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City Hall, Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid


By Kino Heinze
Photos: K. Heinze unless otherwise stated



Palau Güell chimneys

Barcelona beach


Sagrada Familia Cathedral

Güell Park



























Before heading to Barcelona, I was full of illusions, excited at the prospect of finally visiting what I thought was an amazing city and how much I would enjoy it. To my surprise, when I got there, I only enjoyed the areas that were swarmed with tourists which include the Sagrada Familia, the beach, and Güell Park.

I am sure that for a lot of perceptive people, “something” vital is woefully missing from this famous city. It’s that something that Madrid possesses so naturally. Effortlessly. Yes, Barcelona may have an abundance of fine architecture and offers a good deal of artistic pleasures to everyone and anyone. Sadly, it lacks that warm home feel that one gets in Madrid. That sense of having arrived at a place where one belongs.

Madrid has the culture and feel of a well-organized society and city and although it lacks a beach, being landlocked smack in the center of the Iberian peninsula, the remarkable capital city gets more tourists than Catalonia’s Ciudad Condal. A tell tale score.

Many people I know want to take a trip to and visit Barcelona. But as far as I am concerned, these people should be aspiring to go to Madrid instead. Madrid is warm-hearted, hospitable and doesn’t pretend to be something it is not. Madrid, for all that it is a lovely city, is not pretentious.

Barcelona aims to be individualistic but in reality it is not. Barcelona indeed has a flourishing tourism but its traditions and culture lack that “feel” of authenticity.

I get that inexplicably delightful feeling of coming home whenever I leave Madrid and come back from a trip.

Give me the capital any time!


Crystal Palace, Retiro Park

Toledo Bridge

Mercado San Miguel and surrounding buildings

Calle Toledo, off Plaza Mayor

Puerta de Alcala

Chocolate con churros at Chocolateria San Gines























Featured image/Nicolas Vigier, PD
Güell chimneys/Synes, CC BY2.0
Retiro Park/Cryo Mariena, CC BY-ND2.0
Toledo Bridge/Barcex, CCBY-SA2.0
Mercado de SanMiguel/SergeyNorin, CCBY2.0
Chocolate con churros/Wel-chiehChiu, CCBY-SA2.0