Ideas for a romantic week for two in Spain?
January 26, 2010 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Looking for ideas about how to spend a romantic week in Spain in April. Both in our early 40s. Good music and food is a must. Everthing else is completely open. Anybody with some nice experiences, activities and secret travel tips they wish to share?
posted by vizsla to Travel & Transportation around Spain (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The husband says Barcelona has everything. He says all the big cities have cool, romantic, "old" sections. He prefers the countryside and gives big ups to Cordoba for being a charming town with a nearby castle and charming countryside.
posted by Neofelis at 5:53 PM on January 26, 2010

I'd recommend an evening in a Baños Árabes which can be found in many of the big cities. Medina Mayrit in Madrid was an incredible experience. Just bring a swimming suit. There is a good and classy arabic restaurant above or you can go to someplace like Teatriz which is also amazing for its ambience as well as its food.
posted by JJ86 at 6:10 PM on January 26, 2010

Best answer: We went to Spain for our honeymoon in June and traveled to San Sebastian-Donostia, Barcelona, and Madrid. Overall, I felt San Sebastian was the most quaint and romantic; however, the weather was best in Madrid (warm and dry).

San Sebastian is, however, has an incredibly lush and beautiful countryside as well as pretty beaches. Additionally, it has some of the best food in the world as well as a lively pintxos scene. Barcelona is a larger, fashionable city, but not so much with the tapas/bar hopping.

The only issues I would see with visiting San Sebastian might be the weather, the smoking (the Basque are heavy smokers) and possibly the language barrier (Basque has very little similarity to Castellano or Catalan).
posted by kathryn at 8:20 PM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

And do note that much is closed in Spain on Sundays and/or Mondays.
posted by kathryn at 8:26 PM on January 26, 2010

Response by poster: kathryn : Your photos look incredible. Any clues on where you stayed while you were there?
posted by vizsla at 9:20 PM on January 26, 2010

Best answer: I'd second kathyrn's suggestions for the Basque country.

Another alternative is Southern Spain.

Sevilla -which fits many peoples conception of Spain with its tapas bars and flamenco and whatnot. Nearby you can also visit one of the white Andalucian towns such as Arcos de la Frontera. Finally there's Granada for the Alhambra.
posted by vacapinta at 1:25 AM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: I don't know where you're travelling from, but if you're coming from the UK I can recommend the overnight train from Paris to Barcelona. If you're into trains that is! We got a pretty good deal with Eurostar included plus dinner, in a wee private cabin with cute bunkbeds. There's also an overnight train to Madrid.

Barcelona is worth a visit for the jaw-dropping Gaudi cathedral alone, surely one of the most beautiful spaces in the world, especially when the sun comes through the stained glass in the morning. The museum in the basement about the architecture is fascinating too. It's also of course one of the world's great food towns. If you do visit Barcelona, stay in the Hostal Antic Espai, it's like having an eccentric rich relative with a spare room!
posted by Erasmouse at 2:33 AM on January 27, 2010

Barcelona is amazing and beautiful, can't recommend it enough.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:16 AM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: I think I messed up the link to my Spain collection on Flickr. Here's the corrected link.

In Madrid, we stayed at the amazing Best Western Atlantico, located right on Gran Via. I loved everything about it except the location and lack of in-room wireless. I believe we had to use an ethernet connection or go up to the bar to use complimentary wireless. We booked a rate without the hotel breakfast and found the price they were charging to be a little much. But overall, it was very convenient to the major landmarks and museums, but a good 20 minute walk from La Latina, the wonderful, scenic, romantic tapas-bar-filled neighborhood I fell in love with.

In Barcelona, we stayed at the Hotel Casa Camper in Raval, an up-and-coming district that's still a little gritty. Service was fantastic. They surprised my husband with a tiny cake on his birthday just after having seen his DOB on his passport during check in. A nice buffet breakfast was included in our rate, as well unlimited cold water and snacks from the kitchen area, and free wireless internet throughout. The sitting room, however, is located across the hall from the bedroom, which can be inconvenient. Excellent location for sightseeing and the beach, but a little bit further away from the neighborhood of Eixample, which is where we ended up doing a lot of shopping and eating.

Additionally, we stayed at the Prestige Paseo de Gracia for one night before leaving Spain and thought the amenities were not quite as nice but the location was far more convenient for dining and shopping. I booked online and received free buffet breakfast as part of the rate. I found the buffet breakfast at the Prestige to be much more calm and a bit more upscale, which was a nice start to a day filled with travel. They also do not have bellhops, and we had a ton of luggage that they couldn't help us with, oddly.

In San Sebastian, we stayed at the Hotel Maria Christina, which is gorgeous but also not well maintained and showing its age greatly. Very nice staff and impressive decor, and a gorgeous riverview from the tiny balcony, but internet access was expensive, and I was bothered by the smoking of others even while in our non-smoking room. Smoke would drift in from the hallway overnight. I had a sore throat the entire time, until we left. Next time I would stay somewhere a little more "boutique" and modern, with smoke-free floors.

Overall, there was nothing "wrong" or "bad" about our hotel experiences, but I did find the TripAdvisor ratings to be extremely on point. I also printed out Maribel's Guides from her site, which are great references from a local's point of view.

One more note: if you're traveling from the USA, be sure to bring a voltage convertor that can fit a Spanish outlet. Our hotels all had power outlets that were recessed and circular! Having only visited the UK before, I wasn't prepared.
posted by kathryn at 10:28 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Look into staying at a Parador in whatever part of Spain you decide to visit. They are state runned luxury hotels often in castles or other historic buildings. Pricey but so worth it for a night or two. I've stayed in the Parador in San Sebastian de Compostela and the one in Oropesa and in Ciudad de Rodrigo. You can also just have a meal in one (or even a drink) as castles are usually found at the top of the hill and so have great views.

The feria de Sevilla is in April and depending on your likes, may be something to look into. It's a big deal in Sevilla, full of music and color.

I'm married to a madrileño, lived in Madrid and have traveled all over Spain. Santiago de Compostela is one of my favorite cities. It's in Galicia, which is that part of Spain that sits above Portugal. It's very different looking than much of Spain - greener, more trees, and also home to my favorite Spanish bread, pan gallego and favorite cheese, tetilla.
posted by daneflute at 5:00 PM on January 28, 2010

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