From Madrid to Barcelona in 7 days
What better way than getting to know two main cities from the commodity of traveling with the very efficient and rapid Renfe trains in Spain? These trains have revolutionized the way things work, as nowadays there are people that live in Madrid and work in Barcelona, just 2 and a half hours away. It is really a chance to be connected in the best possible way! With this itinerary, you will enjoy these two main cities forgetting about traffic, flights, long car rides... It is all so close it will save time when we only have seven days to explore both cities profoundly.
MEET THE TWO RIVALS
Day by Day Itinerary and suggested Accommodation
Day 1: Arrival in Madrid. After your check-in, in the afternoon, we suggest enjoying a tapas route on your own through the food markets and taverns of the historical center of Madrid. You can finish your day attending the best evening flamenco show in town.
3-night accommodation at Hotel Urso *****
Day 2: Visit Madrid. From the door of your hotel, you can explore the whole city. You can visit the most emblematic areas of the town, such as Paseos del Prado and Recoletos, where the three main museums of the capital are located, as well as the Plaza de Cibeles, the Retiro Park or the Puerta de Alcalá. Going up the Gran Via, Madrid's "Broadway", you can contemplate the palatial architecture of Madrid, and reach the historic center, where Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Oriente are located with the majestic Royal Palace.
Day 3: Visit Toledo. We suggest taking a return train today to enjoy the birthplace of the master painter El Greco. Enter its narrow streets to visit its many monuments, which are footprints visible of the three religions that for centuries coexisted tolerably: Christians, Arabs and Jews. Do not miss the traditional game recipes and the amazing handicrafts.
Day 4: Train to Barcelona. Today, you should reach on your own the Madrid-Atocha Station to take a high-speed AVE train to Barcelona. It's a trip of about 2h30. Upon arrival, we suggest having the rest of the day at leisure.
3-night accommodation at Hotel Neri *****
Day 5: Visit Barcelona. Today you could enjoy the whole city of Barcelona, from the masterpieces of Gaudí's modernist architecture, such as the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell or the façades of the Casa Milá and Casa Batlló, to the Old Gothic Quarter, the Barceloneta beach or Montjuic lively areas. We suggest having lunch around the Old Town or at the Barceloneta beach, doing some shopping at Passeig de Grácia shops or visiting some of the representative museums or cultural sites in the city like the MNAC, the Poble Espanyol or the Picasso Museum.
Day 6: Visit Montserrat & surroundings. Today we suggest taking a rental car an spend the day at Montserrat surroundings (1 hour). One hour from Barcelona stands the imposing mountain of Montserrat, mystical and surrounded by Nature. You could drive to know the Monastery and its museum, as well as the scenic surroundings where you could take a cablecar and doing some hiking. As well, since you are very close to Penedés Wine Region you can also visit a cava winery to taste this fine Catalonian sparkling wine. At the end of the afternoon, you could drive back to Barcelona and leave the car.
Day 7: Departure to Barcelona Airport. Today, at least 3 hours before your flight's departure, we suggest taking a taxi and reach the Barcelona Airport. We hope you enjoyed your trip!
CITIES AND TOWNS ON THE ITINERARY
If you wish to know a bit more about the places to go
Madrid: Strategically located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, it is the Capital City of Spain and therefore, one of the most touristic and important cities of the country. Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters. Madrid is a city of great monuments. Among its highlights are the medieval center dating back to the Habsburg Empire and the Prado Museum. As the capital, Madrid is home to the Royal family, the Spanish Government and many other national institutions. The town has a long and fascinating history and all over Madrid, there are monuments and museums of great artistical value. Enjoy the street life and the numerous tapas bars and cafes where you will enjoy the “madrileños” love of life lifestyle.
Toledo: Located on the banks of the river Tagus, was known as Toletum during the Roman presence before the 2nd century BC. A very important area for a long period in history, Toledo became known as the “city of the three cultures”, for Christians, Arabs and Jews dwelled together here for centuries. This accounts for the incredible cultural legacy to be found here, which led to the declaration of World Heritage by UNESCO. In Toledo, you can admire several monuments with influences from these different cultures, such as the Gothic Cathedral, the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, the church of Santo Tomé, where you can find a famous painting by El Greco, and the Alcazár Fortress.
Barcelona: Capital of Catalonia, is located at the Mediterranean Sea in the very north of the Spanish coast. With an old historical heritage, here you will find monuments of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods. From the legendary modernist architecture legacy by Antoni Gaudí to the spectacular coastline that opens the city to the Mediterranean, Barcelona and the leader in leisure and cuisine seduces the visitor in numerous ways. Strolling around the streets will bring surprises at every turn. Pedestrian streets in the old quarter, green spaces, and a splendid seafront with a range of modern facilities are a reflection of its multi-faceted character. Barcelona has cleverly succeeded in embracing its past without forgetting its commitment to the future. A city that is always pulsating creativity and life.
Montserrat: Montserrat Natural Park, which emerges as if from a dream, protects the spiritual essence of Catalonia. For almost 1,000 years, a Benedictine community has lived in these mountains located 60 km away from Barcelona. Their Basilica houses the serene image of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia.
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