activities mentioned. Please bear in mind that prices vary from month to month, or also in case of special events at the city.
You can add any of the elements we recommend to your trip plan list to ease your planning.
1 hour – 3 hours
On day 1 of this vacation we recommend to enjoy a bit of Gaudi at Casa Batló, a walk in Las Ramblas to get the pulse of Barcelona and to experience the Gothic area and Barcelona´s Cathedral.
Hotels: We provide 3 alternatives for different budgets, all of them are great hotels and well located to enjoy the itinerary.
Restaurants: We recommend light lunch (tapas like) and a quality dinner to enjoy a special area of Barcelona
Near Casa Batló
One of the best book shops in Barcelona is located at less than 10 minutes walk: Livreria La Central at Carrer de Mallorca 237 .
If you are not into books but into fashion M69 is a great shop for you and very close to Casa Batló.
Some of Barcelona´s oldest shops can be found in La Rambla and the Gothic.
Casa Beethoven (La Rambla 97)is Barcelona´s oldest music shop.
Casa Cotchet J.Xanco (La Rambla 129) is one of Barcelona´s protected shops. Fantastic modernist decoration inside. They sell high quality men´s fashion.
Casa Gispert (Carrer dels Sombrerers, 23) is one of Barcelona´s oldest food shops. Opened in 1851, a great selection of products can be found. The atmosphere is very special.
Abracadabra book shop (Carrer del General Álvarez de Castro, 5,) is a fantastic bookshop for children. Books in english are available.
1 hour – 3 hours
On day 1 of this vacation you will enjoy the genius of Gaudi. His name is almost a byword for Barcelona and his works are a magnet for tourists.
La Sagrada Familia is Gaudi´s most important, yet unfinished work. With Gothic inspiration but with the aim to emulate nature, Gaudi designed curves and frames that provide with surreal qualities.
Restaurants. We provide you with different options to enjoy local gastronomy in Barcelona
We strongly recommend to start your visit at opening hours to avoid crowds. A skip the line ticket is also advisable. If this not possible, the you should opt for the latest possible time but always with light to enjoy the stained glass windows!. As a matter of fact, if there is a sunnier day during your stay we would recommend that one to enjoy the interior of Sagrada Familia.
5 minutes walk from Sagrada Familia you will find Bodega Iturre, where you can enjoy a traditional bar that has not changed much through the years.
A 30 minute walk is needed from Sagrada Familia to arrive at Parl Güell. We would recommend using a taxi if a 30 minute walk seems long (public transportation does not offer a good combination)
What to do after visiting Park Güell? We would recommend you walk down Gracia neighbourhood once you finish your visit to Park Güell. Calle verdi is your best option to enjoy local atmosphere and a bit of shopping. You can stop at Plaça Virreina and enjoy views of the church and then continue to walk to Avenida Diagonal where you will be able to take the metro.
We propose a different hotel, activity and restaurant most suited to different type of travellers.
1,5 hours – 2,5 hours
On day 1 in Madrid we propose you to enjoy an oasis of greenery, tapas and culture. The Retiro park was built as a preserve for kings but since 1868 it was opened to the public and it is one of our favorite places in Madrid. Another highlight of the day is the spectacular Palacio de Comunicaciones (today the town hall) Out of the 3 art-galleries in Paseo del Prado we have opted for el PRado, but Reina Sofia or the Thyseen museum may be more suited to your taste… or you may prefer to enjoy the wax museum, or the naval museum or the bonatical gardens near the Retiro park (all 3 perfectly located within this itienrary too)
Atocha train station
Take one of the earliest trains from Barcelona to enjoy the day in Madrid. The main area at Atocha station is a fantastic example of civil architecture with an iron and glass structure and tropical garden inside.
El Retiro Park
Do not miss the Palacio de Cristal, the Retiro´s most beautiful monument. We recommend to start your walk from the entrance closest to the Prado museum. The Retiro is one of the few places in the world with a statue dedicated to the Fallen Angel (Lucifer). Your visit should include a stop at one of the terraces near the lake or the Paseo de Carruajes. We recommend to leave the Retiro from Puerta de Alcala, Madrid´s most famous Gate.
Tapas like a Madrileño If you would like to enjoy tapas like Madriñeos do we recommend you exist the Retiro in Avenida Menendez Pelayo and get to streets Doctor Castelo and Menorca where many bars await you. You can continue your itinerary in Goya and Serrano streets. These streets are one of Madrid´s main shopping districts. Serrano is home to some of the most exclusive shops in town. If you opt to walk from El Retiro straight to Plaza de Colón you will also find many bars and restaurants with tapas menu.
Near Plaza de Colón If you are fond of chocolate you will find one of Madrid´s best shops near Colon (Cacao Sampaka) behind the romantic park of Plaza de la Villa de Paris. Plaza de Santa Barbara is very close too, a local´s favorite for cañas ((the way locals refer to beer)
Recoletos and Cibeles. Cafe Gijón is one of Madrid´s most famous coffee-shops with lots of history.
At Cibeles (the square where real Madrid fans celebrate when the team wins a championship) you may decide to visit the City Hall. Views from the upper terrace are fantastic.
