Barcelona vs Madrid. Which city to choose for a visit?

Although to compare Barcelona with Madrid seems like the craziest idea in the world, it is normal for many tourists to ask themselves which city is better to visit.

From a distance they seems to have very few things in common beyond the fact that they are both big cities with huge numbers of tourists. In this article we discuss trips to both places, so that you can choose correctly which you prefer.

Which has more things to see?

If you are thinking about visiting Spain but you don’t know which city to choose, Madrid or Barcelona, you’ll probably ask yourself which has things to see and get to know.

The monuments, the architecture of the place, the countryside, the food or the climate are some of the key elements to decide between one place and another. Continue reading and find the ideal city.

1· Architecture

Barcelona and Madrid are monumental cities in an architectural sense. Even if Madrid stands out for its large buildings, wide avenues and famous squares, Barcelona wins through in this respect.

Barcelona is the cradle of Catalan modernism thanks to numerous architects such as Antoni Gaudí or Puig I Cadafalch that built some of the prettiest buildings in Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia, la Casa Milà (la Pedrea), Casa Batlló or Park Güell are capable of overshadowing any other building.

 

2· Museums

In spite of Barcelona being a meeting place for poets, painters, architects and other artists, museums are not the principal characteristics for which you would choose the city.

Even if you can find very interesting locations such as the Picasso Museum or the National Museum of Catalan Modern Art (MNAC), Madrid is ahead of Barcelona in this respect. In the streets of the capital you can find the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia, Thyseen or the Sorolla as some of the must see places in Madrid.

3· Countryside

The natural countryside, the mountains or the sea are also some of the important things to consider at the moment of choosing a holiday destination. And here if there is a definitive winner it is definitely Barcelona.

Whilst in Madrid you have to head up to the mountains or to places like Segovia or Toledo to feel alongside nature, Barcelona has sea and mountainsyou can enjoy without leaving the city. In terms of the mountains you can climb the Sierra de Collserola, from which you can see the Mediterranean sea which borders the city.

 

4· Theatres

And for the great lovers of stage, the battle between Barcelona and Madrid also has a clear winner: Madrid.

The cultural offer of theatre, musicals and operas is much greater in the Spanish capital than in Barcelona. An objective data point reflecting this is the Madrid has more than 60 theatres in the city whilst the Catalan capital barely passes 30.

5· Food

Spanish cuisine is known across the world as one of the best. In Madrid you can savour typical plates such as cocido Madrileño or a squid sandwich, as well as tapas and traditional dishes.

In Barcelona you will also have the opportunity to enjoy tapas, paellas and every type of Catalan regional dish. That is to say, this is a tie.

 

 

6· Summer

The summer is one of the best times of year to travel to Spain for tourists looking for a destination with a good climate, sun and a beach. Of course, these three things you will only find in Barcelona.

You have more than 10 beaches without leaving the city boundaries to take a dip in the sea and get a sun tan, and also, only half an hour from Barcelona you will find the Costa Brava, an unmissable place if you are here in summer.

7· Football

The say that love is the motor that moves the world, but maybe you could also apply that to football. In Spain, people love the clubs and the players and every match becomes the focal point of the week.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are rivals since the beginning of their history, with fans and detractors in the millions. Yes, millions, given that Real Madrid has 209 million followers on social media whilst Barcelona loses that battle with 201.7 million.

Depending on the club you support, you will want to visit one stadium or the other, so we leave this up to you.

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