I have 8 days to spend in Andalucia and want to hit Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. I will not be renting a car, so I will be relying on buses, trains, and blablacar to get around.
How long should I spend in each city? I'll be heading to northern Spain after this for some beach / relaxation time, so I'll be mostly in Andalucia for food & cultural activities.
If you are going to have beach time later in your trip, and you only have 8 days for Andalusia, I might skip Malaga and visit there another time. I would start in Seville and spend at least three days there. Visit the Royal Alcázar of Seville, Seville Cathedral, Plaza de España, Plaza De Toros (bullring) and walk along the river across the bridge to Triana where the working folks live. You can catch a Flamenco show in one of the local bars if your lucky. Eat as many times as you can at Ovejas Negras. Try Bar Estrella for some old school food.
Next take a one hour train ride to Cordoba (Spain). Totally underrated and alot of bang for your buck. I would spend two days here. Upon arrival, spend a day walking around the city. See the Roman Bridge, Calahorra Tower, and the Roman Temple. Have a meal at Taberna Luque. Spend the next day at the Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba.
Next, take an almost 3 hour train ride to Granada. I would spend three days here. Of course, you will spend 5 or 6 hours at the Alhambra/Generalife. Visit the Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel of Granada. Spend a day walking the city. Walk up the hill and explore Sacromonte. See a gypsy flamenco show in a cave and visit the gypsy museum. Walk around the Albayzin and see the cobblestone streets, white washed homes and daily life of the locals. You can also spend a couple of hours enjoying the baths at the Hammam Al Ándalus Granada - Baños Arabes. Best of all, spend your evenings enjoying delicious and inexpensive Tapas. You can tapayar at different places all over town for 3 nights, easy. Make sure to go to Taberna La Tana, Bar Poë, and Bodegas Castañeda. Yummy and so cheap.
I know this is alot of information, but eight days is just enough time to experience the culture, food, and historical treasures of Andalusia. Visit Malaga on another trip when you don't have additional beach time (hope you are going to San Sebastian). You will fall in love with the region, I promise.
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Ask for tapas -snacks- and manzanilla-typical local wine-mmm.