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Help w/ honeymoon itinerary in December

Cairo, Egypt
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Help w/ honeymoon itinerary in December
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My husband and I are visiting Spain for 10 days in December. We arrive to Madrid in the morning on the 2nd and depart in the early afternoon on the 11th. I know that December isn't the best month to visit and a longer trip is advisable, but we're working with what we have.

I know that I want to visit Seville, but I am struggling with how to prioritize our time. How much time should we spend in Madrid versus Seville? Are there other stops or day trips that are essential between the two cities?

I traveled to Barcelona several years ago, but otherwise this is our first time visiting these parts of Spain. It's our honeymoon, so we are looking for a good mix of light sightseeing, great food and plenty of wine.

Any suggestions about an itinerary are most welcome. I'm overwhelmed!

7 replies to this topic
Madrid, Spain
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1. Re: Help w/ honeymoon itinerary in December
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December is a great time to visit Madrid! The city will feel very festive and will be decorated with lots of lights. Outdoor terrazas will have heaters and blankets and the city will be very atmospheric. In December we often have cold, crisp, sunny days with blue skies.

I recommend spending 5 days in Madrid. On one of those days I recommend taking a day trip to Segovia, which is just 30 minutes by high speed train from Madrid. Segovia is home to the romantic Alcázar, Roman aqueduct and many nice restaurants in which to sample the local specialities and wine. Climb the tower of the Alcázar to see the snow capped mountains in the distance. After a day exploring Segovia you can still be back in time for dinner and drinks in Madrid.

For the remaining days, I recommend taking the AVE train to Seville. From Seville you could take an easy day trip to Cordoba, or better still, stop in Cordoba on your way to Seville/way back to Madrid (on the same train line) and stay overnight to see the beautiful city lit up after dark.

I would not recommend trying to fit in any more than this because there is much to see and do in each place. To maximise your time, I suggest you research and decide what you wish to see and do, before drafting a rough itinerary.

South Portland...
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In addition to Livvy's excellent advice, I would add that it would be advisable to book your tickets as "open jaw" (arriving in Madrid, departing from Sevilla) to save yourself time getting back to Madrid simply to fly out, which will give you more time to enjoy España.

Malaga, Spain
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I would split my time between Madrid and Seville.

For Madrid:

Downtown Madrid is the Gran Via, which has many hotels, restaurants and stores. Most of the biggest attractions are all within a 2 km radius of each other. You can use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in this area (Madrid City Center). The most upscale area is the Barrio Salamanca (the safest barrio) and Calle Serrano is the 5th Avenue of Madrid. It is suggested to stay in Madrid for at least 4 days. One can do day trips to Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial. Read about these day trips in the top questions of the Madrid forum.

Must see places are the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Thyssen Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Sorolla Museum, Cerralbo Museum, Plaza Mayor, El Retiro Park, Basilica of San Francisco El Grande.

Good Restaurants:

1. Botin (Calle Cuchilleros 17-19; Tel. 913-664-217) is the oldest restaurant in the world, since 1725 and has good Castilian food. Roast suckling pig is the specialty. There are many other traditional dishes such as lamb. This was Hemingway’s favorite restaurant.

2. Casa Lucio (Calle Cava Baja, 35; Tel. 913-653-252) is famous for its "huevos rotos" (broken eggs).

3. Platea (Calle Goya, 5-7) is a gastronomic site with about 20 restaurants that are open every day, where one can eat tapas and different types of food in the food courts.

Shopping in the Barrio Salamanca: Calle Serrano, Claudio Coello, Ortega y Gassett, Calle Goya. Shopping downtown: Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle Fuencarral.

Shopping in the Barrio Chueca: Calle del Barquillo has many good small boutiques. El Corte Ingles is a large department store chain with branches at Calle Preciados, 3; Calle Serrano, 47.

For a day trip to Segovia:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187494-i1618-k11062980-BennyMalaga_s_Travel_Tips_for_Segovia-Segovia_Province_of_Segovia_Castile_and_Leon.html

Meson de Jose Maria - Cronista Lecea, 11; Tel: 921-466-017

This is one of the best restaurants in Spain.

