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Three days in Spain

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Mar 9th, 2014, 09:06 AM
  #1
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Three days in Spain

My boyfriend and I are flying in Barcelona on a Wednesday morning, then taking a train from Barcelona to Madrid, where we will spend two nights, when he flies back to the United States on Saturday morning.
Our must-sees: Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, Madrid's Museo del Prado and Centro del Atre de Reina Sofia, and Madrid's Parque de Atracciones.
Wishlist: A great beach in Barcelona and a fun hostel in Madrid that's near the museums.
A friend has recommended the Yellow Hostel in Barcelona, and I am very familiar with the RENFE train system. I am hoping that the lovely people of the forum can give us some pointers for our short vacation. Thank you!
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Mar 9th, 2014, 11:43 AM
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Book tickets for SF on line to avoid lineups.
Prado and Sofia are huge museums. Concentrate on the artists and paintings you wish to see.
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Mar 10th, 2014, 06:31 AM
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Madrid's Museo del Prado and Centro del Atre de Reina Sofia, and Madrid's Parque de Atracciones are boring, boring boring. In fact Madrid is boring. Stay in Barcelona. Besides, it's crazy to waste the time extra travel time on such a short trip.
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Mar 10th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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Yea, stay in Barcelona and miss his flight to the States.
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Mar 10th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Madrid's Museo del Prado and Centro del Atre de Reina Sofia, and Madrid's Parque de Atracciones are boring, boring boring.

The Prado is one of the great museums of the world. Anyone with the slightest interest in western art, will find treasure after treasure. That said, I agree with those above, stay in Barcelona, there is much to see even for the easily bored.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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danon: THANK YOU for the tip about buying tickets for SF! Honestly in Sofia we'll be searching for La Guernica, and in the Prado I'll be looking for de Goya.

popov, IMDonehere: Do you have any other tips on things to do in Barcelona?
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Apr 17th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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CHANGED ITINERARY
Wed. May 14th arriving around 3 pm in Barcelona. Hostel is walking distance from the Estacio de França. Planning to walk to the Santa Maria del Mar and La Rambla. If you have suggestions or tips, please let me know!
Thurs. May 15th Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell. I want to book the tickets + tour guide as I've heard good things about them and we both are looking to learn a little more about the church. Question: Are you only able to go up one of the towers? Perhaps I'm misreading the website. Should I also book the Gaudi House Museum? Worth it or no?
Fri. May 16th Morning train to Madrid. Still need to book a hostel. We have our hearts set on the amusement park, but we'll have a few hours in the morning plus time when we come back in the evening. Do you suggest Parque de Retiro or Plaza Mayor/Plaza de España/Palacio Real?)
Thanks in advance!
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Apr 18th, 2014, 02:44 AM
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Barcelona:

In Barcelona you stay in an excellent area close to Estacio de França (Hostal Orleans, just across the street?). You are in or very close to the vibrant and medieval Born area with the Santa María del Mar church, great cafés, tapas bars, restaurants, shopping and nightlife: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...s/el-born.html

Mercat del Born, the oldest food market in the city, recently reopened as a “city within a market” dedicated to Catalan culture. El Born is historically a very important part of Barcelona and a cradle for Catalan identity and nationalism. http://www.mercatdelborn.org/en/welcome/
http://www.mercatdelborn.org/en/el-b...ltural-center/
http://www.mercatdelborn.org/en/history/

Have some Basque pintxos at Txakolín (2-3€/piece), and find out why the Basque country is considered the food heartland of Spain (just opposite Estacio de França): http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

You are 15 mins walking from the wonderfully eclectic Barceloneta beach, very popular with locals. Just outside the great atmosphere fishermen's quarter with the same name: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...taurants-spain

On Las Ramblas, you must see the Boquería market, one of the finest food markets in the world: http://www.gardenista.com/posts/la-boqueria-market

Perhaps a Spanish guitar concert at spectacular Palau de la Música Catalana on May 14th? Or just see the place: http://www.palaumusica.cat/en
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Catalonia.html

Madrid:
I can recommend to stay in basic hotel standard and great value La Perla Asturiana in Madrid, just off majestic Plaza Mayor and in the heart of the city. Double for 30-58€:
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/la-perla-asturiana.html
http://www.perlaasturiana.com/

You'll be in Madrid in the midst of the San Isidro festival, the celebration of the city's patron saint and the most important festival in Madrid. A perfect time of year to experience Madrid. Here's the program for last years festival to give you an idea. Music, dance, concerts, processions, parades, bullfights, eating and drinking. Be especially aware of the daily/nightly events in majestic Plaza Mayor (just behind the hotel suggested above) and in the wonderful Vistillas park: http://www.esmadrid.com/sanisidro/up...sidro-2013.pdf

All of the "Guernica" floor in Reina Sofía is a huge experience, completely blew my mind off. Picasso, Dalí, lots of other painitings, posters, films, photos etc., dealing with a couple of the greatest civilizational breakdowns of the 20th century, The Spanish Civil War and WWII. Free admission on Friday from 7pm (closing at 9pm).
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Apr 18th, 2014, 04:33 AM
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The San Isidro festival on Friday May 16. in Madrid: http://www.madrid.es/UnidadesDescent...sidro_2014.pdf

- Open air concerts at night in Plaza Mayor.
- Concerts and traditional dance at night in the Vistillas park, close to the Almudena cathedral and the Royal Palace.
- Fireworks and music in the Retiro park
- generally: fiesta, food and wine in streets and plazas. And nobody knows how to party like the madrileños, the so called "gatos" (cats).

San Isidro in Madrid video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wezCm...ature=youtu.be
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Apr 18th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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kimhe THANK YOU what a wealth of information! I suppose I wouldn't have a problem finding this year's schedule online a little closer to the event?
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Apr 18th, 2014, 07:09 AM
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Kimhe is a wealth of information always.. the website he copied from has all the current Madrid information.. www.madrid dot es.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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The only question left unanswered:
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Apr 18th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Just thinking about going up the towers in Sagrada Familia makes me dizzy, but you'll have to choose the one at the Birth facade with views of the east of Barcelona or the one at the Passion facade with views of the center of town.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 11:43 AM
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Do you think that one is better, more beautiful, etc. than the other?
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May 2nd, 2014, 05:02 AM
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Do I have to purchase a ticket or pay a fee to enter the Santa Maria del Mar cathedral?
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May 2nd, 2014, 06:30 AM
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Also I have seen that the Parque de Atracciones has a discount if you want to enter after 5 (which is perfect timing for us) but I don't see that option on the website. What am I missing?
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