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Madrid or Barcelona?

Travel Forums Europe Madrid or Barcelona?

1. Posted by malikj (First Time Poster 1 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone,

I am planning a trip to Spain in February and along with taking in the sites and sounds of this beautiful country, I really want to experience the best night life it has to offer as well. I would think that Barcelona would have the best night life but Madrid might be nice as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

2. Posted by jessianne (Full Member 54 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Barcelona for night life definitely, but also for AMAZING architecture, cool people, great shopping and also crazy street acts. Madrid is beautiful and it does have a good nightlife, but it's nothing like Barcelona. If you're going to Barcelona get the funiculaire to the Olympic Village and swim in the fancy Olympic pool for a small fee. Go to see the aquarium down by the port and then laze on the beach and drink cervesas. Go see Sagrada de Familia, and check out the Gaudi trail, if you're into cool-looking buildings. If you're into INSANE clubs, Barcelona has plenty, and a great dance scene. The only thing I would say if it's possible to see both cities, do, because they're very different, but Madrid, is cheaper for food, drink, hostels etc.

It cost me an arm and a leg, but have a huge soft spot for Barcelona, Madrid would be where I'd go for a nice weekend break. Oh and the Picasso museum in Barce is free on the 1st sunday of the month!

3. Posted by leahrb (Full Member 209 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Madrid and Barcelona both have crazy night lives. But other than that they are very different.
It's hard to describe but in my opinion Madrid is more sophisticated while Barcelona is more crazy. I agree that Barcelona is quite a bit more expensive than Madrid but I love it as well. I spent a lot of time near there this summer and if you have any questions about Barcelona I bet I could answer them.

In my opinion Barcelona has more to see and do during the day. Such as the things jessianne described and many more.
Must sees are the Gaudi architecture.. Sagrada Familia (which you'll enjoy more after you visit the Gaudi museum in the basement) Casa Batlo, La Pedrera (not quite as interesting on the inside as I thought it would be) and then Parc Guell where there are a ton of things to see. If you're there on a Sunday night go to Parc de la Ciutadella it starts getting pretty crazy there at about 9:00 (at least it did during the summer) And of course walk up and down Las Ramblas.

I also agree that if possibly you should try and visit both. I have a recomendation for a really cheap really nice hostal in Madrid if you decide to go there. Good luck!

4. Posted by Leonidas (inactive 4 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I lived in Spain for a whole year. If you want to go out,, but just go out in the night..then go to Madrid. But I agree with "LEAHRB".. Barcelona is more beautiful than Madrid. It also has great places to go out, the weather is much better, the sea, the mountains...If you plan to go alone, I recommend you to stay in a hostel. .. You will meet a lot of people.
Also, I some places in Barcelona..: Danzatoria, Santallo, Sutton...those places are really good.

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5. Posted by Javi (Budding Member 2 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I dont understand very well why people say Barcelona has much more to see than Madrid. The most important museums of Spain are in Madrid, whe you cant miss the Prado or Reina Sofia ones.

I cant tell that much about Barcelona nightlife, but Madrid one is great. There are many neighborhoods packed with bars and clubs. Everyone for a different kind of people. And quite important too, it is quite weird to be charged to get into the pubs.

Also there are many tapas bars to enjoy the tapas in the early afternoon, before lunch. Dont miss Huertas area.

Enjoy it.

6. Posted by rongens (Budding Member 2 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

This is a topic where i feel that short term tourists get very confused about.
I lived in both Madrid and Barcelona for about a year in each city.
As a tourist city Barcelona is nice,but you really have to know them well to know that Madrid is better.If i had to choose one,then it would definately be Madrid.
But to the point.Madrid not only has a far superior nightlife then Barcelona it is justly described by nightlife experts as having the best nightlife in the world.
Where else can you get traffic jams at 4 a.m.
Trick is go out very late(if you go to early to a nightclub you will find yourself all alone).And get ready for the loudest,latest and most fun nightlife in the planet.:)

7. Posted by neicat (Budding Member 2 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I love Madrid, it's an excellent option to visit, very monumental and very "castiza", which is sort very Spanish or madrilian... BUT, there's always a but... Madrid became the capital of Spain just a few centuries ago, being Toledo the former capital... which means that in terms of architecture Barcelona is a thousand times superior to Madrid.
Also I think Barcelona is much more cosmopolitan than Madrid, although Madrid has improved in the last few years.. still... Barcelona makes a difference.
I lived in BCN for a while and now I'¡m going back in a month, to settle down in that great city with the sea in front... nice weather beautiful food... beautiful people too..
In case you want to go and live like a Barcelonian for your short stay, a friend of mine lets room in her central flat... e-mail :-snip, use message center-
The flat is cool, big, you can see the sea for it is in Barceloneta (yellow line), 1 min. walk to tube & bus, 5 mins. walk to Gotic quartier and Ramblas... I spent some time there, always feeling fortunate to be there and be able to walk everywhere... What I really like also about the appartment is the old furniture my friend has restored... and as good vivant, my friend can also inform you of restaurants, bars, tapas, and so on... she's a peculiar and genuine barcelonian...

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8. Posted by rongens (Budding Member 2 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Its really very subjective.
If you want the best museums,parks,shopping ,restaurants and the best football club on earth.Madrid.
If you want the beach,avantguard architecture,and a more European feel.Barcelona.
But for nightlife.Madrid.There is no comparison.:)