Which Spain City / only 3 days

Jul 26th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Which Spain City / only 3 days

My wife and I have to be in Sintra Portugal in mid-October. Our flights are going in and out of Madrid, so we are setting aside 3 hotel nights to spend prior to flying to Portugal. We have never been to Spain and are thinking of 3 options:

1-After landing in Madrid, fly or train immediately to Barcelona, spend 3 nights, then fly to Lisbon
2-Stay in Madrid for the 3 nights, then fly to Lisbon
3- Train immediately to Seville upon landing in Madrid, spend 2 nights there, then drive to Sintra with 1 overnight in Evora, Portugal.

We love cities, however we also love driving and exploring small towns. I have always heard that Barcelona is a must-see city, however I hear that Madrid has become more enjoyable in the recent past, and also hear that Seville is a very special experience

Any thoughts on the above choices? Or perhaps another suggestion? Our time is not flexible and we only have these 3 nights. Thanks
sam17 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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I like Madrid, but both Sevilla and Barcelona are really special. I think I'd suggest Barcelona because of the fabulous architecture.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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I prefer Madrid to Barcelona. Both cities have a different feel to it. I recommend that you go to a Borders or Barnes and Noble, and sit down with travel books that have plenty of pictures. I am sure it will jump at you in which city you would like to spend those 3 days.
Since you only have 3 days, I would recommend to go with the one city visit, either Madrid or Barcelona.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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hi sam,

well, we haven't made it to BCN yet, but the impression I get is that 3 days [in reality if it's 3 nights, it's only 2 days] isn't enough.

whereas it's about right for Madrid or grananda. can't say about Seville either.

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
Jul 26th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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I'd stay in madrid. Madrid is a great city with lots to do and see. Sintra is also fabulous so you will have a great trip.
Ivy is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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I prefer Madrid in all ways, but I am also especially interested in the art museums there, and the sophistication and stylishness of the capital. It's a very modern city.

Not being much of a fan of Gaudi, I'm far less of a fan of Barcelona than others. Sevilla has fascination, and I think mid-October would be a good time to go, but I would make time to see Cordoba (an easy afternoon day trip) as well. Are you going to Portugal for ceramics at all? If so, I would combine that with a trip to Sevilla.

If you love driving in small towns, why not do that? There are lots of great small towns everywhere in Spain.

What interests you?

(Were it me, I'd just to Granada and Cordoba again. They are so wonderful.)
zeppole is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Madrid, Segovia, Salamanca, Evora, Lisbon. Forget BCN---too far.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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There are few European airports that are easier to use than those of Madrid and Barcelona. If you want to go to Barcelona, especially on a transfer when you arrive in Madrid, I can't see why it's "too far" -- especially if you can also fly direct to Lisbon from there.

The only thing that might be "too far" is whether you need to bus between terminals in Madrid. Don't cut it too close.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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Though I like all three, I would not take more travel time going to and from Barcelona or Seville. I would stay in Madrid. It is a lovely city and the excursions you can do from there do not take so much travel time. If you are into museums at all, go to the Prado, really one of the great museums in the world. Wander around Madrid in the evening, visit the Palace, etc.

Toledo is very close. It is beautiful and the cathedral, alone, is worth the trip. You could go directly there on your arrival and spend a night, or just visit as a short day trip from Madrid. Segovia is also lovely and makes a great day (or overnight) trip. Both places are magical and either would give you something in the way of a small city/town. Salamanca is further, but also great. It is fast, easy and cheap to go by train from Madrid, but you could rent a car and visit any of these places that way, staying the in country, if you didn't want to stay in the city.

You are in for a real treat. Spain is beautiful. The art and architecture are amazing. The food is great. The people are warm and kind. You can tell, I am a big fan of Spain.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 11:13 PM
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I second a vote for Madrid. It's a wonderful City, with plenty to do, even if you don't want to visit many museums. There are many walking tours, and the park is lovely with a huge lake in the middle where you can rent a little boat. They have lots of street performers there on a Sunday.

I also love Barcelona, but it's further away. Barcelona has a different feeling to it because it's also a seaside resort.

From Madrid, Segovia is a wonderful place to visit if you have time. Toledo also, but I prefer Segovia.
anna_h is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 01:45 AM
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Madrid has grand museums and is central for day trips. Madrid is a Spanish city, Barcelona is an international city, BCN is the airport.

I would stay in Madrid and one day vist one of the towns nearby such as Toledo, Segovia or Salamance. Do not rent a car use the train or the bus.

Even though I prefer Barcelona over Madrid and Sevilla and Evora are special places it is too much for three days.

Sintra is a magical place.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 04:03 AM
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These responses so far are very interesting and extremely helpful. Thank you!
sam17 is offline  
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