DRIVING THROUGH FRANCE AND SPAIN, WHERE TO STAY FOR A WEEK IN MADRID AND BARCELONA CLOSE TO CITY ATTRACTIONS BUT ALSO CONVENIENT TO ROADWAYS FOR DAY TRIPS? M. DAVIDSON, ABBOTSFORD, NSW
European cities are not exactly car friendly, and Madrid and Barcelona are no exceptions. Finding accommodation close to the main attractions that also offers a swift escape for day trips is really an impossible dream – you can have one or the other but not both, and I would always go for the city centre option. Both Barcelona and Madrid have plenty to keep you occupied but there are some great day trips to be made outside Madrid, particularly to the north. What you might do is base yourself for a couple of nights somewhere like Segovia, which gives you access to Avila, El Escorial and the New Castle of Manzanares el Real. Barcelona is a little more difficult, but the coastal city of Tarragona would be a good choice.
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