Madrid/Barcelona itinerary advice

Jul 6th, 2009, 06:43 PM
  #1  
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Madrid/Barcelona itinerary advice

We've finally booked our tickets to Spain for August. Following some advice from other fodorites, we are planning on allotting more time to Barcelona than Madrid. The tentative plan right now is:

Madrid : In Tues. 18th, Out Sun. 23 = 4.5 days (and maybe a morning, depending on what time we leave for Barcelona)
We want to make a day trip to Toledo, and I also want to do El Escorial/Segovia.

Barcelona : In Sun. 23, Out Sun. 30 = 6.5 - 7 days
We want to do a daytrip to Montserrat, as well as Sitges

Questions:
- does this allotment of days seem decent? i.e. if we give 2 days for daytrips for each leg of the trip, is the remaining 2.5 and 4.5 enough for Madrid and Barcelona, respectively?

- is it possible or really not recommended to do El Escorial and Segovia in one day? I want to see both of them as well as Toledo, but don't want to used up three whole days...

As far as things we want to do: the basic touristy stuff, you know like "must-see" (although I hate that term) museums and other attractions -- not so much the smaller, obscure museums -- and just walking around enjoying the city, wandering or having a drink. Night time = food, walking off calories from dinner, maybe enjoying some music or whatever other chill entertainment is available.

Thanks for your input guys!
jayelle is offline  
Jul 6th, 2009, 06:58 PM
  #2  
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I forgot to mention, re: El Escorial/Segovia -- won't be renting a car, so we'd be relying on public transportation
jayelle is offline  
Jul 6th, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Jaames Taylor is playing in Madrid on 7/27 if that is any interest to you?
Linkfeiner is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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While I like Barcelona I'd venture out to a smaller city or village for a couple of nights. Barcelona and Madrid are both large cities. It would be good to mix in some evenings in a location not so busy. Possible candidates: Girona, Tarragona, Cadaques, Besalu - all within 1.5 hours of Barcelona and accessable by public transport.
CathyM is offline  
Jul 8th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Don't miss a tour of the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona. It's an absolutely fabulous venue. The tour lasts an hour and runs $12 Euro per person.

If you enjoy music, check out their schedule and see if there's a concert that you can see while you're in town. Even if there is, I'd still take the tour, because the venue is that spectacular!

Enjoy!
pacman57 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2009, 05:55 PM
  #6  
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CathyM - thanks for the suggestions. I agree it would be nice to venture out to some smaller towns/cities for a different feel, but I'm not sure if we're up to the whole packing, un-packing, re-packing, moving around here and there, etc. just cause it's a bit more of a hassle and you do lose some time traveling...this is why we're looking at daytrips instead and using Madrid & Barcelona as base camps.

pacman - I have definitely put the Palau de la Musica on my list! I have heard wonderful things about it and definitely hope to check out a concert if there is one (do they have shows in August, I wonder?) otherwise a guided tour will have to suffice I guess...
jayelle is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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they do over 200 events a year in the Palau, you should have no trouble finding something to enjoy. Have fun!
pacman57 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 07:46 AM
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Thanks guys. Does anyone have any insight on the El Escorial/Segovia issue? Is it possible to do in them both in one day? I really want to see them both...
jayelle is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 06:14 PM
  #9  
 
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Re El Escorial/Segovia:

If you're relying on public transportation (bus or train), you won't be able to see both in one day. And if you have a car and try to do both, you'll likely feel rushed at both places.

Expect to spend a full half-day at the very least to see the palace at El Escorial. It's huge and wonderful.

Note also that at least some of the charm of Segovia (and Toledo for that matter) is wandering the old city, and that doesn't count any of the attractions. A full day at either is a good amount of time -- and note that some folks prefer to do Toledo as an overnight.

All three are terrific, well worth visiting.
bachslunch is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Cadaques is at least 2 1/2 hours from Barcelona by public transportation and that does not include the time from the hotel to the metro station.
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