1 hour – 3 hours
On day 2 you will enjoy the Madrid where the Royal power seated. But you will also enjoy fantastic Plazas! The itinerary will take you first through Gran Via and Puerta del Sol, 2 of Madrid´s most reknown areas. Sol is meant to be Spain´s 0 kilometer. Plaza Mayor follows., one of the most beautiful plazas in Spain. We recommend to enjoy tapas in Mercado San Miguel and then head to the 3rd beautiful Plaza of the Day: Plaza de la Villa, which offers a deep contrast to the Plaza de Oriente which overlooks both the royal palace and the opera house. Our itinerary ends in Templo de Debod, where you will enjoy the best views of the city!
Gran Via and Sol
We recommend to start the itinerary drinking a coffee at one of the best terraces in Madrid (Hotel Principal or, on the other side of street, Círculo de bellas Artes). Do not miss the Metropolis and the Telefonica building (once the highest building in Madrid).
The clock in Sol hosts every New year´s eve the count-down for the start of the New year.
Plaza de Oriente
If you would appreciate to try a good paella or high quality cocido you will find 2 good options near the Opera House (El pato mudo for paella and La Bola for Cocido)
La Almudena Cathedral and San Francisco el Grande
From San Miguel market you may decide to get to the Royal Palace through the Latina area instead of calle Mayor and Plaza de la Villa.. You will find some of Madrid best bars in Cava Baja and Cava Alta (and also Lucio restaurant). If you enjoy a bit of atmosphere we recommend you to stop at the terrace of el Viajero. At the end of this “tapas detour” you will find la Basilica de San Francisco el Grande, which holds Madrid´s largest dome. From there you can continue to the Cathedral and the Royal Palace.
On day 1 in Seville you will get to understand why locals claim that “Sevilla tiene un color especial” as a famous Spanish song says…
“Sevilla tiene un color especial” claims a famous Spanish song… The soul of this city may emerge from the passion of Flamenco in the taverns of Triana neighborhood, or from the greedy conquistadores that populated it, or you may have to blame Easter for it. No matter where the truth is that few cities in the world can pride themselves on being a perfect mix of beauty and charisma. Today you will learn about the history of Seville at the Alcazar, enjoy one of its most relaxing areas in Maria Luisa and, discover the passion of Flamenco.
The Alcazar . Not many people know that the Alcazar is one of Spain´s most visited monuments. It was always very visited, but having been used for Game of Thrones has increased its popularity. We strongly recommend booking a tour to avoid queues or get there very early and with your ticket booked
Archivo de Indias
Located right next to the Alcazar, the Archivo de Indias has some amazing documents in it like the ones used by Cirstonal Columbus to calculate the latitude and longitude of this first trip. The entrance ticket is free, and you will be able to enjoy an exciting video.
This is an exciting way to enjoy Seville. You will find many people that offer a ride. In order to avoid problems with the prices, the City-hall fixes a price each year. We recommend checking the current price at the tourism office to ensure you know the exact amount to pay.
Plaza de España
It is widely known today that the Alcazar has been used in Game of thrones. Fewer people know that La Plaza de España was used in Lawerence de Arabia. Seville turned out to be a real oasis for the filming crew after having spent weeks at the dessert in Jordan.
On your way to Triana
Walk by the river. Once you leave the Park, we recommend not to enter Triana by the Puente de los Remedios, but to do it by the Puente de San Telmo to enjoy a walk next to the river.
Pescaito and tapas
Once you are finished with Flamenco we recommend you enjoy a bit of fried fish (pescaito) and tapas in Calle betis in Triana
1 hour – 3 hours
On day 2 in Seville you will get to know the world´s largest Cathedral, enjoy a walk and tapas at one of the most famous neighbourhoods in the world (Santa Cruz) and enjoy Seville as locals do by visiting Calle Sierpes and its shops and end your visit at the opinion-dividing largest wooden building in the world (Metropol parasol)
The cathedral is the world´s largest Cathedral. The old mosque was used as a church till 1402, but then the church authorities decided to build the largest Cathedral in the world. A guided tour is highly advisable.
Unknown to most tourists, the Plaza de las Cruces in Santa Cruz neighbourhood is, in reality, a street that widens and where three crosses stand in the middle. If you pay attention, you will also find more crosses in the walls.
Besides the Plaza de Santa cruz (which gives its name to the district) and the romantic Plaza de Doña Elvira we recommend you Plaza de Alfaro. On the ground floor of the palace off Lope de Rueda there is a forging window which locals refer to as “La Reja del Diablo” . The design of this forge work is almost impossible to accomplish: “the devil´s work”.
The origin of the name of his street hides a dark story, the sort you would find in a Stephen King novel. The street was known before as Calle Espaderos (blade maker) due to the number of workshops dedidcated to swords. But the name changed to Sierpes. Locals start to call it like that due to a legend. In the mid XV century children disappeared in Calle Espaderos and a huge snake (serpiente in Spanish) was found guilty. Locals started to refer to the street as Calle de la Sierpe.
Do not miss these fantastic facades and shops. Confitería La Campana, Real Circulo de Labradores, papelería Ferrer, El cronometro , maquedano sombreros, abanicos Diaz and Robles Laredo bar (where you can actually stop for a well-deserved drink!)
You will be able to decide for yourself if you love it or hate! (Metrosol-parasol divided local opinions when it was built). Five inmense mushroom-like pillars hold up a gigantic undulating roof
If you have enjoyed this itinerary in Spain that combines Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, but it does not cover all the places you would like to visit, we recommend you have a look at our vacation in Spain section, where you will find many almost ready-made itineraries, full of suggestions and easy to put together and adapt by you.
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