For Seville:

Seville is one of the cities in Spain with the most charm. A very good hotel in Seville is the Hotel Becquer (which has a garage) in the quiet Barrio El Arenal, walkable to most sights. Use Booking.com to look at other hotels.

Must see places in Seville:

1. Church of El Salvador - One of the most beautiful Baroque churches. The ticket from this church allows one to also see the Cathedral and one can skip the queue there. Tickets available at 11 am.

2. Cathedral/Giralda Tower - The Cathedral is the third biggest church in Europe.

3. Alcazar - The palace rivals the Alhambra. See the King’s apartments.

For tickets: www.alcazarsevilla.org/horarios-y-tarifas/

4. Plaza de España - The most beautiful plaza in Spain, created by Anibal Gonzalez in 1929.

5. Palacio de las Dueñas - This palace is beautiful and has just opened up for the public. This is the residence of the Duke of Alba. A wonderful place to see.

6. Casa de Pilatos - Beautiful palace with wonderful gardens. See the upstairs apartment.

7. Museo de Bellas Artes - One of the most important art museums in Spain.

8. Museum-Palace of the Countess of Lebrija - Has some of the best Roman mosaics in Spain. See the upstairs apartment.

A good flamenco place is Los Gallos (Plaza de Santa Cruz, 11). The main shopping streets are Calle Tetuan and Calle Sierpes. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department store at Plaza del Duque de la Victoria.

Good restaurants:

1. Cuna 2 (Calle Cuna, 2;Tel 954-211-107) - A large, elegant restaurant with traditional Andalusian decoration and with beautiful ceramic tiles lining the walls of the dining rooms. There is a beautiful bar at the top of the building.

2. Casa Robles (Calle Alvarez Quintero, 58; Tel: 954-213-150) - An elegant restaurant near the Cathedral. Has won many prizes for its cuisine.

3. For tapas, go to Mercado Lonja del Baranco (Calle Arjona, 24; Tel. 917-582-420).

You can take the Renfe train from Madrid to Seville.

London, United...
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Bear in mind that the 6th and 8th December are public holidays and in Spain people may choose to spend some time visiting places and also take 7th off to extend free time. So in effect from Saturday to Wednesday inclusive can be busier than usual.

Madrid, Spain
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“ The most upscale area is the Barrio Salamanca (the safest barrio)”

Benny, please stop with this fixation about safety and Barrio Salamanca being the safest Barrio. Madrid! As a whole Madrid is generally very safe and Barrio Salamanca covers a huge area, and is no more or less safe than other places in central Madrid. In fact just a few weeks ago there was an armed robbery in a jewellery store on a street located between Calle Serrano and Calle Velazquez - a policeman and a store employee were shot at. Crime can, and does, happen everywhere and at anytime, thankfully Madrid is generally a safe city with the incidence of violent crime being low, but please don’t single out one area for being safer than another, and inferring that other places are less safe!

In addition, Platea has been closed for many months and we don’t yet know when it is due to reopen!

Edited: 28 May 2021, 23:55
Midland, Michigan
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6. Re: Help w/ honeymoon itinerary in December
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LNM;

All the recommendation above are excellent. You will do good keeping them in mind. As previously mentioned, it is very recommendable you research the sites and attractions in Madrid, Cordoba, and Seville, and plan according with your interests. I usually recommend travelers like you to use the resources of Tripadvisor, or to read a good guide book, such as, "The Rough Guide to Spain".

It is always recommendable, to book, hotels, transportation, and even entrances ahead of time. For you, the AVE train looks like an excellent option to move between cities. A lot of people also includes day-trips to other cities nearby. From Madrid, Segovia, Salamanca, Avila, and Toledo are the popular ones. From Seville, Jerez, and Ronda are good options.

I have never been in Spain in December, but I know that during winter months it can be cold.

Madrid, Spain
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I full agree with Livvy.

Madrid and daytrip to Segovia https://www.spain.info/en/route/segovia-one-day/

Sevilla and daytrip to Cordoba https://www.spain.info/en/destination/cordoba/

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