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-   -   Barcelona or Madrid (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/barcelona-or-madrid-232311/)

NIna Jun 18th, 2002 02:17 PM

Barcelona or Madrid
 
Will only have enough time to hit one of these two cities, which would you recommend if only able to go to one? I've heard great things about Barcelona so I'm kind of leaning in that direction. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated (for hotels also)

Caroline Jun 18th, 2002 03:15 PM

Rest assured you can't go wrong either way, but my vote goes to Barcelona.

Erica B Jun 18th, 2002 03:48 PM

I second the vote for Barcelona!!! A beautiful city with much to see and do. Gaudi architecture is truly amazing; our favorites were La Pedrera, also called Casa Mila (don't miss the small but very interesting and atmospheric museum there.) Sagrada Familia is his famous unfinished church. Worth a visit, but perhaps skip the climb to the top (VERY long and confining circular staircase.) The Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas are lovely for strolling. You might want to try one of the hop-on/hop-off bus tours for a fairly economical way to cover much of the city in a 24-hour period. Wonderful restaurant (if still there) is El Pintor, tucked away on a side street near Plaza St. Jaume in Gothic Quarter. If you have time, and weather is warm, Barcelona is convenient to lovely beaches. In particular, we enjoyed Tossa de Mar on Costa Brava, about an hour or more from the city. Easily reachable by bus if you're not renting a car. Re: hotels, we enjoyed Duques de Bergara - modern with many amenities, conveniently located near top of Las Ramblas and metro station at Plaza Catalunya. Don't know what your budget is; we paid equivalent of USD $200+ per night about 4 years ago and although this was higher than we wanted to pay, felt it delivered much for the price. Have a great time!

Wendy Jun 18th, 2002 03:51 PM

I also think that you can't go wrong but I actually preferr Madrid. However if beach time is a huge plus for you then hit Barcelona. How un-helpful is that! haha! You'll enjoy either.

Paula Jun 18th, 2002 04:10 PM

My vote goes to Barcelona. Someone else asked this question recently and there were some very good replies. You might try checking back a few days.

Capo Jun 18th, 2002 04:14 PM

Hi Nina. Can't say anything about Madrid since I haven't been there, but I LOVED Barcelona. Fascinating buildings by Gaudi, and other Moderniste architects, and La Rambla is perhaps my favorite pedestrian street in Europe. <BR><BR>Wendy, out of curiousity, what is it that makes you prefer Madrid to Barcelona? Thanks.

ca Jun 18th, 2002 08:01 PM

I have been and spent time in both places. Barcelona is a much "hipper" town. Diverse and young. I myself love Madrid. It's on a much more grandiose scale then Barcelona could ever be. I also say, as a frequent traveler to Spain, I would always tell someone to go and see Barcelona. I however have been to Madrid more than a few times. And if yopu speak a little bit of Spanish it will be alot easier in Spains capital.

John Jun 19th, 2002 04:38 AM

Barcelona is great, but be warned, theft and bag-snatching are rife. Make sure you put all your valuables in your hotel safe and only carry what you have to. The favourite ploy of the thieves is to distract you in some way while their accomplice will try to help themselves. The Times in London has raised this issue frequently in the 18 months, mainly to try to get the Spanish authorities to take some action. However, don't let this put you off going, Barcelona IS a wonderful city, just be careful and no one will bother you. Have a good trip whever you decide to go.


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