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Barcelona / Madrid Plans

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Husband and I are planning 9 1/2 days in Spain during the 1st week in October and are going to visit Barcelona and Madrid only - 4 1/2 days in each plus a half day of train travel from Barcelona to Madrid. My sense is that Barcelona is a lovely relaxing city (can't wait to see the Gaudi architecture and the Picasso museum) with great restaurants and that Madrid is more urban (less relaxing) with art museums (Prado and the Reina Sofia) and lots of upscale dining/shopping. I am so looking forward to visiting both cities!

I am struggling with whether or not it is worth taking any day trips out of both cities. From Barcelona, should we take a day to visit Mont Serrat? And, in Madrid, should we take an afternoon to visit El Escorial plus the Valley of the Fallen? And should we take a day to visit Toledo? Should we spend the night in Toledo? Should we visit Segovia?

We are flying into Barcelona (landing on a Friday morning) and will fly out of Madrid on the Monday (10 days later). So far, I have a hotel reservation in Barcelona for 4 nights.

Fri ... land in Barcleona
Sat ... Barcleona
Sun ... Barcleona
Mon ... Barcleona (day trip??)
Tues ... train to Madrid .... Madrid
Wed ... Madrid ... Prado
Thurs ... Madrid ... Royal Palace
Fri ... Madrid ... El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen
Sat ... Madrid ... Toledo (spend overnight?)
Sun ... Madrid ... stay at Airport Hilton
Monday .... fly home

This is vacation, so I don't want to do too much, but we may not return to either city so I don't want to miss any "must sees".

Thanks for your thoughts!

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