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Madrid and Toledo/Segovia or Madrid and Barcelona

Madrid and Toledo/Segovia or Madrid and Barcelona

Old Dec 13th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Madrid and Toledo/Segovia or Madrid and Barcelona

Traveling in May for only 1 week in/out of Madrid. Considering Madrid and Toledo/Segovia with 2 nights Toledo and 1 night Segovia versus 2 nights Madrid and then 3 in Barcelona and then back to Madrid for the last night. Two guys travelling. Loved Italy and its small Tuscan towns. Read avidly quite a few postings but still wondering what is the best option for the week. Thoughts? Thanks for your input!
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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You realize that Barcelona is an overnight train ride or 2 hour flight away? Seems to make more sense to stay in Madrid and do day trips from there. Why two nights in Toledo?
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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Rail Europe shows the trip to be about 4 hours via train. Hate wasting a full 8 hours of train travel going there and back to Madrid that is why we're considering staying closer into Madrid. Would you only spend one day in Toledo? Any other cities close by that you'd stay in or would you recommend basing in Madrid and doing day trips by train? My only thought about staying overnight is the atmosphere of the walled towns after the 'tourists' leave.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Toledo is small and only 30 minutes from Madrid. Some people like it at night but you can see it in less than a day.
Flight to Barcelona is an hour and 10 minutes ( not 2 hours) but you need time to get to and from airports, hotels etc
You may wish to fly from Madrid right away to Barcelona for 3 days and back to Madrid for the rest - that will not give you much time for Toledo AND Segovia.
If small towns is what you like ,
Madrid with several side trips may be the best option .
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Thanks for the information. Barcelona looks more 'fun' then Madrid although there is a mix of feelings on the postings. In May - which would be your recommendation? Madrid or Barcelona? Simply taking a quick flight to Barcelona on landing in Madrid sounds like a good thought.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 11:17 AM
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All of my favorite places in Spain also start with "S". I do not see Barcelona as being part of Spain---a delightful place, just does not fit with "Spain". With only a week stay in centro Spain, but add Salamanca if you can.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Barcelona does not "fit"
with Spain ?????
Does Malaga?, Bilbao? Valencia?
Please.
Barcelona is fantastic !
Not too big to walk around, great history, food, parks, bars, beaches, side trips, shopping...

Although I like Madrid a lot, Barcelona ( with Paris) is my favorite destination.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Hi kickmad, the idea that when visiting Spain the best would be to go to Madrid and then jump to Barcelona to me has no sense whatsoever, is like saying that the ONLy places are those two cities, when in reality there are TONS of charming smaller towns in between and more because all Spain if full of outstanding destinations.I am not saying do not visit Madrid and Barcelona.... but visit both in the same trip only if you have a lot of days or only if your idea of traveling is focusing ONLY in big cities.You do not seem to be that kind of person because you are doubting in visiting different places around Madrid. Let me tell you also that not necessarily
the best places are the ones EVERYBODY goes to, those that are included in all tourist packages....as Bob the Navigator mentions Salamanca for instance is fascinating and it is only a couple of hours by train or car from Madrid.
Toledo, Segovia are nice places to visit but so are many more near Madrid, and many more near Barcelona.
In your case I would go to Madrid, enjoy Madrid itself, and then visit Salamanca, or Burgos, or Segovia or Toledo, or Avila.,or Cuenca...inform yourself a bit more then choose.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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With only 1 week (6 nights?), you should stick with Madrid and its environs, taking day trips to Toledo and Segovia, both now served by high-speed rail.

Save Barcelona for another day... You'll need more than three nights in Barcelona to even begin to enjoy the city.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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It is just because the culture in Barcelona is Catalan and different from the culture in Madrid that I would suggest going there, for the contrast. I'm a little prejudiced because I had lots of fun in Barcelona. You might be interested in my trip report from last February:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34955177

Photos:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&h=1&y=-o3uxdp
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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kickmad,

i agree with Graziella above. I am not sure why usually the choice for many people boils down to Madrid or Barcelona. I for one don't care for Barcelona so , with my bias, would recommend if you wanted to minimize mving around in one week to stay in Madrid and do day trips. Even Salamanca, if pressed for time, could be done as a day trip although of course is much better tostay for 1 or 2 days. Another city that I love is Leon, but that is a bit farther away, over 3 hours from Madrid.

