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Help with trip planning to Madrid & Barcelona in late April

There are 6 adults in our group who will be going on a cruise from Barcelona. We will be arriving Madrid April 26 late afternoon and have 7 nights to spend between Madrid and Barcelona. We are not into museums. Here is our tentative itinerary:

Day 1 – arrive Madrid, what is the best way to go to the hotel in Via Gran area, is there a taxi big enough for 6 people with suitcases?

Day 2 – sightseeing Madrid, would like to visit the Royal Palace, evening Madrid walking tour & Flamenco show

Day 3 – day trip to Toledo & Segovia

Day 4 – Madrid – Barcelona by train, upon arrival La Grada Familia

Day 5 –Barcelona : am old city walking tour, afternoon Palace of Catalan Music in El Born, Montjuic (for sunset) then down to the Magic fountains

Day 6 – Barcelona: visit Park Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, etc.
Day 7 – Monserrat

Day 8 – Barcelona cruising

Is this itinerary doable? We don’t want to change hotels too many times since each of us will have one big suitcase. This way, we will only have 2 hotels, Madrid & Barcelona. I would really like to visit Zaragoza, but I am not sure if there is enough time. Your feedback and recommendation will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
5010 posts

Day 3 – day trip to Toledo & Segovia

Are you really proposing to try and see Toledo and Segovia from Madrid in a single day? If so, I would have to disagree with that idea.

I think you may have some unrealistic expectations for what you can accomplish in a day.

Posted by
417 posts

You will need to either arrange for a private transfer from the airport in a larger van, or take two taxis. We are a family of four and often used minivan taxis. There would not be room for 6, plus the driver, plus luggage. Taxis cost 30€ from the airport.

Posted by
4646 posts

You shouldn't try to do Toledo and Segovia on the same day. Also, the best Flamenco Shows are in Andalusia, not Madrid or Barcelona. There is a decent on in Barcelona, but it pales compared to the one we saw in Southern Spain.

Don't try to do Zaragoza, that's too much.

Posted by
942 posts

Are you trying to go from Madrid to Barcelona by train going to your hotel and then Sagrada Familia? That's a lot to do in a day.

Also, there's no way you can do both Segovia and Toledo in one and do justice to either.

I know you want to see it all but please, please slow down and don't even think about Zaragoza.

Posted by
322 posts

A few observations.
A) It is perfectly feasible and viable to travel by AVE from Madrid to Barcelona, check-in at your hotel and then visit the Sagrada Familia on the same day. No problem — it all depends on what time you set off from Madrid. For example, the AVE from Madrid at, say, around 10am will put you down in Barcelona at around 12.45pm. Depending where your hotel is located add, say, a comfortable half-hour to get from the rail station to your hotel, add a half-hour check -in, add a half-hour getting your personal stuff all sorted, add another half-hour to muster your group… plenty of time left in the day to cross town to visit the basilica. However, you may want to factor in some chow time before your visit.

B) Zaragoza. It is perfectly feasible and viable to travel by AVE from Madrid to Zaragoza, have a gander about and visit the Aljaferia, and the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, have something to eat and drink and then catch another AVE to Barcelona. Know it — done it — with a group of six. However, you will not have the time nor energy to then visit the Sagrada Familia after your arrival in Barcelona on the same, long, day.

C) If heading to Barcelona to join a cruise I assume you’ll be travelling from Madrid to Barcelona with plenty of luggage — in which case a brief stopover in Zaragoza, involving two separate AVE tickets, hand luggage, day bags and cruise luggage, will be a bit of a chore. However, what you could do, when booking your AVE tickets is have your luggage collected from your Madrid hotel and delivered to your Barcelona hotel. Yes, RENFE, the national rail operator offer this service in conjunction with Correos, the national postal service. Here’s a link to Correos: AND here’s a link to RENFE’s page about the service: Then take the AVE with just a day bag.

D) On Day 6 of your schedule you list: Park Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, etc. All doable — however,
ask yourselves whether you really want to do this. Choose between La Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and Batlló — in my opinion La Pedrera is the better option.

E) Montserrat — A whole day. Given your tight schedule think you may enjoy a day in the city more.

Enjoy your visit.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all so much for your responses, I will re-adjust our itinerary and ask for more advice later. Any other recommendation will be much appreciated.