Best City in Spain?

Best City in Spain?


As a (much deserved!) reward for 35 years of marital devotion, I have been offered the chance to take a weekend break (with my husband, of course).

And as I was given the choice of where we should go, I obviously decided on a city break to Spain. However, these opportunities do not come my way very often (once in 35 years, in fact) so I really want to make the best possible choice.

I could use some advice on this, from people who know - which city should I choose for a winter weekend break? I love to shop (doesn't every woman?), art gallerys and museums, history and architecture, good food and people watching. Oh yes, and I want a chance to try out my new language.

But I do only have a weekend! We'll be going in January or February.

An additional thought - if I get this right, and he really enjoys it too, I might even get to go again! So perhaps somewhere where there is something for him too? He's not as keen as I am on history and art - he prefers the "boy" things - fast cars, sport and pretty women!

updated NOV 18, 2009
edited by sheila-foster
posted by sheila-foster
I`m surprised you haven`t got more answers? Maybe because many users here are americans who have not been there? - Thomas-de-Noruega, NOV 10, 2009
Plenty of time yet - I'm not going until after Christmas! - sheila-foster, NOV 10, 2009
Ok! You should try to go more often than every 35 years ;-) Wish you a nice trip wherever you go! - Thomas-de-Noruega, NOV 10, 2009

7 Answers


Oh, this is so exciting! Congratulations on the anniversary and the exciting trip!

Obviously everyone has different tastes, but since you are looking at a weekend in January or February, you probably want to keep in mind the potential for chilly weather. As much as I LOVE Madrid, there is the possibility of cold there in the winter. The wind whips down from the Sierra and it can even snow, although the snow won't stick.

I am wondering about somewhere in Andalucia. Personally I've always been hysterically in love with Cordoba; the Mezquita totally defies description - it has to been seen to be believed. The Jewish Quarter is beautiful and the Alcazar and Roman Bridge are just a neat piece of history. (Do I sound like a travel promotion - sorry!) Another advantage to Cordoba is that it's not terribly huge as cities go. While you may not be able to walk to every destination, your cab rides won't take too long either. And, yes, there is shopping!

Two other cities in Andalucia that are full of history and "sights" are Sevilla and Granada. Granada has the Alhambra, which also defies description. Sevilla has the whole Plaza area and the Cathedral and the Triana area, along with the Torre de Oro on the Guadalquivir. They are larger than Cordoba and, in my opinion, more along the lines of a tourist destination .

Really, you cannot make a bad choice. Spain has so much to see and such variety that it will be a thrill no matter where you go.

Be sure to have a paella valenciana when you are there! And huevos a la flamenca! And gambas al ajillo! Oh, my - this is so wonderful. Kiss that husband of yours and enjoy your trip!

updated NOV 10, 2009
posted by mountaingirl123
Your love for this cities really shines through - I hadn't even considered Cordoba. It sounds wonderful - but then I'd also really like to see the Alhambra! - sheila-foster, NOV 10, 2009
If you can get two clear days there Valencia is still a good bet because: the museums are all very centralized and in walking distance from each other and it's really easy to get to the centre of town from the airport by metro. - shop4words, NOV 10, 2009
And Mountaingirl is right, kiss your good husband for this trip. Even more so because he prefers home. But Spain will enchant him, you'll see! - shop4words, NOV 10, 2009

Hello Sheila,Go to Valencia! I have been there twice this year and recommend all aspects of it.Valencia has a mild climate. We were swimming in the sea at the end of October,and going around in T shirts.Museums are free or maximum 2 euros. All museums free at the weekend. See the Micheline green guide for good coverage of where to go. DO NOT miss the history museum! Security is just fine. Fantastic market in the centre and you can eat very well in restaurants for 10 euros each. Any more info wanted just send me an email: shop4words@yahoo.com. We saw Flamenco when we were there in October, the real thing, and at no great expense. Just one thought, a weekend is a bit short. Can you negotiate a couple more days? Have a good trip.

updated NOV 10, 2009
posted by shop4words
You are SO right - a weekend just isn't long enough! But even that is a big concession on his part - he likes to stay at home. - sheila-foster, NOV 10, 2009

I might be partial???

Madrid of course!!

updated NOV 10, 2009
posted by 00494d19
Oh, you crack me up!! - mountaingirl123, NOV 10, 2009

HEIDITA, ¿dondé está? smile Yo sé estaré aquí pronto a contestar este pregunta. smile

updated NOV 10, 2009
posted by Jason7R
Si, Heidita dondé estas? Ché piensas de Valencia para Sheila y su marido? - shop4words, NOV 10, 2009
Por cierto Heidi elegirá Madrid. A ella no importa que hará frío, jeje - Eddy, NOV 10, 2009

I do NOT recommend anywhere like Benalmadena, Torremolinos - too many fish and chip shops and hardly anyone speaks Spanish.

My serious recommendation has to be Sevilla - especially in the wintertime.

updated NOV 10, 2009
edited by 00515f39
posted by 00515f39
I agree - I wanted to avoid the most "touristy" areas, and I'm not fond of fish and chips. Why Sevilla especially in the wintertime? - sheila-foster, NOV 10, 2009
Probably because it is warmer as it is in the south. Both Madrid and Barcelona can be somewhat cold during the winter. - Thomas-de-Noruega, NOV 10, 2009
That is exactly the reason. As well as that, I spent a month there and there is just too much to describe. - 00515f39, NOV 10, 2009

Ask Heidita, she's from Spain. cheese She could probably answer some questions you have.

updated NOV 10, 2009
posted by sarahjs


I have been to Madrid and Barcelona in mainland Spain - both are wonderful cities.

I also hear Seville and Valencia are wonderful, but I have never been there.

From what you are writing I must recommend Barcelona tough. A fantastic city (I was there last weekend by the way - my 2nd time there) which combines what you are looking for in every possible way.

Have you checked out the Gaudí architecture? It is stunning!

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The tapas is wonderful, the shopping is great and you have that brilliant combination of the beaches and the big city.

They speak catalan there in additon to spanish. You should avoid the most touristy places if you want to practise spanish because many people in restaurants etc answer in english as they want to practise their english.

Avoiding tourist in Barcelona is very hard tough as it gets a lot of visitors year round.

I could say a lot more - but then this post would be too long. You just have to go there!

Have a nice and deserved trip!

updated NOV 10, 2009
edited by Thomas-de-Noruega
posted by Thomas-de-Noruega
I've seen photographs of the Gaudi buildings - I'd love to see them for real. - sheila-foster, NOV 10, 2009
It`s very different from anything else you have seen, I think. Follow the links I posted if you want to ;-) - Thomas-de-Noruega, NOV 10, 2009
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