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Barcelona, Valencia or Madrid: which Spanish city suits you best?

23 August, 2023 by Photo from Celeste Celeste  ◦  75 views  ◦  4 minutes Reading time
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Are you planning to take on a fantastic challenge abroad soon, and Spain is high on your bucket list? Then Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid are all excellent options for you. But what if you can't decide between these three wonderful Spanish cities? Well, we are here to help! We will compare the world cities of Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid so you can figure out which one suits you best!


Let's start with the fantastic architecture you can find in these cities!

  • Barcelona is brimming with impressive buildings designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí from the 19th century, with the most famous example being the Sagrada Familia.
  • Valencia is also rich in architectural splendor, boasting the modern artwork Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.
  • Madrid, on the other hand, has a more regal touch, with the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) being one of the most striking landmarks. It serves as the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although it is mainly used for ceremonial purposes.
@yobbers_ You want to eat the most delicious tapas in the world and experience a fascinating city with a vibrant culture? 🗺️ Then Valencia is the place for you. 🇪🇸 Have you ever thought about just packing your bags and going? No? Then do it now! 🧳 All locations: 🧡 Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias 💚 Mercabanyal 💜 DDL boutique 💛 Playa de la Malvarrosa 💙 La Diva ❤️ Voltereta Manhattan 🤍 Maison Lupin (Cocktail bar) 🤎 Mya #valencia #spain #travel #travelguide #locations #placetobe #workinabroad #yobbers ♬ original sound - Yobbers


The climate in Spain is incredibly pleasant everywhere. However, there are some slight temperature differences between these cities. Barcelona is located in the north of Spain, Valencia is a bit further south, and Madrid is situated more centrally in the country.

  • As a result, Valencia is the warmest, with an average temperature of a remarkable 17.8 degrees Celsius.
  • Both Barcelona and Madrid have an average temperature of about 15.5 degrees Celsius. In the summer, temperatures in all three cities often rise above 25 degrees Celsius. So, whether in Barcelona, Valencia, or Madrid, you can enjoy the warm Spanish sun all year round!

Size and atmosphere

Barcelona is a true metropolis with 1.6 million inhabitants. Valencia is a somewhat smaller but still vibrant coastal city with 790,000 inhabitants. Madrid, on the other hand, is the largest city in Spain and one of the biggest cities in Europe, with over 3.2 million inhabitants. Consequently, the atmosphere in these cities is different

  • In Barcelona, you will sense and experience the international identity that this world city has adopted.
  • Valencia has a slightly more laid-back atmosphere, where you can truly immerse yourself in the typical Spanish culture.
  • Madrid, as the capital, is a genuine cosmopolitan metropolis where you'll find a blend of modernity and traditional Spanish customs.


Speaking of Spanish gastronomy... Barcelona is renowned for its delicious tapas, Valencia is the birthplace of paella, and Madrid is famous for its jamón ibérico (Spanish ham).

  • In Barcelona, you absolutely must indulge in a tapas bar and enjoy all the delightful Spanish snacks.
  • If you're in Valencia, you undoubtedly have to try the paella, the Valencian rice dish with seafood.
  • And in Madrid, you cannot resist the delightful jamón ibérico!

City Parks

Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid all have delightful green city parks that are perfect for a relaxing afternoon!

  • Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona's largest city park and features a waterfall, a pond, a romantic garden, and tree-lined boulevards. It's the perfect place for a leisurely walk or a picnic!
  • The most enjoyable city park in Valencia is undoubtedly Jardín del Turia. The shade from the trees makes it the perfect spot to cool down on a hot summer day. The park also offers various sports facilities.
  • Madrid also boasts a beautiful city park called Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro), a green oasis of tranquility in the heart of the city, ideal for a relaxed day in nature.
@yobbers_ Madrid should definitely be at the top of your travel list! 🤩 Experience the unique atmosphere, admire the impressive architecture, and indulge in delicious food. Madrid is simply amazing! 🇪🇸✨ #madrid #travel #travellife #yobbers #workingabroad #spain #fun #capitalcity ♬ i told the moon about you - 🥷🥷


  • In Barcelona, the metro system is perfect for getting around the city.
  • In Valencia, the metro network is slightly less extensive but still easy to use. Since it's relatively small and flat, we would recommend to use a bike in Valencia. 
  • Madrid's metro system is extensive and efficient, making it a great way to get around this large city.


Additionally, both Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid are perfect cities for cycling. You can explore all three cities on a bike and discover the city in an active way. And don't forget to explore on foot as well, as all three cities have beautiful streets, squares, and landmarks to discover. 

Hopefully, after reading this blog, you'll know whether your adventure will start in Barcelona, Valencia, or Madrid. As far as we're concerned, there's no wrong choice! All three are fantastically beautiful cities, each with its own charm. Who knows, you might soon embark on an unforgettable time working in Spain!

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