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The 9 Best Things You Must Do in Granada, Spain!

  Granada, Spain   Granada is one of the most famous towns in Southern Spain and a must stop on any Andalusian itinerary, if only to visit the Alhambra palace. We did a loop through Southern Spain from west to east and saved Granada for last. Logistically, this made the most sense and also heightened our anticipation […]

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ThuyJuly 14, 2016 - 12:06 pm

I like the way your posts are laid out. It’s very organized :)

TomJuly 16, 2016 - 1:44 pm

Nice photos of a beautiful place. But let’s not forget one of the other attractions of the place–the food.

ClaireJuly 16, 2016 - 4:32 pm

I’ve not yet made it to Granada, but I really want to go! Both the caves and the walking tour look right up my street!

Sarah YekinniJuly 16, 2016 - 8:34 pm

First, your site is beautiful! Love this post as well! I’ve visited Madrid twice, and although I had a great time, I would love to venture to other parts of Spain. You’ve helped put Granada at the top of that list!

SherJuly 16, 2016 - 10:02 pm

Thanks Sarah! Ooh would love to read your Madrid tips!

SherJuly 16, 2016 - 10:03 pm

haha of course Tom :) definitely can’t forget that! i have to say though, seville was the best town I visited in south spain, food wise. any granada restaurants you recommend?

CarmenJuly 17, 2016 - 1:21 pm

Granada is high up on my list! Great post, thanks for sharing. Happy travels :)

Ashleigh Cattermole-CrumpJuly 18, 2016 - 12:52 am

Gorgeous, wish i was there right now!!

KerriJuly 18, 2016 - 4:45 am

I’ve done a little of Spain, but Granada seems like a must do. I would definitely be up for the walking tour.

JessicaJuly 18, 2016 - 9:22 am

Great way to explore Granada. Never been there but will definitely use this as a guide when I get a chance to be there. I will not missed the Sunset at Mirador de San Nicolas and El Albayzin.

PaulJuly 18, 2016 - 9:22 am

Sounds like an amazing place to spend a few days. I’ve never been to Spain before but definitely heard good things about it recently. The photos that you’ve taken certainly make me want to visit!

Rachel TaylorJuly 18, 2016 - 11:14 am

Such a great itinerary for Granada. It is somewhere I visited when I was 3 but have no memories of it so I want to head back there! I didn’t realise you can have a moorish bath there.

Alex DatsevJuly 18, 2016 - 6:01 pm

Have always wanted to visit Southern Spain. Thanks for all the great tips!

Laura MarenoJuly 27, 2016 - 6:02 am

Oh you visited my city!! Glad you enjoyed it! your itinerary is really complete!! I would add the Mirador de San Miguel Alto, it’s one of my favorite places!! :D kisses:D

[…] Read more: How to Spend The Perfect Three Days in Granada, Spain […]

[…] more: Spending the Perfect 3 Days in Granada and Essential Tips for Visiting the […]

[…] Read more: Spending the Perfect 3 Days in Granada, Spain […]

Dennie ChanDecember 29, 2016 - 2:46 pm

I just want to say Thank you for putting together your travel blog and extensively detailing your trips. I came across this post from Pinterest as I’m planning my trip next year to Spain. I am really impressed and now I’m using your other Spain posts to supplement my research in other parts of Spain.

SherDecember 29, 2016 - 3:49 pm

Hi Dennie: thank you so much for the kind words!! It really means a lot. I spent ~2 weeks in Spain and focused on Andalusia and the two large cities of Madrid and Barcelona but there is so much more in the country that I’d love to go back to see. So glad you found it useful and please let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see :)

[…] to Andalusia to experience the warm sunny cities and Moorish influence of Cordoba, Seville and Granada, and then flew up northeast to Barcelona. After a couple days exploring (with day trips to […]

[…] don’t forget to check out Granada and Seville! You can find my 7 day Andalusia […]

[…] Spending the Perfect 3 Days in Granada, SpainJuly 14, 2016 – 7:01 am […]

[…] Spending the Perfect 3 Days in Granada, Spain […]

[…] to Andalusia? Check out this 3-day Granada Itinerary and Alhambra Visitor’s […]

[…] to Andalusia? Check out this 3-day Granada Itinerary and Alhambra Visitor’s […]

VanessaSeptember 12, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Excellent guide for three days in Granada. I’m leaving for Granada next week for five days and I feel confident that your guide will help me use my time as efficiently as possible!!! Unfortunately, I didn’t book my Alhambra ticket in time for the Palaces, but I booked my ticket for the Generalife, Alcazaba, etc. everything else you can see besides that and I’m so incredible excited!

Thank you so much. Also, love your blog, new follower over here:)

KarenOctober 15, 2017 - 2:09 pm

I am finding your site to be SO helpful while planning the Andalusian triangle for December! Two questions:
1. Do you know anything about booking just the Nasrid Palace for evening/night? I can’t seem to find tickets for just this part of Alhambra. Already booked through Viator for a morning tour of the rest of the complex.
2. The Arabian Baths don’t show a schedule for December yet. Any other info you can provide will be great!
Thanks.

SherOctober 15, 2017 - 2:12 pm

Hi Karen, so glad you’re finding it helpful! Hm they used to sell an evening Nasrid Palace ticket but with all the recent changes im not so sure. It looks like the tour has been removed from both viator and ticketmaster.. Im traveling in Ireland at the moment but can look better for both your questions when I’m back home!

[…] to Andalusia to experience the warm sunny cities and Moorish influence of Cordoba, Seville and Granada, and then flew up northeast to Barcelona. After a couple days exploring (with day trips to […]

Where to Eat Tapas in Seville, SpainJanuary 3, 2018 - 7:36 pm

[…] How We Spent 3 Incredible Days in Granada […]

[…] you want to explore more places in Andalucia, check out the amazing cities Cadiz and Granada. Or have you heard about Playa de las Catedrales, one of the most incredible beaches in […]

[…] not quite sure why Grenada doesn’t seem to receive much traffic (it also gets often confused for Granada, Spain) but now having been, I wholeheartedly recommend […]

SamNovember 11, 2018 - 5:38 pm

Where did you purchase your bus tickets from? I am looking online and it shows about 25 euros.

SherNovember 12, 2018 - 11:39 am

Hi Sam – I bought them directly on the bus website! Fares fluctuate depending on time of year, demand and how close you’re buying from your travel dates. 25 euros sounds about right. the 5 to 10 euro fares I mentioned are limited *deal* fares that pop up every now and then. Hope that helps!

The Best Spain and Portugal Itinerary to Take Now!

The best of Spain and Portugal in one easy trip.

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JoyceJune 1, 2016 - 12:33 pm

Cordoba and Grenada look gorgeous. I love all the flower shots in Cordoba, what a great time to go! I love all your pictures & travel style too! I might be planning a Spain trip for this summer, I’ll bookmark this and avidly follow all your recommendations haha

AmandaJune 1, 2016 - 8:13 pm

Gah you’re making me so jealous, girl!!!! I studied abroad in Salamanca in high school and spent a lot of time in Barcelona and Madrid, but I haven’t been back since. I desperately want to go back and go down to Granada to see the Alhambra!

Adaleta AvdicJune 1, 2016 - 10:14 pm

Wow, so much information & this is so detailed! I may be going to Lisbon in November, so this is cool to know it’s like San Fran. I have my list of must-sees made after reading this post!

She JohJune 1, 2016 - 10:55 pm

Wow, what an incredible trip and your pictures are absolutely stunning! I want to go now!

CoryJune 1, 2016 - 11:34 pm

Nice tips! I will going to Spain later in the summer, so this will help a lot.

EliseJune 1, 2016 - 11:42 pm

Your photos are stunning! Now I want to visit :)

ColbyJune 2, 2016 - 12:12 am

Your photos are absolutely stunning! I’ll be moving to Spain in the fall and will definitely refer back to this.

SherJune 2, 2016 - 12:24 am

Aw, thanks for the kind words Colby!

MelissaJune 2, 2016 - 12:37 am

Your vacation looks AH-Mazing!!! And the photos!!! Makes me want to book a trip asap!

aicha robertsonJune 2, 2016 - 1:43 am

Wow I can’t wait to visit Spain someday, what a great post! Thanks for sharing x

Trang DoJune 2, 2016 - 1:49 am

Great pictures!! Amazing photos!!!

JulianJune 2, 2016 - 8:50 am

Excellent review and nicely planned trip. Pictures of Granada and Cordoba look very nice. Too bad you didnt see Porto, such a nice city as well. Many thanks for the inspiration.

