I am traveling with 3 girlfriend to Barcelona, Spain this summer. We are going to be in Europe for almost 2 weeks. We fly in and out of Barcelona, but we want to visit other places. Where all should we go? We want to make the most of our time. Any advise on where to stay would be greatly appreciated too! :)
You may check Rick Steve's itinerary.
We will visit spain this June. Barcelona - Madrid - (Segovia day trip) - Toledo - Granada - Ronda - Sevilla. Too bad we will miss Cordoba since our time was tight.
Since you are going to be in Barcelona for 2 weeks then consider adding Valencia Spain to the Itinerary
7 days in Barcelona - Day trips (Montserrat and Girona), 4 days in Valencia, and 2 days Figueres
7 days Barcelona - Day trips (Montserrat and Girona), 4 days Madrid, 2 days Toledo
Your trip will be logistically much easier if you stay within Spain. Other countries (even Portugal) will likely require flights to reach; you could go to France if you insist.
Make sure you are back in Barcelona the night before your flight home - you don't want to take chances and miss it.
Your question is very broad, so it's impossible to answer. What kinds of things do you want to see and do? Beaches, nightclubs, art museums, churches, Moorish history, Roman history, food, etc?
Honestly would we have time to go to other countries? Or should we stay in Spain? I'm sorry it was really vague. I am looking to see if it's worth us trying to get to other countries. We go REALLY good ticket $380 round trip to Barcelona, so if we spend some money on flights while we are there it would be fine. But I am just worried we are going to try to go to too many places.
And we are going the beginning of August.
One 'problem' is that 13 days is not a lot. Assuming you arrive day 1 and depart day 13? That leaves 11 full days. Yes its possible to fly from BCN to, say, Paris (or Florence or Rome), but then you are eating into your time even more with getting to and from airports and the flight. So thats ½ day, if done very efficiently. You are on the border of France, so towns over the border are a possibility. But thats still several hours of travel time, and I think there are more interesting things to see in Spain. So yes, if you are really wanting to see Paris, Rome, or elsewhere, you would be able to get a domestic european flight for not a ton of money and do that. It really depends on the type of trip you want. 6 days in the Barcelona area (4 BCN, 2 Girona + Pyrenees), 2 in Valencia, and 4 in Paris; its possible... (I know I said 11 and now Im making it 12, but thats assuming you arrive in the morning and depart at night)
I'm not sure it's worth it to try to go to another country because you waste so much time getting there. Barcelona is a huge city with lots of important sights, so I would spend a week in Barcelona. Then you could rent a car and spend some time driving along the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona. We stayed in Girona and Cadaques, two wonderful places. Girona is a small city with a wall you can walk, an art museum, churches, etc. It's very pretty with a river running through it. And the city is very old. Cadaques is on the Mediterranean, and has a nice beach, so you can have some beach time in August. If you like Dali, you can visit his quirky home in Port Lligat, right next to Cadaques. There is the beautiful natural park, Cap de Creus, and a monastery. We didn't go there, but there is a Dali museum in Figueres.
Then north of Girona, you could drive to Besalu and also see some of the Pyrenees. Visit Rupit, Ripoll, Vic, etc. Make sure you are back in Barcelona the night before your flight.
Madrid is a possibility, too. You can take the AVE train to Madrid. It's about a 2.5 hour ride. Madrid has some outstanding art museums, the Royal Palace, Retiro Park, and great neighborhoods to walk around. Again, make sure you are back in Barcelona the night before you fly home.
Personally, I would stay the entire time in Spain and visit sites relatively close to Barcelona. Lots and lots of wonderful places to visit. Look into Girona, Tarragona with its Roman ruins, Montserrat, maybe a little farther out to either Zaragoza or Valencia. You could probably get a cheap flight to the nearby island of Mallorca from Barcelona for a few days. Mallorca is beautiful.
If you are set on going to other countries then you should be able to get relatively cheap flights into and out of Barcelona. Just be aware that the smaller airlines offer few perks and you need to strictly follow their baggage and gate rules. Most of us on this site would tell you to pack light. You can get some really great fares. I would just choose one other major destination then. Maybe 6 days in Barcelona and 6 days in another place like Rome, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Lisbon, Venice, Munich, Dubrovnik, Malta, etc. Use the big city as a base and you can incorporate some daytrips to nearby towns or sites. Once you choose your destinations everything else will fall into place.
I agree that staying in Spain is the best plan. it is a wonderful country with plenty to see and do. Northern Spain and Southern Spain (Andalucia) are very different. You might want to spend 5 days in Barcelona, including a day trip or two, and fly to Seville to get a taste of the south.
If you would expand on your interests and ages, we may be able to help with some direction.
Also knowing a general idea of where you are coming from.
Spain is hot in the summer, with Adalusia (Seville, Granada and Cordoba) reaching temps close to 120F. Barcelona is high 80s/low 90s in August. Numerous close towns with beaches to consider. Northern Spain is cooler.
Some folks may prefer the tapas (small bites) approach with a day or two then move on, while others prefer to immerse themselves in one place for a week. Is this a 'girls' trip' where drinking, partying, entertainments is more important that culture?
Maybe you want to go to the French Riviera. Why not?
Hotel, hostel, or short let apartment?
Car, train, bus or plane?
Depending on what you answer back with, a different guide book might suit your group better than Rick Steves. Whichever one you settle on, the 4 of you should make some decisions together.
I've just left Valencia after 4.5 days. To me it was attractive, pleasant, etc., but I would honestly rather have a 10th day in Brcelona rather than a first day in Valencia. Someone interested in seeing the contemporary architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences might reasonably disagree, but I wouldn't otherwise recommend Valencia on a short trip to Spain simply because there are many more interesting places (certainly including Girona).
I second the idea of staying in Spain. Adding 2 more cities to your list would give you about 2 days per city not counting the travel time (1/2 day each time your change). Madrid and Granada have a few day trip options you might want to consider. If you do go to other cities, put all your Barcelona days towards the end of the trip for peace of mind before you fly home. If this is you first trip, resist the urge to see it all now. Have fun.
agree with Michelle
I will be going to Spain and Portugal for 2 weeks in August. We will be doing Barcelona (fly to Lisbon), Lisbon (overnight bus to Seville), Seville (train to Madrid), and then Madrid. 4-4-2-3 days. But we fly into Barcelona and out of Madrid.
Agree with all the others to stay in Spain. I was in Spain for 2 weeks in November and went to Madrid, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, Cordoba and Barcelona. We decided to go south rather than north since it was the second half of November but if I were going in the summer I would likely stick to the North. You could spend a month in Spain and only touch the surface.