Help Me Plan My Spanish Vacation

Wife and I will be taking a late honeymoon next June. I know, I fucking know, "don't go to Spain during the summer". I fucking know, but that's the only time that works for us. I'll just deal with the heat.
Is 2 weeks enough time or should we do 3? Was thinking of doing Madrid for a few days, Barcelona and then we're open to suggestions for other good places. We might go to Lisbon too.
Where should someone go to(besides Madrid and Barcelona)?
What is the best way to get around? Bus, train, rental car? And how easy is it to rent a car? Do we need a license?
How much should we budget for hotels? Food? Travel?
What are some must see/do things that everyone going to Spain should experience?
What is your sighsee advice as someone who has been to Spain before that you could give?
Anything else you'd like to add?

  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Madrid is a shithole full of Nicaraguan and Moroccan immigrants. Go to some nice, smaller cities like Avila, Salamanca, Badajoz, and Merida.
    If possible, try to fit in some space to visit the mountains up north and the coast along the Cantabrian Sea. They're really nice and full of greenery.
    Far too many people go to Spain focusing only on the drier parts of the country down south, and go back with the impression that Spain is some kind of desert country full of Moorish mosques and castles, even though it's also a country that's got many forests, fields, and farms. It's a European, Christian country, not a North African one.

    You don't need to rent a car to go around Spain, unless you plan on visiting lots of small farms and natural parks, but even if you do, you shouldn't have much problem going around by train and by bus. There are train lines connecting all major cities in Spain, and there are bus lines connecting every single pair of cities and towns in the country running all throughout the year. Unlike America, there are very few places of touristic importance in Spain that would be extremely hard to get to without public transportation.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Thanks friend, I will do some research into the places you listed.
      My reasoning for visiting Madrid is because we will most likely fly into Madrid, unless you have some recs for cheaper airports coming from the USA. I figure if we fly into Madrid, might as well visit it for a bit.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        You can arrive in Lisbon (Portugal) and then either take a train up north to Vigo (Spain) or take a bus over to Salamanca (Spain).
        There are several cities out on the East Coast (including New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., and Miami, I think) which have direct flights to Lisbon for less than $400.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >any advice?
      How much of a RealTravelerTM is your wife? You can be fine going to a ton of small towns but a lot of tourists aren't ok with it when they could just do major cities instead. It's a trip for both of you so keep in mind what she likes, even if other people here will tell you to drag her ass.
      >2 or 3 weeks?
      17-21 days
      >Madrid and Barcelona
      3 days each. For Madrid stay by the Gran Via, Puerta del Sol or Parque del Retiro and use the metro to get around. For Barcelona, as much as she will want to go, avoid La Rambla. You'll want a hotel close to its north entrance and stick to El Raval and the Gothic Quarter to the left and right of it instead of actually hanging out at La Rambla. To check it off the list though, take her to breakfast at El Quim de la Boqueria (small restaurant in the farmers market) and then proceed to go right towards the gothic quarter. Prebook tickets to the sagrada familia so you don't have to wait in line and get lunch at La Paradeta nearby, super fresh seafood. El Raval is a bit more ghetto but it's still more authentic than La Rambla. Take a flight between Madrid and Barcelona, use the metro to get around, then trains for daytrips and get a car after that. A bull fight is a must see if she doesn't mind watching bulls die.

      I'd say do flights/trains from Madrid > Barcelona > Sevilla and then rent a car and drive through Andalucia. If you're averse to cars, many trains leave from Madrid for great daytrips. You may not need a car to toledo if you can take a train from madrid instead. Siguenza is a train ride from Madrid to a truly medieval town, worthwhile daytrip. Peniscola is a bit of a drive from Barcelona but really nice, same with Alicante if you want a great summer town to visit on the coast. Avoid Denia, it's full of expats.

      shits on Andalucia but it's really the best part of Spain IMO. Marbella, Cadiz, Sevilla, Jerez de la Frontera, Cordoba... There's a ton to see packed pretty closely together.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        A good sample itinerary would be:
        Madrid with daytrips to Toledo and/or Siguenza (5 days total). After those daytrips, come back to Madrid by train and fly to Barcelona (3 days). Rent a car for a day and drive up to Peniscola or find a train down to Valencia and drive down/get a bus along the coast to Alicante. Airport from alicante to Sevilla. Then rent a car and do Sevilla > Jerez de la Frontera > Cadiz > Marbella > Malaga > train to Cordoba > back to sevilla for easy flight to Madrid to go home.