SherJune 2, 2016 - 2:33 pm

Thanks Julian! Yea – I keep seeing Porto all over now. Wish I had gone but it was nearing 3 weeks at that point and I had to get back to work! If only haha.

SherJune 2, 2016 - 2:34 pm

Thanks Melissa! It was an amazing trip, I hope you have a great summer!

SherJune 2, 2016 - 2:34 pm

Thank you Trang!

SherJune 2, 2016 - 2:35 pm

Yes, Spain is amazing! Hope you visit soon. xoxo

AmyJune 2, 2016 - 3:58 pm

Fantastic and comprehensive post! I always appreciate a post catering to first timers, as that is quite often what I am, myself! Beautiful photos, thanks for the insight into such spectacular places!

MaggieJune 2, 2016 - 5:17 pm

Your photos are simply stunning!! Awesome trip!

Leslie RossiJune 2, 2016 - 10:40 pm

i did portugal a couple of years ago! i loved it, sintra was unreal.

Alexandra A.June 4, 2016 - 3:52 pm

All these places are amazing,I definitely have to visit them someday!

[…] just got back from a fabulous trip to Spain and Portugal and for the first time used Airbnb for a significant portion of my trip! For some reason I thought […]

CarmenJune 25, 2016 - 2:11 am

I am absolutely in love with Spain and Portugal but haven’t visited all of these places you’ve listed. This is a beautiful and helpful guide. Thanks so much for sharing and happy travels :)

AndraJune 25, 2016 - 11:53 am

Love your list! And what amazing photos. I just googled the Patio Festival in Cordoba and it looks so nice! The houses look amazing then. Nice tip

Long NguyenJune 25, 2016 - 1:50 pm

A very well arranged guide for the travel you have experienced. I found this clear and easy to understand with structure of information and pictures coming along with. I have printed it for the trip to Spain in next two years. Thanks.

NatashaJune 25, 2016 - 6:56 pm

First of all I have to say I LOVE your photos and the way they are set up in this post. Haven’t been to all these places in Spain but definitely have to get back so I can visit more.

SherJune 25, 2016 - 7:02 pm

Hey Andra! Yes the patio festival is amazing. I recently posted about it with tons of photos, have a look! :)

SherJune 25, 2016 - 7:03 pm

Hi Natasha! Thanks so much for the kind words. xx Sher

JoannaJune 26, 2016 - 2:20 pm

I will be going to Granada in autumn for 5 night and I am very looking forward to it. Thank you for the tickets tip, I will keep it in mind and book them at least 2 months in advance. :)

Renne SimpsonJune 30, 2016 - 2:11 am

Wowwww I’m just in love with Sintra because of your photos <3 I have a thing for colorful cities. Beautiful….

SherJune 30, 2016 - 2:13 am

Thank you Renne! Yes I’m so glad I took a detour to Sintra on this Portugal trip, it was a really fun day trip and actually 2 days would have been better!

ShobhaJune 30, 2016 - 5:29 pm

Love the itinerary and the photos! I’ve been to all these cities and I can say that you pretty much covered everything for a first time trip.

Stephanie LangletJuly 1, 2016 - 2:02 pm

I’m also more a fan of Barcelona than Madrid. In the highlights there, I would add the palace of the Catalan Music – one of my favourite places with the Sagrada Familia – and la Boqueria, the market on the Ramblas.
Great guide!

SherJuly 2, 2016 - 4:10 pm

Yes! I loved La Boqueria too – had a great seafood brunch there. Can’t believe I forgot to add that, thanks for the note Stephanie!

LiaJuly 4, 2016 - 12:28 am

I love this :) I did this trip exactly back in 2012 with the addition of Porto. Your photos are beautiful!

AmiJuly 5, 2016 - 10:18 am

That is a concise and well planned itinerary. Very useful and am bookmarking it for my future trip.

Rob TaylorJuly 6, 2016 - 12:56 am

All of these places are must-visits, especially Sintra… and Grenada… and Madrid… I think adding the day trip to Segovia is brilliant.

FabioRosadoJuly 12, 2016 - 6:08 am

I really enjoyed your post and the pictures look amazing.
Lisbon has a lot to do and see, 2 days might not be enough if you want to visit Sintra as well, but that’s my opinion :)

Did you enjoy Belem as well? I can see that you went there because of the picture of the famous Pasteis de Belem :D

SherJuly 12, 2016 - 6:23 pm

Yes! I wish I had spent an extra day in Sintra – there was a lot more to see than I had realized!

[…] Evening: Grab one last bite of tapas and pack up to depart Granada for the next stop on your tour. I recommend flying to Madrid or Barcelona and starting my Essential Spain itinerary. […]

TaraJanuary 1, 2017 - 10:21 pm

Hi! I am planning an 8 day trip to Europe in April and am torn between two different itineraries:
1. Fly into Barcelona, explore Barcelona, and do monterassat, and then take a flight to Lisbon and explore Porto and sintra

OR

2. Fly into Madrid, do Sevilla and Granada with day trips to Córdoba and Sevilla

Any insight you have would be wonderful!!

SherJanuary 1, 2017 - 10:30 pm

Hi Tara – either itinerary would be amazing, it really depends on what you’re looking to do on your trip? Between Madrid & Barcelona, I liked Barcelona a lot more (personally) as it’s a larger, vibrant city with amazing restaurants, lots of sights (mostly of Gaudi’s works) and Montserrat was very different.

Madrid is more historic and I really loved South Spain. Andalusia has Moorish history so there’s lots of beautiful arabic-influenced sights like the Alhambra. Tapas are really good in Sevilla! Cordoba really comes alive in early May for the flower festival.. Either way there’s lots to see in both options you outlined! Maybe you can extend your trip for 2 weeks?? :)

[…] Spain and Portugal Itinerary Advice for 10 Days […]

sheenaJanuary 27, 2017 - 10:02 pm

Hi Sher! Im in love with your photos! Im also planning a same trip for July. I just want to ask a few questions , I hope you don’t mind. your first stop was Madrid right? then from barcelona did you fly to lisbon? And was it easy to travel via trains also? I don’t drive so I’ll probably be commuting my entire trip. Im already thinking of flying to Madrid from Singapore(where i come from) and do the same itinerary as yours then go back to Singapore either from Barcelona or Lisbon( I cant decide yet). Thanks for reading my comment . Any advice is a great help thanks;)

SherJanuary 27, 2017 - 10:32 pm

Hi Sheena, aw thank you! Happy to help. Yes I flew in to Madrid and yes also flew from Barcelona to Lisbon. In between I took trains from Madrid down south to Seville/Cordoba/Granada. All of those train rides are very doable and you can find the train schedule on renfe.com The site doesn’t fully translate from Spanish to English but the time schedules are easy enough to read. To actually book the tickets I used rail europe (i have a link to that in the post) because it’s easier to pay – with renfe you pretty much need a spanish credit card or it won’t work.

I didn’t rent a car so to get from city to city I took the train or flew. I felt like walking in any of the Spanish cities was very doable and walked pretty much everywhere! Even 30 minutes in some cases but I also don’t mind to walk. There are local buses and taxis to get around too so no need for a car!

I definitely really liked Lisbon but I went with family and they were kind of tired after 10 days in spain, so if you decide to go home after Barcelona that could be fine too. Lisbon is very hilly (kind of like San Francisco if you have been there?) and you mostly have to walk around for sights and such but there’s also the trolley to take which is fun. If you do go to Lisbon, I highly recommend Sintra! There are some colorful palaces and mansions there which are really unique.

Let me know if you have any other questions and thanks for reading :)

[…] Spain and Portugal Itinerary Advice for 10 Days […]

JeanneMarch 6, 2017 - 3:02 am

We’re planning to go visiting Spain and Portugal departing from the UK for 13 days, wondering what would be the best itinerary be for our first time visit on these both countries and we need to head back to Hong Kong after, need your suggestion to see if we’re able to fly direct either from those countries or get back to the UK first. FYI, we don’t drive.

Many thanks for your help in advance.

Tanya GomezMarch 17, 2017 - 5:42 am

Wow! your itinerary is perfect! ;) Great choice of places and I also loved your pictures.

Sara BunchMarch 18, 2017 - 5:37 pm

Love this itinerary! I’m planning a trip now hoping to hit most of these places, but I only have about 14 days. How many days total was your trip?

