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Planning a Trip to Cover Madrid, Barcelona and London

Has anyone done these three cities in one trip? Any suggestions would help in reference to taking a fast train to commute from one city to the other and perhaps include flights if cost is more efficient. Party of two. Want to travel in middle of March 2014 leaving from either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Would consider maximum of 12 days to cover all three. Is it realistic? Also, any comments regarding museum passes/city passes to cover major sights in these cities would be much appreciated.

Posted by
9110 posts

What's the third city? There only seems to be two. The best way to get from England to Spain is flying. Looking at your other post (which you should delete since it's a duplicate) Barcelona is in the mix. Fly into London, fly to Madrid, take the train to Barcelona, and fly home from there. Or whatever order is the cheapest. Anyway, you fly between the two countries and use the train within Spain. And you fly into one country and home from the other. Twelve days will be rough. You arrive the day after you leave and one day is nothing but heading home. It will Take the better part of a day, hotel to hotel, moving from England to Spain. And a half day moving from Madrid to Barcelona. Your twelve days have become eight and a half which is less than three days per city if you split them even. You can sort of sample Madrid and Barcelona in three days each. You can't scratch the surface of London in a week. Pick two and be done with it.

Posted by
2081 posts

viv, i think youre missing one city? i can only speak for London. WHen it comes to passes and such, you have to do the homework there and cruch the numbers. look at the website for the pass and determine what you want to see and the associated cost. Then see if it pencils out for you. dont forget that some passes inculde using the local transportation too, so that will add value to the pass. i belive that most of the museums that i visited in london were free so a pass didnt pencil out for me. again, this is a personal choice and preference and likes. when it comes to plane vs train, and this is my personal preference, i choose to do the fastest. If a train can get me there in usually less than 4 to 5 hours max then i will try the train. Planes have the added crap of the security lines, customs and so forth. to get a better idea on if you can do it, you will need to provide some answers as to what you like to do/see. From my time in London, i spent 4 full days there and saw most of the major museums and had time at the end of each day to chill and reflect on that day. I try not to plan my days to be 10+ hours of busy, but along the lines of 6 hours of tourist and the rest chill time. this will depend on you, your $$, your partner and time. happy trails.

Posted by
379 posts

I agree with Ed. Your plans for 3 cities in 12 days is way too ambitious. Personally, I would leave London for another trip. American Airlines has direct flight to Barcelona. I would divide up the days between Barcelona and Madrid. Both cities have plenty to see and do to take up 4-5 days depending on your interests. Not to mention day trips to Figueres, Montserrat, Toledo, and Segovia.
You need to pace yourself and give yourself time to rest and take a breather. Around the midpoint of a trip, I give myself a morning/afternoon where nothing is scheduled: time to do the laundry, write some postcards, log into your diary, sleep late, sip coffee at a cafe and people watch. Remember it's a vacation, not the Amazing Race.

Posted by
1878 posts

Twelve days is not much for these three cities. I would say focus on two of the three. London is good for five nights, and that will leave you wanting more. Madrid, the same but for most people that would be counting day trips to El Escorial, Segovia, and especially Toledo. (For me, next time I will allow five nights for Madrid alone. Very underrated city). Barcelona, four nights (three full days) is about right. But there are also worthy day trips from Barcelona, like Monserrat for example. If you are going to connect major cities on your trips, plan for big chunks of time. We find it appealing to mix large city and small town destinations, with a lot of time per large city and a couple of days for the smaller towns.

Posted by
1156 posts

Make this a Spain only trip and you will be rewarded. Pay attention to when Easter is occurring and check for local festivals taking place in March. We flew Iberia via Miami, excellent experience.

Posted by
2799 posts

She said three cities and named them, London, Barcelona, and Madrid, so why be confused? While one could easily spend a month or even a year in each place, the idea of visiting all 3 in 12 days is not bad. Fly from London into one city in Spain and out of the other.

Posted by
9363 posts

Because it's so easy, quick, and inexpensive (if you buy train tickets ahead) to get from Barcelona to Madrid (or the other way around), I think this trip is very doable. I did much the same thing this past August - five days in Glasgow, four in Barcelona, and the rest in Madrid. You will still have to be choosy about what you see in order to maximize your time, but you can at least get a taste of each. Between Madrid and Barcelona, the AVE train takes about 2.5 hours. I bought my ticket ahead on the Renfe site (register first - it makes the site easier to use). I got a Promo fare for 40 euro by buying about two months ahead of my trip. I also flew via Ryanair from Glasgow to Barcelona for 39 euro, but there are a number of budget airlines that have fare sales on a regular basis. A lot of the budget airlines fly out of Stansted or Gatwick instead of Heathrow, so shop around and see what you can find.