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I didn't love Paris, will I love Barcelona?

I didn't love Paris, will I love Barcelona?

Old Jan 17th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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I didn't love Paris, will I love Barcelona?

My husband and I and our 7 year old son will be in London on business then able to travel for 6 days before we return to Canada. 2 years ago we did London, Rome and Paris. Rome was amazing however Paris just seemed like a busy city with North American stores. We are considering Spain and I would like to know if Barcelona and Paris are similar.

We are travelling mid March. Should we be considering someplace else? Vienna? Brussels?
suelise3 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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I find Paris and Barcelona to be very different. Can't tell you if you will love Barcelona. To me, it does not have the "Wow" factor of Rome, but it certainly does not strike me as being "North American." Gaudi's architecture alone puts it in another place. Your son would enjoy Parc Guell.

With six days, you might consider four in Barcelona and two in Granada or Madrid (fast train to Madrid or fly to Granada). I am saying this only in case you might feel Barcelona has less to offer than Rome.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Barcelona is a Mediternian city.....nothing like Paris, Rome or Madrid.( also smaller and easier to explore). It has a long history, some more modern arch, lovely parks, great restaurants, and , of course, it is on the sea.

Will you like it ? Who knows. Some people, like me, love it and go back every year.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Each of the city you mention can be a busy city with North American stores -- if you choose to spend time in such neighborhood. Barcelona felt even more modern than Paris as a whole, but Gaudi architecture, for example make Barcelona different from other cities -- if you choose to visit such places.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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Town of Gaudi and Dali I like it very different than Paris
If you thought Paris a big city Brussels and Vienna are
euroindustrial monstrosities just do Spain,I like Ronda
and the White cities the Parador there is GREAT!

Good luck!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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venice-tourism.com my fav magical
no car water city of great history
Head there if you liked Rome it is even better.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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I do not know where you were in Paris, but it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with sensational museums, exceptional food, am elegantly lit river, and many indpendent shops. Maybe it is the omnipresent McDonald's or you spent too much time on the Champs, but even that has it has own style.

When Jack Lang was Minister of Culture, the French fought the "Manhattanization of Paris" including the use of the word weekend. But then again people say New York is not the rest of North America.

I have heard many criticisms of Paris but never that it looked like a North American city.

Barcelona has a has sense of design that is rarely seen elsewhere. And remember that Zara is a Spanish chain not one from North America.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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If Paris didn't do it for you, I doubt Barcelona will. Vienna in March many not be that pleasant. I would recommend you go back to Italy and this time explore Florence and places South.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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Danon, where is the "Mediternian"? Is that the river that is home to the creatures that create The Force from Star Wars I?

I'll be danged if I've ever heard anyone say on this board that a person should go to Brussels over Barcelona. Of course, Canadians may not like good weather so a (near?) sub-sea level country like Belgium and its high rainfall levels may be perfect for you . . . or not.


I've never heard Paris described unfavorably as seeming like just a busy city with N. Am stores (which ones? Macy's? Dillard's? Chain restaurants like Applebee's and Chipotle? How is the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Ile St. Louis, Notre Dame, Louvre, Musee d'Orsay anything like Toronto?). Paris is busy (that happens with 3.2 million people), but so is Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels and any European capital except perhaps the governmental seats of Andorra, Liechtenstein or San Marino.

Considering that the description of Paris is vague, at best, the question is what would make Barcelona "similar" to Paris such that we can determine if such similarities exist? The absence of N Am stores but general busyness might, without more specific discussion, lead you to believe that Barcelona and Paris are similar. To the degree that they are European cities with more than 1 million residents, Metro systems, extensive bus systems, crap traffic and boatloads of tourists, they are similar. But Rome also fits that bill.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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I should have expressed that Paris was beautiful and the Louvre was spectacular. However we did live in Montreal for 3 years and perhaps it was remotely similar.
suelise3 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Sorry to upset you Russ,
Sometimes it is not easy to type on iPad when you have use of one eye.
danon is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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There is a huge Dunkin Donuts right in the middle of the largest public square in Barcelona. Does that tell you what you want to know?

Funny, but your reaction to Paris was my reaction to Montreal: a big city where people speak French only the architecture in Paris is better and people speak better French. Oops, that sounds snarky.

Is this a troll?
Ackislander is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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There is a McDonalds right across from the Pantheon in Rome... So.
DD, KFC, McD , Starbucks ...etc can be found in almost all big cities
If one wishes to avoid them, one should probably spend holidays In very small towns or villages.

BTW, Montreal is a typical
North American city....why would it look like Paris?
Number of people in Miami speak Spanish........does not mean it
resembles Madrid.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 05:40 PM
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We went with 50 kids in 2010, we went to three countries and they were Spain, France, and Switzerland. By far, the kids wanted to stay in Barcelona the longest and were disappointed that more time was not spent in Spain. I would stay a couple of days in Barcelona, and then take the AVE high speed train to Madrid. There is lots to do in both cities. We will be going to Barcelona and Madrid again this summer and plan to take the Red bus tours which is great, hop on and off for one price!
spaniardmama is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2012, 07:00 PM
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@Danon- the McD's across from Pantheon is gone. (I was there in April last year and you can still see the faint markings of the golden arches. Alas, it did not [thankfully] survive there.)

Suelise3- I liked Paris, but it does not float my boat like Rome does.

I highly suggest you head to 2 nights in Florence and the balance in Venice (2 hrs by train from Florence). You should find both delightful, IMHO. The first will steal your heart (do not miss sunset in the Piazza Michelangelo) and Venice is like no other city in the world. Lovely and peaceful.

Have a wonderful trip!
sarge56 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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Suelise3: We visit both Paris and Barcelona yearly, and find them both beautiful and fascinating, but in different ways. Where Paris can be formal, Barcelona is relaxed. Some similarities are the consistency of architecture (l'Eixample), great museums, sidewalk cafes.

To get a better feel for the cities, we stay in apartments, not hotels. If you know what kind of experience you like, you should be able to find something to fit, away from the tourist zones that tend to look and feel similar everywhere.

One other difference: Barcelona weather should be very pleasant in March, with no threat of snow!
Alan_CT is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Well Paris does not IMO have the variety of areas that Barcelona does - an old city, the Modernist sites and areas and then a beach / sea port - makes for a fascinating city for me. There is alot to explore in Barcelona and if you don't want to move you could easily get an apartment and day trip. You could find some N.A. chains there (my husband HAD to go to Starbucks) but most of the city would not feel like a US city.

Venice is an attractive option tho and Amsterdam is also a fascinating city - Barcelona would likely have the best weather tho.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 07:57 AM
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>>>people speak better French.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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I doubt the OP is a troll... it just shows that different people have different tastes. I know I'll never tire of Paris. Yet a friend much prefers London... he says all the buildings in Paris look the same. A chacun son gout.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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So do people in London England speak 'better' English than those in New York? ;^)

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