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#90234 - 11/29/11 01:29 AM Arriving in Madrid - February
esteponapj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 5
Loc: sacramento, ca
I am thinking of using airbnb.com for housing whilst I am in Madrid - any thoughts? Also I was last in Madrid when the Peseta ruled - any hints to using the bloody Euro and plastic? Mind - I brought over Traveler's Checks the last time - it's been that long.
Also - I plan on spending 10 days in Madrid - and the surrounding areas - I work at a winery here in Ca. - any wineries I could visit near Madrid?
Thank you.

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#90235 - 11/29/11 06:50 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: esteponapj]
teachertraveler8 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 373
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
I have been traveling to Spain since pesetas and traveler's checks, but bank cards are really convenient and seem to offer the best rates. I bring some euros (maybe 50-100), they can be purchased at the bank beforehand. Bring along your bank card and make sure your pin has 4 digits. Also, contact the bank ahead of time to let them know. Unfortunately, I did not find any partner banks with my own. (Bank of America) They do partner with Barclays and you may find one in Madrid, but I used Santander in Seville.

I'm sure you've heard the advice about calling the credit card company. On both occasions recently, I've had to have my husband call from back home to verify that I was traveling. I'm not sure why. I did call before I left, but when I got over to Spain and made some charges, they were blocked. I don't think that is the norm.

I also recently heard about airbnb. If you end up using it, let me know. It sounds very intriguing! I googled "Airbnb reviews" and found some mixed results.

I don't know about wineries around Madrid. I toured a bodega in Sanlucar last April and it was very nice! You may have to get out into the country a ways, but again, I have no knowledge of that. Hopefully someone who knows will post.

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#90236 - 11/29/11 09:19 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: teachertraveler8]
jacmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 132
Loc: utah transplant
Totally agree with teachertraveler on using a debit card. We used it for large purchases and then would withdraw cash at ATMs for the smaller amounts.

We found that Banco Sabadell Atlantico did not charge us for the ATM. We used a Chase card and, of course we had their fees, but nothing from the Banco. There are several on Gran Via.

As to wineries, I saw (but did not visit) some wineries around Barcelona, but do not know anything about wineries near Madrid.

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#90238 - 11/29/11 01:57 PM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: jacmom]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 1445
Loc: Morbihan, France
yes atm for withdrawals are the best see if your bank has a correspondant bank in Spain, <i always use Barclays there no fee withdrawals for me. of course if not using my banesto real madrid card lol!!!

wineries you need to go to this site I help with info to set itup a few years back

http://www.apoloybaco.com/bodegasmadrid.htm
you can find bodegas in all of Spain and many other useful information but in Spanish
vale
_________________________
http://paris1972-versailles2003.com/

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#90239 - 11/30/11 01:07 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: pedmar]
esteponapj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 5
Loc: sacramento, ca
Thank you all for the info.
Re www.airbnb.com - I may just check out the apts. on this web site. But when I leave Madrid for Estepona - well, I might use the site.
Oh - is the Talgo still the best train from Madrid to Malaga - I remember taking "El Rapido" - it took all night.

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#90242 - 11/30/11 11:55 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: esteponapj]
teachertraveler8 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 373
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
It looks like you now have the AVE as your choice of train. Looking on the Renfe site, the set price for the trip is 87 euros, but if you can book in advance (up to 90 days) you can find tickets for 47 euros. You have to go into the "buy" part of the Renfe website to find the special web fares. It is relatively easy to purchase your train ticket in advance from the US. The biggest problem seems to be with credit cards. If you opt to do that, make sure yours knows what you are doing before you buy. The closer you get to your date, the fewer web fares are available. You can print your ticket before you go or at the train station with your information, I believe.

Have fun! I'm envious.

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#90245 - 12/02/11 02:01 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: teachertraveler8]
esteponapj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 5
Loc: sacramento, ca
Another question - I hate Bank of America - for many reasons - and my bank, U S Bank - has no presence in Madrid - any suggestions as to what bank to open an account to help with the trip - ATM and such?
Again - thanks much.

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#90246 - 12/02/11 02:03 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: esteponapj]
esteponapj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 5
Loc: sacramento, ca
BTW, Madrid Man - want to get together for a chato de vino - a thank you from me - in Feb?

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#90247 - 12/02/11 06:46 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: esteponapj]
teachertraveler8 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 373
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
I don't think you need to open an account to use a bank card. Check with your bank, but I used my bank card at other banks. You'll just end up paying a fee that you normally would for using another bank.

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#90248 - 12/03/11 05:22 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: teachertraveler8]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1158
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
In my 6 years in Madrid I had to open a bank account with BBVA .. just so that potential employers could pay money in . I had no job , no income .. and yet they were more than happy to let me have a basic account . But I never used my BBVA card and always used my UK card . If your card has a visa or mastercard symbol you'll have no problems using it ATMs and shops . Bear in mind that withdrawing money from ATMs in Spain incurs a charge ( sometimes upto €5.00 ! ) . Spain haven't followed the UK in scrapping all charges for ATMs .
Also , when using a card in a shop you , more often than not , will have to present some official ID .. such as a passport or ID card .

My friend is president of a wine industry company in California ( Napa ) .. He's French Canadian .. I visited him on a trip to SFO . Wonderful wine . I also have a friend ( Spanish ) who is managing director of a very well respected wine company in Spain ... They offer guided tours .. though they are a little outside of Madrid ( toward Burgos and I believe ) . The wine is delicious !! Check out : http://pradorey.es/home.php

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#90259 - 12/09/11 04:40 AM Re: Arriving in Madrid - February [Re: esteponapj]
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9080
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Originally Posted By esteponapj
BTW, MadridMan - want to get together for a chato de vino - a thank you from me - in Feb?

You got it, buddy! I look forward to it.

Saludos, MadridMan
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