Spain - Land of Palaces, Bullfights and Football 

Tripoto

Camp Nou

Photo of Spain - Land of Palaces, Bullfights and Football by Ajinkya Sabale

I started planning of this trip well before in August 2018. I booked flights in October (Qatar Airways BOM -> DOH -> MAD ₹75000 for 2 persons). I missed best offer of Turkish Airlines of ₹68000 due to delay in bookings.

Total Expenses per person -> ₹175000 (₹350000 for couple)

Hotel Bookings -> MakeMyTrip, Booking.com, Expedia.

Forex Card -> HDFC Forexplus MakeMyTrip is available for MakeMyTrip Customers at ₹0. It gives lounge access for twice in a quarter only at International Airports in India for free. I also had a Priority Pass which gives Lounge Access at all International Airports for free.

Sim Card -> I bought 2 Vodafone Sim Cards in Spain for ₹2500 with 10GB+5GB data and 60min+60min calling. These sim cards can be used all over Europe.

Visa -> For Spain visa visit https://india.blsspainvisa.com/ . Fulfill list of all documents. Apply for visa 2 months before your trip. I applied for visa on 8th Feb 2019 and received visa in 3 days. Visa Fees are around ₹12000 for 2.

Attraction Bookings -> Use Headout app for bookings of attractions in Madrid and Barcelona as these cities are available on Headout. You will get discount through cashback on every booking. I also booked few attractions from their official websites. You can also try Klook but I found nothing best than Headout (previously used for Dubai bookings).

Internal Transportation -> Use Flights, Trains and Buses to travel. I booked flights with Vueling and Iberia airlines. I used GoEuro (now Omio) app for these bookings. I also traveled by Renfe high speed train. I used Omio and Trainline to book trains. You can find more details below.

City Transporation -> For 2 people, be strict with timelines so that you can seamlessly use public transportation (buses, trams, metros etc. very cost effective mostly €15-€25 for 2 persons/day). We were 4 people so we used Public Transport + Taxi. Use Moovit app, it shows all public transportation routes, timings, stops etc. It is the best app. MyTaxiApp, Cabify and Uber are the apps for booking Taxi. You can get €5 off on MyTaxiApp if you have a promocode. Uber and Cabify also gives off on first time booking. So if you are buying 2 sim cards, you can easily get off on 6 taxi rides (total €30-€50 off). Add your credit card as a payment option and pay by app.

Day 1

Stay -> Hotel Ilunion Alcalá Norte. ₹15500 for 2 nights including breakfast per room.

Highlights -> Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour of Madrid ₹1800 per person. Booked online https://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/madrid-bus-tours. Also available on Headout, Klook and many other sites. Select Historic Madrid Route. Best time to visit 5pm-7pm.

Dinner - Tandoori Station (€€). (I preferred Indian food on day1. Hotel Sagar is also good alternative and less expensive - €)

Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Gran Via Street

Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Gran Via Street

Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Near Prado Museum

Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Gran Via

Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Royal Palace

Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Madrid, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 2

Highlights-> 1. Visit to Royal Palace 2. Toledo City Tour

I already had booked tickets for Royal Palace online. In the morning we visited Royal Palace. It takes around 2-3 hours to visit palace.

After Royal Palace we went to Toledo City Tour. Madrid to Toledo by bullet train.

Route -> Madrid Atocha Station to Toledo Railway Station by Renfe Train; 35min; 1pm-1.30pm; ₹2000 per person (to and fro)

Traveling Inside Toledo -> Toledo was the Capital of Spain before Madrid. It has Alcazar and Cathedral to see. Town itself is an attraction. You can go to Toledo City Center by Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. Once you reach there everything is accessible at walking distance. Nice restaurants, shops and small streets will keep you busy for 3-4 hours. We had a lunch at City Center then we visited Cathedral. Walk from cathedral to alcazar takes you through small streets of Toledo (Take a route from your right hand side when you are facing towards cathedral).Your bus will take you back to station from Alcazar. While returning go to Mirador del Valle from where you can see beauty of Toledo (Recommended time is 6.30pm ). We spent 30 min there and returned to station by bus at 7.30pm.

Royal Palace

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Royal Palace

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Mirador del Valle

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Near Toldeo Cathedral

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Toledo Streets

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Toldeo - Real Alcazar

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Mirador del Valle

Photo of Toledo, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 3

Flight -> Madrid to Seville by Iberia Airline.

Stay -> The Boutike Hostel , Seville. ₹10000 for 2 nights per room including breakfast. This is just 1-2km from all attractions in Seville. It is in the heart of the city.

Highlights -> On first day in Seville, we roam around streets of Seville near Real Alcazar and Seville Cathedral. We visited flower deck colonies. Everything is in same area. In the evening we spent time at Plaza de Espana.

We had booked tickets of Real Betis vs FC Barcelona match ₹14000 per person.

Messi scoring a hat-trick in that match. It was like a dream come true watching him live.

Lunch -> Bar Alfalfa 100m from Hotel. They serve variety of Tapas. Prawn Croquettes, Woak Noodles, Homemade cheese and Estrella Beer are the specialities.

Dinner -> We had Hamburgers, Sandwiches , Beer, Potato Wedges and Fries at Food Trucks near Stadium.

