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Madrid or Barcelona?

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May 27th, 2013, 11:56 AM
  #1
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Madrid or Barcelona?

Good evening everyone!

I would be grateful if you could help me which city to choose for weekend . I am planning to come to Spain for weekend in summer but still have not chosen the city - Madrid or Barcelona? I really liked the pics of them both. It will be my first trip to Spain, feeling very excited. Which city would you suggest? I am not really interested in night life or shopping, it's more about galleries and parks, enjoying culture and nice people.

Thanks!
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May 27th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Madrid has three world class museums and is an excellent hub for day trips to many nearby worthwhile towns. The art in Barcelona is in the streets with the influence of Guadi and modernisme. Madrid has Retiro while Barcelona has Parque Güell, tradtional beauty v. a wonderful combiantion of nature, mosiacs, and playfullness. A friend says Madrid is a Spanish city, while Barcelona is an international city. Summer weekends will be brutal in both cities. Different cultures, different languages, different histories.

Keep on doing your homework and one will appeal to you.
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May 27th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Love both, but for a weekend in the summer I would go with Barcelona:
easier to get around, beaches, more of a holiday feel.
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May 27th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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BigAleinstein has given you very good indications.

Both cities are fabulous and in very different ways. Barcelona with a strong regional (Catalan) identity and more popular with tourists (Gaudí "all over" the city, the Gothic quarter ++), and on the other hand majestic but yet very local feel Madrid with world class museums and wonderful parks (and the best nightlife...). Everything from local feel tapas bars and everyday restaurants to spectacular dining in both cities.

Barcelona with the Barceloneta city beach and adjoining vibrant Barceloneta neighbourhood would normally be less hot in the summer, but then again, I've spent some of my best moments in Spain in Madrid in the midst of summer.

I've used to think that I loved Madrid ten times more than Barcelona for the more genuine feel of it, but have come in serious doubts after several recent visits to Barcelona.

Considering your preferences for museums and parks, I would neverthelsess suggest to go to Madrid despite the very probable heat. All through summer you could also experience both national and international stars in quite spectacular scenes (some of them outdoor, for example in the Sabatini gardens just outside the Royal palace) every night through July and August in the Veranos de la Villa (Summer in the city) Festival. Highly recommended!

These sites give good and updated info on both cities:
Madrid: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do
Barcelona: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/
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May 27th, 2013, 07:44 PM
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We're far more comfortable in Madrid then Barcelona, although we enjoy both. Madrid is actually a Spanish city, an accumulation of everything in Spain concentrated in one spot, the center of the city being Kilometer Zero. Barcelona, on the other hand, is very much a cosmopolitan city, one foot in Spain, one in the rest of the world.

It was interesting when we where with a group from Harvard a couple of years ago they much preferred Bilbao over Barcelona for many reasons, one being Bilbao is Basque, but then the Basque and Catalans get along because of their mutual distrust of the government in Madrid and their desire for independence. For the most part I think it was because they where more comfortable not being pressured as they felt they were in Barcelona.
.
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May 28th, 2013, 12:51 AM
  #6
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Thank you guys a lot for your answers!
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May 28th, 2013, 09:10 AM
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interesting...what Kimhe said...

I liked Barcelona much more than Madird, but after a couple of recent visits
Madrid has " grown" on me.

I was in Barcelona in April, going to Madrid in Oct......
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May 28th, 2013, 10:08 AM
  #8
 
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We have spent a great deal of time in each and Barcelona has a joie de vivre and a pull few cities have.

As far a culture is concerned the museums in Madrid are far superior but culture is more than what you hang on walls and to whom you dedicate monumnets. It is also who influences your present life and the legacy of art, dance, literature, history, and architecture.

Even though it is 20 years old, here is wonderful book by the cranky art critic Robert Hughes.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/599106.Barcelona
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May 28th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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danon,

He-he, seems like we all just have to let the immensely different Spanish cities and regions grow on us to fall in love. And despite all the wide differencies, they all have a distinct taint to them that tell you are in a part of the world with wonderful traits in common...
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