We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Would you spend Longer in Madrid or Valencia?

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
551 posts
200 reviews
Would you spend Longer in Madrid or Valencia?

Hi Everyone,

We are travelling to Spain for the first time in August. If it were you would you stay 4 nights in Madrid and 3 in Valencia or vice versa? After Valencia we head to Barcelona.

We are a 40 yr old couple who like seeing the local sights, culture, bars, restaurants, people watching, day trips. Not so much into museums but some are ok.

Thank you :)

3 replies to this topic
Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
71,403 posts
3,815 reviews
1. Re: Would you spend Longer in Madrid or Valencia?

For trains:


For Madrid:

Downtown Madrid is the Gran Via, which has many hotels, restaurants and stores. Most of the biggest attractions are all within a 2 km radius of each other. You can use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in this area (Madrid City Center). The most upscale area is the Barrio Salamanca (the safest barrio) and Calle Serrano is the 5th Avenue of Madrid. It is suggested to stay in Madrid for at least 4 days. One can do day trips to Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial. Read about these day trips in the top questions of the Madrid forum.

Must see places are the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Thyssen Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Sorolla Museum, Cerralbo Museum, Plaza Mayor, El Retiro Park, Basilica of San Francisco El Grande.

Good Restaurants:

1. Botin (Calle Cuchilleros 17-19; Tel. 913-664-217) is the oldest restaurant in the world, since 1725 and has good Castilian food. Roast suckling pig is the specialty. There are many other traditional dishes such as lamb. This was Hemingway’s favorite restaurant.

2. Casa Lucio (Calle Cava Baja, 35; Tel. 913-653-252) is famous for its "huevos rotos" (broken eggs).

There are many good tapas bars at Calle Cava Baja. Do your own tapas tour here.

3. Platea (Calle Goya, 5-7) is a new gastronomic site with about 20 restaurants that are open every day, where one can eat tapas and different types of food in the food courts.

Shopping in the Barrio Salamanca: Calle Serrano, Claudio Coello, Ortega y Gassett, Calle Goya.

Shopping downtown: Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle Fuencarral.

Shopping in the Barrio Chueca: Calle del Barquillo has many good small boutiques.

El Corte Ingles is a large department store chain with branches at Calle Preciados, 3; Calle Serrano, 70.

For Valencia:

Downtown Valencia is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The main shopping area is here, together with many restaurants. If one stays near this place, most of the city center is walkable. Use Booking.com to screen hotels and apartments. In the District box, choose Ciutat Vella, Eixample or Extramurs.


1. Oceanographic (the best aquarium in Spain)

2. Bioparc (one of the best zoos in Spain)

3. Cathedral and Basilica of the Virgin of the Helpless

4. City of Arts and Sciences

5. Silk Exchange - La Lonja de la Seda

6. Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas

7. Bellas Artes Museum

Good Restaurants:

1. Restaurante Navarro Valencia (Calle del Arzobispo Mayoral, 5 – Tel: 963-529-623) is one of the best restaurants downtown. However you need a reservation because it is so popular.

2. Casa Roberto (Calle Maestro Gozalbo, 19 - Tel: 963-951-361).

The most important shopping streets are Colon, Don Juan de Austria, Poeta Querol, Jorge Juan, Cirilo Amoros and La Paz. The Malvarossa and Cabanyal districts may not be safe at night.

For Barcelona:

Downtown Barcelona is the Plaza de Catalunya. Use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in Downtown Barcelona. A good place to stay is the Eixample, the modern barrio of the city built in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a square grid of streets. The Passeig de Gracia is the most elegant avenue, with upscale stores. Good shopping streets downtown are Portal de l’Angel, Portaferrisa and Pelayo.

El Corte Ingles is a large department store located at Plaza de Catalunya. Maremagnum is located by the port and is a mall that is open also on Sunday, when most shops are closed.

The most important sights are the Modernist sites, which are the Gaudi sites and the Lluis Domenech sites. Prebook the Sagrada Familia Basilica, the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Park Guell and the Picasso Museum. A day trip to Montserrat is suggested. Other must see sights: La Pedrera (Casa Mila), Casa Batllo, Palau Guell, Torre Bellesguard, Cathedral.

Good restaurants in the Eixample:

1. El Nacional (Passeig de Gracia, 24; Tel: 935-185-053) - A big building with a very beautiful and original interior design, with 5 restaurants and one long bar. Moderately priced.

2. La Palmera (Enric Granados, 57; Tel. 934-532-338) - A small family run restaurant with a very good tasting menu.

3. La Rita (Arago, 279; Tel: 934-872-376) - An attractive restaurant with an inexpensive menu of the day. Great food.

4. Cerveseria Catalana (Mallorca, 236; Tel: 932-160-368) - Very good tapas place.

Pueblo Nuevo de...
Level Contributor
7,998 posts
129 reviews
2. Re: Would you spend Longer in Madrid or Valencia?

Personally I would spend longer in Madrid.

St Austell, United...
Level Contributor
4,366 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Would you spend Longer in Madrid or Valencia?

But me - I wouldn't spend any time in Madrid at all.

So it's really about what YOU want.

Reply to: Would you spend Longer in Madrid or Valencia?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted