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Barcelona, Lisbon or...?

(40 Posts)
Thejubremonyatthelibrary Sun 25-Sep-16 20:31:53

Long story short: DP and I are going on a mini-break at the end of Oct and we are going through a (seriously) rough patch so I want it to be as good as possible. We've been on a lot of mini breaks in Europe over the years and i'm wondering whether to go for his favourite place as a 'safe bet' or try somewhere new.

We've been to Barcelona before and he loves it but i've got bad memories of the place but would be willing to set them aside to make him happy. But there is a part of me that wonders whether we should try somewhere new and Lisbon fits the bill in that it is a cultural, arty waterfronted city (our favourite kind of place). However, I'm nervous about booking somewhere he won't like. Obviously, he is leaving this all to me!

So what would be your advice? Would you go for Old Faithful Barca, or try somewhere new? And if so, have any of you been to Lisbon? What do you think? And is there anywhere else I should consider?

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riceuten Sun 25-Sep-16 20:34:00

Lisbon is less hectic, more welcoming and possibly less criminal than Barcelona. It all depends what you like doing, but I personally hate Lisbon over Barca any day

Thejubremonyatthelibrary Sun 25-Sep-16 21:37:30

Yy, that was part of my issue with Barca Riceuten, I saw so many pickpockets at work. Plus DP got propositioned by a prostitute whilst he was arm in arm with me! Everybody tells me that I should give it another go though.

Does Lisbon have plenty of interesting things to do? I'm looking for a relaxed stroll around markets, shops, galleries - that sort of thing.

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sentia Sun 25-Sep-16 21:41:22

I love Lisbon and really have never managed to like Barcelona despite going there a few times and really trying to see what everyone else liked.

Lisbon is a great city to wander around, which is all I ever really do in cities, I don't do "sights". Good food too.

WetsTheFinger Sun 25-Sep-16 21:42:56

Just got back from Barca - it was great! So long as you avoid la Ramblas after dark then you don't see any of the seediness.

Princessdebthe1st Sun 25-Sep-16 21:46:30

I love both Lisbon and Barcelona but I think for a more relaxed holiday Lisbon is fabulous. I can recommend the Oceanarium, the zoo and the science museum. The Oceanarium is truly awesome - it has sea otters that are just the cutest animal in the entire world!

SwedishEdith Sun 25-Sep-16 21:50:46

Loved Lisbon - definitely on the 'want to go back' list but so is Barcelona. The Alfama part had lots of crafty, independent shops and bars.

MrsNuckyThompson Sun 25-Sep-16 21:54:51

Porto is supposed to be fab!

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 25-Sep-16 21:58:47

I have been to Barcelona 3 or 4 times and Lisbon 3 times. Couldn't choose between them, they are both wonderful cities. Barcelona has marginally less grafitti wink.

Why is he leaving the booking up to you? It seems to be putting undue pressure on you. What are the usual dynamics of your relationship? You seem to be very worried about booking something he won't like ... what about what you would like?

iklboo Sun 25-Sep-16 21:59:10

Loved Lisbon and Porto - sadly one got one day in each as we were on a cruise. Lisbon has the oceanarium & science museum. Porto had lots of shops, bars etc. Both really nice relaxed vibe.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 25-Sep-16 22:01:14

Copenhagen is better but it probably won't be as warm as Barcelona or Lisbon.

Palma in Majorca or Seville are great too.

SirNiallDementia Sun 25-Sep-16 22:05:58

If you like Barcelona, how about Granada in Spain? A really beautiful old Moorish city.

Or Seville? Cadiz?

Lisbon and Porto are fab.

BeMorePanda Sun 25-Sep-16 22:06:44


Enidblyton1 Sun 25-Sep-16 22:11:29

I second Venice - would be lovely at end of Oct (I don't like it during busy tourist season!)
Granada is also wonderful.
I prefer both of those to Barcelona, but of course that's personal preference. My DH has been to Lisbon and raves about it - much prefers to Barcelona.
Hope you have a great trip, wherever you end up!

