Barcelona with kids is always a good decision, with the right temperatures all year round, terrific location on the Mediterranean, the most eccentric buildings and historic neighborhoods. It can be easily explored on foot as every corner opens up to a new discovery. The food is delicious, so the only thing you need in abundance is time enough to savor it all.
- Why pick Barcelona?
Barcelona can be all about running around and trying to check all the sights of the list off or it can be enjoyed in a slower pace. The city’s turbulent history dates back to the Neolithic times. It was founded as a Roman city and its importance grew in the Middle Ages, when it became the economic and political center of the Western Mediterranean. The many different neighborhood bear witness to all historic events that have shaped the Barcelona of today. It is still an important tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural hub.
But the Spanish or more precisely the Catalan are also famous for knowing how to enjoy themselves, from food to drinks, to entertainment leave enough time to join in the fun.
- When to go?
It’s perfect year round, but the high temperatures in the Summer might not be great for sightseeing. We visited Barcelona in October when the temperatures were just perfect and we divided our time between the beach and many great sights that were suitable for exploring with kids. The number of tourists dwindles down and it is less crowded and easier to see the many amazing places. But there were crowds non the less, so visit the must see sights early in the morning or be prepared to queue.
- Where to stay?
Many great options in various parts of the city – how to chose actually depends on what you want to see and do. Where do you want to be – in the center of it all, of on the outskirt? Here is our guide to help you find your own great affordable accommodation.
Airbnb offers plenty to chose from and I am happy to share my Airbnb link with you: www.airbnb.com/c/ibatur. If you use it, it gives us both €20 in travel credit.
We actually rented a small apartment about fifty kilometers away from Barcelona, just minutes from the beautiful sandy beaches. It was the first week of October and it was so perfectly warm and sunny we actually skipped half the planned activities and just enjoyed the peace and quiet of the deserted Spanish coast. Our daughter played in the sand, we both swam in the sea and all of us took naps in the afternoon. Just the type of holiday we needed. Of course the lazy tempo was set by kids, because if we were alone, we’d probably manage to see half of Spain in that week. This way we were forced to enjoy one place at a time. I for one didn’t mind.
- What to do?
I have yet to visit a city that makes me feel as great as this second largest city of Spain does. It has everything, the ideal Mediterranean climate, historic buildings, narrow streets, photogenic corners, the sea, hills, parks, delicious food and friendly people.
It certainly exceeded my expectations as it had something for everyone. I was in awe with the old part of town with cobbled streets leading to small squares, hubbs couldn’t take enough photos of the Gaudi buildings scattered around and Stela enjoyed the La Boqueria Market, where she got to taste some of the treats.
Barcelona has so much to offer to both young and a bit older. As I said no matter what your interests are, you will not be bored here – nor hungry.
Here are our top five picks for Barcelona that combined all our interest:
Aquarium Barcelona: located in Port Vell, Barcelona harbor. The 35 aquariums at the facility are home to 11,000 animals representing 450 species, and an 80-meter underwater tunnel.
CosmoCaixa – Science Museum – it hosts many activities and exhibitions to give anyone who is interested a greater insight into the world of science. We really loved the exhibition called the Flooded Forest, which recreates 1,000 m2 of an Amazonian rain forest ecosystem and features piranhas, crocodiles and other animal and plant species typical to the zone. But there is also so much more. It will take you a few hours to explore it and try the many activities it offers.
3) La Boqueria Market: the covered market in the Ciutat Vella and one of the famous tourist landmarks – expect crowds. You can enter it from La Rambla and explore the many goods on offer.
Pa Parc Güell: a garden designed by the great Catalan architect Anotni Gaudi. Full of unusual architectural elements and with amazing views of the city. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.
Parc de Montjuic– where you can enjoy Olympic arenas and remember a time gone by, explore the old fortress and watch the magnificent fountains. Rest.
- Where to eat?
We absolutely loved this little tapas place called La Pepita. They don’t have many dishes on the menu but whatever you chose it’s simply delicious food in great atmosphere. I strongly recommend.
Coolkidz say: No, thanks. I didn’t enjoy it all. But I loved the market.
Fine, maybe tots won’t like it, but older kids and adults will love it.
- How to get around?
We tried driving around to some places, but we spend an extra hour getting to Parc Guell because we just didn’t understand what the navigation system was trying to tell us. Driving around Barcelona is hectic due to many one way roads, to the temperamental way the locals drive and with more than 1 and a half million inhabitants a big city. I would now recommend using the metro, bus or perhaps even renting a bike.
- How to get to Barcelona?
There’s the airport closest to Barcelona is called El Prat and is only 16 kilometers away from the capital. You can also fly to the other regional airports, Girona, Reus and Lleida -Alguaire. We flew with Ryanair from Venice to Reus (around 50 km away from Barcelona) for less then hundred Euros and then rented a car to get around since we weren’t staying in Barcelona.
Coolkidz final say: Barcelona is great. We’d go there again anytime. My favorite part was CosmoCaixa – absolutely the best thing I’ve seen.