Madrid or Barcelona: where to go for your next getaway?

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Aina Prat


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Madrid and Barcelona, ​​already rivals in the field of sport, are also vying for the title of the best tourist destination. And for good reason, each has its own strengths so that it is difficult to separate them. The rest of the article suggests criteria to take into account to help you make the right choice.

Madrid vs Barcelona: the comparison criteria

To decide between Madrid and Barcelona, ​​just discover the one that best meets your expectations, through its tourist attractions. You can also establish selection criteria that influence the practicality of the trip, such as the climate, the budget, the quality of life or the types of activities available.

As a reminder, Madrid, the capital of Spain, is also the political, economic and cultural center. Capital of the Spanish monarchy, Madrid is also renowned for its collections of European works of art, its museums including the Prado Museum, its lively squares, etc.

Barcelona, ​​capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia, is a welcoming city, favored by its openness to the Mediterranean. It is a festive, cosmopolitan and multicultural city, famous for its architectural and historical heritage allowing to combine cultural visits with relaxation.

Which city to choose according to the climate and the weather?

To be sure to make the most of your urban getaway, it is better to favor the city which offers better climatic conditions, with the greatest number of sunny and pleasant days.

The most pleasant weather: Barcelona

Benefited by its Mediterranean-type climate which remains pleasant throughout the year, Barcelona enjoys superb climatic conditions which extend from March to November. The ideal times to visit and discover Barcelona are spring and summer to enjoy the sun and the beaches. Madrid can be visited all year round, but it is somewhat disadvantaged by its continental type climate, resulting in hot summers and cold winters.

Which city to choose according to the price of plane tickets?

In order to find the preferred destination according to the price of plane tickets, our analysis is based on the cheapest price during the low and high tourist season.

The cheapest average round trip price: Barcelona

For flights connecting France to Barcelona or France to Madrid, there is a price difference of 5 to 20 €, to the advantage of Barcelona. As the seasons go by, both during low and high tourist seasons, the prize for the cheapest plane ticket goes to Barcelona.

Barcelona, ​​Plaza de España

The destination to choose according to the cheapest budget

By taking into account the costs of living during the stay, it is possible to determine the most accessible destination with a reasonable travel budget.

Least expensive city: Madrid

Based on the cost of living, the most attractive destination is Madrid compared to Barcelona which is the most expensive city in the country. By adding all the expenses related to accommodation, catering, transport, the purchase of souvenirs and various activities: a stay in the Spanish capital is less expensive than a stay in the Catalan capital. However, the costs of living in these two destinations remain affordable, compared to those that characterize Paris, France.

Quality of life: health, safety, air quality

Which one of Madrid or Barcelona is the most interesting destination for wellness? To find the destination where it is good to live, all you have to do is look at the issues of safety, health and the quality of life in general.

Life is good both in Barcelona and in Madrid

The Spanish capital is one of the most welcoming cities in the world, offering a good quality of life and numerous health infrastructures with satisfactory qualities. It is also one of the safest cities in Europe, although it is always advisable to stick to basic recommendations, when it comes to safety. Barcelona, ​​the Catalan capital is not to be outdone. It is a tourist city, open, cosmopolitan where life is good. Moreover, it is among the first cities in the world in the best ranking in terms of quality of life, safety and equity.

Which city to choose according to travelers' opinions: Madrid or Barcelona?

If you are still having trouble making up your mind, you can also rely on the opinions of travelers who have had a successful stay in Madrid or Barcelona.

Travelers prefer: Madrid and Barcelona

Of course ! Travelers' reviews show that they have also faced embarrassment for choice, as opinions diverge when it comes to choosing between Madrid and Barcelona. Indeed, those who like to discover the rich collections of European works of art, the famous museums like the Prado, to recharge their batteries through excursions in the surroundings of the city, without hesitation choose Madrid. But those who wish to visit the Basilica of the Sagrada Família, the Picasso Museum and the Joan Miró Foundation, The MUHBA, Barcelona History Museum, or enjoy the festivities and lively evenings as well as the long stretches of beach, go to Barcelona.

Madrid, Plaza de Espana

Which destination to choose for a weekend or a week: Madrid or Barcelona?

Which destination to choose according to the time you have available: Madrid or Barcelona? To answer it, you just need to find out what activities to do during that time.

For a romantic weekend, prefer Madrid or Barcelona

Madrid is a popular destination for romantic getaways for a weekend. And for good reason, the city promotes a cultural stopover where it is possible to alternate between visiting some of its internationally renowned museums or certain religious buildings ... with one-on-one over a good dinner or strolling through one of its sumptuous gardens and parks. The same is true of Barcelona which is full of interesting places for a visit of 2 or 3 days only.

For a week, with family or friends, opt for Barcelona or Madrid

The Catalan capital is the perfect destination for a stay of a week or more, with family or friends. Barcelona is a festive and multicultural city that will appeal to young and old. Do not miss: the famous avenue Las Ramblas, the famous football stadium in Camp Nou and many more. Indeed, there is no time to get bored between the days of discovery and the festive atmospheres in the coctelerías (cocktail bars) or whiskerias. You will also spend unforgettable moments in Madrid, by alternating cultural visits, excursions in the outskirts of the city and pleasant relaxing evenings.

Which city to choose, depending on the places of interest to visit?

The interest of an urban getaway lies in the diversity of the activities to be done and in the satisfaction of discovering many places, tourist, historical and cultural sites.

The city with the most UNESCO-listed sites: Barcelona

Barcelona is undoubtedly the city with the most Unesco classified sites, with works by Antoni Gaudí, including Park Güell, Palazzo Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Casa Vicens, the Crypt and Nativity Façade of the Sagrada Família and the Crypt of Colony Güell in Barcelona. It is also in Barcelona that one can discover the Palace of Catalan Music and the Hospital of Sant Pau.

The cultural sites, registered with the Unesco heritage in the surroundings of Madrid, are the Monastery and site of the Escorial, 45 km north-west of the city, the Aranjuez Cultural Landscape, 44 km south of Madrid, and the University and historic district of Alcalá de Henares in the community of Madrid.

The most cultural destination: Madrid

The cities of Madrid and Barcelona are among the most popular destinations in Spain. Indeed, these two destinations both arouse cultural interests that make them essential for enthusiasts. If Barcelona offers the promise of an architectural, historical and authentic visit, Madrid is unbeatable with its many museums and monuments, among others: the Prado Museum, Reina Sofía Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisz Museum, the Palacio Real, Bueno Retiro Park, not to mention the Las Ventas bullring and the unmissable Santiago Bernabéu stadium.

Madrid, Retiro Park

So which is your choice: Madrid or Barcelona?

Taking into account the selection criteria mentioned and your expectations, you now know which city charmed you the most! For a romantic getaway for a weekend, it is better to focus on Madrid. On the other hand, to diversify the pleasures and combine cultural visits with relaxation and seaside entertainment, the best destination is undoubtedly Barcelona. Tell us what you think in the comments !

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