New York City
Thanks everyone for the road-trip advice for Andalusia!
We are excited about the idea of renting a car upon landing in Malaga, then driving to Cordoba, Granada and places in between.
One concern however: what to do with the car once arriving in these cities? We just want to walk everywhere and I'm guessing the traffic is terrible and parking even worse.
Malaga to Córdoba is a nice drive on a new motorway (A45). In Cordoba city, street parking is not so hard to locate and the whole of the centre is a blue zone (blue lines painted on the street indicate parking zones), which means you must pay for a ticket in a parking ticket machine and leave it on display inside the car. Parking is free at the lunch hours (14:00 - 16:30) and on Sundays. In Cordoba, check out the Mercado Victoria in the park in the city centre; has many stalls offering all types of delicious food, both local and international.
In Sevilla, street parking is very difficult (more narrow one way streets as well) so if your hotel does not offer parking, better to locate a public parking garage near your lodgings before you arrive and plan to head there upon arrival in Seville. There are a couple of good underground garages along the river front if you're staying near the bullring. A good eatery in Sevilla, Bodeguita Casablanca, near the cathedral.
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I did the drive from Malaga to Granada to Córdoba to Seville. I found parking in my hotels in Granada and Cordoba. Get the smallest car that can accommodate your needs. Not only will you save on gas (which is EXPENSIVE), but you'll find getting around those tight streets a little easier. Also, you can save a few bucks on the rental if you know how to drive stick.
You're spot on about traffic and parking in old Spanish cities. In all three of these we used our GPS to find parking garages, then left our car for the duration of our visit and just walk. Seville was the most difficult for us, but we did find a garage outside the city wall and left our car for 4 days there without a problem. Granada and Córdoba were both easier. In Granada we even found a garage within the city.
Just bring GPS and breath and you'll be fine. :) Driving there can be a bit crazy, but not impossible.
Hi Paul, if you are staying in a hotel in the city center you´d better take the the parking space of the hotel and go walking everywhere.
In Malaga city you can go walking almost everywhere, if your hotel is not in the city center, I recomend you to park at Parking Andalucía (is a public one in the city center, in front of El Corte Inglés building (department stores). From here you can easily go walking everywhere.
Hope you have a good time in Andalucia, and if you need some more information do not hesitate to contact me again.
You'll be pleasantly surprised I think. The Spanish hate paying for car parking so take up every available free parking space! The good news is that leaves all the car parks (and there are enough of them) reasonably empty for 'tourists'. Also, they're nowhere near as expensive as the UK.
Once you're parked up in Granada, public transport is great and well signed and most places of interest are walkable in the city.
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Parking is difficult in Granada but your hotel should be able to help. You might find yourself paying around 20 euros for 24 hrs.
I second getting a smaller car if possible - you'll have to drive around some incredibly narrow streets in Granada (and the one-way system is hell, found myself going back over the river and round the roundabout many, many times)