Madrid/Seville or Madrid/Barcelona?

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Apr 20th, 2012, 12:32 PM
  #1
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Madrid/Seville or Madrid/Barcelona?

Planning 8-9 day trip to Spain with my husband and two teenage sons. We had hoped to fly into Madrid, spend a few days there, take AVE train to Seville for a few days, and then AVE to Barcelona and fly home to NC from there. However, I think that may be too hectic for a short trip. Need to choose between Madrid/Seville and surrounding areas OR Madrid and surrounding areas and Barcelona. Advice?
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Apr 20th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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It would help to know the time of year you are traveling along with your interests.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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We did a 9 day trip including Madrid, high speed AVE to Seville, Grenada/Alhambra, and Toledo and could have used more time (did not see white villages, coast, etc.). I would not try to include Barcelona in this trip. I have been to Barcelona and personally, prefer the Moorish/exotic feel of the south, but that's a matter of personal preference. Either way, I would choose either south (Seville) or north (Barcelona) and not try all three. Enjoy!
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Apr 20th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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I've been to all of those cities and like them all, it's really just preference or which one interests you the most for this trip. There isn't any way anyone can decide that for you, unfortunately, or it would just be someone's own opinion as to what they like.

I guess if I had to choose a pair I might say Madrid plus Seville as that would give you one major city and one much smaller one. Barcelona is also a large, cosmopolitan city like Madrid so that would be one way to choose. But there are some cool things to do and see in Barcelona (and a beach) so that could be of interest to some. I think you all (your family) just has to decide what interests you most.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the input. We will be traveling in mid-August. Since we are traveling with teen boys, we will see some museums/churches, etc. but not as much as if we were just 2 adults traveling alone. Our kids love to people watch, stroll outside, eat, anything "outdoorsy" and less touristy. Perhaps that isn't possible in August with all the masses on vacation. We'd like to see a bullfight, if possible.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Of course all three options are possible. Whether it is going to be hectic or not in this case is not directly determined by the number of locations you chose but what you try to do within the constraints. If you insist on doing X number of items in Madrid, Y number of items in Sevilla, and Z number of items in Barcelona, and if the math does not match, your itinerary will be hectic.

You have to ask yourself, do you have to do so many things or stay so many days that others insist on in order to have a trip you want? If you want to answer this question, you have to actually construct three scenarios, and look at what you can do within YOUR comfort level, and choose which one you want to do this time.

If I were to do all three, I will try hard to rationalize the routing depending on flight availabilities. Suppose your arrival in Madrid is really early in the morning. If you cannot check into your Madrid hotel, would you rather convert time to kill into time to travel by going straight to Sevilla? After which you have much shorter Sevilla-Madrid, then Madrid-Barcelona segments.

Before deciding, look at all key implications of the total itinerary: flight in, flight out, connections, day of the week (closures), accommodation availabilities, etc.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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I was in Andalusia in August.....hot as hell.
Not a place for strolling before 10-11 at night.

Barcelona is a fantastic city,, also on the sea.
I would head north.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 03:30 PM
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As much as I love Sevilla a visit in August would be very hot. I'd save Andalucia for another trip when you can enjoy better weather and also visit more than just Sevilla.

I'd suggest Madrid and Barcelona - a good split for 9 days. I wouldn't try to squeeze in all 3 in one trip - logistically it can be done but it would way too rushed for me. I have a friend who insisted on visiting Barcelona, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Madrid and Sevilla with his family of 4 in 9 days despite my advise to tone down to 2 areas at most - it wasn't much of a vacation.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 01:37 AM
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Great feedback (this is my first post on this site; thank you!). So, if our family of 4 (including two teen boys) travels to Madrid and Barcelona in mid-August for 8 day trip, can anyone suggest specific not-to-miss activities for teenagers who love outdoor adventures and sports? Would be great to mix something along those lines in with the art, food, culture activities.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 05:17 AM
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I didn't realize this was August, I wouldn't go to Seville in August, either. Madrid is hot enough.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 05:26 AM
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Just make sure that your hotels have A/C wherever you go.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 06:26 AM
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Outdoor adventures and sports?

Madrid:
What type of sports do you teens like to do at 100F in the shade?

Barcelona:
Beaches.
Olympic Pool on Mountjuic.

Explore Parc Güell.

Rent mountain bikes and do the Carreterra de les Aigües in the Collserola hills above Barcelona (with a stunning view over the whole city, not even strenous as more or less on same level). Ride up the TV tower. The amusement park in that area on Tibidabo mountain is probably not too exciting for older kids.

Cable car ride across the harbor.
Roam Barceloneta, Port Vell harbor, beachfront boardwalk.

And lots of neighborhoods to stroll and for people watching.. Gràcia (metro Fontana) and Sarrià (FGC train Reina Elisanda) for a very different, small town like side of BCN.
The latter is also only a stone's throw from Pedralbes monastery. Quite interesting and not just a museum. As if the nuns had just left for a few days, and you could snoop around in their quarters. More like exploring than just visiting another museum.

No more bullfights in Barcelona/ Catalunya. They got banned.
Even if there was one in Madrid, I'd do other things in the baking city heat.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 06:59 AM
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I too would head north and save Seville and points south for a separate 10 say trip in Oct, Nov, or early December.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 07:49 AM
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Madrid and Barcelona will be extraordinarily hot too. At least there is kind of a beach in Barcelona. If you want a beach vacation in Spain it's best to go to San Sebastian or Santander.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 08:55 AM
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Will Andalucia still be unbearably hot in mid-September? We are planning trip then.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Barcelona is not extraordinarily hot, avg temps in August are only around 80-85F in the afternoon. The geographical locations and situations of Seville, Barcelona and Madrid are completely different.

It will probably be about 85-90 in Seville in mid-September, which is about what Madrid is in August, although maybe up to 95 in both. Here are their temps in Sept from last year
http://www.wunderground.com/history/...lyHistory.html
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Apr 22nd, 2012, 03:55 AM
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I agree, Madrid / Barcelona would be my choice. You can do museums and churches in Madrid to escape the heat then spend more time outdoors in Barcelona. It should not be as hot there plus there is a great beach scene. We rented bikes and rode thru the park and along the beach - maybe take a day trip to Figueres for the Dali museum.
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