Reader Tips Contest: Seville, Granada, Cologne/Bonn, Mosel/Rhine, Leipzig, Rostock

May 27, 2008

in Airlines, Contest, Europe, Germany, Reader Tips, Sale, Spain, Travel

Readers are often skeptical at first that I travel as cheaply as I say I do, and the first target of their criticism is usually the cost of my flights. Looking over my budgets, you’ll see that I don’t crack the 30 euro mark on airfare, even when my trip is made up of six different flight legs. I revealed my secret here, but the short version is: let RyanAir pay the taxes and fees! If I still haven’t convinced you of my sincerity or cheapo cred, head over to the RyanAir site right now: they are holding another no-taxes/no-fees sale for the month of June, which they’ve extended till Thursday. You too can book your own flights for 1.51 euros!

For less than 17 euros airfare (that’s four tickets), June will find me traveling to Seville and Granada, Spain, via Frankfurt-Hahn airport. So my wise and fearless readers, I’m once again seeking your advice. I’m looking at two days near the airport and four nights in Spain. Have you successfully visited the “Romantic Rhine” without a car? Would you split Seville and Granada with two days each? Any hot tips on Andalucian cuisine?

Further, I’m making plans for daytrips with a visitor to Berlin and am looking at Rostock or Leipzig. Been there and have a preference? I’d love to hear about it.

Your wisdom can earn you a modest prize if I deem your advice the best. I’ll select a winner for each destination. Enter the contest by leaving your comments below!

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Tuesday Mailbag « Less Than a Shoestring
06.10.08 at 3:00 pm

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suz 05.27.08 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for the heads up about RyanAir! Good luck in Berlin, you might consider seeing Dresden while you’re in the area.

2 poetloverrebelspy 05.27.08 at 7:15 pm

Dresden pushes my daytrip limit at over 3 hours from Berlin one-way. I’d love to get there at some point though — have only passed through on my way to/from Prague.

3 Adrian 05.27.08 at 9:04 pm

I’ve been both to Granada and Seville a couple of times. I’m not sure two days each are enough to sightsee in depth but I guess that would give you a nice idea of the area.

In Seville visit the typical places: La Giralda & Plaza de España (both next to each other) , also I’d recommend the cathedral, the alcazar and la torre del oro (the golden tower).

You can get a bus card for 3€ for a day and there is also a tourist card that includes monuments tickets and such , not sure if its worth it since I had always free tickets for museums.

City is quite hot in summer so make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydratation.

In Granada you have to see La Alhambra, 12€ ticket tho. It’s worth it, amazing views of the city & the albayzin. Book your ticket in advance since there are limits:

I’d also recommend to walk the albayzin neighbourhood and the old town. There are many monuments you can enjoy.

4 Jen 05.27.08 at 11:00 pm

I was in Sevilla and Cordoba last fall. Here are my quick tips:

1. I didn’t think the Giralda was worth the extra entry price, and my friend didn’t either, although she enjoyed her visit to the garden area, etc.

2. Spend a lot of time in the Alcazar and the public gardens outside of it! So beautiful. We both thought the tour of the upper living quarters was definitely worth the extra money. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Dawdle for as long as you can and enjoy it and disregard the unpleasant guards who try to hurry you along up there.

3. If you are in Sevilla on a Sunday, spend lots of time in the Parque de Maria Luisa gawking at the families with their little girls dressed up like Sugar Plum Fairy princesses.

4. A great place to hang out and drink a couple of beers in a strange and interesting atmosphere is on an elongated, oval plaza in the northern part of the city. I *think* it is Alameda de Hercules…ask a native to be sure that’s the right name for the place I’m thinking of.

5 Nomadic Matt 05.28.08 at 4:42 pm

These are great travel tips and i like how you have all these deals. I subscribed to your site so I can learn from the master.

Will you be couchsurfing to keep flights down? how do u keep food costs down?

6 poetloverrebelspy 05.28.08 at 5:00 pm

Nomadic Matt, you’ll want to link to the Baring My Budget series, which shows you exactly how (and how much) I spend.

7 Rob in Madrid 05.28.08 at 10:03 pm

It would be nice if you’d go into more details about where you stay. That is the real reason why you can travel so cheap, when you eliminate hotels you save a lot of money. But what are the downsides to couch surfing. Have you had any bad experiences.

When the wife and I travel we know only stay in hotels, I”m getting too old to sleep on rickety old couches and sofa beds that should have been binned years ago.

8 Soultravelers3 05.28.08 at 11:28 pm

We are on the move now in Portugal, so I can’t go into detail here, but I have lots of info on Seville, Cordoba and Granada ( and lots more) on our website. Don’t miss the flamenco!

Maribels guides are great too and free ( obviously skip the expensive Just google and download.

Carpe Diem!

9 poetloverrebelspy 05.29.08 at 4:57 pm

Rob, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair for me to go into too many details about the people I stay with, since they have not agreed to have their lives put on display for dissection by a large audience simply by accepting me as their guest.

I have a general post about Hospitality Club here, but I will work on putting something more specific together that reflects on the experience I’ve gathered in four years of hosting and being hosted.

The best way to learn about it, however, is to try it — to whatever degree you feel comfortable: as a guest in another city, or as a host in your own town. A great way to ensure that there are good guest beds to sleep in is for you and others like you to offer up theirs! You can get your feet wet by having people over for dinner, meeting for drinks, or showing someone the unexpected sides of your city. If you do try it, I’d love to hear your impressions.

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