There will be 4 college girls traveling from Amsterdam to Paris to Barcelona from March 19 through April 3. We will be spending roughly 4 days in each place and the last couple of days in Madrid. Where are some places we absolutely must go in each place? We are looking at staying in condos because it works out to be about $50 a night per person. We are also highly considering taking the night train from Paris to Barcelona, as we have already booked a Eurorail pass. Basically, we are open to any information anyone can provide us on how to make our limited time in each place really worth it, plus having fun as well! Thank you so much.
Oh, dear. Buying a Eurail pass without knowing where and when you will travel really ties you down. For instance, it's cheaper and far faster to take a budget airline Paris-Barcelona. Vueling would fly you for about 40 euros plus various fees. Even with airport hassles, you would save most of a day for sightseeing. And yes, the train replaces one night in a hotel. But that night will possibly be spent in a cramped compartment, sitting up. Better to be taking an evening stroll in Barcelona. While I am nagging, by "condo" do you mean apartment? Not a bad idea when divided by four. Many rent only by the week but not all. Credit card payment seems more reassuring than cash. A location near bus/tram/subway is always more time-efficient. And look for free WiFi so one of you can take a laptop, or maybe a smartphone. It's great to be able to research as you go along and keep up with your social network. You will have a great time, especially at the start of spring. Budget for the occasional splash-out restaurant meal. You will exhaust yourselves if you try to "see" everything. Pick out a few attractions with major appeal, do research, then spend enough time to really understand the place. Audio tours in galleries and museums are worth the cost. Hop on/off bus tours can give an overview but are pretty slow for basic getting-around. "Free" city tours will shame you into tipping and offer no guarantee of skilled guides. Most important, agree with your companions that going someplace on your own doesn't insult the rest of the group.
Start with Europe through the Back Door, has great tips and advice. Also look at the graffiti section on this site and can find tips on packing, tourist scams, all kind of advice. Also google Ten Top Attractions in each city which will give great info, hours, costs etc. We rented apartments in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and never disappointed, we found one in Barcelona and another in Scotland about three years ago for $100 total not per person and had two separate bedrooms. In each place we did not have to spend a week but maybe due to fact we were off season. Best way to go especially when there are four of you. Some attractions you can get tickets on line to save you time, especially Eiffel Tower and Anne Franks house. Good luck.