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How to spend a One day layover in each of Madrid and Barcelona

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Apr 27th, 2013, 07:09 PM
  #1
cdc
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How to spend a One day layover in each of Madrid and Barcelona

We have one day in each of Madrid and Barcelona at the start and end of an amazing two week vacation in Morocco and Majorca. Not enough time to see a lot obviously. Still we would like to get a taste of these cities. My husband has been to these places before- maybe ten- twenty years ago, and its my first time. We are into culture and history but do not feel the need to visit art museums and churches. We love to eat, drink, walk around, people watch, go off the beaten path. We are pretty fit/ mobile so could handle a busy day of walking- but since we will likely be jet lagged in Madrid and exhausted from our other travels in Barcelona .... Don't want to be too aggressive. In addition to sights, looking for hotel recs or areas that are central and would be most efficient given our limited time. Clean and safe are super impt. Other than that, above budget but can't afford luxury. Simple, clean and nice is our style. Thanks in advance.
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Apr 27th, 2013, 07:43 PM
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For Madrid, what about the area around the Royal Palace & nearby cathedral. Easy walking to Debod temple through gardens. We loved that area in Madrid on a recent visit. Lots of street entertainers as well.
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May 4th, 2013, 12:50 PM
  #3
cdc
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Thanks for the tip. We are looking in that area. Still trying to figure out how much time we want in Barcelona - may be a full day, may only be a half a day.
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May 4th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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The Debod Temple is best seen at sunset (great photo op of fountain and sunset) or at night when lit up
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May 14th, 2013, 01:53 PM
  #5
cdc
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We are all set for Madrid. . . now looking for a place in Barcelona. Heard nice things about El Born or closer to the waterfront area. Probably will only have time to do a walk around in the afternoon - check out architecture from the street, enjoy some good food and people watch. We will be there on a Monday - are things open in Barcelona on Mondays?
Thanks!
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May 14th, 2013, 02:32 PM
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For such a short stay, I would drop trying to collect many attractions and just have a good time.

El Born is very nice, you could just walk around and soak up the atmosphere in the narrow streets, visit the beautiful Santa María del Mar church and sit down at any of the many outdoor cafés. You can splurge for lunch at Cal Pep or at Barcelona classic 7 Portes or have some genuine Basque pintxos in either Euskal Etxea or Txakolín, all within a couple of hundred meters.

El Born: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...s/el-born.html

Cal Pep (you must get in line some 15 mins before opening to get a seat at the bar where everything happens): http://www.calpep.com/

7 Portes, just outside El Born and closer to the sea. A Barcelona classic from 1836. Have had some great meals here the past year. I can highly recommend the fish soup, Rape (monkfish) a la plancha and the Catalan speciality Arroz Caldoso, somewhere between a paella and a fish soup. Also excellent salads and meat dishes. Reservation is a must. http://www.7portes.com/angles/index.php

Txakolín: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

Euskal Etxea: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

The close by Barceloneta area by the sea is also very nice in its own vibrant but easygoing way. All kinds of people and activities along the Barceloneta beach and lots of restaurants and cafés/bars along the Passeig de Joan de Borbó out towards the sothern end of the beach. Just a few blocks inside the Barceloneta neighbourhood there are several very local atmosphere and good spirited tapas bars and restaurants, many along Carrer de Sant Carles and in Carrer Ginebra.
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May 14th, 2013, 02:44 PM
  #7
cdc
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Sounds very cool. It seemed to make sense to stay outside of the city center if we aren't going to have time to visit all of th sights, and will most likely just be walking around / eating. Kimhe - you gave such a great description of El Born, that may be where we end up. . . but happy to listen to your recs of the city center area if you think that would be equally nice and not overwelming for such a short period of time. I imagine we will be back in BCN again in the future (although the next time, the kids will probably be in tow). We used to work in NYC and currenlty live down town in another east coast city of the US - - so are less interested in seeing a city just for the sake of being in a city, does that make sense? Thanks again!
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May 14th, 2013, 10:01 PM
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El Born is laid-back but very much in the city center. It's just on the edge of the famous Gothic Quarter, five mins walking to the Cathedral, ten mins walking to both (1) the heart of the city Placa Catalunya, (2) the most famous street in Spain, now very touristy Las Ramblas, and (3) the fashionable Passeig de Gracia with ditto shops and some of the most spectacular Gaudí buildings.

Hotel Banys Orientals is a very good value hotel in El Born at 105€ for a double: http://www.hotelbanysorientals.com/en/index.html
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May 15th, 2013, 03:58 AM
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... and on Mondays Cal Pep is only open from 7pm and Txakolín is closed. But Euskal Etxea and 7 Portes are both open from lunch and through the rest of the day.
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