SherMarch 19, 2017 - 2:59 am

Hey Sara! Glad you like it :) I took about 2 weeks so it sounds like you have plenty of time. With shorter time the day trips from Madrid are probably easy to cut and maybe less time in Cordoba if the patio festival isnt going on

AngieMarch 31, 2017 - 6:12 am

Hi Sher,
I love everything you posted here, especially the itinerary and the photos. its so easy to understand and the photos are all amazing. I’ll be doing Spain and Portugal trip for 16 days this May, adding few days to spend in Porto and Barcelona. Im planning to do the whole exact thing as yours, I can’t wait to visit Cordoba for the flower festival and Sintra! Thank you so much for your itineraries :)

NamrataApril 8, 2017 - 10:04 pm

Hi Sher your blog was really insightful! I have a question. I’m planning to buy train tickets in advance (traveling to Spain and Portugal) but since my itenerary is not finalized so how do I go about making reservations? Is it hard to make same day /2dayreservations in advance for train seat reservation? Thanks for your help!

SherApril 8, 2017 - 10:10 pm

Hi Namrata, glad my posts were helpful! Hm, it depends. When are you planning to go?

If spring/summer I would recommend you finalize your itinerary and buy the tickets online before you go. Spain gets quite crowded as early as May and certain popular places will sell out. For example, the Madrid day trip to Toledo is strangely very popular!

I booked all of my trains ahead of time, except my Portugal day trip to Sintra. the line at the train station was very, very long the day of. In hindsight I would have bought it ahead of time to save time.

If you are visiting in the fall/winter its probably less important to book ahead.

For the Alhambra you absolutely need to buy a ticket ahead of time (I have a whole post on that). In general the high speed train runs pretty frequently, you just might not the time or seat you want if you buy the day of. Hope that helps!

MonicaMay 29, 2017 - 7:37 pm

Hi Sher
Your website is so informative and I;m glad that you’re doing well because of it. We are planning a 11 day trip, flying into Barcelona on Aug 10 and flying out of Lisbon on Aug 21st. We are currently scheduled to fly out of Barcelona on Aug 16th and spend 1 night in Seville, and the remaining time in Lisbon. We are a relaxed family (2 adults, 2 teens 13-15) who like to soak it all in and enjoy nights out exploring the town etc. Would you recommend that we cut 1 day short in Barcelona and spend 2 nights in Seville ?

Thank you..

SherMay 29, 2017 - 8:25 pm

Hi Monica, thanks for the sweet words! Hm it sounds like you have 6 days planned for Barcelona and 1 for Seville. In that case because you have so much time in Barcelona, I would recommend an extra day in Seville, just to get an extra taste for south spain (which is quite different from the two big cities up north)

There’s lots to see, do and eat in Barcelona. You mentioned your family likes to go out and explore at night, I think you’ll really love Barcelona for that.

Seville is much quieter and smaller, but there’s enough to fill 2 days. The tapas bars were my favorite – they have some very authentic “stand at the bar and order” type of tapas bars and more modern, fancier tapas restaurants so you could easily spend the full 2 days eating! If you get bored (which i dont think you would, but just if, Cordoba is a very cute small town only a quick day trip train ride away) that I really loved. Hope that helps and have a fantastic trip!

ReginaJuly 15, 2017 - 3:38 am

Hi! Sher,
I’m so glad I spotted your travel blog. It has been very helpful so far, very detailed and organized. I was wondering if you could help me plan a better itinerary for a trip my husband and I are planning. It will cover Southern Spain (Andalusia: Seville, Córdoba, Granada, Malaga) to Tangier, Morocco then to Portugal (Lisbon, Fatima, Sintra, maybe Porto) then back to California. This will be for Sept 25-Oct 18.
My plan is to fly into Seville first (4 nights) then take the train to Córdoba (2 nights), Granada (3 nights), Malaga (2 nights), ferry to Tangier (2 nights), back to Seville to fly to Lisbon. We have no specific itinerary for Portugal yet except to be in Fatima by Oct 11-14 for the Fatima Centennial events.
We plan to take the train between cities in Spain. Do you have a better suggestion in which order should we visit the 4 cities in Andalusia? I’m stuck with the train routes. There’s no direct train route to Granada from the other 3 cities, so we’ll have to keep on backtracking to Córdoba or Seville to get to Granada and Malaga which will be a waste of time. any thoughts? Thank you.

SherJuly 15, 2017 - 10:09 am

Hi Regina – thanks for the kind words! Hm.. I see what you mean. Granada has an airport as well, which might be convenient if you haven’t already booked your flights.

The train routes in Spain are set, so like you said you sometimes have to backtrack. There is a very affordable and comfortable bus between Seville + Granada. Book through the company Alsa and if you book enough in advance, it’s only 10-15 euro per person.

Perhaps you might split up your time in Seville into 2 night, then Cordoba for 2 nights, then back to Seville for 2 nights so that it’s a more comfortable journey. Sometimes I do that and pick a different neighborhood / hotel to stay at and find that I get a completely different experience! Or you might want to visit Cordoba on a day trip when you’re in Seville. Some people feel Cordoba is small and that the highlights can be seen in a day trip.

KJBJuly 31, 2017 - 3:15 pm

I am currently researching and planning a trip to both Portugal and Spain and found your information helpful. Thank you!

SarahAugust 23, 2017 - 1:09 pm

Hi Sher,

Thanks for this incredible detail – it’s amazing. I’m planning a 11-day trip to Spain and, possibly, Portugal. I’d love your input on a planning dilemma I’m having.

We are SUPER adventurous and active, but really want to take in each city.

Ideally, I’d do 4-5 days in Barcelona, then 2 days in each of Granada, Seville, and Lisbon (with the Sintra day trip). It feels like too much. If you had to choose between Granada, Seville, and Lisbon – which would you choose? What about between just Granada and Seville? There’s not enough time for all the things!! :-)

Thanks in advance for your input.

SherAugust 23, 2017 - 1:40 pm

Hi Sarah – I know what you mean! It’s always a challenge between seeing as much as possible and soaking it in. I would recommend cutting out lisbon. I’m not sure of the route you’re taking but flying to Portugal from Spain usually involves flights out of Barcelona, so you would go Barca > Andalusia > back to Barca just to get to Lisbon, which adds extra time.

I liked the small town feel of Seville more and the excellent local tapas scene, but Granada has more sights so usually people do at least 2 days in seville and 3 in Granada. Out of them all, I loved Barcelona – I’m definitely a city person – so I would do 5 days in Barcelona if you have time. There’s lots of sights and then fun nearby day trips to take advantage of. Hope that helps!

SarahAugust 23, 2017 - 2:06 pm

That’s extremely helpful. Thank you – I think you just helped make my decision!

[…] Exploring the Best of Spain & Portugal […]

[…] obviously need to start doing more research (this is the only thing I’ve read so far) but would also love to get some initial recommendations […]

JanaDecember 26, 2017 - 12:29 pm

Hi Sher – In the Sintra section of this post, where was your 1st and 4th photo posted above taken? Is this a specific palace in Sintra? Thanks! :) (P.s. super helpful blog post!!!)

[…]  Read more: : How to Visit the Best of Spain & Portugal […]

MarcieDecember 28, 2017 - 1:02 pm

I love your blog! I am planning at trip to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon) for my birthday in April. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the planning. How long did it take you to plan this trip?

SherDecember 28, 2017 - 1:06 pm

Hi Marcie! So glad you like it :) What a great birthday trip!! You’ll love Spain.

I know what you mean, it takes a loooong time to plan because I like to customize my itinerary to things I like to do, plan the transportation myself and also keep things within budget! What I find helpful is to get a guidebook first, like Rick Steves or Fodors for europe, scan it through to get a general outline and then read blogs and forums for the details.

In the beginning it was really hard and there wasn’t much info out there so I started writing these posts to help other people who like to plan their own trips too!

Jessica M OlexaJanuary 2, 2018 - 9:47 pm

This is wonderful. Curious for your trip, what was your budget? In planning stages so trying to get a sense. Also are you able to “beach” it anywhere along these stops?

SherJanuary 3, 2018 - 5:51 pm

Hi Jessica, Hm I don’t remember exactly what we spent but what I usually do is book the flights, hotels & transportation first – those are usually the bulk of the trip cost. If you’re booking in advance things are much much cheaper, especially flights and trains. In the larger cities hotels are more expensive so you can look into AirBnB for a more budget friendly option.

For sights – Barcelona has some really great sights but the tickets can be expensive if you see them all. The nice thing is you can buy them online in advance and get a sense of budget. I booked those last minute the day of and I think if you book earlier, it is cheaper.

Food in Spain is average priced (compared to New York). Lisbon is budget friendly but again, just depends how you travel. I spent all my time/money at the bars when I was younger but re-visiting Lisbon this time, I spent more on sights and food. So, it really depends!

