Montreal or Madrid

Feb 16th, 2015, 09:34 AM
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Montreal or Madrid

Our family, 2 adults and 2 children, ages 13 and 10 just booked a Mediterranean Cruise in August. We are flying from Los Angeles and have an opportunity to stopover in Montreal or Madrid for a few days in route to Barcelona where we will also spend 2-3 days pre-cruise. It would be a little cheaper from a flight stand point to stop in Montreal but hotels appear less expensive in Madrid so it is probably a wash financially. I have never been to either city so I was trying to figure out which city is better for a short stay for teens and tweens. We will mostly like to experience a new culture and site see. If there is hiking or outdoor activity nearby all the better. Thank you in advance for your feedback.
rdpesq is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 09:50 AM
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Been to both, Montreal is ok but Madrid is wonderful. Public transport lets you get out to external sites with plenty of walking
bilboburgler is online now  
Feb 16th, 2015, 10:41 AM
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Thanks for your feedback.
rdpesq is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 10:50 AM
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I would say go for Madrid, if only because it makes more "thematic" sense with the rest of your trip. It might be nice to experience Madrid and Barcelona and be able to contrast your experiences of the two most popular cities of Spain.
inspiredexplorer is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:10 PM
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Montreal is a North American city with a French twist...o.k., but nothing special

Madrid is a fabulous city with great museums, great food , interesting architecture,
Love it.
danon is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:21 PM
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That's an unusual comparison, but I'd definitely choose Madrid as a more exciting place to see in many ways. it also would add to the Spanish trip, I'd agree, to see more of Spain.
Christina is online now  
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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It is an unusual comparison. I really appreciate everyone's input.
rdpesq is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:33 PM
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Madrid will be hot, but still would be my pick.
Things close during the heat of the day. Plan on dinner starting very late, 8-9 and later in the evening, so be sure to eat lunch and have some snacks for the afternoon if the kids are hungry.
Kids could go rowing in Retiro Park.

Day trip (30 minutes by fast train) to Toledo. Even kids find the cathedral there exciting.
In the evening, there is a little train that circles through the mountains around Toledo and gives you great views of the city. Sit on the right side for the best views.

Day trip (about 45 minutes, as I recall, but not sure) to Segovia to see wonderful old Roman aquaduct, Isabella's castle and great views from the town.
Sassafrass is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:45 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I also posted this on the Canadian form. Madrid is unanimous. Also, can someone provide insight on taking the high speed train from Madrid to Barcelona. How much does that cost? Is it cheaper than flying? Thanks.
rdpesq is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 03:49 PM
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You can also look at the long term implication. You have equal opportunities to visit either... now and ok with choosing either one.

What are your opportunities to visit the one you did not visit in the future? I presume it is much easier to visit Montreal from San Diego.
greg is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 04:00 PM
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For train prices, look at For flying, you can look at several resources. is one of them. But for train - flying comparison, cost is not the only relevant factor. Look at the whole package. Look at all the cost, all the time required, and all the hassles.
For plane, both airports are outside the city. You need transports to get there. You need time to get there and go through security checks. Trains are city center to city center, simpler security check, and you can walk around during the trip. The seats are much much more comfortable than planes.
greg is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 09:29 PM
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I still can't believe someone included Montreal and Madrid in the same post as a stopover in route to a Mediterranean Cruise out of Barcelona. You would still have a long international flight once you ended you brief visit to Montreal.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 10:24 PM
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I'll also "vote" for Madrid, but I think greg raises a good question about your long-term travel plans, not to mention the potential long-term plans of your children. FWIW, I thoroughly enjoyed Montreal; I LOVED Madrid. JMO!

I also think greg offered good advice about transportation. I know I'd go for the train, but YMMV.
kja is offline  
Feb 17th, 2015, 08:23 AM
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Thanks to everyone who responded. I will do a trip report when I return.
rdpesq is offline  

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