Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Trip Report - Madrid and Barcelona

Jump to last reply

Hi, just got back from 13 nights in Madrid and Barcelona. I do make notes throughout the trip, but I’m trying to get this report finalized before I forget all the details. I warn you, it's long!

First of all, thanks to everyone who has posted in the past - I spent a lot of time doing my research and your reports definitely helped. John and I have done a lot of travelling, but this was our first trip to Spain. Barcelona has been on our list for a while now, and with Air Transat offering direct flights to Madrid and Barcelona, it seemed perfect. We booked our flights and even booked our seats in advance – I’m not tall, but I do have knee problems and I wanted to make sure we had good seats. Here goes:

Overall Impressions

Loved Spain! I’m so glad that we saw both cities – they are quite different from one another, and I’m not sure which one I liked best. Madrid was a revelation – so lively and so much culture. Prices overall were very reasonable in both cities and the quality of the food was excellent. Good food is important to us and both cities did not disappoint. John doesn’t drink, so he usually had mineral water but I usually had at least one or two glasses of wine (red, white, cava, I don’t discriminate) or beer. We usually paid with Visa when we could. We walked our feet off, but the metros in both cities are also excellent – so convenient. There seemed to be a lot more tourists in Barcelona than in Madrid, which I guess I expected, but at times it is a bit too much, if you know what I mean. My impression was that people dressed a little better (or maybe I should say more formally) in Madrid. We saw a lot more people wearing shorts (and not necessarily nice shorts) in Barcelona – maybe it was because it’s on the coast and it was hot and humid there. (It didn’t do much for my hair – I definitely looked better in Madrid.) We had no problems with late dinner reservations – eating dinner at 10 PM was fine, although I’m glad I didn’t have to get up to go to work in the morning. I do speak a very little Spanish (Castilian) but we could get by without it. Catalan is really different from Castilian and I think it might be more difficult to learn! The recession has hit both cities and you can’t help but feel badly for the people. Even with the bad economy, though, the people are still out enjoying themselves. The tapas bars are packed – someone told us that before the economy tanked, we wouldn’t have been able to get in to many of the places. I could have gone nuts shopping – I’m not interested in the stores that we have here in Canada (like Zara), but all the little independent stores were wonderful. However, budget concerns kept my shopping to a minimum :). Most of what I did buy was handmade in Spain.

At the end of the trip, we agreed that there was still a lot to do and see in both cities but we’re happy with what we did do. City vacations are exhausting!

34 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's Go List 2015 Has Been Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Dec 19, 14 at 05:08 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 For those interested in visiting WW I sites in France
  2. 2 A month in Europe - how does this sound?
  3. 3 All Set To Go!!
  4. 4 Best Area to Stay in Amsterdam
  5. 5 Hotels in Toulouse & Montpellier
  6. 6 VAT refund Q--new carryon bag ??
  7. 7 Tripadvisor fined in Italy over fake reviews
  8. 8 Renfe planning strike December 26th
  9. 9 Trip Report Finally in Italy for the holidays - installment report
  10. 10 Ireland, Honeymoon, early June 2015, active couple
  11. 11 22 year olds in Europe
  12. 12 Earthquakes in Tuscany
  13. 13 Granada
  14. 14 Tour Guide in Budapest
  15. 15 Caserta, Italy? Anyone Been There?
  16. 16 Istanbul Bosphorus Tour
  17. 17 Early stages of planning for Euro trip + would love suggestions
  18. 18 Rome bus tours-which one?
  19. 19 Coffee in Naples
  20. 20 Trip Report A Sardinia trip report
  21. 21 Spain/EU trip in february "History,Nature is our main goal"
  22. 22 First time Ireland trip
  23. 23 Trip Report Truffles, Tajarin & Turin…Two weeks in the Piemonte Region of Italy
  24. 24 Favorite place for morning espresso or cappucino in Venice
  25. 25 Trip Report Spain and Portugal in Depth
View next 25 » Back to the top