Area near hotel boutike hostel, Seville

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Bar Alfalfa

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Bar Alfalfa

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Plaza de Espana

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Plaza de Espana

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Plaza de Espana

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Plaza de Espana

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Real Betis vs FC Barcelona

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

L. Messi

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 4

Highlights -> 1. Real Alcazar 2. Seville Cathedral 3. El Salvador 4. Las Setas De Sevilla

Real Alcazar -> 1km from our hotel. Some of Game Of Thrones episodes are shot here. It has a great history. Take an audio-guide tour. I had booked tickets online to avoid long queues.

Las Setas De Sevilla -> This sunset point will give you beautiful views of the city.

Lunch -> Many restaurants available in nearby area. We tried Risotto and Pasta.

Dinner -> Bar Alfalfa (must visit place)

Real Alcazar

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Alcazar Garderns

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

View of City from Las Setas De Sevilla

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

View of Cathedral from Las Setas De Sevilla

Photo of Seville, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 5

On Day5, I had booked a private tour with https://mydaytrip.com/ (₹26000 for 4 people). MyDayTrip provided Mercedes V Class for this day tour.

Stay -> B bou Hotel Molino del Arco. 7km from Ronda. 18th century farm converted into hotel. ₹5650 per room per night.

Highlights -> The below route is the scenic route with a great historic touch and it is the best part in Andalusia region of Spain. Famous for Bullfights, Countryside, Bed white villages these villages will leave you amazed at every kilometer.

1. Seville to Zahara de la Sierra (103km;75 min stop) -> This was the strategic point between Ronda and Seville during 12th century. Moorish post built in 12th century is the main attraction and you will get beautiful views of the area from top.

2. Zahara de la Sierra to Grazalema (20km;60 min stop) -> Grazalema is a small village with its beautiful landscape, nature parks and scrumptious cuisines.

3. Grazalema to Ronda (33km;our stay at Ronda) -> Ronda is famous for Bullfights. RMR bullring opens only once in a year for bullfight. Puente Nuevo or The new bridge connects old town and new town.

Lunch -> Gastrobar la Maroma, Grazalema (€).

Dinner -> Macdonald burgers, nuggets, fries and beer (at least in Spain they serve beer).

Zahara de la Sierra

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Zahara de la Sierra

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Zahara de la Sierra

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Zahara de la Sierra

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Grazalema

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Gastrobar la Maroma

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

RMR Bullring, Ronda

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Bed white villages

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Puente Nuevo

Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Ronda, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 6

Ronda to Granada by Renfe (instead of train bus was arranged as they were working on High Speed Train) It took 3 hours to reach Granada. Ticket cost was ₹1600 per person.

Stay -> Hotel Alixares, Granada. ₹5000 per room per night including breakfast. Its 200 meters from Granada's main attraction "Alhambra Palace".

Visiting Alhambra Palace -> Buy Alhambra tickets in advance as they are sold out very fast. If you don't find tickets available online then ask your hotel for tickets. If you still don't get then buy "Granada Card" of €40 which gives you access to all monuments and public transport within Granada. This would be the best option if you plan Granada for 2 days.

Visit Nasrid's Palace in Alhambra.

Granada airport is 27km from city center so plan your taxi accordingly. In the morning also you will find traffic on airport road. Estimated Time: 40-45 min for 27km.

"Sierra Nevada" are the snowy mountain ranges near Granada (100 km). You can plan this.

Nasrid's Palace

Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Alhambra Palace Walls

Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Photo of Granada, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 7

Transfer -> GRX - BCN by Vueling Airline. Airport to our hotel direct shuttles were available.

Stay -> Motel One, Barcelona. ₹8000 per room per night.

Highlights -> 1. Sagrada Familia 2. Barceloneta Beach

Sagrada Familia - Instead of I explain about it just read the history and see images. Amazing architecture of Antony Gaudi will leave you astonished. Must take audio-guides with you.

Barceloneta Beach - Beautiful beach. Just 2km from hotel.

La Rambla Street - Best destination for shopping and street food. Mercado de La Boqueria is the food market where you can try many food items.

Lunch - Rangoli Restaurant at Barceloneta Beach. You will 30% discount if you book table with Fork App.

Dinner - Restaurant of our hotel.

Sagrada Familia

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Sagrada Familia

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Sagrada Familia

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Barceloneta Beach

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Rasoi Restaurant

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Mercado de La Boqueria

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Mercado de La Boqueria

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Mercado de La Boqueria

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 8

Highlights -> 1. Camp Nou 2. Park Guell

Camp Nou - DO NOT MISS THIS. TAKE A VIP TOUR ₹11000 per person. This tour includes a personal guide for 2 hours explaining FC Barcelona history, showing Press Room, Players Lockers, Players Tunnel, Access to pitch, Virtual Experience Tour and Access to FCB Museum.

Park Guell - Another masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi. (Not a must visit. Depends on your interest towards architecture.)

Lunch -> Rangoli Restaurant.

Dinner -> Restaurant of our hotel.

Camp Nou

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou- Museum

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou - Press Room

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Camp Nou - Museum

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Park Guell

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Park Guell

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale

Park Guell

Photo of Barcelona, Spain by Ajinkya Sabale
Day 9

BCN - MAD by Vueling Airline. We, 2 couples, separated at this point. I continued for Italy and Paris (you can find a blog for Italy and Paris in my Tripoto profile in few days). In Madrid on last day, visit to Prado Museum and walking down the Gran Via Street are the perfect closures for this 9 day trip to Spain.

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