Flights to Madrid were wide open so I Decided to visit Sevilla. I did not realize at the time that taxi drivers were striking in Madrid and Barcelona with violent outbreaks. I did hear of a new App, International SOS, which sends you alerts of incidents at your location. Can’t wait to try it out.
But I digress. I Hopped on a plane to Madrid with the intention of heading south to Seville. First class on the flight was great. Got some sleep. Upon landing quickly exited plane and after the long walk to customs, was out of the airport in less than 15 minutes. No lines!
In order to get from the airport to Sevilla, you need to get on the Renfe train. The train only departs from terminal 4. We arrived at gate 73 in terminal 1 (delta terminal). You have to catch a separate shuttle to terminal 4 to get train access. We followed the metro signs in our terminal for about 20 minutes before we got sent to terminal 4.
There were a couple people in line but we got tickets in 5 minutes. Walked immediately onto a train that just arrived heading to Madrid Atocha Station. The train departed at 9am and arrived at 9:40. A cab would have been about 35 euro and taken 20-30 minutes.
The whole reason we didn’t take a cab was because I had read the lines at Atocha train station were horrendous. Online it said to save time my buying tickets at airport. And once we got to Atocha the lines were insane. 30-40 people in a massive line.
Also, if you buy your train tickets at the airport, the ticket to Atocha is included in your price. So that was nice. The regular price of the ticket was 80 euro but first class had a special deal for 73 euro. Score!
After you get into Atocha, you cross upstairs through the main area over to Atocha de Puerto. Then you get in line for a security check. Once you enter the secure area, you wait for your train to get assigned a gate. We got through security from Madrid airport in about 50 minutes. We waited in line to change our tickets but they were sold out so we had to wait another hour for our train.
Boarded the train quickly after they opened the gate. The train is quite nice. We were lucky to get first class seats on special. Price for coach was 80 euro per person and 73 euro for first class.
What’s the difference? Seats are more padded and you get food and drinks. Coach has the foam thinner seats with cloth fabric while first class has leather seats that are thicker. Slightly less space. First class is 3 seats per row while coach is 4 seats per row.
For your meal, they start out with a small beverage service and bag of cookies. White wine, water or orange juice. The second round is a boxed lunch with two different half sandwiches and a cookie and chocolate along with a full beverage selection. Check out the menu for your options.
The train ride was quite scenic. Rolling hills and farms and mountains in the background. Two stops, Córdoba and Seville. Córdoba was and hour and 40 minutes while Seville was two and a half hours from Madrid.
Caught an Uber outside the train station to our hotel. 6 euro. We stayed at the Hotel Alfonso. Check out my separate review of the spectacular place!
The Uber did have a problem getting to our hotel as the street is closed except to taxis. If you have a lot of luggage, you might just want a cab..
After checking in and getting ready, we headed out to Plaza de España. A gorgeous exhibition with beautiful buildings and fountains. Next to it is the Maria park. Beautiful to walk around.
After a few hours of walking around we headed to Toby’s for dinner. Got some tapas and some sangria. The sangria was the highlight.
The next day we headed off on a day tour to Cordoba. We booked a tour through Viator which was through Andulusar Excursiones.The tour was $80 per person and we felt it was too high. You really could take a train yourself and see the main sights on your own.
They could not pick us up at our hotel so a 10 minute walk took us to the main office where our guide met us. We met at 7:40am. Two more stops and we gathered the rest of the tourists.The bus was for over 30 people. A big huge tour bus but there were only 6 of us in total. We got under way around 8:30am.We drove for an hour and a half to Córdoba. Our tour guide told us all about the area. Very pretty countryside.
When we arrived in Cordoba, we walked a few blocks to the Córdoba tour office to meet our guide there and gather more people. We had a few minutes to use the restroom and grab a coffee. We then walked a block to the Alicazar of Córdoba. Stunning gardens and mosaics.
We then walked through the old town to the Jewish Quarter and synagogue.
After that we headed to the Mosque. WOW. This is a must see.
Our walking tour was about three hours and just too long. The English guide was hard to follow. We really could have done it solo. We then had two hours to sightsee. We stopped at a local restaurant for lunch and tried the Córdoba speciality.
Then drove back to Seville. Overall I really enjoyed Córdoba.
Got back to Seville and after freshening up we headed back out and go on the Hop On Hop Off Bus.
It was rainy out by now and you had to sit inside so not as fun. The pre recorded commentary is also very sparse. It would also cut off in areas. Afterward, we Had dinner at our hotel and got to bed.
On Thursday, we headed out to the local area to tour the Alcázar and cathedral. I thought the Alcázar at Cordoba was better. We just got a prerecorded tour which was very bland. We then headed next door to tour the cathedral. Since the other tape was so boring we opted for the live tour of the roof. Fantastic. A must see.
After the tour, we headed to the train to go back to Madrid where we spent the night before our return trip to the USA. It was easy to buy your tickets right in Seville beforehand. We spent the night in he city center which was a waste since we didn’t go anywhere. But my friend likes 5 star hotels and there isn’t one at the airport. We stayed at the Melia Gran Fenix. Check out my review.
An Uber in the morning got us to the airport. Twenty minutes at most. We had to wait for our Uber due to the taxi strike but it wasn’t that bad. We made it through security in Madrid airport in 20 minutes. Very easy. Overall, It was a great two days in Seville.
The only thing I would change was going directly to terminal 4. That would have saved us some time. Also I would have stayed at an airport hotel to save money.