There are beaches in Barcelona! I’ve heard great things about Portugal’s beaches but haven’t personally been.

DinaJanuary 5, 2018 - 4:38 am

Hey Sher, loved your pics and your details so useful. I need an advice. i am planning for a trip on the end of January(16 days).First i will be with prepaid guided tour France-Switzerland-Italy(6 days) and back to Paris, but instead of going back to Paris i was thinking of traveling from Avignon to Barcelona. I was this close to cancel Barcelona and go straight to Madrid then Andalusia then Portugal than after reading your post , i think i can do it. what do you suggest?! What is the best way to manage my time and to see all these cities!

SherJanuary 5, 2018 - 9:31 am

Sounds like an amazing European tour! Not sure how much time you have but if you can fit it all in then great!

MayJanuary 12, 2018 - 8:41 am

Hey there thanks for the awesome guide! Can you share approx how much you spent for the two weeks. I’m trying to plan a budget and I have no clue how much to plan for

SherJanuary 12, 2018 - 11:07 am

Hi May – glad it was helpful! Since it’s not a packaged tour, the trip cost will depend on what you want to do! Hotels, restaurants, flights, sights etc – it just depends how luxury or budget you go :) You can get an idea upfront by booking your flights and hotels first. Some of the more famous sites in Spain can be booked online in advance too.

SejalJanuary 19, 2018 - 2:42 pm

Hi Sher! Great pics!! I am planning to do Spain/Portugal in May for 7 days. We were thinking of staying in Barcelona for 4 nights and then heading out to Libson. I also wanted to check out Sintra(day trip). Do you think three nights will be enough in Libson? Unfortunately, I already booked my tickets from/to Barcelona.

Thanks!

Ann OngJanuary 27, 2018 - 11:19 pm

Hello Sher!
Thank you for a very detailed post- very useful for our Spain Portugal trip in late May!

I might follow your itinerary too :)

I was planning to make Cordoba only a day trip from Madrid (or Seville?) so we wont be dragging our luggage behind. What can you suggest?

I noticed that you don’t have separate posts for Madrid and Barcelona unlike the 3 Andalusia cities which you discussed very thoroughly (you even included day to day itineraries!).

Can you suggest links For Madrid and Barcelona very similar to your Andalusia posts?

Can we travel Madrid-Cordoba-Seville-Granada-Lisbon-Barcelona?

What routes are better traveled by train and those by plane?

Thank you for your help.

With best regards,
Ann

SherJanuary 28, 2018 - 2:58 pm

Hi Ann – glad you found the posts helpful! I covered transportation in my posts but for specific detailed advice, I highly recommend Rick Steves’ Spain book – relied on it heavily to plan my own trip – or a travel agent to plan all the little details!

NaomiJanuary 31, 2018 - 6:41 pm

This is an amazing itinerary! I’m doing one similar to it when I go to Portugal and Spain in October. I’m doing Spain for five days, Madrid for four days and Seville for three…then an extra day in Lisbon on my way home. Did you fly to a majority of the places? Like Madrid to Cordoba? I’m worried about feeling rushed lol

SherJanuary 31, 2018 - 6:48 pm

Thanks! We did a mix of flights and trains – you can see the specific breakdown in my individual spain posts! In general train is easier :)

TimFebruary 17, 2018 - 2:30 am

A couple of points. Citing $300 a night hotels as ‘affordable’ is not something most people would consider a reasonable statement. Only other point is with your assertion that the Pena Palace inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle. That is incorrect. The inspiration was Neuschwanstein castle in Germany.

SherFebruary 17, 2018 - 10:19 am

Hi Tim – The hotels I mentioned are recommendations based on my trip. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate dramatically depending on the time of year that you’re searching for.

Pena Palace is widely believed to have inspired Disney – in addition to Neuschwanstein.

PiaFebruary 19, 2018 - 1:35 pm

I am so glad that I encounter your website, your photos are all beautiful, your itinerary is very detailed and very helpful that I will consider following some of it and add 2 things:
1st, From Barcelona – I will avail the “Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra and Spain”
2nd, I am also keen to include “Morocco Day Trip” either from Seville or from Granada going to Malaga or Costa del Sol as there are 2 options
a) Morocco Day Trip from Malaga to Tangier
b) Morocco Day Trip from Costa del Sol to Tangier
what do you think about the possibility of this?

My other question are:
1.How did you travel from Madrid to Cordoba? By bus, I guess?
2.How about BUS from Cordoba to Seville?
3.How did you travel from Barcelona to Lisbon? By plane, I guess?

Awaiting for your replies…
Thank you in advance.

SherFebruary 19, 2018 - 1:58 pm

Hi Pia – glad you found the post helpful! The 3 countries in one day tour sounds incredible as does the Morocco day trip. It’s up to you, whichever tour best fits your schedule (malaga or costa del sol)

From Madrid, I took the high speed train down to Cordoba and then again the train from Cordoba to Seville. I didn’t take the bus but you can check the Spain bus website if you prefer to take the bus. It will be much slower.

Yes I took a flight from Barcelona to Lisbon. I think that is the easiest way. Even though Spain and Portugal are neighbors, it’s not the easiest to get from one to the other. I heard once that it’s because of mountains.. but I’m not sure. Flight is easiest.

ZDFebruary 22, 2018 - 7:56 pm

Sher, your post is very helpful and sounds like a wonderful trip. I wish we had time to follow your itinerary. We will be traveling to Spain for 5 days before heading to Portugal for a group trip. We’d love to see as much as possible, where would you recommend we go if we only have 5 days? We prefer exploring the cities over spending lots of time in museums. Would it be doable to fly into Barcelona and spend 2 nights there, flying out to Madrid and exploring Madrid for a couple of days (3 nights) including a day trip before heading to Portugal? Or are we better off going to just Barcelona and doing day trips or Madrid and doing day trips? Thanks!

SherFebruary 23, 2018 - 11:28 am

Hi ZD! If you have a short time, Madrid and Barcelona are definitely the 2 cities you want to visit! Regarding where to spend your 5 days, it depends on how you prefer to travel.

I spent 5 days in just Barcelona, since its a big city and there are lots of sights to see. I also took day trips to Montserrat and Girona which I really liked. For Madrid, I felt like there was a bit less to see, and that the city had a older / historic vibe. I guess you could compare Barcelona to NYC and Madrid to Washington DC? So it just depends on the kind of atmosphere you like.

I think for me, if it was my first time, I would visit both cities just so I could see them both. Now that I’m looking back and can compare them, I enjoyed Barcelona more (but am still glad I went to both!)

NidhiMarch 3, 2018 - 1:05 pm

Hi Sher
Your post is just amazing!! It felt like you wrote this for me…we also are going for exact 14 days and intend to cover Spain and Portugal, have taken a note of all your recommendations:)

I have one question- do you suggest any particular operator for Baixa and Alfama walk in Lisbon? I am travelling with a 4 year old so looking to cover both separately on two dates…

Thanks again
Nidhi

SherMarch 7, 2018 - 12:27 pm

Hi Nidhi – so glad it’s been helpful for you! hm what do you mean by a particular operator? like a tour guide? i usually book guided tours through viator and they connect to a local company. hope that helps!

Rahul GhoshMarch 18, 2018 - 5:10 am

Hi Sher, We are planning to visit Granada from Seville and loved your itinerary. Can you please share which bus company you used for the journey?

SherMarch 18, 2018 - 12:28 pm

Alsa :)

RomeshMarch 25, 2018 - 4:02 am

Hey Sher! The pictures looks absolutely fantastic!!!. Thanks for the detailed itinerary. I guess for anyone travelling for the first time, the usual dilemmas are always the same – Which places to consider and their relevance, though it might vary from person to person but your post gives a good comparative view of the places to visit.

Just yesterday while talking to a friend, who cover Spain and Portugal starting from Portugal and then moving on the Spain. She found Portugal better than Spain with the exclamation most the places look the same in Spain. She even advised me considering either of Barcelona or Madrid as they both are very similar.

I would be travelling from Bombay and would like to ask which place should be the starting point – Portugal or Spain and am considering around May. Which month did you visit and as per you which would be the ideal time to travel to these places?

Thanks,

Romesh

SherMarch 26, 2018 - 8:22 pm

Hi Romesh – thanks for the kind words! Hm, I had a different opinion. I found Portugal and Spain to be quite different. I did like Portugal better, I think the food and the people really stand out there. It’s up to you for Madrid vs Barcelona. Personally I think they are very different cities (similar to Washington DC vs NYC). If you have the time I would do both, but if you only have time for 1, it depends what you think you’d like more.

