What is better to visit: Madrid or Barcelona? (2023)

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    Both Madrid and Barcelona are beautiful Spanish cities with many tourist attractions. So how do you choose between the two?

    During a recent trip to Madrid, while maneuvering shiny new hybrid cars in and out of the busy capital, I overheard a conversation between a fellow journalist and two native Spaniards, one of themmadridistawho calls the capital his home, the other is from Barcelona. The journalist, who was traveling to Spain for the first time, jokingly tried to confront them to see which city was better. The answer, of course, is that they are both fabulous cities worth visiting over the long weekend. But we'll show you which city has the best outdoor public space, the tastiest food and most exciting sports culture, the coolest art museums, and more! And if you still can't decide, here are our recommendations for the best things to do inmothersmiBarcelona.

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    restaurants and food scene

    At the higher end of the spectrum, using Michelin-starred restaurants as a guide, Barcelona (24) beats Madrid (22), but the overall breadth of the food scene is strongest in Spain's capital. However, Barcelona has a key advantage:oMarkt von San Jose de la Boqueria(or La Boqueria for short). If large food markets are your thing (literally), then this legendary center of fruit, fish, flowers, spices, sweets and gifts is your first port of call in Spain. Located on the famous La Rambla, it is world famous for a reason: it is a complete culinary experience for the senses, unmatched in Spain, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

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    The culture of football (and other sports too!)

    Two of the biggest and most popular soccer clubs in the world are located in these two cities. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona each have millions of fans around the world and have been home to some of the most legendary players of all time, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi respectively. But the football and sports culture of each city extends far beyond these two giants.

    Including its suburbs, Madrid regularly has five clubs in the top division of Spanish soccer, while Barcelona has two. Futsal (a fast-paced version of futsal) and basketball are also very popular in Spain, and it's no surprise that the most popular, financially strong and star-studded teams are also based in Madrid and Barcelona. Madrid has more than double the population of Barcelona, ​​so it makes sense that the sports scene would double as well, giving the capital an advantage on the pitch.

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    Art and culture

    Madrid has paintings by PicassoGuernsey, one of the most powerful works of art of the 20th century (hanging in theReina Sofia Museum),the girlsby Diego Velázquez in WonderfulPrado Museum, along with the largest and most important Goya collection in the world.Barcelona, on the other hand has thePicasso Museumtucked away in its stone gothic quarter that displays his work from childhood to the Blue Period, as well as engravings and his pottery.

    The coastal city also has Gaudi's fingerprints literally everywhere, plus a wonderful one.Joan Miro Foundation(the painter, sculptor and ceramist was born in Barcelona) on the hill they call Montjuïc. If you prefer to walk through its indoor galleries, Madrid is your city. If you like being in a city that looks like an open-air museum,There is no better place on earth than Barcelona, thanks to the Sagrada Familia, Case Batló, mosaics by Miró and a parade of sculptures including one by Frank Gehryfishclimb up the sea

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    outdoor space

    Sorry Madrid, but Barcelona doesn't just have sandy beaches (some of which are topless, if that's your thing) stretching the length of the city, there are also plenty of small playgrounds set amongst wide avenues. Furthermore, Antoni Gaudí's crown jewel of public space, Parc Güell, dominates the city with its bone-like structures and benches of broken tiles. Even with Madrid's glorious La Fuente De Cibeles, a historic fountain designed by architect Ventura Rodríguez in 1777,and its many green parks, there is simply no competition for outdoor public space.

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    Madrid and Barcelona are home to a wide range of hotels, from hostels to five-star luxury suites. Madrid has chic, brand newhotel editionIn the heart of the city, this is a minimalist luxury hotel's dream. Barcelona is at homehotel arts, one of the great hotels in all of Europe thanks to its multi-storey penthouses with 360-degree views of the sea, the Sagrada Familia and the entire city under the tallest tower in Barcelona. These two-story Heavenly Mansions also come with free use of cherry red Mini Coopers! There is also a two Michelin star restaurant inside,Paco Perez Weinbar, where you can enjoy one of the most memorable meals of your life.

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    Sitting between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea is a blessing as Barcelona enjoys a temperate climate with pleasant breezes throughout the year. While summers in Barcelona can be hot, peaking in the 80s in July and August, it's generally dry and comfortable to walk through the Gothic Quarter and be on the beach. Madrid has a more extreme climate, warmer summer days and even a little snow in winter is not uncommon.

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    Whether you're an avid walker or prefer to use public transport for your trips, both Madrid and Barcelona have fantastic metro systems with clean and safe metro stations, many of which are wheelchair accessible. Both cities are also a joy to see, experience, and explore on foot, with stunning architecture and tasty street food, churros, and ice cream waiting around every corner.

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    While a walk through central Madrid will reveal countless concert posters promoting events in Barcelona, ​​the coastal city, three hours away by train, is proving to be the entertainment capital of Spain when it comes to live music. , albeit with the enormous music of several weekends. festivalI am springit will take place in both cities in June 2023. If nightlife and parties that last until dawn are your thing when traveling abroad, Madrid is world famous in this department!

    As you can see, both cities are rich in things to do, sights and restaurants, accommodation, and ways to get around with ease. Our best advice is to include both the elegant capital of Spain and the modernist capital of Catalonia in your travel plans to the Iberian Peninsula and decide for yourself who wins the cake (tres leches).

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