Barcelona and Madrid are less than 3 hours apart by rail and make an ideal twin centre break.
The contrasting Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid are perfect for a twin centre holiday with a mix of culture, good food, nightlife, history and even sport, if football happens to be one of your interests.
One of the delights of being in Barcelona is wandering along las Ramblas, the vibrant boulevards at the heart of the city centre, exploring the fascinating shops and world famous Boqueria market. Something else you can’t miss in Barcelona is the influence of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Examples of his work can be found all over the city. His trademarks are unusual shapes and multi coloured tiling said to reflect nature’s curves and angles. Perhaps the most famous of all his works in Barcelona is the cathedral of Sagrada Familia which has been under construction since 1882 and is not expected to be completed for some time yet! Art lovers should take in the excellent Picasso Museum whilst the superb view across the city from Montjuic Park is well worth the ride on the cable car. Sport fans must tour Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s home ground and the city’s nightlife is legendary.
The train journey from Barcelona to Madrid takes less than 3 hours, so you can leave Barcelona after breakfast and still be in Madrid in time to do some sightseeing the same day.
The city of Madrid possesses some of the finest art collections in the world. The museums of the Golden Triangle are all within easy walking distance of each other right in the centre of the city. The Museo del Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums house a fantastic selection of world class art from old masters like Reubens, Picasso, Dali and Van Gogh. With some 73 museums in total, art and culture are central to Madrid life.
Madrid is also a green city with the Retiro Park, Casa de Campo and Casa del Moro gardens amongst the most popular places where locals and tourists can find peace in the centre of the city. The Retiro Park is home to several sculptures, monuments, and a boating lake. There are also free concerts in the park throughout the summer.
As in Barcelona, football is almost a religion in Madrid, and many tourists and locals alike take the tour of the Bernabeu Stadium, home to Real Madrid. Atletico and Getafe also offer tours and often have match tickets available.