Madrid vs. Barcelona Travel Experience: Which One Is The Best For You

Spain is definitely one of my favorite countries in the world. Even the idea of travelling to Spain is still very exciting to me. However, deciding where to exactly go in the country can often be overwhelming! In fact, Madrid vs. Barcelona travel experience has long been a big friendly debate among fellow travelers.

Well, both cities can offer an exceptional travel experience; so one thing is for sure, this one is not going to be an easy decision to make. Which is one is the better choice? If you want to know the answer, then please keep on reading below as I will show you the ultimate guide on these two cities to help you decide which one you should be visiting soon.

Where Should Be Your Next Destination: Barcelona Or Madrid?

In order for us to determine which between Barcelona vs. Madrid travel experience you should choose, we need to take a look some factors. Check it out below.

1. You need to consider the weather

Both cities come with perfect weather, but you have to take note that this will depend on when you are going. 

Both summer and winter seasons are the two main weather forecast. During the month of January, Madrid is much colder at 9.7-degree compared to Barcelona’s 13.4-degree. During summer season, in the month of July, the average weather of Madrid is whopping 31.2-degrees, Barcelona on the other hand would normally be around 28-degrees during its hot weather in August.

So I recommend that you bundle up a little bit during winter season, while during summer, you might want to stay clear from Madrid’s heat and enjoy the cooler Barcelona; especially if you are not used to weather that is more than 30-degrees.

For this round I can say that Barcelona wins. It has warmer weather during winter and a bit colder weather when summer comes.

2. Which city has more value for your money?

Apparently, Barcelona is already much more touristy city when compared to Madrid. And we already know that tourist can bring the prices up. I’m not saying that there’s no cheap things you can do in Barcelona, it’s just that there are much more of these in Madrid.

For instance, Prado and Reina Sofia, two best museums in Madrid, comes with free entrance fee every night of the week; this is something you will never see in Barcelona.

So it’s safe to say that Madrid wins on this one.

3. Which city has the best architectural sights?

Tourists flock Barcelona mainly because of its architecture. Barcelona offers most of Antoni Gaudi’s amazing modernist buildings that are really a must-see and the city’s reputation has been hinged to these architectural design.

Well, there are also a lot of attractive buildings in Madrid, especially along Gran Via, but it can never compete with what Barcelona has.

4. Which city would you choose if you’re a foodie?

Barcelona offers both the legendary Catalan cuisine and the delicious international food, which are often at very reasonable prices as long as you find the right places. If you’re a vegetarian, you will love this city as there are so many vegan restaurants all over the place; you will never find more vegetarian restaurant anywhere else in Spain. In fact, this city has proclaimed itself as a “veg-friendly” city. Rambla’s La Boqueria is the most popular market in Spain and even probably all over Europe.

Madrid, on the other hand, being the capital city, offers a lot of culinary adventures. Did you know the Madrid was the first place in Spain that has opened doors to real restaurants? In fact, the Guinness World Record Book recognizes Botin in the old town of Madrid to be the oldest restaurant all over the world.


Anyway, you will find so several various bars are restaurants in every corner of this city, which ranges from popular names of international cuisine to the most traditional Spanish delicacies. There’s also a good variety of gourmet markets that you can explore in Madrid, which is very popular to the locals.

5. What about you like a good night out?

Madrid has been known to be “la ciudad que nunca duerme” which is a Spanish term that means “the city that never sleeps”. Well, there’s no wonder why the Madrileños are calling themselves as “gatos” or “cats”. The city has whole streets of amazing nightspots which can be enjoyed by anyone, whatever your age or taste in music.

Barcelona, on the other hand, has some great individual bars and clubs too; Razzmatazz and Sidecar are just wo of the best nightclubs in Barcelona. But between these two cities, Madrid is the winner for this part.

6. Which one is the most kid-friendly?

What’s great is that both cities looked after the kids pretty well. Barcelona and Madrid features amazing science museums that your little ones will absolutely love. 

I’m sure your kids will be impressed, as much as you are, with the abundance of the modern art of Picasso and Dali in both cities. But without a doubt, Barcelona's modernist art will be the one that will capture the children's imagination the most.

7. Where should I shop?

In general, Barcelona has been considered to be the fashion capital of Spain so you will find a lot of the latest and chic designer boutiques here. The Born district is the best place to be for the best boutiques. 

Madrid also has a huge range of shops that ranges from department stores (especially around the Gran Vía) to the designer boutiques of the Barrio de Salamanca. You should also not miss the Sunday flea market located at El Rastro that features antiques and interesting clothing.

Final Thought

So there you have it, my opinion on Madrid vs. Barcelona travel experience. Well, I do believe that these two cities are just equally amazing and at the same time delightfully different. But hey, these are two premier cities in Spain, so you can never go wrong whichever you choose.

What do you think? If you have to select one, which should it be? Barcelona or Madrid? Let me know your thoughts by leaving it in the comment section below. I would really love to hear your opinion too.

And please don’t forget this article with your friends.

    Tony Anderson

    My name is Tony and I am sitting on a mountain of experience that I would like to share with you! I’ve been to so many incredible places and done some pretty cool things. So I am hoping that you will find inspiration through my travel experiences to help you get started with your adventure and make travel a priority. I will also be talking about different travel and outdoor gear available in the market today that will make your trip and outdoor experience better.

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