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Old 06-07-2014, 09:57 PM
 
318 posts, read 643,645 times
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I greatly preferred Madrid to Barcelona, but since you don't like museums, you probably wouldn't feel the same way. I just found Barcelona to be so overcrowded, and there was an undercurrent of drug culture there among the younger generation that just didn't appeal to me.

You just have to decide whether day trips or cool architecture is the most important criteria for you. If it's day trips, then Madrid would be best (although Barcelona may afford an opportunity to cross into France if that interests you). You will be spoiled for choice in day trips in Madrid.

If you prefer architecture, then choose Barcelona. I loved the grand buildings in a Madrid and actually prefer the architecture in Madrid. However, while it wasn't my taste, the architecture in Barcelona is so unique that it absolutely worth seeing because you aren't going to see it anywhere else.

Barcelona feels more modern than Madrid, which is perhaps another reason that I preferred Madrid.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Europe
218 posts, read 221,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
Which is the better destination in Spain?

What I'm hoping for: Cool architecture--both modern and classic European (i.e. majestic government buildings and pebble roads), day trip options, easy to get around if at town center, hidden "non-touristy" treasures.

What I don't care about: Museums, art, shopping, nightlife, food.

No kids, so that won't be an issue.
Why dont you skip Spain?
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:02 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,397,418 times
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Been to both, didn't really enjoy Barcelona. Liked Madrid. Loved Seville.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Europe
1,618 posts, read 2,788,570 times
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Both are cool but I prefer Madrid. If you have time you can visit both, or even more places:

Ladrona de gatos.: 10 Wonderful places in Spain.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Historic Gulfport
464 posts, read 524,722 times
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Have been to Madrid and Barcelona (prefer Barcelona by far...we went late October, not so crowded). BUT.....if you want something totally different, more interesting, few Americans, go to Ronda. Rent a car and drive all over Andalusia, don't miss Arcos de la Frontera!

More off the beaten track, but well worth it.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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Yeah...Seville.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:55 PM
 
Location: The Great West
2,077 posts, read 2,025,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulfporter View Post
BUT.....if you want something totally different, more interesting, few Americans, go to Ronda. Rent a car and drive all over Andalusia, don't miss Arcos de la Frontera!

More off the beaten track, but well worth it.
Perfect suggestion. My parents rented a car when they came to visit me in Spain. I was in the Basque Country at the time but we traveled around, went down to Andalucia and drove to Ronda. The Tajo canyon was AMAZING! And we got to see the oldest bull ring in Spain there. Gibraltar is also fun to visit if you're in the south of Spain. Sevilla is very nice. It is one of my favorite cities.

But yeah, to answer the question, Madrid is kind of a basic big city, though there are a fair amount of sights there. Make sure to go to Toledo. It's a short train ride and Toledo is just so awesome. Both Madrid and Barcelona are very walkable. I really liked Barcelona for the Gaudi stuff and the tapas bars. La Rambla was pretty touristy but interesting nonetheless. I recommend going up to Mount Tibidabo too. It gives great views of Barcelona, the ocean and some of the villages nearby.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:37 PM
 
872 posts, read 1,637,792 times
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By the way, how are either weather wise in December/January? Too cold? Is there sun rather than British clouds(even if cold)?

As a reference--I live in mid-Atlantic of USA.
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:35 AM
 
Location: Brussels
505 posts, read 461,080 times
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Dec/Jan is most likely cold and sunny in madrid (daytime 5-10 C and nightime below 0) and a bit milder in Barcelona

Both cities are great to visit, and offer what the OP is looking for and more.
I prefer Madrid over Barcelona, but that's just me.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
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I've only been to Madrid (about a month ago) and loved it... I can't wait to go back and will definitely check out Barcelona next time!
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