Berlin Vs. Madrid Vs. Barcelona

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2011 12:08 PM GMT
    Hey everyone I was just wondering if someone here can give me some input. I have an opportunity that I can take to work 3 months in the fall in Berlin, Madrid, or Barcelona. I know these are random cities, but they are the ones available to me. I've been to Europe before but never to any of these places. This is kind of a big deal choice for me lol

    The problem is that my heart was always set on going to Berlin. Part of me wanting to take the job opportunity there was the opportunity to pick up a third language (I'm 100% fluent in Spanish.) And while it would be easier to go to Spain I feel like I would want more of a challenge.

    Berlin is a problem because the job opportunities that are being offered to me there don't really suit me as much as the ones that are being offered to me in Spain. I've heard that Spain is an amazing country and I've heard great things about both cities, I've just never had much of a need to go there for some reason lol. The jobs being offered in both cities in Spain are REALLY good. Should I just suck it up and take Spain?

    I know that the gay scene or whatever shouldn't factor into an important life decision, but since I'm not out here I want to go to a city where I can have the most fun and have the most adventures. So I guess the question is if you had to pick one out of these three cities to live in for an extended stay, which would you choose? If anyone who's lived/visited these areas can tell me about their experiences it'd be much appreciated, and of course include your knowledge of the scenes and all things gay lol.
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    Dec 31, 2011 12:14 PM GMT
    I'd go to Spain save money then travel to Berlin for a visit.
  • mikeeugene

    Posts: 84

    Dec 31, 2011 4:22 PM GMT
    I lived in Berlin once for six months. It's an amazing city, amazingly fun city, and more culture than you can imagine. You can also take a day train-trip down to Dresden, or a weekend to Prague via the train.

    Berlin has had a great gay scene for many decades. You'll be a hit as the cute guy who's learning German.

    Keep in mind, with the state of the Spanish economy, those jobs in Spain might not exist this coming fall.
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    Dec 31, 2011 5:28 PM GMT
    I know all three very well and it depends on what your priorities are. Berlin has the most avant guard culture. It is a gritty city and in parts beautiful city similar to New York. It truly feels like the cultural capital of Europe and was the epicenter of so much of the history. They have every kind of museum you could possibly want to visit.

    That being said I would choose Barcelona hands down. How can you go wrong with a magnificent city right on the Mediterranean. The nearby sea side town of Sitges is one of the biggest gay towns in Europe. Who hasn't heard of Ibiza one of the Balearic Islands just off the coast and a very short plane ride.

    The only reason why you might choose Madrid over Barcelona would be if you prefer Castilian culture to Catalan. The primary language in Barcelona is Catalan not what we call Spanish and they call Castillano. Catalan sounds a bit like Italian or French. Example: Aqui podem parlar en catala els que som catalans, els que el parlen, i els que en saben poc i el volen practicar. (Here one can speak Catalan, those who are Catalans, those who speak it, those who know a little, and those who want to practice.)

    To live in Barcelona you don't have to learn Catalan but you MUST respect the culture. They are very proud and see themselves as a separate country. In some ways they are more like the French than the Spanish. If you ask someone the time they might answer you in Catalan for example. If you speak Spanish, however, it is easy to understand.

    Madrid is a great place to truly discover Spain. There is great history there and unlike Barcelona it is a Royal City. There are some great mountains nearby to visit and you can travel easily around the country from that location.
  • ataru13

    Posts: 89

    Dec 31, 2011 5:41 PM GMT
    Berlin is just amazing. I've only been there once, but the city is really out of this world (culturally, architecturally, etc.).

    If you were choosing between Madrid and Barcelona... I'm sorry, but go for Madrid.
    People are WAYYYYY friendlier in Madrid (I have friends who have lived in both cities, and they all agree).
    And the gay culture in Madrid is much better than in Barcelona (plenty more options and ambiences).

    Travelling in Europe is cheap, so any city you choose, you'll be able to visit the others easily....
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    Dec 31, 2011 5:58 PM GMT
    I would choose Barcelona. Though I don't think you can go wrong with any of those cities. The weather in Barcelona is amazing and it right on the beach with amazing scenery.


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    Dec 31, 2011 6:14 PM GMT
    Berlin's got the cosmopolitan urban culture and the language you're looking for, but Barcelona's definitely one of the world's most charming cities, not to mention kind of a gay mecca. And don't forget that you'll have the chance to learn Catalan and take in some Basque culture, as well.

    I've only visited Madrid for a couple of days, but it didn't wow me like Barcelona. Although, I read in the NYT a few days ago that the city just completed a major new "American style" urban park, with lots of hike/bike trails and waterfront green space. Sounds cool.

    Honestly, it's hard to imagine you'll go wrong with any of these choices.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18428

    Dec 31, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    I have heard a lot of positive things about Berlin and how that city has progressed and its many attractions and offerings. With the Spanish economy falling apart rapidly I would be safe rather than sorry by choosing Berlin, Germany. I am not knocking either Barcelona or Madrid. It is just apparent that the German economy is holding up somewhat better in these tough economic times.
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    Dec 31, 2011 6:26 PM GMT
    Well, I am quite partial to Spain for obvious reasons. But I agree with those posters who've said that Berlin might be the better choice because Germany is the strongest economy in Europe. Plus there's work! Spain is falling apart, and many Spaniards are currently immigrating to Germany to find work!