Barcelona has great food, lots of nightlife, impressive architecture, shopping, a cosmopolitan feel. Madrid is older, more historic, government buildings and classic museums. For example, if you want trendy Spanish tapas = Barcelona. If you want old school tapas bars = Madrid. That’s a generalization, of course, but that was my experience.

We went in Spring and loved it. Good weather, less crowds. For starting point, go with whatever transportation is easiest from Bombay and is cheaper!

[…] Exploring the Best of Spain & Portugal […]

KateApril 18, 2018 - 10:19 am

This itinerary is awesome! My friend and I want to spend 14 days in Spain and Portugal end of the year. What was the cost for your trip? I know prices change, but a ball park estimate will help with our planning. Thank you so much!!

SherApril 18, 2018 - 10:30 am

Hi Kate – so glad you like it! I don’t remember the exact cost but for you can do the trip as budget or as luxury as you want. What I usually do is price out the cost of flights + hotels and that’s usually the two most expensive things. And then I know if I can splurge day to day or if I need to set a limit for how much to spend when I’m there. Hope that helps!

FayeApril 21, 2018 - 2:30 am

Hi Sher. I am from Singapore and am looking to holiday in Spain In June. As this is my first time I was wondering how to go About it. Your itinerary is so detailed. I think I am going to follow it to the tee. Including staying at the same hotels. I want to do some shopping as well. Heard that Zara is all over. I plan to leave on 10 June and return on 24 June. Are there any tips you can give me. Thank you. Faye.

SherApril 21, 2018 - 8:59 am

Hi Faye – You’ll have a great time! Thanks for the kind words about my itinerary :) Zara is AMAZING in Spain (at least compared to the US), plus they have Zara Home stores that I love because we don’t get them in New York! June will be pretty hot in Spain, especially in the South, so try planning your day to get up early and sight see, take a siesta at your hotel in the afternoon, and then go out again after. Have a fantastic trip!

FayeApril 22, 2018 - 12:27 am

Hi Sher. As we do not want to be too stressed on the trip. Please let me know which areas I can skip. And can u please help me to customize an itinerary including how I get from one place to another. I am not a frequent traveler and this is the first time I am venturing so far out in my own. And if there are cheaper hotel options. I will fly into Barcelona and out of Seville. Is that ok? Thank you. I appreciate your help.

SherApril 22, 2018 - 2:05 am

Hi Faye – I’ve shared my itinerary and included lots of options for how to customize it to fit your trip length and interests. Feel free to include or exclude whatever you like :) I think if you read through all my posts on Spain, pick up the Rick Steves guidebook and read through a couple other Spain blogs, you can easily find all the answers to your questions and create your perfect Spain & Portugal vacation.

I love trip planning and planned the entire trip listed in my post but I understand not everyone likes to do the same. If you would like me to review your itinerary, answer questions in depth or plan your trip I offer travel consultations where you can hire me for a one hour call.

I don’t make the bookings though – If you want a completely hands off experience, I have friends who are travel agents who you can hire to create a completely custom itinerary.

FayeApril 22, 2018 - 3:28 am

Pls send me a contact of a travel agent who can help me with the train and other bookings. Do let me know the charges as well. Tks.

DarrylMay 2, 2018 - 11:41 am

This is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much, I was worried I wouldn’t get the most out of my stay in Barcelona until now!

MilliJune 17, 2018 - 12:26 am

Hi! I love this post and am largely basing my trip to Spain off it, so thanks for a great article!

Just wondering if you could please clarify how many days you spent in Barcelona and Madrid with day trips.

Did you spend two days in Madrid and then 1 day trip visiting Segovia, Toledo and El Escorial all in one day?

Likewis, did you spend 3 days in Barcelona and then 1 day trip visiting Montserrat and Girona in the same day?

Thanks for your help!

Milli

SherJune 17, 2018 - 3:48 pm

Hi Milli – glad the post is helpful! The itinerary above is just an example and I structured it so that if you have more/less time you can consider the day trips – essentially you can spend however many days you wish in each city!

For Madrid I’d recommend 2 days, longer if you’re interested in the day trip options. For Barcelona, I’d recommend 3 full days, with extra time if you want to add the day trips. Each day trip option would take 1 full day though, it’d be very tight to squeeze 3 different cities in a day trip :)

Personally, I enjoyed Barcelona more and think you could even spend a week just there!

Jackie GuerraJune 25, 2018 - 11:54 am

Hello, I am planning a trip to Spain and Portugal in Spring of 2019. I will be traveling for 10 days. I will be visiting Barcelona and Madrid. Would it be better to start at Madrid to the little towns in the south then over to Portugal and then head up to barcelona? Or would it better to start Barcelona, then over to Portugal and then to Mardrid and fly home from there?

SherJune 25, 2018 - 12:05 pm

Hi Jackie – It depends! What I suggest is checking out the transportation options for your trip dates.

First go to Google Flights here and see if flights are available and how much they cost. Then go to Rail Europe here and see how much train rides cost for each long leg. That’s how I plan my trips!

Even though Spain + Portugal are right next to each other, I found for my trip dates that surprisingly flight connections were not that convenient. So, we did Madrid, train south, flight to Barcelona, flight to Lisbon. Hope that helps!

Anna RagazzoJuly 4, 2018 - 3:56 pm

Hi,
I’m planning a trip for 4 people (active “seniors”) to Spain and Portugal for Fall 2019. We were thinking of driving. I see you used train, and planes.Why did you choose planes versus trains? Would you not recommend driving? I see you only visited Lisbon with day trip to Sintra, where else in Portugal do you recommend?
My thoughts are Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, possible beach stop in Costa del Sol, then onto Portugal, Lisbon and ….How long do you recommend for this itinerary?
Thank you.

SherJuly 4, 2018 - 5:04 pm

Hi Anna – If there are trains available, I prefer trains. They’re MUCH more convenient and often cheaper. Train stations are usually in or near the town center so I can just hop on, get off and go sight see. Whereas airports are outside the city so they require additional transportation to & from, plus I need to factor in at least an hour to go through security and if I have carry on suitcases, domestic airlines will often charge extra per piece.

Spain has a pretty great train network so it’s fast, convenient and affordable. Head to Rail Europe and plug in the cities you want to visit and check the times/ rates.

Driving in Spain is tough, but I think you can see even more if you drive! I’ve heard great things about Cascais in Portugal – check that out.

Milli SalveminiJuly 6, 2018 - 5:30 am

Hi!

Thanks for a great article. I was wondering if you could please break down your visit to Madrid and Barcelona into days spent in the cities themselves vs day trips (and what/ how many places you visited for each day trip)?

Thanks!

Milli

SherJuly 6, 2018 - 5:11 pm

Hi Milli – I’d recommend at least 2 days in Madrid and at least 3 full days in Barcelona. If you want to do the day trips, add on an extra day for each, or a 1/2 day if you want to go from the day trip on to another city. Hope that helps!

[…] Our Itinerary: Exploring Spain & Portugal in 2 Weeks […]

[…] The Best Spain and Portugal Itinerary to Take Now!January 2, 2018 – 12:15 am […]

KavitaAugust 10, 2018 - 1:29 pm

Hi..your trip looks amazing. Do you recommend driving in Spain and Portugal to do similar trips?

Thanks,
Kavita

SherAugust 10, 2018 - 5:26 pm

Hi Kavita – if you’re comfortable driving then it could be a great idea to see some smaller towns! For me, I had limited time (2 weeks) and the main cities are easily connected via train/flights so that’s what we did.

MTSeptember 10, 2018 - 1:54 am

Hi there,

I am traveling to Barcelona solo for nine days in mid October. I am looking for a week of being in one spot to unwind and be near a beach. I have been looking non stop and can’t seem to find anything great that is priced right. Either what I have found it extremely expensive or seemingly too inexpensive for what is being offered. I will have completed Ironman Barcelona (hard endurance triathlon race) and I am normally very curious yet I know that I will want a beach and relaxation with some culture and fun. That said, I am more interested in unwinding rather than exploring…. Do you have any ideas? Thank you!

SumaiyaSeptember 12, 2018 - 3:38 pm

Hello,

Love reading your post before planning my travels. I wanted to know, would you recommend doing Barcelona first and the Southern Spain or the way you did it. We are flying in and out of Madrid so i cant decide what would make more sense. Any input would be grateful.

Thanks,
Sumaiya

[…] Day Trip Tip From: Sher at Sher She Goes […]

SherSeptember 17, 2018 - 12:00 am

Hi Sumaiya – check the flight + train schedules for your dates! I usually decide the order of our route based on the times tables + fares.

