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First time in Spain, how many days Barcelona???

First time in Spain, how many days Barcelona???

Dec 14th, 2007, 09:18 AM
  #1  
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First time in Spain, how many days Barcelona???

Hi there, hubby and I are going to Spain for the first time in the fall. We're going to split our time between Barcelona and Paris. I'm trying to figure out how many days we should plan for Barcelona as newbies??? We can stay anywhere from 7 days to 10 days during which we'll take an apartment.

I know this is likely a dumb question, but is there enough to do in Barcelona for 10 days?

We're up to using Barcelona as a base camp as well, to see other cities near by which might fill several days. We also like just hanging around in a new town, so I guess a few down days is great too.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated since I'm booking the tickets in the next two days. I'm really green when it comes to Spain!!!

Thanks a bunch!
GiuliaPiraino is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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Barcelona is great and deserves a week, but it is not really Spain--it is Catalonia and different from the rest of Spain. Spending a week each in Barcelona and Paris is a great idea. If you have more time to spend consider Avignon and the Provence region.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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We spent 8 day in Barcelona in Oct. and never left town - there was so much to see and do.

We like to take it easy, but some people who are "on the go" may be able to pack more in one day .
There are many side trips mentioned in guide books ( Montserrat , Sitges, Tarragona etc) - we hope to visit them next Sept. ( another trip to Barcelona!!!)
danon is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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Thank you for the info! Are Madrid and Valencia easily reached by train from Barcelona or are they too far? How is Catalonia different from "Spain"? I know the language is different too. I think 10 days will be better since if you factor in jet lag recover, it ends up being 7 days or so.

Thanks
GiuliaPiraino is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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I agree with Bob....one week in Barcelona and one week in Paris.
CarlosSandoval is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Yes Madird and Valencia are too far for daytrips but there are other places that work. Already mentioned Stiges, Tarragona - not mentioned Girona and Figueres. If you are not a "cram it all in" kind of traveler then I think a week or a bit more works fine in Barcelona - there is ALOT ot do just in the city plus the daytrips. As far as Barcelona "not Spain" because it is different - Madrid is also very different from Andulucia but Barcelona can be designated Cataluna. Like many of the European countries different parts of the coutnry may have very different flavors - and Barcelona is a delightful part of Spain.
suec1 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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" As far as Barcelona "not Spain" because it is different - Madrid is also very different from Andulucia but Barcelona can be designated Cataluna. Like many of the European countries different parts of the coutnry may have very different flavor"

Totally agree. I don't get this " Barcelona is not Spain"
Yes, it is different than Seville( "real Spain' ?) Naples is very different than Venice and Nice is nothing like Lyon .
danon is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Earlier this year, we went to Barcelona and enjoyed it very much. We spent 4 nights there, which was the right amount for us. But it was part of a trip that also included time after Barcelona in Figueres and Girona (delightful places both), the Languedoc and Dordogne regions of France, and flying out of Paris.

We could have spent more time in Barcelona, but that would have meant less time somewhere else (always the dilemma)!

On our trips, I always like spending some time in cities and some time in more rural areas. If that appeals to you, consider some time in in the Pyrenees, or on the Costa Brava.
Lexma90 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Hi Giulia - I was in Barcelona this May for my first time. I found 4 full days (5 nights) to be enough for me to see almost all of the major sights in Barcelona - but I also rushed around quite a bit to accomplish that goal.

Also - if I had added all of the minor sights that I didn't get to see, I would have probably stayed at least 2 more full days to fit those in as well (I just figured I'd go back to Barcelona on a second trip to see all the bits I missed - I like to have a good excuse to return!). Have a great time!
Magellan_5 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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I have been to Barcelona twice in the past year and a half. The first time I was there for three days and the second time for a week, and I didn't repeat much from the first trip on the second one. So yes, there is enough to do for ten days. The question in my mind would be more that if I had ten days, would I want to spend a few days somewhere else in Spain to experience the great variety it has to offer.

While Madrid is too far for a day trip, it is a short plane ride. There are inexpensive flights on Vueling, a Spanish budget airline.
Nikki is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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A week in Barcelona is always a pleasure, and yes there is a lot to do and see.

Regarding the comment that Barcelona is not really Spain, Spain is the total sum of it's parts, which by last count consisted of several distinct regions, Northern Spain (País Vasco, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia), Mediterranean Spain (Cataluña, Comunidad Valenciana and Murcia), Madrid and the environs, Inland Spain (Navarra, La Rioja, Aragón, Castilla y Leon, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha), Southern Spain (Andalucía), the Baleares and Canarias.

There are at least 5 distinct languages in common use today, and together they make up Spain. Each area is unique and together makeup “Spain”.
Robert2533 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 02:23 AM
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Amen, Robert ! Even "inland Spain" is too big..Aragon has more in common with the mediterranean regions than with both Castillas
But you got the point perfectly.

kenderina is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 03:50 AM
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How are you getting to Paris? If you would like a rural break between Barcelona and Paris you could find a small town in Languedoc as a base (I would take the train to Perpignon for example or Narbonne and pick up a car). You could then get a TGV to Paris. However, there is plenty to do in Barcelona and Paris if you choose 2 city stays.
travelbunny is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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I also did not understand the comment about Barcelona not being Spain!!

Giulia: Although there is a Catalan language, everyone you will meet will also speak Castilian Spanish. We spent a week there not long ago and certainly were not bored. We also did a trip to Cadaques, via Vic and Rupit, Pals, etc..if you have a car I would recommend that area if you want to get away for a day or two..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Here are soe of the things we did on an eight-day, first-time trip to Barcelona...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ngs.To.Do.html

Note that the Magic Fountains are currently under repair and not working.

And here are some reccomendations for diner...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...ggestions.html

hth
Pjk

Peter_krynicki is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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Hmmm ! I guess my point about Barcelona not being "Spain" is not clear. I am making the point that it is not like what most novices would envision as the typical ambiance of Spain---ie Andalusia. It also does not fit geographically with most itineraires to Spain. I see it fitting better with the south of France, both geographically and culturally. Am I wrong?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:38 AM
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My personal recommendation is, after spending so much time in cities (BCN, Paris), see something on the countryside instead of visiting another city.

Think about spending 4 or 5 days in Barcelona and spending at least 2 or 3 days at the Costa Brava, the region north of Barcelona.

The Costa Brava has gorgeous coastlines (Cape Creus, Tossa de Mar), Spain's most beautiful "white town" and harbour (Cadaques), grandiose Salvador Dali museums (one in Cadaques, one in Figueres), ancient monasteries, the Pyrenees mountain chain, and excellent restaurants and wines.

Read my trip report on Barcelona and the Costa Brava:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35086408

BTW, Costa Brava is on your way from BCN to Paris.
traveller1959 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Thanh you Robert.

I am not sure what the stereotyoe of Spain may be, I am assuming Don Quixote, sangria, and white towns.

Spain is a complex country and Barcelona is just one exciting and intriguing part.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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" am not sure what the stereotyoe of Spain may be, I am assuming Don Quixote, sangria, and white towns.'

don't forget flamenco and bullfights !!!!!

danon is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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We have a number of clients who arrive in Barcelona, head of to the Rioja and Navarra (Pamplona) and end up in the País Vasco, flying home from Bilbao.

It makes for an easy and interesting 5 to 10 day trip, depending on what you want to do.
Robert2533 is offline  

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