NuggetofPurestGreen Sun 25-Sep-16 22:13:40

Lisbon is one of those places that everyone raves about - loads to do and beautiful and pretty cheap. Do it!

Thejubremonyatthelibrary Mon 26-Sep-16 09:45:35

From these responses, I'm really leaning towards Lisbon now, especially for the sea otters! Can't tell you how excited I am to see their furry little faces!

Bibbity - it's hard to summarise the dynamic but he's going through the mid-life crisis that just keeps on going. Really, after everything that he's put me through, he should be organising this as a surprise for me but that won't happen. Certain problems that he has caused have now been resolved and now I'm on the other side of it, I desperately need a break. I don't want to go by myself so he'll have to come and I want us to have a nice time. Sorry, that all sounds very vague. But thank you - your very last sentence sort of gave me permission to go for somewhere that doesn't have bad associations for me [smile] He can jolly well just come along to wherever I book and be grateful that a) he's on a break and that b) i'm still in his life.

So, those of you who have been to Lisbon - where did you stay? I'd like to go to the 'main' art galleries/ museums and also to the Oceanarium. Where's a pretty place that's pretty central to all of that in your experience?

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DoreenLethal Mon 26-Sep-16 09:48:58

i've got bad memories of the place but would be willing to set them aside to make him happy

Why would you do this? We would never go somewhere that one of us has bad memories about. Is this lack of basic respect part of your dynamic that is the root of your problems?

Does it have to be either one of these? I am off to Lisbon with my OH in Nov, we tend to say 'lets go somewhere' and then both put forward ideas until we both agree then we book it.

DoreenLethal Mon 26-Sep-16 09:49:33

We are staying in an AIRBNB. We searched, chose one we both liked and then booked it.

Thejubremonyatthelibrary Mon 26-Sep-16 09:52:10

Wets we stayed on La Ramblas so perhaps that's where we went wrong! We did see a lot of seediness. Surprising amounts.

Copenhagen is on the to-do list Moving but I do feel like my bones need a bit of warmth at the mo. I think we'll go there next summer at some point. DP's DD has moved there and we haven't visited yet.

I hadn't considered Cadiz, Granada or Seville - I'll definitely look into them. They are brilliant suggestions, thank you smile

I personally love Venice but he doesn't (Jesus, writing this thread is making me realise what a man-child he is). grin I'd go back again in a heart-beat.

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Thejubremonyatthelibrary Mon 26-Sep-16 10:03:46

Hi Doreen - sadly yes. I don't think he even views it as disrespect, he's just very self-centred and just doesn't 'see' me or my likes/ dislikes. So it ends up being about him, otherwise, he'd just ruin it. I'm not selling him very well on here! He does have his good points, he just hasn't been acquainted with them for a long while.

It doesn't have to be either of those, these are just the two that I've narrowed it to for the least hassle. I know that he loves Barca (he's been eight times) so that's why that's option one. I chose Lisbon as option two because it's often described as 'the new Barca' (I'm trying to get him to be adventurous, haha). I'm open minded, he is obviously less so.

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useyourimagination Mon 26-Sep-16 10:06:31

6 years ago we went to Lisbon for a long weekend just after Christmas. We stayed here which was fabulous. It's small and intimate, everywhere was walkable although the trams are well worth it, breakfast was lovely and we had an amazing time. It was 6 years ago so things may have changed but we were recommended it by friends and have in turn recommended it to other friends.

Thejubremonyatthelibrary Mon 26-Sep-16 10:19:00

That looks gorgeous Useyourimagination, and great views too - thanks for the tip.

I'm starting to get really really excited now.

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Trills Mon 26-Sep-16 10:27:59

Granada is LOVELY.

Lisbon is very small.

WetsTheFinger Mon 26-Sep-16 10:49:41

We stayed at Hotel Regina which is just a couple of minutes walk from las Ramblas, it was perfect.

I've been to Lisbon for a day... Which was pretty much enough!! I can't imagine filing several days in there especially in October?

Thejubremonyatthelibrary Mon 26-Sep-16 12:29:43

I did really like La Ramblas during the daytime. I loved all the street performers, they were great.

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