[…] That made me expand my possibilities and search what there was to do in both countries. I found a great blog when searching ideas for this trip, which helped me craft my […]

Sanjiv SoodJanuary 4, 2019 - 7:20 am

We are two couples from India who are planning to visit Spain and Portugal during September. However we would like to see more of country side, small towns and beaches . We would not like to spend too much time in Madrid/ Barcelona. We are planning 12 to 14 days tour. Could you recommend some places

CharmaineJanuary 10, 2019 - 10:45 am

Dear Sher,

Thank you for your informative post! I’m sooooo happy to chance upon it! Your photos are so nicely taken as well!

I’m planning a trip for 4 adults in February. Have you heard of Barcelona carnival before? Do you think it is worth going?

Also, we are there for 11 days 10 nights, flying in and out from Barcelona. Do you think it’s possible to do Barc-> Madrid -> Cordoba -> Grananda -> Seville -> drive to Lisbon -> drive back to Spain -> take train back to Barc?
Or is it too ambitious?

Thank you so much for your time and help!!

SherJanuary 10, 2019 - 1:40 pm

Hi Charmaine – No problem! So glad you found it helpful.

I’ve never been to Barcelona for carnival but it sounds like a lot of fun! I haven’t driven in Spain or Portugal, so unfortunately wouldn’t have any advice on that.

Bobby SinghJanuary 11, 2019 - 8:55 pm

Thanks so much for an amazing summary. You helped me a lot. I hope you continue to do and that you get to travel the world.

SherJanuary 11, 2019 - 9:01 pm

Ah, thank you for the nice comment! Have a great trip to Spain / Portugal!

Jennifer HawthornJanuary 23, 2019 - 9:55 pm

Hi Sher, I am so pleased to have found your blog! Your photos and descriptions of each city and places of interest are absolutely inspiring!
Our itinerary goes something like this at this stage:
1 – fly into Madrid from Australia. Explore the city and visit Segovia and Toledo on day trips
2 – trying to decide whether to train to Cordoba, Malaga or Grenada. I’m not sure how we can make this work. Is it possible to stay in one of these as a base and visit each of these places in day trips from one of these? Say 5 days spent between these three cities?
3 – Train to Seville for a few days
4 – Fly [?] from Seville to Lisbon. From Lisbon we will go to Sintra then Porto [by train?]
5 – We will then travel to Vigo [train or fly?] to join one of the Camino routes finishing at Santiago de Compestela.
6 – From here we will go to Barcelona for a few days before flying home.
I would really appreciate any thoughts you might have Sher.
Thank you so much,
Jenni

SherJanuary 25, 2019 - 4:17 pm

Hi Jennifer – thanks for the kind words! your proposed itinerary sounds great. yes, it is possible to choose a city as a base and then take day trips from the train.

i haven’t been to malaga, but cordoba + seville are quite close together. granada is a bit farther. so, you could either go from madrid down to cordoba and explore the city, then continue onwards to seville, or you can go from madrid to granada and double back on a day trip to cordoba.

check flight schedules for your dates here. for my trip and dates, i found that flying to lisbon was easier from Barcelona, as it was a larger hub.

walking the camino route sounds incredible, i’ve heard great things! have a great trip!!

Patios de Cordoba: Spain’s Prettiest Flower Festival!

Spring flowers come alive in Cordoba, Spain

VIEW FULL POST »

JuliaJune 23, 2016 - 12:43 pm

Awesome pictures! All of those flowers are gorgeous! :)

FlorenceJune 23, 2016 - 4:47 pm

Oh my gosh, it’s fabulous! I’ve been to Cordoba but I haven’t heard about this flower festival before! These pictures are stunning!!

JoyceJune 24, 2016 - 2:34 pm

Is this real? Can’t believe all the detail and care they put into making it so beautiful! So jealous that you got to go in Spring…seriously each photo was prettier than the last!

SherJune 24, 2016 - 3:02 pm

I know right?! it was crazy gorgeous and i’m so glad i was able to make it just in time to see it!

KeriJune 24, 2016 - 3:55 pm

To be honest, this place does not even look real! So ethereal and looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale or something!

FalashaJune 24, 2016 - 5:31 pm

I love these patios, it is so lovely to see vibrant colors and floral designs. Very cool, thanks for sharing.

JenJune 24, 2016 - 9:27 pm

This place is so gorgeous! It’s good that you posted this because I haven’t heard of it before.

CarmenJune 25, 2016 - 9:49 am

Wow this looks sooo beautiful! I’m sure it’s a great feeling to see this whole location live :)

CarinaJune 25, 2016 - 1:22 pm

Stunning pictures, it looks amazing and you look very chic!

[…] for a loop through Andalusia. I was most excited to see Cordoba, as we were in town for the local patio festival when the locals proudly come out to show off their flower bedecked courtyards to […]

JessicaJune 26, 2016 - 9:03 pm

Gorgeous flowers. It truly deserves a tag of being a great spot in spring. I wish I can make it to the Patio Festival next time. :)

NicoleJune 27, 2016 - 12:46 am

Oh my god, that place was tailor made for Instagram! Bonita! xx

Betsy ToddJune 27, 2016 - 2:36 am

Love these photos, amazing

JenniJune 27, 2016 - 4:10 am

Wow those flowers are very pretty

KerriJune 27, 2016 - 6:13 am

Loving the colours and the imagery of this part of Spain. What an awesome location.

christine legerJune 27, 2016 - 8:51 am

flower patio festival? I have never heard of that before, it looks amazing.

Jessica CutrufelloJune 27, 2016 - 12:38 pm

I love love love this! We have something kind of similar in Amsterdam called Open Garden Days. So you may love it too if you’re in the area :)

yukaJune 27, 2016 - 4:06 pm

This place is seriously so beautiful!

SherJune 27, 2016 - 11:39 pm

oh wow! i will have to check that out, thanks for letting me know Jessica!

Castaway with CrystalJune 28, 2016 - 7:20 am

I actually love the sound of this so much, it’s right up my ally.

Karla StrandJune 28, 2016 - 8:59 am

They are all amazing but I prefer #3 the blue themed ones. Thanks for the info – never would’ve known about this little festival if I hadn’t seen your post!

SherJune 28, 2016 - 2:42 pm

So happy to share it with you all. I’m glad you liked the photos Karla :) the pink was my personal favorite!

chelsea finnJune 28, 2016 - 9:54 pm

So many stunning photos!!

Kyna GemJune 29, 2016 - 10:17 am

I AM SO INLOVE WITH YOUR PICS!!!!!!! The place looks straight out of a fairytale!

SherJune 30, 2016 - 2:14 am

Thanks Kyna!! YES it was so pretty I went snap crazy ha!

Tom StevensonJune 30, 2016 - 9:51 am

Looks like a very interesting festival. Lots of great coutryards there!

[…] through the winding, whitewashed streets of the Juderia, the jasmine geranium and orange filled patios and the Renaissance […]

[…] Read more: The Prettiest Spring Town in the World: A Photo Diary of Cordoba’s Patio Festival […]

[…] Read more: The Prettiest Spring Town in the World: A Photo Diary of Cordoba’s Patio Festival […]

DeannaApril 4, 2017 - 3:16 am

I’ll be visiting May 2017 for the patio festival. I’m wondering if it the better to go during the week since it is less crowded. Or are there special events on the weekend that would make it more fun? How many days do you recommend? This is the best post I have seen describing the event.

SherApril 4, 2017 - 3:19 am

Hi Deanna, glad you liked the post! I DEFINITELY recommend the weekdays.

On weekends local Spaniards will head down to see it so it gets incredibly crowded. I believe May 1-2 are a holiday in Spain so if possible avoid those dates. Also I have heard that as the festival goes on it gets more crowded so for example, early May is better than late May.

Nothing special goes on the weekend but there are “secret parties”. Locals will throw their own celebrations and generally its invite only, or friends of friends. I sadly havent been to one of those but I heard thats amazing for a truly local experience! Have a great time!

YiApril 5, 2017 - 5:12 pm

Your pictures are beautiful!! I am planning a trip in May in Adalucia, but most likely I will be in Cordoba 5/15 & 16, which just missed the Patio Festival. Do you by any chance know do I still have access to some backyards and patios after the festival is over? Again, great posting!! I am happy I found it.

SherApril 6, 2017 - 12:26 pm

Thanks Yi! Yes there is a patio museum if you won’t be in town during the festival dates. I have more details in my Cordoba and Spain posts along with photos, if that’s helpful.

