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Barcelona vs. Madrid

In the world of European football, there are rivalries, and then there’s Barcelona vs. Real Madrid.

Known as El Clásico, this match between these Spanish clubs is one of the fiercest rivalries in all of sport; one that is driven by its peoples’ history, cultural differences, politics and pride. Real Madrid holds a slight edge in victories at 90–87, but Barcelona won last October. No matter the record, going to a match represents a chance to experience the incomparable passion of both Spanish cities, and AutoVenture can even incorporate a football match into its tours of Barcelona and Madrid.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, an autonomous region with its own culture and language. Catalans have long yearned for complete independence from Spain’s capital in Madrid, which adds fuel to their rivalry. Barcelona’s wealth of distinguished artists (Gaudí and Dalí), its singular, eye-popping architecture, and its culinary excellence inspired by the riches in the Mediterranean provide visitors with an experience like no other. Climb the steps of Gaudí’s towering cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, and explore his curious, ornate garden complex, Parc Güell. Stroll the tree-line boulevard of La Rambla, crowded with cafés, boutiques and tourists. Your AutoVenture guide also can help you explore the nearby coastal towns of Costa Dorada, Costa Barcelona and Costa Brava, with exquisite restaurants, resorts and beach activities.

Spain’s capital, Madrid, offers a breathtaking cultural feast, starting with the Prado — one of the world’s greatest art museums. Here you’ll relish masterpieces by El Greco, Goya, Velázquez and Rubens. You also won’t want to miss the more modern collection at the Reina Sofía National Art Centre, where the works of Pablo Picasso are housed, notably his subversive masterpiece Guernica. Other musts include the Royal Palace, walking through the expansive gardens of Parque del Buen Retiro, and a night of heart-stopping flamenco dancing at one of the prestigious clubs in the city. Madrid presents Spain at its most cosmopolitan and regal, where nothing is done on a small scale.

So, Barcelona vs. Madrid? Why pick one? AutoVenture can help you explore the best of both of these great cities. For those unfamiliar with Spain, an AutoVenture guided tour is the surest way of getting closest to the culture, and of capturing an unforgettable land.

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