Travel Advice Thread

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isomeri

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A stop on the Trans-Siberian line (2016)
A stop on the Trans-Siberian line (2016)

It's been great to see how many duders like to travel and solicit advice for their journeys on these forums. But for a long time now I've thought it to be ineffective to have single threads relating to each query for specific travel advice. Those threads and the advice contained in them get lost, and people have to make the same recommendations over and over again.

So why not have a single thread where we can gather tips and recommendations for people to read and use long into the future? It's worth a shot at least.

I'll start off by asking for tips on southern Spain, Portugal and Morocco. The plan is to fly to Madrid and spend a little time circling around Portugal and Andalusia before crossing over to Morocco for a week or two. Never been around these parts of Europe or North Africa before, other than a long weekend in Barcelona. I'd be especially interested in tips on interesting places in southern Portugal and what kind of desert tours to do in Morocco.

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

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gamgamteo

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#2  Edited By gamgamteo

If you go to Barcelona, visit the Parc Güell and the Sagrada Família who are very beautiful. Barcelona is a tourristic city with many artistic things. :)

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isomeri

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If you go to Barcelona, visit the Parc Güell and the Sagrada Família who are very beautiful. Barcelona is a tourristic city with many artistic things. :)

Thanks for the response! Unfortunately, or actually very fortunately, I've already visited Barcelona a few years back. Parc Güell was interesting, but I got a sunstroke in the June heat and had to lay low for a couple of hours as a result. Sagrada Família had one of the most beautiful cathedral interiors I've seen. I really enjoyed the city and that first visit to Spain, so I'm excited to see more of the country.

It seems that this time my European leg will consist of Madrid, Lisbon, Sevilla and Gibraltar. I'll then take a boat to Tangier and continue exploring Morocco for a while.

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paudle

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Madrid is nice. I was there last summer. Very hot in the summer. Quite dry as opposed to the humidity of Barcelona. Partying is big there if you are into that. Lots of neat architecture. The Royal Palace should be seen. There are enormous art museums. I quite enjoyed it. Lots of good food.

You should try to see the Alhambra in Granada if you can.

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notnert427

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#5  Edited By notnert427

I've heard that Sevilla is the best place in Spain. I've never been personally, but two different people I trust independently told me the same thing from two different trips, so I thought I'd pass that along.

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Greys0nG

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I am going to Italy this June :)

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StrikeALight

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Heading to Venice for a few days in. September. Still need to book that water taxi!

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isomeri

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#11  Edited By isomeri

Thanks for all the recommendations! I had a blast in Lisbon and going trough Spain during Semana Santa. Seville quickly became my favourite place in Spain @notnert427, but quickly got overtaken by Cadiz. Gibraltar was a great oddity as well.

Morocco was spectacular, especially places like Tangier, Essaouira, and Chefchaouen. I still have sand in my camera and bags from spending a night in the Sahara during a sandstorm.

The Rock of Gibraltar with Morocco in the background.
The Rock of Gibraltar with Morocco in the background.

@strikealight: A couple of quick tips for Venice.

If you're on a budget, it's smart to spend your nights on the mainland near the Venezia-Mestre station. You get much better value for your money than on the islands and you can take the quick train ride right into the middle of the old city.

Do try to venture to the edges of the old city, out of San Polo and San Marco. There are much less tourists near the edges of Castello, and the waterfront park in the south-easter peak is a very good spot to relax.

And finally, prepare to get lost. Venice is a bit of a maze, since most streets only go on for a single block. In most cases you can't walk along the canals and it's very hard to get a GPS-signal in the smaller alleys. So just in case, reserve extra time for all of your walks in case you get lost once or twice on the way.

It's a very lovely city though, especially in early mornings and late evenings when most day-tripping tourists are not there. Great food and wine and surprisingly friendly people considering the hassle they have to go through with foreigners.

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dudeglove

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Madrid is great and very walkable city, though I can't see myself living there. If galleries and museums are your thing:

- Museo nacional del Prado for non stop paintings. A lotta Goya in there

- Museo Arqueológico Nacional is absolutely huge and I went two days and still didn't manage to take everything in

- Royal Palace is also okay but usually busy, so get in line early. Armory is impressive, palace is eh.

Parks?

- El Retiro (behind the Prado, huge and people always doing shit there like dancing and performing and hanging out)

- Real Jardin Botanico (right beside the Prado, kinda like walking into an open air perfume shop)

- Campo del Moro (behind the Palace, so so, I think you can get a horse ride around the grounds if you're that way inclined but there are peacocks.)

I didn't go further out to Casa de Campo but bring a pair of decent shoes if you do, because Madrid is generally quite hilly.

Food?

- Chocolatería San Ginés by Puerta Del Sol and just get what everyone else is having (churros and hot chocolate)

- Mercado San Anton (eat whatever, it's all good, basically an indoor tapas market of sorts)

- Any tapas bar and get wasted at 4 in the afternoon because you missed the lunch time shift.

Entertainment?

- Check what shows are on Gran Via. I saw Los Vivancos, which was a seven brother flamenco show of sorts that was a bit silly but fabulous all the same. Any sort of flamenco is great.

I don't know much about the other places, but I've been told more than once that Lisbon is super duper cheap.

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Zephyrus

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Me and my friends are planning to go to spain this January. We would love to see some nice beaches with clear water and some stunning scenery. We were thinking Majorca,Ibiza and Canary Island, we are up to some adventures and experience a great nightlife in our travel. I came across this great article too here in https://www.canaryislandsinfo.co.uk/lanzarote/things-to-do/ but i wanted to hear your thoughts first. Can anyone suggest any ideas or tips? Any help is kindly appreciated :)

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totsboy

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I'm going to Hamburg this weekend, any recommendations?

It's a very short visit, so I'm not planning to go on any museums, mostly looking for nice places to walk/go sightseeing and good restaurants and cafes =)

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Capultro

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#17  Edited By Capultro

You could consider flying into Madrid or Barcelona and taking the High Speed train to travel to the relevant city and then fly out of the other city. Having visited both cities it is a matter of personal interest . Madrid has great Art Museums. Barcelona has many things going including Gaudi. You cannot go wrong spending a week in either city or splitting it to give you a sighting shot of two wonderful cities. Both cities are enchanting and I suggest at least 4 days in each. Generally speaking Madrid has better nightlife and seems to be more obsessed with anything Spanish. Barcelona is obviously better for the beach. Both are great for food and shopping. I also recommend to take a private transfer https://aktis.taxi/ I will be using them again next May.

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Osiris519

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My family and friends have done a bunch of traveling in Italy with recent trips to Paris, Rome, Paris again, London, and Florence. If anyone would like tips or info on it I have some pretty lengthy itineraries that I've written up or received from my dad. This includes day by day tours as well as amazing restaurants and often overlooked museums.

If you would like a pretty all inclusive look at the big three in Europe (Rome, Paris, London) then please let me know!

To get some early questions out of the way:

Rome: surprisingly inexpensive once you get there, Old and dirty, the most history jam packed into one place.

Paris: Also surprisingly inexpensive (food wise especially), Cleaner than Rome but still a big city, November is an amazing time to visit (Beaujolais Nouveau), Get the Paris Museum Pass, walk Champs-Ekysees once but honestly worth skipping besides the Arc de Triomphe, the French are nice just don't be a crappy tourist (and learn some French they love it when you try to speak French!).

London: Expensive, funny accents, amazing food scene if you aren't just eating British staples and expanding to modern cuisine, a vast majority of museums are free, go to the Churchill War Rooms and the V&A Museum.