[…] through the winding, whitewashed streets of the Juderia, the jasmine geranium and orange filled patios and the Renaissance […]

[…] for a loop through Andalusia. I was most excited to see Cordoba, as we were in town for the local patio festival when the locals proudly come out to show off their flower bedecked courtyards to […]

[…] Miss Cordoba’s Patio Festival! Here’s […]

tiarra MukherjeeJanuary 5, 2018 - 4:38 pm

Hi Sher, I want to join equinox Greenwich Avenue, but to get a corporate discount I think you have to join all of the gyms. I was a member there for about 5 years many yers ago but want to get a corporate membership again and as cheaply as possile since I’m not employed. Can you tell me which companies have corporate rates (I’m a freelance writer so I maight have a choice). Also can you give me a referral to the Greenwich Avenue location?

NataliaJanuary 9, 2018 - 8:06 pm

These all look so beautiful. I can’t believe there’s so many in bloom during the winter!

SherJanuary 12, 2018 - 1:16 am

Hey Natalia! They were soooo pretty! I’ve always loved gardens but have black thumbs personally ha! The photos were taken in spring :)

[…] Spain’s Best Hidden Attraction: The Cordoba Patio Festival » Sher She GoesApril 29, 2017 – 7:23 pm […]

MarkMay 2, 2018 - 9:48 am

Hi Sher, Stunning photos. We just got back from Cordoba (too early for this years festival) but the patios were already looking stunning. We were so inspired we wrote our own post as well. Keep up the great work.

[…] Miss Cordoba’s Patio Festival! Here’s […]

[…] Spain’s Best Hidden Attraction: The Cordoba Patio Festival » Sher She GoesApril 29, 2017 – 7:22 pm […]

Everything You Must See in Andalusia | 7 Day Southern Spain Itinerary

Gypsies, flamenco, horses, bulls – Andalusia is the Spain of story and song. Here’s the perfect 1 week itinerary to explore Seville, Granada and Cordoba!

VIEW FULL POST »

CarmenAugust 7, 2016 - 5:13 pm

I just love your posts on Spain! Andalucia is one of my favorite regions in the world. Thanks for sharing and happy travels :)

travelling chingritaAugust 7, 2016 - 5:35 pm

you’re tempting me more and more to visit spain! i’m trying to remain disciplined until my best friends and nieces go back to visit so i can tag along and then discover the places i wanna check out… especially granada!

annaAugust 7, 2016 - 10:36 pm

I love your website and the layout! So clean :) I absolutely love Spain and seeing the Alhambra was one of my trips highlights as well!

SaliniAugust 8, 2016 - 5:50 am

I loved going through the spanish cities through your blog. I am not acquainted with these Spanish cities, I enjoyed them a lot. You have got some great photos here. I am amazed by the greenery and the beauty of the boutique hotel.

MariaAugust 8, 2016 - 11:22 am

My sister went to Andalucia a few years ago with her family and ever since then, I have wanted to go as well. Your pictures are absolutely stunning and I would love to see it with my own eyes even more now!

[…] Read more: 7 Day Andalusia Spain Itinerary – Everything You Need to See […]

JannaAugust 9, 2016 - 11:45 pm

Oh my how lovely and charming Andalucia is! I’ve never heard of this place before so thanks for sharing. You have some beautiful photos as well!

Lesley CarterAugust 13, 2016 - 3:07 pm

Dancing the flamenco sounds like so much fun. I’m a horrible dancer but I love trying.

mark wyldAugust 14, 2016 - 4:18 pm

We are headed for Granada and Seville in November can’t wait. You articles on these cities have been a timely read lately on what to expect in this region of Spain

Aileen AdalidAugust 14, 2016 - 7:33 pm

I haven’t been to Andalusia but I’ve absolutely heard great things about it! Reading about your post now, I can see even more as to why. :D

ElenaAugust 15, 2016 - 6:11 am

Andalucia is one of my favorite places (second to Lisbon and way higher than any other destinations on Earth). Hence, I am glad that you liked it and put together an itinerary for those who would want to visit it. With limited time in mind, this is a lovely plan (keeping in mind that there are tons of other worthy places to visit there). I would add a word of caution, though: during summer all three cities get scorching (36C-40C with bright skies). I agree that walking is the best way to explore any new place, but those unaccustomed to extreme heat should be very careful.

SherAugust 15, 2016 - 10:36 am

Ah totally agree about the heat Elena! I definitely advocate doing as the locals and taking a big siesta from 2-6pm to avoid the sun. I went in May and it was already a scorcher!

Rush ShahAugust 16, 2016 - 9:22 am

I absolutely love your posts on Spain and Andalucia! I’m actually leaving for Spain later today and this guide and the one on Alhambra have been so helpful! I’ve read dozens of guides so far and bought the Rick Steves guidebook, but your blog still trumps them all! :)

We have tickets for the Alhambra for the afternoon session with a 2:30 pm entrance time for the Nasrid Palaces. Is the weather really THAT hot/unbearable? We live in NY so I wouldn’t say we are used to extreme heat.. What do you think? Thanks again!

SherAugust 16, 2016 - 10:02 am

Hey Rush! Thanks so much for the kind words. I doubt I am more helpful than Rick Steves but your comment made me smile ha.

I went to South Spain in May and the weather was unpredictable. Half the week was 90 degrees and then half the week rained.

I will say that in general the cities are much quieter in the morning (7-12pm), by 1pm everyone is out and about so you’d probably be more uncomfortable with the combined crowds and heat. The Nasrid Palace is enclosed and pretty cooling with all the stone, the gardens might get pretty hot as they are extensive and completely unshaded.

vs. NYC: The weather in NYC these past few days has been brutal all day, super muggy into the evening! My experience with Spain was that it would start off relatively cool in the morning and then get boiling hot by 11am but there wasn’t really sticky humidity. Layers are great to pack! Have a great trip!

[…] is one of the most famous towns in Southern Spain and a must stop on any Andalusian itinerary, if only to visit the Alhambra palace. We did a loop through Southern Spain from west to east […]

[…] Read more: The Perfect 7-Day Andalusia, Spain Itinerary […]

[…] Looking to hit up more of southern Spain? Check out this one week itinerary for Andalucia! […]

[…] 7 Day Andalusia Spain Itinerary – Everything You Need to SeeJuly 27, 2016 – 7:01 am […]

[…] is one of the most famous towns in Southern Spain and a must stop on any Andalusian itinerary, if only to visit the Alhambra palace. We did a loop through Southern Spain from west to east […]

[…] to Andalusia? Check out this 7-day South Spain Itinerary and Alhambra Visitor’s […]

EmmaMay 7, 2017 - 2:32 pm

Thank you for sharing all these wonderful Spain intineraries!! They’ve been very helpful. Im planning a trip in August (scorching hot I know), and I wanted to get your opinion on the route. Im flying into Madrid and then planning on taking the train to Barcelona, then fly out to Granada from there…and then of course Cordoba and Seville. I was able to find 2 nonstop flight out of Seville to Lisbon. What do you think? Thanks for taking the time to read this! :)

SherMay 7, 2017 - 2:38 pm

Sounds great, especially as you were able to find a flight from Seville! Thats pretty rare :) youll be doubling back slightly from granada > cordoba > seville but what youre planning makes sense given the flights

FeliciaJuly 4, 2017 - 5:53 pm

Just the itinerary I was looking for! I’m planning a trip in Sept and I was curious if you stayed in a hotel in Madrid before taking the train to Cordoba. Btw, this is the BEST travel itinerary for southern Spain and I’m tempted to just follow along based on your postings. The pictures are really great. I’m also glad that you listed suggestions on where to eat etc. This is so helpful.

SherJuly 4, 2017 - 6:04 pm

Hi Felicia, thank you so much for the kind words!! I’ve been pretty blown away by the response to my Spain posts and i really appreciate you taking the time to comment :)

Yup! I spent about 2.5 wks in Spain/Portugal and saw Madrid before heading south (i have the general itinerary i took for my trip in a different post, which you can find if u click the “Spain” category)

For Madrid, I spent 3 days/nights and also did some nearby day trips. Im glad I saw it but ended up loving Barcelona and Andalusia much much more. Thought the sites and food elsewhere was more impressive, etc.

Let me know if you have any other q’s!

