Barcelona or Madrid?

Old Sep 14th, 2002, 08:05 AM
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Barcelona or Madrid?

Having only 5 days to spend in October and never having been to Spain, which area is best for the first time to Spain, Barcelona or Madrid? Roaming around is our favorite activity, along with eating and drinking. Can't dance a lick.<BR><BR>Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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Dan, this particular question -- Barcelona vs. Madrid -- has been asked and debated numerous times on this forum, but since people are having trouble with the "search" function you may have trouble pulling up the previous threads, but give it a try.<BR><BR>As a massive generalization, the split is about 50-50.<BR><BR>The ones who like Madrid, like it because because it is "more Spanish" than B., has great museums, and there are good side trips to Escorial, Toledo, etc. (just try to do those on your own and not on one of the rip-off bus tours). <BR><BR>The ones who like Barcelona, like it because it is more cosmopolitan and the Basque/Catalunyan flavor is special, because it is a very pretty hilly, coastal city, and there is a great deal to do re:both modern and older art and architecture. Some think it has more anti-tourist crime than Madrid, but others disagree: in October, it should be much much less of a problem than July-Aug.<BR><BR>I'm thinking you might prefer Barcelona because there are so many places to roam around and so many different kinds of things to eat and drink. Madrid has less variety in food and the two main plazas where you would wander can be a bit "touristic" although they are nice.<BR><BR>Bottom line, no one will ask you to dance, and you really can't lose in either city! Have a wonderful trip.
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 10:12 AM
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In October, weather in Barcelona may be a little cool. Madrid, being further south, should be warmer.<BR>If you do go to Madrid:<BR>The Prado Museum ~ if you like art at all. Fantastic collections & building is a treasure too.<BR>Royal Palace ~ Again a museum, but stunning.<BR>Barcelona:<BR>Las Ramblas and the Gaudi archeticture.<BR>His apartment building and the Cathedral are certainly different.<BR>Our favorite places in Spain are the smaller towns such as Rhonda, Cordoba, Carmona etc.<BR>As for larger towns, Seville was a hands down favorite.<BR>Barcelona and Madrid are both big bustling cities.<BR>Where ever you go, the Moorish Mosques and the Roman ruins are incredible.<BR>For a hotel, consider the Spanish Paradores, state owned and run hotels. Very, very plush and some of the best food anywhere. Reasonable too, especially considering the places. The one in Granada is on the grounds of the Alhambra (only 9 rooms, so try to reserve ASAP). After all the tourists leave, guests at the Paradore have those magnificent gardens all to themselves.<BR>Get a brochure from the Spanish Tourist office.<BR>We are off to Russia tomorrow, but writing this almost makes me wish we were returning to Spain.<BR><BR>Have a great time.<BR>Maryann
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 06:08 PM
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Barcelona, a walkers paradise.
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 10:13 AM
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I just got back from Barcelona. I loved it. The Gaudi houses are just the most amazing places, and I ate really terrific food every day. <BR><BR>The real reason I'm posting is that I read links posted on this site about how frightening and crime-ridden Barcelona is. I did stay in the Eixample, which is a very safe area, but I walked all over town and didn't feel remotely scared - no one was looking at me, no scary vibes. I'm sure there is violence and crime, but Barcelona felt as safe to me as anywhere else I've been.
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 12:49 PM
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I had to agree with Kate. I just got back from Barcelona last week as well and stayd in the Eixample area but walked and took the Metro all over town. No one really bothered with us.<BR><BR>Anyway back to the original question. I would vote for Barcelona because of its distinctive architecture which makes it not just another European city.<BR>
Old Sep 15th, 2002, 12:52 PM
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In October, I would go to Madrid, but wouldn't stay there more than 2 days and would take the AVE to Seville and do some sightseeing. For a first timer to Spain, this is the first region of Spain you should see. Too bad you only have five days????
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