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Spain Tour in May 2020

We want to visit Spain in 3rd week of may with 2 kids (11 and 13yr) from Toronto for 7-8 days. Should I go to Madrid or Barcelona?
How should i Manage my trip? We love to see scenic places. We have visited Switzerland last year and loved it. Please help and advise for Spain visit.

Posted by
20785 posts

Three of Madrid's top attractions are art museums. How does your family feel about art? Many of us find Barcelona (which is an older city and has some extremely distinctive architecture) more interesting than Madrid once the art museums are set aside. However, Barcelona is much, much more touristy. Ticket prices are fairly high at most of the modernista sights, but if you survived Switzerland, I think you won't be nonplussed by prices in Barcelona.

Both cities have good side-trip possibilities, but only Barcelona is on the coast. And Madrid is surrounded by a lot of rather dull scenery--at least that's what I've seen traveling in and out of town by train.

So my vote is a clear one for Barcelona. Among the side-trips I'd consider are Girona (by train) and Besalu (by bus). Others here will be able to suggest more. You might try using the Search function to find earlier threads about children in Barcelona. That topic comes up from time to time.

Are you willing to rent a car for a day or two of exploring outside the city, or do you want to stick with public transportation?

Posted by
796 posts

Firstly, I strongly recommend purchasing some good guidebooks, such as Rick Steves, Michelin Green Guide, Rough Guides, Lonely Planet so that you know what each place has to offer. And what are your interests besides scenic places? Do you like art, history, architecture? Are you foodies?

I like Madrid a lot! Madrid has some outstanding art museums, which are its main draw. We also enjoyed the Palacio Real, Retiro Park, and Mercado San Miguel. However, I wouldn't recommend Madrid unless your children enjoy art museums. If you do go to Madrid, you could spend a night or two in Toledo.

I think Barcelona might be a better choice for you and your family. I think your children will enjoy the strange and wondrous Gaudi architecture! And the Barceloneta beach. And the fortress located at the top of Montjuic. If you don't mind renting a car for a couple days, you could take a road trip along the Costa Brava coast for some beautiful coastal scenery. Visit Girona, a medieval walled city, and stop in Besalu. If you have the time, I recommend spending a night or two in Cadaques, right on the Mediterranean. It reminded me of a Greek village. And you could visit the bizarre Dali house in Port Lligat. If you don't want to drive, I think you can take a bus or train to Girona.

Posted by
14772 posts

Barcelona! There is so much to see and do, you could fill twice that time and still have a long list. Start by browsing the official TI website. For an overview, use the "buy tickets" link.

Posted by
1278 posts

Barcelona has more to see in the city. Madrid has more interesting day-trip options. Neither are the best parts of Spain, which are in the South.

If you have eight days "on the ground", then conceivably you could see both cities by flying into one and departing from the other. Getting between the two cities is fairly quick and easy by rail.

I think children would prefer Barcelona - its at the seaside, has more impressive architecture and more varied sights, including wider historical attractions, cable cars and Camp Nou.

Posted by
43 posts

Can you help how I can manage 6-7 day trip in Spain? Is 6-7 days are very enough for Spain (Barcelona). OR how many days are enough if I travel from Toronto to Barcelona.

Posted by
3 posts

Madrid a nice must-visit city of Spain lies right towards the northeast in the middle of Iberian Peninsula in Spanish Castillian plateau (Meseta central) located at an elevation of nearly 750 m. An impressive capital city of Spain is pack with several rich cultural and historical attractions. A huge modern metropolis holds extended green zones’ collection and a top vacation destination is the home of thriving modern business, economy, education, art, culture, tourism, as well as countless must-visit point of interests, among which top seven is picked up for their exceptional charming power that drags the glance of visitors intensely. So, here are these seven must-visit point of Interests to visit during your stay in Madrid, Spain.

Royal palace of Madrid

A beautiful Must-Visit Point of Interest, located in the heart of ‘Plaza de Oriente Square’ of Madrid, which includes immense compelling garden. This palace serves as a beautiful and magnificent model not only in the eyes of Spain but also the world. It was once the prime official residence of Spanish royal family from Charles III to Alfonso XIII originally built in 9th century and then again rebuilt in 18th century, when massive fire broke out on the palace during Christmas Eve in 1734. The palace now is used for major state events, festivals, ceremonies and reception purposes.

The whole palace In total covers an area of 138,000 square meters, made of granite and limestone and contains overall six floors houses distinctively decorated grand staircase in huge grand space, big central patio of quadrangular shape, 2,800 residential chambers of which 16 are kept accessible to the public, impressive granite façade made of massive white marble stone chunk, neo-classical style queen lodgings, 1890’s constructed English Park called “campo del moro”, imposing “porcelain” room, the yellow room for royal court ladies etc.

  1. Puerta del Sol

Means ‘Sun Gate’, its name originates from the eastern city gate. It was built in around 15th or 16th century, serves as the main entrance of immense historic public plaza which contains captivating fountain, principle offices of the local governments, attractive bear-eating statues holding Strawberry Tree structure symbolizes the vibrant city life of Madrid, lot of significant historic modern style Spanish period buildings & monuments-was once served as town halls and prisons, numerous restaurants, bars, shops chain and cozy building apartments, striking huge equestrian statue of King Carlos III in the middle of the square etc.

Posted by
3879 posts

I took my children to Madrid when they were about the same ages as yours. They liked Retiro Park (rowing the boat on the lake) and the armor at the Royal Palace, but could have cared less about anything else, although they were troopers in the Prado. They enjoyed Segovia and Toledo. Barcelona has a lot to see, but not sure how much children those ages would like enjoy it, other than the Sagrada Familia. They would like Monserrat, especially if you took the cable car up to it.