[…] to Andalusia? Check out this 7-day South Spain Itinerary and Alhambra Visitor’s […]

FeliciaJuly 23, 2017 - 12:38 am

Hi, how did you get to your hotel in Madrid from the airport? I’m told that taking a taxi is costly. Also, are the train stations within walking distance from your recommended hotels (esp in the Andalusia region)? Is a bus ride needed from hotel to train stations? –Felicia

SherJuly 23, 2017 - 12:53 am

Hey Felicia, we took the train to Atocha station then connected to the metro. For Andalucia, we had to take a cab in Granada because its a huge city but otherwise the train stations connect to the town centers easily. I generally dont take the bus in foreign cities bc its hard to figure out when to get off, and prefer to take the subway/metro if possible. Yes the hotels I recommended are centrally located near public transportation:) Hope that helps!

SherJuly 23, 2017 - 12:55 am

A great tool btw is to use Google Maps. I plug in all my locations before I go so i can get an idea of how to get from place to place. You can also download offline versions of their city maps on your phone as well (download the phone app) and that way you can locate yourself anytime!

[…] reason to visit Sevilla is that it can be used as the hub of a trip to Southern Spain. Arguably the most interesting region to visit in Spain! You can easily travel to Cordoba, Granada […]

dkschibelDecember 18, 2017 - 12:04 am

Quick question…We arrive in Cordoba at 11am and plannin to depart the next day for Granada…Do you suggest we take the 11am bus to Granada or stay a bit longer in Cordoba and take the 2pm. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

SherDecember 18, 2017 - 9:43 am

Hi! Up to you – the difference btwn 11-2 is not really enough time to see all that much so you might prefer to just get to granada.

If you like small towns youll enjoy cordoba. You can either just walk around or visit the patios museum!

[…] Read more: 7 Day Andalusia Spain Itinerary – Everything You Need to See […]

[…] to Andalusia? Check out this 7-day Southern Spain travel […]

JuneJanuary 11, 2018 - 12:50 am

Hi Sher, we are planning to go to the 3 cities in mid March. Appreciate your help with my following questions. 1) How do you book Alsa bus from Seville to Granada in advance? Please provide link. 2) Please suggest a more affordable yet central hotel in Seville besides Hotel Casa 1800. 3) To take the AVE from Seville to Cordoba, what is the name of the high-speed station in Seville – there seem to be 3 stations in Seville.
Many thanks!

SherJanuary 12, 2018 - 1:15 am

Hi June – you can google Alsa bus and book on the spanish website. If you click on the Hotel Casa 1800 link, it directs you to booking.com and tripadvisor. either of those 2 websites are great to find more Seville hotels that fir in your budget :)

Finally to answer your last question, it depends on the train you take. Go to rail europe (I linked it in the post), choose the train which works best for your schedule and it will say which Seville station that route goes to.

JuneJanuary 15, 2018 - 5:38 am

Hi Sher, thanks for your reply…we have finally booked our hotels in seville, cordoba and granada, just waiting for the train schedules to be released. Great blog you have here :) and the tips are invaluable.

[…] hope my 2 week itinerary was helpful! If you have less time, say 10 days or 1 week, I would cut out Southern Spain. You could save Andalusia for a separate trip entirely as there’s lots to […]

LinaFebruary 3, 2018 - 7:33 pm

Hi Sher. Love all your travel pixs! I am planning a trip to South of Spain end of April till 1st wk of May. I will be staying in Marbella most of the time How and what is the best way to get to Granada from Marbella. Bus or Rail?. I could get buses schedule that travel from Malaga to Granada but none from Marbella to Granada. Pls advise as I am travelling alone. Any tips or help you could furnished are most appreciative. Thank you.

SherFebruary 3, 2018 - 9:53 pm

Thanks Lina! I haven’t been to Marbella or Malaga so I’m not sure. Perhaps try searching rail options on Rail Europe?

[…] Everything You Need to See in Andalusia, Spain | 7 Day Itinerary » Sher She GoesFebruary 15, 2017 – 5:01 pm […]

ZURAIDA ZAINAL ABIDINMarch 1, 2018 - 3:56 am

Hi! I just love your post on Andalusia. If I skip Seville so that I have an extra night each in Cordoba and Granada. What are your thoughts? I have 7 days and am planning to go in December.

SherMarch 1, 2018 - 12:40 pm

Sure – sounds like fun!

DeyMarch 8, 2018 - 12:04 am

Hi Sher, thanks for the tips. We are going to Spain in June for honeymoon and this looks like a good itinerary to start. Covered most of the region’s highlights while not feeling rushed. Might DIY my tour then than book with a trip which, despite covering more areas, feels just too tight. Have you tried Hammam? Is it worth it?

SherMarch 8, 2018 - 10:39 am

Yes! Went to a Hammam and loved it – the one we tried is linked in the post.

Foxcroft ElenaApril 11, 2018 - 4:54 pm

Hi Sher,
I really enjoyed the iteneary you offered, we are family of four ( kids 20,16 :) ) landing in Malaga ( very late at night) and departing from Barcelona. ( early in the morning)
We have 15 nights to see South of Spain and Barcelona. What adjustments to the iteneary you posted would you recommend, where should we start?
I rented the car for now, but it can always be canceled
Thank you!
Elena

SherApril 12, 2018 - 8:56 am

Hi Elena – Glad you liked my itinerary! I included some day trip options in my Spain + Portugal itinerary for those who have longer time. You can certainly modify things how your family would like. Or a friend of mine is a travel agent that helps families plan personalized trips, let me know if you want her contact info!

FionaAugust 2, 2018 - 4:19 am

Came upon your awesome blog when planning my trip to Andalusia + Morocco for next month. You’ve definitely helped me with the timing of activities & places and on where to eat. Just wanna say thank you for sharing! I’m also interested in exploring the Pueblos Blancos- if you have any information, please let me know which ones are best (there are so many)! Happy travels :)

SherAugust 6, 2018 - 2:18 pm

Hi Fiona – so glad my site was helpful! I haven’t seen many of the Pueblos Blancos but I hope you have a great time.

Susan MSeptember 13, 2018 - 11:42 pm

This has been fun to read but there is something I’m confused about. You make it sound like Granada is much bigger than Sevilla but the population of Granada is about 100,000 and Sevilla is 700,000. Does Granada feel bigger?

SherSeptember 16, 2018 - 11:55 pm

Hi Susan – Oh hm, it was just how it felt! Thanks for pointing out that’s its actually the opposite by population!

Most of the historical sights are concentrated in a small, walkable area of Old Seville so it’s very compact (and you mostly see other tourists). Seville has a really nice ambiance, most sights are just steps from one another.

In Granada, the city is quite hilly and has a big student population, so it felt more like a “normal” city. The famous sights are much more spread out and we often took the bus so we felt like Granada was “bigger”

KelseyOctober 14, 2018 - 3:16 pm

I am dyyyying to go to Andalusia, thank you for the itinerary! You’ve hit a lot of great points here, did you get a chance to check out the olive groves of Southern Spain?? My buddy went last fall and the olive oil is an incredible part of that region. Can’t wait to eat my face off!

SherOctober 14, 2018 - 7:28 pm

I haven’t, but they sound incredible! Let me know how your trip goes!

RobinNovember 2, 2018 - 12:11 am

Hi, We are planning our trip to Andalusia, I really like this itinerary!!It looks amazing. I was wondering what you do with your luggage on the days you are travelling at night?(2nd day in Cordoba) I assume you check out of your hotel in the am and then what? Thanks for the info.:)

SherNovember 4, 2018 - 2:43 pm

Hi Robin! Most hotels are happy to hold your luggage for you :)

CatherineNovember 8, 2018 - 7:19 am

Hi! I was just wondering where that picture of that abandoned house is taken? Great article!

SherNovember 11, 2018 - 3:44 pm

Hi Catherine – glad you found the article helpful! Hm, I’m not sure which picture you’re referring to. Do you mean the photo right above “day 7: the albayzin”? If so, it’s on the Paseo de los Tristes.

AmyJanuary 9, 2019 - 1:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your travels! We are heading to Spain this summer and hope to follow a similar itinerary so your information is invaluable. At this point we were thinking of flying into Barcelona and out of Madrid but I like your itinerary of Madrid – Cordoba – Seville – Granada – Barcelona (although we may also add a stop in Mallorca). My question for you… Is there transportation between Granada and Barcelona without going through Madrid? When I’ve looked at the train schedules it appears you’d have to go from Granada to Madrid to Barcelona. Any advice you have would be great!

SherJanuary 9, 2019 - 2:01 pm

Hi Amy – glad you found my site and so happy it’s been helpful! You can fly from Granada to Barcelona! It’s a super short flight and I think we took the local Spanish low cost carrier Vueling, since they had a lot of availability. You can check flight availability for your dates here.

There was an overnight train from Granada to Barcelona, but they’ve been doing construction so it’s not always offered. Plus it’s a pretty long ride by train. Hope that helps!