        It's a bit extended but you can certainly cut things out and rearrange. It's an overall great tour of Spain with tons to see and do, most of which wont require you to rent a car either.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >How much of a RealTravelerTM is your wife?
        she's one of those girls that would spend her whole vacation on the beach reading a book while i'm a history autist who can spend all day in a museum or visiting roman ruins. we're pretty opposite, but she'll do whatever i want
        And thanks for your suggestions, i'm gonna look at each place and see if they're somewhere i'd like to visit

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Do they have running water in Spain? Is it potable?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        No we don't, we light ourselves with burning torches also.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Must be the Moorish heritage.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I went to Spain last January, rented a car. Zero regret, went from Madrid to Extremadura, then to Toledo and finally back to Madrid.
    Yes, you need a license, and it’s easy to rent, if you go through major chains (and while they are more expensive, they are hassle-free if you take full coverage, and the cars are usually better).
    It’s never enough time to explore Spain but two weeks are good enough to have a small grasp of the country, especially if you explore it deeply, such as small towns, or go through nature.
    The best thing with a car is to explore the countryside and small towns, especially in Extremadura, I loved it so much.

    Madrid is still worth visiting, I really enjoyed my time there. The royal palace, Prado, the excellent food, and so on, made it very worthy.
    Spain is awesome, I did pretty much almost every European country by car, and Spain is easily my favourite; cannot wait to go back there.

    I’m one of the very few posters on sighsee who actively encourage renting a car. Ever since I started renting a car for trips that last more than 3 days (and involving small towns/wilderness), I never went back to public transport. It’s just not the same being able to stop anywhere, anytime, to check out random things. It’s much more expensive but I think it’s much nicer that way.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      What if I don't speak Spanish, is English enough to get around?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Spanish is among the worst countries in Europe for English, only France and Italy are comparable, and perhaps Portugal to some extent.
        Get some basic spanish would help you by a lot.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          I'm OP, that anon your replied to is someone different
          My wife is a native Spanish speaker so I'm not worried about language at all

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      tell me about the process to rent a car and get a license. do i need to take a test or something? i assume yeah. I am from the USA and have a drivers license here already
      and how is parking in those small old medieval towns? is it hard to find places to park? parking in a city anywhere is a pain in the ass

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I’d like to know more about this as well. My understanding was that an international drivers license (like you can get at AAA in the US) is all it took to rent a car.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Yes, it should be enough if you're from the US.

          tell me about the process to rent a car and get a license. do i need to take a test or something? i assume yeah. I am from the USA and have a drivers license here already
          and how is parking in those small old medieval towns? is it hard to find places to park? parking in a city anywhere is a pain in the ass

          What? Do you have a license? If yes, if you're from the US or Europe, you just need to show your license at the rental place.
          Parking is generally terrible in crowded cities, best way to do is to park outside the city (example: there's a big parking outside of Toledo).
          I was in Trujillo in winter though, and the locals even asked me to park in front of their home. It's mostly fine in not overcrowded cities.

          General rule for a medium to large size city in Europe is to park your car ASAP either at the hotel's parking (prices can go from for free to quite expensive but at least it makes your trip easier), or some public parking near your hotel (expensive) or outside of the city (cheap).

          Anywhere else like villages, it's easy as fuck to park and it's mostly free.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I’d like to know more about this as well. My understanding was that an international drivers license (like you can get at AAA in the US) is all it took to rent a car.

        Not the same guy but I was in Spain last month and I was able to rent a car just fine with nothing more than my US drivers license (TX)

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Not OP but if I’m going to Spain and the only Spanish I know is 2 years high school and 2 years university Spanish 10 years ago of which I remember very little, am I fucked? I could probably order food and ask directions and maybe a little more if I brush up before I go but I can’t understand fluent people for shit. They speak too fast

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Honestly I have high school spanish and I managed well. After a week, I even started to make banters with waiters. You should pick up quickly.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm going to Primavera Sound next year. Is Barcelona better than Madrid for that kind of thing?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I live in Barcelona, I'd say Barcelona is great because you'll have access to a ton of events in the city as part of your Primavera ticket, I went this year and had a blast. You also get to enjoy arguably one of the most fun city in Europe.
      Transportation around the Parc del Fòrum is a pain in the ass though, especially to come back, get ready for that and plan accordingly.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Cadiz for history
    Chipiona and San Lucar de Barrameda for food and beaches.

    Train from madrid will take you anywere but is 4h
    A bus is cheaper but you it will take double.

    Its going to be fucking hot except if you go to vasque country. There is also a lot of history there and beaches, the only problems is that it is expensive.

    Don't stay in the center of spain during the heat wave, you will suffer.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Thanks friends

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    madrid ? could u find and cill a person for me?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Depends who

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        a ginger and i would not pay u

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