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Madrid or Barcelona? Tourists Know Better

Written by James

If you have travelled to Spain in the past, or you are about to visit the country in the future, you have probably come across with endless discussions about which city is the best place in the country.

To analyze the pros and cons, engaging in the long-lasting rivalry raging between the two major cities of the Spanish peninsula, will not do you any good.

Madrid and Barcelona battle for years to win the crown of Spain’s most admired tourist destination:  Original Spanish menus or Catalonian delicacies? Modern architecture or, maybe, classic beauty? Ronaldo or Messi?

Madrid hosts 3 of the most known art museums: Prado, which competes with the Parisian Louvre on their pre-20th century collection, Reina Sofia, where some of modern art masterpieces can be found – including Picasso’s Guernica – and Thyssen-Bornemisza, ranked in the top list of private museums internationally.

On the other hand, Barcelona is not short of art, as the whole city seems to have been created of anonymous artists.

Both cities receive several million visitors every year.  Not surprisingly, some would want to visit both in one journey, taking advantage of the high-speed AVE train which connects Madrid with Barcelona.

However, the latter is more accessible to fly over than ever before, as air tickets can now be obtained online at a fraction of the usual cost.  But, once you get there, tapas could be a little more expensive than a meal in Gran Via, Madrid, which could cost you less than €15.

Nevertheless, recently, tourists found a creative way of cutting the total cost of their vacations in Barcelona, by seeking an apartment for rent instead of staying in a hotel.

Apparently, the services of holiday apartment rentals, which have emerged in the last years helped by the economic crisis that hit Spain in addition to most European countries in the south, are a smart choice, especially as several agents willingly offer flats to tourists for short stay of just a week or so.

To rent in Madrid will be as easy as to find an apartment for rent in Barcelona, as the concept of individuals offering furnished apartments to tourists at competitive prices already has spread to the North.

But you cannot bring the sea in the center of Spain.

So you might want to try the beach in Sitges, near the city of Barcelona, which obviously you will do.

High temperatures in the summer and other tourists walking on flip-flops and wearing sunglasses and hats will keep reminding you that the lazy hours under the sun could not possibly be found when you are going to visit Madrid.

Unless you visit the Manzanares river, that is.

Since 2011, when the city council in Madrid unveiled Madrid Rio, a project which was heavily publicized at the time, the city welcomes tourists in Retiro Park, offering an artificial sand beach, which is the next best thing to do when the shores of the Atlantic or Mediterranean are far away.

Finally, if you decided to rent an apartment in Madrid long-term, do not miss to visit Toledo and Segovia, considered the two satellite cities of Spain’s capital, possible the most diverse and interesting places you have ever seen.

About the author


James is a passionate writer in love with the beautiful city of Barcelona.

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