1st timer to Spain-7 days to travel

Old Aug 17th, 2004, 11:26 AM
  #1  
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1st timer to Spain-7 days to travel

I have about 7 full days (not including travel time) to go wherever I want. I am thinking a trek to Spain, would be great. I a 31 yr old married chickie, and I love to explore and soak it all in. I was thinking of focusing around Barcelona, with a day trip or two in there. Or maybe Madrid and Barcelona. Any suggestions? Thanks! Mandy from San Francisco Bay Area
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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k8b
 
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Barcelona is one of the world's great cities - I love it and am going there for the 4th time in November.

Rather than try to do 2 big cities in 7 days, take day trips outside Barcelona make more sense. Montserrat, Sitges, Tarragona, and Figueras are all great places to visit and will fill a day.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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Madrid is far more intellectual and sophisticated than Barcelona. Barcelona was too clean, too souless, too clever for its own good. That's my opinion, yes it is a minority view, but Barcelona is the most overrated destination I've visited so far.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Kingdom, here you are absolutely right !
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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Mandy - FYI, I am 34 and single, and just went to Spain in February. IMO, I think 3 days in Madrid (with a day trip to Toledo or Segovia), then 4 days in Barcelona, with a daytrip as K8B suggests, would be great. Barcelona (which is awesome), and Madrid are so different that it would make a nice contrast.

Best plan - fly into Madrid, train to Barcelona, then fly home from Barcelona. Open-jaw tickets of this kind are generally the same price as a Barcelona r/t.

BTW, I'll be in SF for the first time in my life for a week next month, and I can't wait!

Karen (from D.C.)
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:58 PM
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k8b
 
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Kingdom & Bader prove that personal preferences are amazing things. I enjoy Madrid and enjoy the contrast between Madrid & Barcelona but in terms of sheer vibrancy and passion, Barcelona has my vote, hands down. Madrid is an imperial city and very conscious of its status, I found. A nice place to visit. Barcelona holds a piece of my soul and my heart. I'd live there if I could.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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For your first trip to Spain, I would not miss Madrid. Barcelona is great, but far removed. I'd do Madrid for four days with a couple of day trips to Toledo and Segovia, then take the high speed AVE train to Seville for 3 days. Barcelona is wonderful and I had a great time there, but I didn't feel it was "quintessential" Spain. (I know that will rile some readers, sorry).
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Karen from DC-if you need any special info on your trip to San Francsico, let me know. We love it there (we live 20 minutes south) but are soooo embarrassed by the homeless/begging problem in the downtown. For some real SF spots and flavor, I can give you some ideas. Let me know and thanks for the tips. Oh, BTW, did you go to Spain by yourself?
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Barcelona is not Spain. It is Catalunya ! Its citizens would agree.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 04:35 PM
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Mandy writes: "Message: I have about 7 full days (not including travel time) to go wherever I want. I am thinking a trek to Spain, would be great. I a 31 yr old married chickie, and I love to explore and soak it all in."

It depends on what your interests are and when you go. I like the north of Spain: Galicia, Principality of Asturias and Cantabria. 15 Sep is 'El dia de Cantabria:' with many activities (concerts, etc.) centered around Santander. If I were going to be in Spain then, I would be in Santander.

If you are into Flamenco, there's a biennial flamenco festival in Sevilla from about 15 Sep to 10 Oct. Consists of competitions w/competitors from all over.

Barcelona, Spain, Capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalunia, is nice for a few days. Madrid is a 4-day (minimum) city if you include Toledo and Segovia. It's possible for a nice visit to Madrid and Barcelona in 7-days but you probably wouldn't be able to fit in much more.


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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Seven full days is very little time. You're best to do the Basque country - a fabulous region. Do a couple of nights in Bilbao, then San Sebastian, and that could be enough for your holiday.

Or you could do what I did and do a two centre Barcelona and Bilbao trip, although you have limited time.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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So many different opinions, but one thing I believe you can be sure of...you can't really go "wrong" with any of the suggestions that have been made so far.

IMO for a first trip, I'd suggest Barcelona, Seville, and Granada. While I like Madrid, I think the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona, the city of Seville itself and a flamenco show, and Alhambra in Granada are true highlights.
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