Barcelona or Madrid

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05 Jun 2024 4:05 AM by averagestudent Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Hey everyone! Need your help planning my Spain trip! Barcelona or Madrid?

Barcelona: Stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and those beaches! Strolling La Rambla, Park Güell, and tapas. But is it too touristy?

Madrid: Energy, history, art scene at Prado, legendary nightlife! The vibe is magnetic.

Food dilemma! Barcelona's seafood vs. Madrid's cocido madrileño and churros. Help me decide!

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07 Jun 2024 11:13 AM by windtalker Star rating. 1938 posts Send private message

 Madrid and Barcelona Citys are full of illegal immigrants sleeping on the streets / Looky Looky men / Romanian pick pockets and Hookers .

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08 Jun 2024 12:42 PM by eos_ian Star rating in Valencia. 507 posts Send private message

eos_ian´s avatar

I have lived in both and they are great cities. I think you can take a negative perspective on any large City. Personally I prefer Madrid for living. I don't like the beach in Barcelona and seafood you can get anywhere in Madrid and just as fresh. However, Barcelona is worth it for the architecture, but it is very touristy, so just for visiting and of course to visit Nou Camp. I prefer other beaches in Spain, though

Madrid has everything, except the beach and Gaudí. You have to visit both....really.

But if it is a choice of one for a holiday visit - probably Barcelona.



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09 Jun 2024 1:19 PM by acer Star rating. 1531 posts Send private message

I don't know Barcelona that well, but visited there a few times...and that's probably it.  It is far too touristy, but there's also a culture of ripping off the tourists - I had an incident each time.  All displaying a lack of any respect for the tourists. 

An example was in a seemingly good recommended restaurant named Quatre Gats (4 Cats) or something like that) but a rarity occurred for me - the bottle of wine was awful, it had corked.  So I had to call the waiter, who reacted in a manner that was as sour as his wine.  He returned with a replacement bottle that he thumped on the table and  immediately disappeared...however, it was exactly the same as the previous one, completely undrinkable and not cheap either.  A pity, the food was good, but no-one likes being conned - by his manner I have no doubt the guy knew what he was doing.

I prefer Madrid to Barcelona, but the climate there can be too extreme - in my opinion Valencia is far far better than both of them.  It's got everything, lot's of different areas with fabulous, shaded parks which are great for long walks, futuristic buildings, with scientific themes of interest for all ages, the best tapas and paella, restuarants and food places galore, indoor food markets, botanical gardens, massive golden sand beaches and a good metro system and trains which come right into the city.  In my mind the other two cannot begin to match Valencia.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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10 Jun 2024 4:16 AM by averagestudent Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

@acer I've been thinking about exploring Spain more, and your take on Valencia has me intrigued. Seems like it's got a lot to offer without the tourist traps. Have you got any specific spots or recommendations there? Also, if you've got any other suggestions for Spain, I'm all ears! Maybe some off-the-beaten-path places. I stumbled upon this website while browsing tours in Spain, Ever heard of it? Or do you have any personal recos for day tours? Thanks again.

@eos_ian Thanks for the insights! You've got a good handle on both cities, Totally get what you mean about preferring other Spanish beaches, though.

@windtalker Yeah, it's unfortunately common to see illegal immigrants, street vendors, and pickpockets in Madrid and Barcelona.

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10 Jun 2024 10:33 AM by acer Star rating. 1531 posts Send private message

Thanks for yours averagestudent.  People usually tend to recommend places in their own "backyard"  - I'm no different.  I lived close to Valencia 20 years ago on a golf course near Chiva and got to know Valencia quite well. 

So I'm probably a bit bias, although I've been back there frequently and still find new fascinating places.  Recently I stayed at a small central location over the new year - the New Year firework display at the ayuntamieto square is a great place to celebrate the New Year with lots of people.  But in recent years the Valencians are now following the other big cities and charging silly prices for simple meals at that time.  But it was still a great experience and not a problem if you plan accordingly and eat away from the tourist areas and book in advance

Of course we want different things.  But in terms of cities, it's not exactly "off the beaten track" but I like Murcia city too - it doesn't begin to compare with Valencia, a whole lot smaller, but a great place to visit for a few days (particularly the cathedral area) and remains lively out of season.


Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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11 Jun 2024 5:30 AM by averagestudent Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

@acer Valencia seems to have left some nice memories for you! Seeing the New Year's fireworks there must have been impressive. It's sad that meals are expensive in the city. Murcia sounds interesting too, especially with its cathedral area. Thanks for sharing your experiences. 

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