U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-06-2014, 02:43 AM
 
872 posts, read 1,635,858 times
Reputation: 370

Advertisements

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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-06-2014, 05:55 AM
 
556 posts, read 761,205 times
Reputation: 687
I have not been to Madrid, but I was very disappointed with Barcelona. The food was amazing, and the architecture was beautiful, but it was just too crowded. In addition to the normal tourist crowds, there were 3 cruise ships in port when we got there. People were walking shoulder to shoulder everywhere we went, and we were intentionally avoiding the big tourist draws.

How committed are you to Spain? I had a wonderful time in Portugal, both Lisbon and Porto. Far less crowded, lots of great architecture, great food, inexpensive... Both cities have decent transit systems as far as I could tell, but we pretty much walked everywhere. The entire country is still a bit off the beaten path, at least for Americans.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-06-2014, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,888 times
Reputation: 1624
Like mpheels, I was underwhelmed by Barcelona. I haven't been to any other parts of Spain, but I from what I've seen and read, I'd rather go to Portugal than Spain again. Or Italy. Or the south of France. Or...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-06-2014, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,444,578 times
Reputation: 4409
Well....I guess Barcelona has a greater variety of architecture, considering what you want. There's the Gaudi stuff, along with more traditional styles in the Barri Gotic. Normally I would recommend Madrid for food and going out, but you seem to be the first person ever to not be interested in that!

On the flip side, Madrid is more grandiose in terms of national and government buildings, being the capital. There are more daytrip options with more classical cities nearby (Toledo, Segovia...) but Barcelona has nice beaches up the Costa Brava. A lot of people adore Girona as well, which is a daytrip possiblity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-06-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,444,578 times
Reputation: 4409
Also, what time of year? Madrid is an inferno June-August. Barcelona is crowded the same months.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-06-2014, 03:17 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,787,241 times
Reputation: 5565
Jesse44 has already made good points. I've been to both. Both are nice but I personally liked Barcelona more than Madrid. Madrid is like many other European cities/capitals. But Barcelona struck me as unique, a little "off" (in a good way), with all the fantastic (in the literal sense of the word) architecture and bohemian/artistic air.

Madrid:
mod cut

Last edited by golfgal; 06-07-2014 at 05:12 AM.. Reason: copyrighted photos not allowed
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-06-2014, 04:42 PM
 
205 posts, read 477,210 times
Reputation: 177
mod cut

Oh! isn't it about soccer? sorry

Last edited by golfgal; 06-07-2014 at 05:12 AM.. Reason: copyrighted photos not allowed
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-06-2014, 05:36 PM
 
2,591 posts, read 5,286,635 times
Reputation: 5188
If you want architecture go to Barcelona. No architecture buff wants to miss Gaudi.

But make sure you don't lose your wallet while you are looking up (pickpockets).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-07-2014, 03:52 AM
 
9,859 posts, read 10,110,348 times
Reputation: 5275
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.
I would think that Madrid would win hands down on the day trips. Toledo, Avila, and Segovia. Given the high speed rail Cordoba is also a day trip option.

As for your other three criteria I think they are about equal.

Who doesn't care about museums, art, shopping, nightlife, or food?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-07-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,184,676 times
Reputation: 2512
I spent five months living in Barcelona and I have been to Madrid three times so I have a decent grasp on this.

Barcelona:
Awesome city. My favorite in Europe and great all around because it has something of everything. Beach, old buildings, new buildings, museums, art, Roman ruins, great nightlife, and last of all just pure awesome food.

Now I was there from January to May so not during the busiest tourist season. Which made it more enjoyable. There are plenty of places to get lost in that are not touristy. If you like Cool architecture Barcelona is awesome with Gaudi stuff it awesome.

I highly recommend the Picasso museum too even though you said you are not a fan of the art it is a small museum in a small old building. Las Ramblas is pretty cool but the key is to get lost in the side streets. Find the remains of Barcelona's Roman times and go into all the churches.

I loved my time in Barcelona and the metro system is very very easy to use, and safe.

Madrid is more of a city. The metro system is large and a bit more complicated. Plenty of cool things to do in Madrid too of course and like I said better day trips.

If you are looking into day trips I would suggest you spend time in Madrid and Barcelona. It is a quick 1 hour flight and you can find cheap fares. I did mine for $100. There is of course trains too. Trains tend to be more expensive between the two cities.

Overall I like Barcelona more for someone to visit. But honestly the best thing is to just visit both.

I've never seen someone not care about food. Please make sure which ever place you visit get some typical good Spanish food, maybe that will change your mind. Madrid is more about meat while Barcelona has everything, especially seafood.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top