In case we select Madrid....does it worth to split 10 nights between Madrid and some other city (for example Malaga)? or it's better to stay all the time in Madrid and have several day trips?
I'm asking because when we were 7 nights at Barcelona (only in Barcelona), I wish we had 2-3 more n ights for additional day trips...
Also, what is usually weather in Madrid in mid-Marxh?
This is sooooo personal. Lisboa is one of my favourite places in Europe. I have been many times there and I'm always willing to come back. Never been to Porto (yet) so I can't say, but it will be the place to celebrate my next birthday if all goes as planned, it really looks like my kind of place.
I was living in Madrid for a few years and I have great memories from these times, as well I have to visit Madrid often for business, then I always try to get some extra hours or even a weekend to visit friends, exhibitions, etc. So, I do not mind going to Madrid, actually I like it. But somehow Madrid is not on my "top places" in Spain and much less in Europe.
If I had to choose between your options, Lisboa/Porto would be my choice. But I'm not you! Neither is Benny or anyone else who may pop here. We can only say our own preferences.
Both places have great possible daytrips. Toledo, Segovia from Madrid... Sintra, Evora from Lisboa...
Do some research about both places and see what appeals more to *you*
Everyone has different tastes and this makes life less boring :)
I too would suggest Portugal over Madrid. They are both more old town then Madrid is. Don't get me wrong Madrid is not bad, but.....!
Post questions on the relevant sections and see what suggestions come up. There will also be opportunities to do day trips from both Portuguese cities too.
Thank you for replies! I'm in the middle of researching and both Portugal and Madrid are appealing to us...it's so difficult to select ... This is why I'd like to hear opinion of different people... kinda reading "between lines"...
I would go to Lisbon/Porto instead of Madrid (even if my wife is from Madrid), but that's just me. I like Portugal a lot, their people, beaches, food, streets. And both Lisbon and Porto are great places. If you want nevertheless to visit spain from porto you are not that far to Galicia, north west of spain, a truly nice place as well.
As for madrid barcelona difference.... yes, no, maybe, who knows? i guess it depends on what you focus your attention... both are big cities, in spain, etc... so i guess they are more similar to each other than to a small town in china... but barcelona has more of a mediterranean/seaside/catalan flavor while madrid is more of a castilian big city melting pot. I would say think madrid as toronto and barcelona as quebec maybe?
Madrid and Barcelona are very different cities in several aspects. Barcelona has more history layers, more different areas and it is a port town. Madrid is newer, more "homogeneous", the city centre has a distinctive Castillian feel and culturally is kind of a Spanish melting pot.
For me the differences are clear, but I'm Catalan. No better or worst, just different. The truth is that I do feel more "like at home" sometimes in Portugal, France or Italy than in certain places in Spain. Feelings that are difficult or impossible to explain.
Gibot, sure you are going to feel at home in both cities, because both are full of friendly people.
Lisbon with a romantic melancholic touch. Madrid full of this 'art of living' in which the people living there are masters.
Lisbon, perhaps, if you want older monuments. Madrid, perhaps, if you want a bigger parks.
You cannot go wrong with any of them. =)
I particularly think Madrid is much funnier than Lisbon, although Lisbon is one the most charming cities that I know.
As for the "Catalonia is not Spain" issue, it is a political issue that derives from a feeling that many people there have, as for instance Belsaita above and my wife who is from BCN as well. As a foreigner you will find Barcelona much more similar to other Spanish cities than some Catalans would like.