A week in Spain- which destination?

Old Jul 8th, 2016, 09:31 AM
  #1  
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A week in Spain- which destination?

Next May, we hope to go to Spain for a week (that week would include travel days). I'm a little overwhelmed in all of our choices, so I turn to the great Fodorites for guidance.

Last year, we went to Vienna for a week and had the best time. We loved having the time to really explore the city rather than trying to cram a few things into a couple of days before zooming off to Salzberg or somewhere. For that reason, I lean more towards picking one city in Spain rather than attempting to do an "If it's Tuesday this must be Seville" kind of travel spree through the country. If you all think it would be better to do 2 cities, though, that could work. This may be our only trip to Spain.

In Vienna, we enjoyed going to museums, attending plays and musical performances, and walking through the neighborhoods. We absolutely loved the wine bars and cafes, and wiled away many hours just sipping wine, people watching. We went on a fabulous food tour. I would hope to do similar things in Spain. (If it matters- we like the sweeter wines.) Good public transportation is a must; I have zero desire to rent or drive a car.

Barcelona and Madrid are the obvious choices. From my preliminary research, I'm thinking Madrid might be more in line with our interests- but some people are diehard Barcelona fans, and it looks like we could probably take a train between the two. But I also have read fascinating things about some of the other cities, so maybe we should try Madrid (or Barcelona!) and one of those?

TIA!
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Old Jul 8th, 2016, 10:06 AM
  #2  
 
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There are number of wonderful places one can visit in a day from Madrid...
Toledo, Segovia, Escorial,, Salamanca , Zaragoza, Valencia, even Cordoba.
Many , of course, " deserve" more time, but it is possible by fast trains.
Barcelona is a fabulous city with unique architecture , the beaches, Catalan culture,several interesting day trips easy to do.
I have visited both about 10 times.
As I got to know Madrid better ( outside the usual tourist spots),
I have found more to do in the capital.
The public transit in both cities is first rate.
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Old Jul 8th, 2016, 06:34 PM
  #3  
kja
 
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I don't think you would go wrong with either location, but you might want to do a bit more research to see which appeals to you most. For example, both Madrid and Barcelona have a number of excellent museums, but with very different emphases. Both have interesting neighborhoods. Both have great food and wine. (It is Spain!) And both offer some delightful day trips, or can be paired with another place where you might stay just a night or two (Toledo would be my choice for a 2 or 3 night stay outside of Madrid; Girona would be my choice for a couple of nights outside Barcelona; but you have LOTS of options).

No bad choices here -- just hard ones!
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Old Jul 9th, 2016, 12:53 AM
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Both Barcelona and Madrid would tick all your boxes, but so would also Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada and Málaga.

Málaga - 3000 years old Phoenician Malaka - is the new museum city in Spain, and a fabulous culture and theater scene as well.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-culture-spain
"Málaga - Spain's best kept secret": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...pt-secret.html

Fabulous food:
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...taurants-tapas
The new gastro market: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...odie-traveller
The fabulous old Atarazanas market, a couple of divine tapas bars in here: https://eastofmalaga.net/2014/07/25/...ry-perception/

Then you have the sweet wines typical of the Málaga region: http://www.andalucia.com/gastronomy/malagawines.htm
No place better to taste them than in Antigua Casa de Guardia from 1840, right in the heart of town:
http://antiguacasadeguardia.com/ http://www.gustoguides.com/drinking/...uardia-malaga/

And May is serious festival time in Andalucía, a great opportunity to get under the skin of things and experience all aspects of the local culture: http://www.andalucia.com/festival/monthlyguide-may.htm

Especially Córdoba in May is something very special, celebrations almost 24/7 through the whole month: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/festivals.htm

This video will get you in the Córdoba mood, "Córdoba - vida y genio" (life and spirit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyfGdpF55Uk

Excellent public transportation. From Málaga to Córdoba is 50 minutes (high speed AVE train), to Granada 90 mins (ALSA bus), to Sevilla 2 hours (train) and to Madrid 2,5 hours (high speed AVE Train).

This month in Málaga is exceptional, but gives you an indication of the culture scene down here. Some 30 concerts with world class artists from late June to late July as part of the Terral summer festival. Goes on in the Cervantes theater, Echegarray theater, in the La Malagueta bullring, up on the Gibralfaro Castle etc. etc. http://www.malagaturismo.com/es/even...erral-2016/519
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Old Jul 9th, 2016, 09:45 AM
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For a first time trip I would visit Seville, Granada and Madrid. You need 10 days and if you can fit a daytrip to Cordoba and/or Toledo/Segovia, even better.
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Old Jul 9th, 2016, 07:57 PM
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Following! Thanks
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