barcelona or madrid?

Old May 17th, 2002, 03:52 PM
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barcelona or madrid?

My friend and I are planning a trip to Spain for 10 days in late july. any suggestions on which city to fly into, what to see and where to stay? We are not planning on renting a car so also wondering what is the best way to get around. we were thinking of flying into barcelona staying there a few day and then going south to see seville.
Old May 17th, 2002, 04:17 PM
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Have you looked into any tour packages from Globus Tours, Trafalgar Tours, Continental Airlines Vacations, etc? Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Costa del Sol, Gibralter, & Seville should be on your list.
Old May 17th, 2002, 04:56 PM
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We were in Spain for 7 days in March. We flew into Barcelona and out of Madrid. Spent 3 days in Barcelona, flew to Madrid (1 hr, $70 euro), stayed in Madrid for 4 days. Spent 2 days tootling around Madrid, 1 day in Toledo and 1 day in Seville - took the AVE, turista, 2.5hr. If we had 3 more days, probably would have tried to spend the night in Seville or Cordoba or Granada so we could have toured Cordoba & Granada. You don't need a guided tour to have fun.
Old May 17th, 2002, 06:38 PM
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I would pick Barcelona and Serville over Madrid. Both are terrific cities. Get some guidebooks (Fodors and Rick Steves and Frommers are all good)and you'll have all the information you need. I was glad I went to Madrid to see the Prado and Sofia, but Barcelona and Serville were so much more wonderful.
Old May 17th, 2002, 11:05 PM
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Well, I was having a difficult time last year trying to see as much of Spain as possible in only 10 days. Finally we decided to take a 10 day tour of Spain which included all the major cities and had a perfect vacation. We did not have to worry about booking different hotels, transportation or sightseeing. Breakfast was included daily, as were some lunches and dinners at delicious local restaurants.
Old May 18th, 2002, 12:02 AM
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Personally, I like spending more time in one or two cities, and doing day trips. I've found that if I try to hit too many places in one trip, I never get the feel for any one of them.

That said, I'd recommend chosing two cities from Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. For a first trip to Spain, I'd recommend Madrid and Seville.

Madrid is a very cosmopolitain city -- great museums and an amazing nightlife. It also is ringed by some incredible day trips -- Segovia, Toledo, El Escorial, etc. Seeing at least one of them is a must.

Seville is smaller and more refined. Being in Andalucia, it is more "typically Spanish". It is a good city to relax in -- great patios, tapas, flamenco, etc. There are fewer day trip options -- Arcos, Cadiz, and Cordoba are particularly good.

The other advantage of Madrid/Seville is that, as a pair, there is the AVE (high speed train) that connects them. It's about 2 1/2 hours from downtown to downtown. Since Spain is very mountainous, the scenery is good. No major sites, but a much more pleasant option than flying.

Having said all of that, late July could be an issue. Seville is known as the frying pan of Spain. As beenthere points out, flights between Barcelona and Madrid are cheap. Barcelona will be far cooler (temp and otherwise) than Seville. Maybe pairing Madrid and Barcelona would make more sense...
Old May 18th, 2002, 03:20 AM
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Barcelona is a much nicer city than Madrid, but it is really off the beaten path in Spain. It is far easier to travel to the most desirable parts of Spain from Madrid. The great hi-speed AVE train connects Madrid with the south and the distance is shorter. It is very hard to fit Barcelona into a good Spain trip without having to fly within Spain.
Old May 18th, 2002, 04:10 AM
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I agree but you can visit Barcelona and Sevilla using the night train... so ,you dont need a flight!
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