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Barcelona or Florence+Venice for 6 days in early May?

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Apr 18th, 2012, 05:23 PM
  #1
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Barcelona or Florence+Venice for 6 days in early May?

If you had 6 days in early May would you rather visit Barcelona or Florence+Venice? I'm planning a last minute trip for my husband's 32nd birthday and can't decide. In either scenario, we'll hit the art museums, eat a lot and take in the architecture. Please give me your strong opinion to help me decide between them. We are enthusiastic about Italian and Spanish cuisine. And all three cities have world class museums and architecture. Previously, we've spent a week in Rome and a week in Madrid. Loved them both but Rome slightly more so. Some other considerations. If we do Italy, we'll be flying into Florence and out of Venice. Also, we are "early to bed, early to rise" types. So for us, taking away Barcelona's nightlife appeal, the two seem pretty evenly matched for what we want to do. What am I missing? Can someone please set me straight? Thank you!
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Apr 18th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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You have to make the choice - I am only telling you what I would do, having been to all of your choices. If you have never been, I would go to Florence and Venice. While Barcelona is both beautiful and exciting, we love Italy and Florence and Venice are so full of things to see and do.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 06:43 PM
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"Early to bed" may be difficult in Spain as the normal dinner hour is hours later than the US.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Check departure times from Venice---that may change your mind.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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I reiterate HappyTrvlr's comment. You may have trouble sitting down to a good evening meal in Barcelona before 9:00 pm.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 01:32 AM
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Thanks everyone. So +1 for Italy so far.

"early to bed, early to rise" - I just wanted to convey our dispositions. Literally, we can handle 9pm dinners (we lived in Argentina). It's just that friends recommend Barcelona for its nightlife. And we'd rather sleep at night and enjoy the day.

Departure times: Venice 6:55am and worse Barcelona 6:40am.

Are there any recommended day trips from Barcelona? Is 6 days too much there?

mamcalice - do you have hotel recommendations for Florence + Venice?

Thanks everyone!
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Apr 19th, 2012, 03:41 AM
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Day trips from Barcelona: Girona! It's a lovely city, about an hour's train ride from Barcelona. We spent 2 nights there & loved it. Also, Montserrat. I don't think 6 days is too much for Barcelona. We were there for 5 days (excluding our trip to Girona) & didn't see everything in Barcelona & didn't go to Montserrat. You can click on my name to read my trip report from October 2010 if that helps.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 04:37 AM
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Kwoo - am reading your trip report now. I'm sorry your backpack was stolen and will avoid the Hotel Granvia. But what a lovely trip overall and how lucky you were that your daughter could show you around.

Now after researching a bit I'm leaning towards Italy but my husband is favoring Barcelona. And it's his birthday. So.

I'm gonna research Barcelona more and ask new questions in a separate thread.

Thanks everyone!
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Apr 19th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Well when I can't decide I look at photos (I know lots of people would rather read about what there is to do, but some people like to 'see' things). So I have galleries of all three:
http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/barcelona
http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/ital...tuscany_umbria
http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/italy__venezia

It really is a toss up, your amount of time is right for both - 6 days Barcelona with a day trip or 3+3 Florence/Venice. Can't go wrong.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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IMO Italy any day, especially since you're interested in history and architecture. 3 days might be a little rushed though for Florence, especially since you'll have to factor in the travel time to Venice. As for Barcelona, it's a fun city, but I prefer Madrid. Anyway, you can't go wrong with either choice, happy travels
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Apr 19th, 2012, 09:32 AM
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isabel - your photos are stunning. you've convinced me to all three!

geetika - would you stay in Florence for all 6 days? I'm using miles so I could do that.

We were thinking 4 nights in Florence, 2-3 hour train to Venice, 3 nights in Venice. Please weigh in if you have an opinion here dear readers.

Surprise, surprise, I'm having a difficult time finding last minute accommodation in Barcelona. This might be the determining factor. And here I thought I had a choice in the matter.

Any leads for Florence and/or Venice?
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Apr 19th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Agree, isabel--gorgeous photos.

If this is a first trip, I'd vote for Italy. Have you check venere.com for hotels? Good luck!
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Apr 19th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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To avoid such an early morning flight (though you seem fine with the early morning thing), could you fly into Venice and out of Florence?
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Apr 19th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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TDudette - +2 for Italy!

Sassafrass - unfortunately,because I'm redeeming points I'd lose 2 days due to ticket (un)availability. Otherwise, I would totally go for it.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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jgg
 
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Tough, tough decision. Rome is my favorite European city, but Barcelona is my second sooo..... if only 6 days I think I would go with Barcelona as you could easily spend that much time there, particularly with the daytrip options. And that way with only six days you won't have to do a hotel change. The Gaudi architecture is amazing and since you've been to Madrid you know the Spanish food is amazing. We are not into nightlife either so that has nothing to do with my recommendation. Here is a link to my trip report - we were with our kids, but pretty sure we wouldn't do anything different: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...s-tangines.cfm.

BTW - we stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer and loved it!http://www.hotelpulitzer.es/index.php?idioma=en
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Apr 19th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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jgg - thanks for your comments and the recommendations. I'm going to check out your trip report tomorrow morning.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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The Hotel Pulitzer is sold out. Looks amazing though.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Rather than shooting arrows at individual hotels, go to booking sites like venere.com and booking.com to see what's available for your dates/cities. Then check reviews and book something. If cancellation policies are friendly, you can keep searching.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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Have been 10+ times in Barcelona, and it's my overall favorite city. Not only but also for its night life. But even more for its general vibe, day or night.
But: When someone mentions "world class museums" I do not necessarily think of BCN first.
Florence will have more to offer.
Architecture.. I think that is more a tie between the two or three.
Maybe Florence and Venice will keep you more busy and fit your preferences just a bit better than Barcelona.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 05:41 AM
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Jean - I took your advice after tracking down a list of preferred hotels only to find they were all booked. What a waste but now I know where to stay if there's a next time.

Cowboy1968 - you're right, "world class museum" conveys a breadth that BCN doesn't have. And not only. So scratch that.

Boy am I learning from this forum that I need to be more precise with my words. And that's a good thing.

Anyway, just wanted to let ya'll know that we have plane tickets and a hotel(!) and we're going to Barcelona this time.

Thanks everyone who wrote in, shared opinions and gave advice. You guys are great!

Happy Travels!
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