2 weeks in Spain and Portugal

Old May 15, 18, 2:55 pm
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2 weeks in Spain and Portugal

Hi All,

Wish I discovered Flyertalk earlier!

I currently have a trip planned as follows (May 26 - June 9)

Barcelona - 4 days
Madrid - 3 days
Lisbon - 4 Days
Lagos - 4 days

What would you recommend for great food, some local scenery, some nice beach relaxation, and overall a good way to 'explore'?

Thank you!
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Old May 15, 18, 5:11 pm
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Two of my favorite meals in Spain were at Paco Meralgo in Barcelona and Triciclio in Madrid.

The Time Out food hall in the Mercado da Ribeira at Cais do Sodre in Lisbon has some of the best food options in town served by several of the highest profile chefs in the city. You've got to try the pastel de nata at Manteigaria. They are in Bairro Alto, but also have a place at the Mercado da Ribeira.

In my opinion, Madrid deserves a longer stay than Lisbon.

Last edited by TWA884; May 15, 18 at 10:13 pm
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Old May 15, 18, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by pointsbrah View Post
Hi All,

Wish I discovered Flyertalk earlier!

I currently have a trip planned as follows (May 26 - June 9)

Barcelona - 4 days
Madrid - 3 days
Lisbon - 4 Days
Lagos - 4 days

What would you recommend for great food, some local scenery, some nice beach relaxation, and overall a good way to 'explore'?

Thank you!
While in Lagos, explore the Algarve to the west--beautiful secluded beaches, some accessible only by hiking in, interesting restaurants, some on the sand, small non-touristy towns and villages, and Sagres at the very west end, with Prince Henry's area and gorgeous cliffs to the water.
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Old May 16, 18, 12:34 am
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I second the above - Madrid would need 4 days too
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Old May 16, 18, 2:18 pm
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How are you planning on getting from Spain to Portugal? Flight? Overnight train?

For Barcelona, stroll anywhere. Do the touristy stuff, but also get off the beaten path. Stroll along the beach.
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Old May 16, 18, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
How are you planning on getting from Spain to Portugal? Flight? Overnight train?

For Barcelona, stroll anywhere. Do the touristy stuff, but also get off the beaten path. Stroll along the beach.
Planning on flying Barcelona -> Madrid and Madrid-> Lisbon., Taking a train from Lisbon down to Lagos
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Old May 17, 18, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by pointsbrah View Post
Planning on flying Barcelona -> Madrid and Madrid-> Lisbon., Taking a train from Lisbon down to Lagos
Unless you're already at the airport, the train is far more convenient for Madrid - Barcelona.

Also, I would plan on renting a car in the Algarve. Either pick it up directly in Lisbon or rent from the station in Lagos.
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Old May 19, 18, 8:53 am
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Agree with most of what has already been said. I'm not as big of a Madrid fan as others particularly when compared Barcelona & Lisbon. Definitely agree with the train option between Barcelona & Madrid. Just got back from 5 days in Lisbon and miss it already.

Stop by Lisboa Bar if you're going to a nearby restaurant. Sampled the best gin & tonic I've ever had and I'm not a fan in general. Their meat & cheese plates are really good too. It's also near one of the main train stations so could be a nice sendoff. The TimeOut market is great too. So much high quality variety in one place that still has character. Jesus e Goas is slightly a tourist restaurant but the food really is great. Skip their mixed drinks. The Sweet & Sour spare ribs & baby shark are delicious and don't skip the lentil "burger" appetizer.
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Old May 22, 18, 3:15 am
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Tips for BCN:
- Do not, under any circumstance including torture, eat anywhere on Las Ramblas below Plaza Catalunya or anywhere that has a laminated menu with a little English flag. Just no.
- Try Mont Bar in Eixample near University for some delicious local produce and excellent wines. Monovinc also in this area is another great choice for wine + food heaven.
- Bar del Pla in Born is another nice, informal option for tapa style dining. Reservations essential.
- Take a drink at one of the many roof bars in the evening.
- Enric Granados, also Eixample near University is a great street for restaurants.
- Go up to Tibidabo in case you want the views but want to avoid the masses at Parc Guell... there is a nice bar up there with gorgeous views over the city.
- Gracia neighborhood has the most 'local' feel to it, but avoid on a Sunday.
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Old May 22, 18, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by kiwitakingflight View Post
Tips for BCN:
- Do not, under any circumstance including torture, eat anywhere on Las Ramblas below Plaza Catalunya or anywhere that has a laminated menu with a little English flag. Just no.
- Try Mont Bar in Eixample near University for some delicious local produce and excellent wines. Monovinc also in this area is another great choice for wine + food heaven.
- Bar del Pla in Born is another nice, informal option for tapa style dining. Reservations essential.
- Take a drink at one of the many roof bars in the evening.
- Enric Granados, also Eixample near University is a great street for restaurants.
- Go up to Tibidabo in case you want the views but want to avoid the masses at Parc Guell... there is a nice bar up there with gorgeous views over the city.
- Gracia neighborhood has the most 'local' feel to it, but avoid on a Sunday.
And, before you go to Barcelona or while on the plane, read one of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's books!!!
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Old May 22, 18, 1:35 pm
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Thank you all!
How is the train availability between Barcelona -> Madrid and Lisbon -> Lagos, should I be booking in advance?
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Old May 22, 18, 2:24 pm
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The Barcelona-Madrid line has promo pricing which you get the further you purchase out from travel so it is a good idea to purchase before. Can't speak of the Lisbon-Lago but most seem to be on IC & R trains which are generally not reserved fare or seating trains.
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Old May 24, 18, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by pointsbrah View Post
Thank you all!
How is the train availability between Barcelona -> Madrid and Lisbon -> Lagos, should I be booking in advance?
If you haven't booked the trains yet, it will likely be cheaper to fly. I just got back from Spain and took the train from Barcelona to Madrid, and you ideally should book as soon as possible in order to get the best deals. In terms of the "availability," the trains run at least every hour during the day, and are generally very punctual.

I second the previous suggestions that you should try to avoid the touristy areas in Barcelona (and even Madrid) for meals. It'll be hard, but I found the food to be better.

If possible, I definitely recommend strolling through the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. There are so many hidden bits of history that you may stumble across.

Have fun on your trip! I already miss those cities -- except traffic in Lisbon
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Old May 25, 18, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by pointsbrah View Post
Thank you all!
How is the train availability between Barcelona -> Madrid and Lisbon -> Lagos, should I be booking in advance?
Barcelona-Madrid you should book ASAP. Similar pricing to airplanes - the earlier - the cheaper. If you're not at the airport already, forget flying - the train is much more convenient.

Lisbon-Tunes-Lagos (~4h) 5 trains/day - if you book a week in advance it'll be a bit cheaper. The normal price is 23/29 for 2nd/1st class.
Buses for that route are around 20 and leave every 30-90 mins, depending on the time of day.
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Old May 28, 18, 11:04 am
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I just booked flight and train tickets for travel in july, for bcn to svq and svq to mad. Prices are going up for sure, so I would book as soon as possible as well.
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