You say you liked the small tuscan towns... Maybe you would like to fly for a few days to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which is a beautiful and interesting old city.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Thank you for everyone's input. Don't mean to melt Spain into only 2 cities; i.e. Madrid and Barcelona. Honestly looking forward to my trip. Our frequent flier miles could only get us into Madrid at the lower point level. I think that we will base in Madrid and consider 1 or 2 smaller towns near Madrid with easy access via train - perhaps stay in in 1 or both for a night or 2. Any further thoughts are greatly appreciated. Perhaps Barcelona for a week on its own next year...
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Hi, kickmad -

I agree with other posters that it makes more sense to stay in Madrid and surrounding areas on this trip - save Barcelona for another time. I'm one of those who loves staying overnight in the places that most people see only during the day, so I think your idea of staying a night in Segovia and 2 nights in Toledo is perfectly reasonable. I know many people say you can see Toledo in a day trip, but I wonder if they know what they missed! Depending on what you want to see and experience, you could stay the rest of the time in Madrid, or you could visit some of the other places people have mentioned. Another possible day-trip from Madrid is El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen.

Hope that helps!
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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A friend from Salamanca always claims his home town is the 'real' Spain.
If you are planig overnight trips - Salamanca may be the one to take .

Don't forget - Madrid is a great city with tons to see and do!
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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Barcelona is NOT a two-hour flight away from Madrid..more like an hour and five or so.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Agree with posters who say to stick with Madrid and keep Barcelona for another time. IMO both are great, but with just 7 days, too much to do both. I'd consider adding Avila to your "maybe" daytrip list from Madrid, but Toledo and Segovia for sure. (Also agree with Salamanca, but that probably could be done on a day trip with Avila.)
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 07:24 PM
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Hi kickmad,
Just want to second the vote for Madrid plus day trips and overnights for your week.

For your day trips or overnights:

The Avant train will speed you to Toledo in just 30 min., and as of 12/23 there will be a new high speed Ave to Segovia, making the trip in just 1/2 hr. Both trains depart from Atocha station.

Beautiful Salamanca (2 1/2 hr. BUS ride via Auto-Res) would really require an overnight-well worth the journey, if you want to fit it in.

Otherwise, enjoy your time in Madrid and spend an overnight in Toledo and Segovia, within easy reach.

If you're in Madrid in mid May, you may witness celebrations of the Festival of San Isidro, Madrid's patron saint, whose feast day is on May 15. Events take place primarily in Old Madrid-specifically in the Plaza Mayor (where you'll see locals dressed in 19th century costumes) and the Las Vistillas, near the Royal Palace.

Hi artlover,
Missed you!
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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Having spent time in Madrid recently I agree with Maribel's advice. You say you loved Tuscany's small towns also. The San Sebastian leg of my trip fit that to a tee. I was in Barcelona and years ago spent three weeks there. For me, it was kind of New Yorkish this time although I enjoyed it. The day trips out of Madrid were to Segovia and Avila but frankly I preferred crawling around the small fishing villages on the Bay of Biscay.
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Barcelona is my favorite city in the world. If you cannot change your flight to go in/out of Barcelona, I would consider going straight to Barcelona on day of arrival and spending the entire week there (and taking day trips from there to 1-2 of the beach towns).

The atmosphere and eye candy cannot be beat on Las Ramblas. And all of Gaudi's work there is so much fun.

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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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Oh, and I should've added that I lived in Madrid for 3 months and spent only a week in Barcelona, so I may be somewhat biased. Not that Madrid was bad- it just wasn't Barcelona.
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