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Barcelona and Madrid 7 day trip in August. Will the cities be a ghost town?

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Jan 7th, 2013, 09:13 AM
  #1
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Barcelona and Madrid 7 day trip in August. Will the cities be a ghost town?

Hi,

I'm planning a quick small trip to Europe for me and 3 of my friends for August 8-16. It will be the first time that any of us have traveled to Europe. We are trying to choose between staying in Barcelona the entire trip and just taking a train and bus tours while there to different spots or staying in Madrid. I've heard from others that in the past, Spain and other European countries vacation during the month of August and close up shops. Is this still true? We are between the ages of 25-30 so we would be interested in the nightlife. My main concern is if most of the restaurants and shops will remain open during these travel dates. If anyone has any insight as to how the city will be during this time and the places we should visit and see please please share.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond. It is greatly appreciated.
.
waclark is offline  
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Jan 7th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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These are huge metropolatin cities and do not "close done" at any time of the year (maybe early on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day) so there will be things for you to do..BUT it will be super hot!!!! Google "August in MAD & BCN" and see what comes up..BCN is on the water and nearby Sitgres is a hip beach town. I quess I would Probably do BCN and areas on the coast rather than my personal favorite MAD.
So I would think, besides super hot,.. super crowded. AC is not readily available in many hotels. However it is Spain, a magical country for us visitors, and you will enjoy it..Tapas, Cava, Rosado, Sangria..seafood, etc, etc, etc.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 10:30 AM
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well, it is partly true that a lot of Europeans vacation in August. Probably more than in the US where it may be spread out more in the summer months. But obviously if they are all going to other places in Europe, shops cannot close up and no one could do anything.

Given your ages and interest, I wouldn't worry about that in the slightest, the shops that close up aren't the kind you will be going to and aren't the big ones (eg, some small family-run shops may close or some restaurants, mostly high end or very small family-run ones).

It will be hot hot hot, at least in Madrid. I would not go there in August. Things will be slow as they are in summer and August, especially. But the good points are no worry about getting cold or having to take heavy clothes or boots, and it stays light late. Barcelona has a more moderate climate, but of course, it is August and that is southern Europe, so it will be hot, but not like Madrid. I'm sure lots of tourists will be in Barcelona from other places, and there is a lot to do there. They do actually have a beach right in town, also.

Lots of locals will be gone from both, and out on their vacation elsewhere, but that shouldn't bother you a lot if you don't know anyone anyway.

here is some good info on the weather in Spain in August
http://gospain.about.com/od/spanishc.../qt/August.htm

In short, you all have never been to Europe, I would never ever ever recommend your first trip be to Madrid in August for a week. Barcelona would be fine. Barcelona is more fun, anyway IMO.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Both Madrid and Barcelona will be filled with tourist, while those that can, will be off someplace else. One of the things you'll find is that a number of restaurants close in August. This allows them time to regroup, clean up and have a little rest.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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I would stay in Barcelona...and take advantage of the beaches in the city or nearby.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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As far as nighlife is concerned Madrid and Barcelona are in a league of their own. Things do not start until midnight and sometimes it is hard to get a can at 3 AM.

It is hard to know when they sleep. But it will be hot, hot, hot.

Buy Time Out Madrid and Barcelona for specifics.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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Why would you want a can @ 3AM...??? You must suffer from keyboard craziness as so many of us do!!!
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Jan 7th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Thank you so so much each of you for the replies. I see that Barcelona would be the best match between the two. Maybe we can go by train to Madrid one day. Are there any other European destinations you would suggest for first time travelers?
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Jan 7th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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You do not want to got Madrid by train for the day.Or do an open jaw and spend the last two nights in Madrid, or go there first then train to Barcelona and leave from there.

It will be hot most likely, but if you are keen on seeing it, the bus tour will give you an over view and you will not get exhausted... plus visit a couple museums, have a couple nice meals.. then off to Barcelona and the beaches and architecture.

Spain is HOT in summer in the center and south but if that's the only time you can come, what else can you do.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Vueling has numerous flights from Barcelona...in Spain and Europe.
Cheap.
http://www.vueling.com/EN/
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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A bus tour sounds great. We're born and raised in Houston Texas so the summer heat and hummidity we are all pretty much used to.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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Why would you want a can @ 3AM...??? You must suffer from keyboard craziness as so many of us do!!!
____
It is also hard to get a cab.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Yu'all will have a b'all!! Get your cava, rosasda, etc @ a super market. V.G, prices.. Keep an eye and a hand on your stuff and don't take candy or anything from strangers as I'm sure you mothers have told you!! Envy you the experience..
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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If you REEEEEAlly wanted to party, a coupe nights in ibiza would have been amazing.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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a "couple" nights
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