Are you dreaming of travelling around but feel stressed about getting too much time off work? Or maybe you’ve just finished college and you’re looking to go on a summer vacation to celebrate. Here is an affordable guide to see 3 cities in Spain in a week, without having to sacrifice your job or your bank balance…
Spain is very lively with plenty of things to do, it’s somewhere you can go with the girls or somewhere you can go with your man. So first stop of all is of course the capital!
We’d recommend spending the first 3 days in Madrid. This city is full of amazing architecture as well as quirky bars when you need to cool off in the sun (we recommend getting a Lemon Radler).
But if you’ve done a long day travelling and you’ve just dumped your bags in the hotel what’s the first thing you do? Well, duh! It’s being rowed around like the queen you are right in the middle of Retiro Park, the biggest park in Madrid City. Kick your feet up and relax in the sun around the monument of King Alfonso XII for less than €10.
Now if you’re really feeling like royalty you can go take a look at your next home (we wish). The Royal Palace of Madrid is beautiful and you can take a tour around the inside. You can tick off two sites when visiting here as it’s also right next to the Cathedral!
Top Tip: If you want to fit in everything in just 3 days, the best thing to do is hire bikes. You can do this in various places around the city – just ask your hotel which place is closest. It avoids sore feet and spending money on taxis!
Another thing to see is the Bernabeu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid football team. It’s outside the city center so the best option is to get the metro, which is only around 30 minutes and it stops right outside. Again double check with your hotel which stop to get on, as this can vary dependent on where you’re staying. Whether you’re a football fan or not it’s a great experience, you even get to go into the changing rooms and see each player’s locker and shirt!
Top things to see in Madrid:
Mercado San Miguel (Market); Plaza de Cibeles; Plaza Mayor; Peurta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun) and of course THE SHOPS!
After a busy, jam packed 3 days in Madrid you need a place you can still explore but at a more chilled pace. Seville is a much smaller city and 2 days is enough time to see everything. You can get the train to Seville from Madrid’s main train station (Atocha). It’s only around 2 and half hours and the trains are air conditioned and a good place to get a quick nap before you head into your next destination.
MUST DO: Book your train journeys in advance to get a guaranteed ticket! The earlier you book the more choice you have on train times. If you’re wondering where to start looking for this, you can book here http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html
After checking into your hotel, you’ll need to refuel and the best place to do this is right outside Seville Cathedral. There are a few cafes and restaurants around there where you can sit and take in the beautiful Spanish architecture. This is even more amazing at night, where you can enjoy dinner with a jug of Sangria!
Top tip: If you visit in summer, book a hotel with a pool! Because Seville is so inland, the afternoons reach up to 40 degrees and this is the perfect time to cool down. If not, don’t worry you can also take this time to go on one of the boat tours; they keep you in the shade while still showing you the city.
One of the things you will notice when you’re in Seville is people being carried around in horse and carriages. As corny as it may seem, this is another great way to stay out of the sun while still exploring the city! The last stop on this tour is Maria Luisa Park, where they take your photo outside the Plaza de Espana!
Top things to see in Seville:
The Bull ring; Giralda tower; City Hall; Plaza de America; Real Alcazar.
Now after 5 days of being on your feet, you’ll need 2 days to relax. Next stop – Valencia! You can get here by train from Seville, which is between 4-5 hours. Dependent on which train you get, you might have to change at Cordoba, but this can be your coffee stop! Again remember to pre-book your tickets http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html
3 Spanish cities and no mention of Spanish Paella yet? That’s because this is the place you need to save yourself for! The traditional Valencian paella can be ordered from anywhere in Valencia and is definitely worth a try.
And finally…ITS BEACH DAY! You can get here by bus from the city centre; it’s only a half hour journey and the perfect chill out place. It’s warm, clean and the sea isn’t like stepping into a bucket of ice when you first get in *thumbs up*
But we’ve saved the best bit till last… Valencia also has THE BIGGEST AQUARIUM IN EUROPE!
That’s right; it’s not all about the Spanish culture and history! A day needs to be assigned to the Oceanographic. You can easily get to it by bus from the city centre – just ask your hotel which number bus you need to catch. Try and get there early to avoid queues as it gets super busy! You can even head to the beach for the afternoon after here (if the sharks haven’t freaked you out).
Top things to see in Valenica:
Central market; Plaza Redona; Valencia Cathedral; Antiguo Cauca del Rio Turia (Gardens)
And that’s a wrap; it’s as easy as that! 3 major cities in Spain ticked off in a week and the best part is because you visit more than one place you feel like you’ve been away longer. Remember, you can tailor this guide for yourself and spend longer in the cities you’re most interested in.
We’d love to hear about your travel adventures in the comment box below!