My friend and I will be in Spain May 20-25. We land in Madrid on Wednesday, May 20th at night and depart back to the US Monday, May 25th at noon. We have a basic idea for our itinerary but wanted to get feedback to see if it would be too busy to fully enjoy each city.
May 20th - Arrive to Madrid 8 pm.
May 21st - Explore Madrid early morning then fly to Barcelona early afternoon for two nights.
May 23rd - Early train to Valencia for one night
May 24th - Early train back to Madrid for last night
May 25th - Leave Madrid at noon for the US
Would it potentially be better to cut out Valencia or Barcelona instead (i.e., fly to Barcelona for two nights and then back to Madrid or just a train from Madrid to Valencia for one night)? Any recommendations on things to do given the time in each city would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance!
I would leave Barcelona for another trip. Barcelona is worthy of 4 or 5 days on its own. There are many wonderful beaches and nearby cities that you can visit while based out of Barcelona. For this trip, I would stay in Madrid the entire 5 days and do day trips out to Segovia, Salamanca, Toledo, or Cuenca (Spain). Each of these little cities is unique and has so much to offer. The other option, would be to do a couple days in Madrid and then travel to Andalucía. You could spend the night in Seville and another night in Cordoba (Spain) or Granada and then travel back to Madrid and catch your plane. Both of these options will provide you with the charm and wonderment of Spain that you may not see in the big city of Madrid. I would not get on a plane for two days in Barcelona. I would rather do the small trips in central Spain and have more time to relax and soak up the local color.
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I would definitely leave out Valencia - time is much better spent in Madrid and Barcelona - both cities have A LOT to see and do - you barely have enough time for those 2 as it is. Plus - Valencia really isn't anything special.
I think that schedule is too ambitious for five days. Madrid and Barcelona are both big cities and you could really spend the whole five days in just one of those cities. I like Brenda's suggestion below about using Madrid as your base and visiting some smaller cities around there. In my opinion, it's better to enjoy fewer places and do them well than to spread yourself too thin and cram in a bunch of things. All the cities Brenda suggested below are good day trips (Toledo, Segovia, Cuenca). Barcelona you could definitely do on a separate trip and Valencia I would save for a different time too.
Enjoy your travels!
Don't miss Toledo. It's lovely old town not far from Madrid. You can do it as a half day tour.
Segovia is interesting as well.
Madrid is a lovely city.
While staying there it might be better to go on a even half day trip to @Toledo or @Segovia. Toledo is worth visiting.
I personally think that is too much ground to cover in 5 nights. You will spend most of your time traveling as all three of these places aren't necessarily a quick ride away. I'd choose one part of Spain and focus around there. For example, from Madrid you can go to Salamanca, Toledo, Segovia. From Barcelona, you can visit the Pyrenees mountains and surrounding beach/coastal cities.
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