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First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Oslo, Norway
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First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Hello!

I am planning a trip to Spain this february for 4-5 days, but I am not sure which city to visit. Its stands between Barcelona & Seville. I have read and heard great things about both cities, so I am stucked right now. Since its my first time to spain I want to expirience some real spanish culture. I like to visit historic places and see some great architecture. I believe both cities provide that.

Usally I love to visit big cities, but I am not sure if I want to do that this time. Is it enough to do and see in Sevilla? Is it a must see city?

So what to choose?

Thank u!

Barcelona, Spain
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1. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

These are two wonderful cities and both have plenty to offer, plus some easy daytrips if you run short of options.

However, they are very different. If you "want to experience some real Spanish culture" you probably should better start with Sevilla. This is the capital of Andalucía, whose culture is what most foreigners identify as "typically Spanish": flamenco, bullfights.... There is plenty of beautiful architecture, moorish influenced (again, what most foreigners identify as "Spanish") and some fine examples of modern/contemporary architecture too. Ah, and regarding food, "tapas" originated there.... Yes, Sevilla is a must-see city. You can see its main sights in 3 days, but if you can get 5 days, you can consider 3 days in Sevilla and two in Granada (another must-see), or 1 day in Cordoba....

Barcelona is another must-see, and I'd say it has more to offer, but it's not "typically Spanish". Actually many locals would tell you it is not Spain at all (even for foreign eyes it may look not that different as some would like ;-)) Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, with its own language and culture and secessionist desires. Flamenco there is mainly for tourists and bullfights are banned. We dance sardanas and make human towers (castellers) instead. It's a much bigger, modern and cosmopolitan town, but proud of its history since Roman times. Plenty of architecture to enjoy, not only Gaudí. 4-5 days in Barcelona are a bare minimum to see its main sights, and there are great possible daytrips too.

Both are great options, and you will not regret whatever you decide.

Malaga, Spain
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2. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Atifba:

Seville is what most foreigners think is the real Spain because of what they have seen in movies. It is a beautiful city and you can see good flamenco here. It is famous for its Cathedral, Giralda Tower and the Alcazar, which rivals the Alhambra for beauty.

Barcelona gets more tourists though. It is a larger city and is famous for its modernist buildings, many created by Gaudi.

Check the top questions in the forum of each city.

Oslo, Norway
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3. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Thank u both for great replies. Even though I know the difference now, I am still struggeling to decide :/ Not a good position to be in. Since I am traveling from Oslo, Norway, I have to land in Malaga & then take train/bus to seville. Maybe traveling time will play a role here.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Trains Malaga airport to Malaga renfe.com/viajeros/…index.html

Trains Malaga to Seville www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html

www.sevillaonline.es

Renfe train Seville to Cadiz and to Cordoba. Bus Seville to Ronda www.samares.es/horarios/nacional

Bus Seville to Carmona www.alsa.es www.andalucia.com/villages/home.htm

www.andalucia.com www.turismoderonda.com

Accommodation www.venere.com

Edited: 11 January 2014, 05:34
Orange County...
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5. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Very tough decision but i think Seville might be the best to suit what you described as wanting to see/experience ("real Spanish culture", historic places, great architecture.) The cathedral, alcazar, bullfighting ring, juderia, flamenco shows, plaza de Espana and have no match in Barcelona. You could do a day trip to Cordoba with the time you have in Seville and still do both cities justice.

On the other hand, Barcelona also has some amazing architecture. If you love art, Barcelona is a must with the Gaudi buildings/park, Fundacio Miro, Museu Picasso, MNAC.

One thing to consider is if you plan on returning to Spain. 4-5 days is a good amount of time to spend in and around Barcelona. If you plan on returning to Spain for at least a week, you may want to do a tour of Andulacia and see Seville in the same trip with Granada and Cordoba which are easy train/bus rides from Sevilile.

Edited: 11 January 2014, 16:22
brisbane
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6. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Help please.

15 nights Dec/January

Thinking of 5 nights Barcelona, one week Seville as base to include Cordoba, Granada, 3 nights Madrid.

Does this sound ok....will need to book flights Barcelona to Seville soon.

Ltc

Malaga, Spain
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7. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

Ltc:

For train travel:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187514-c80518/Madrid…

I think you need to stay 2 nights in Granada to see the Alhambra. Read Buying Alhambra Tickets Online and BOOK EARLY.

You can stay in Cordoba 2 days on your way to Madrid.

A good hotel in Seville is the Hotel Becquer, walkable to most sights.

8. Re: First time to Spain: Should I visit Barcelona or Seville?

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