It was 2011 the last time me and Ollie went to Barcelona and I’ve always said that I would really love to go back. I had a rummage and dug up the old photos to reminisce and had to share with you! (Don’t laugh at these blackberry photos… lol!) 4 Reasons Why Barcelona Is A Fantastic Family Holiday Destination
Barcelona is one of the places that pop into my mind when I think of what city we traveled to pre-kids which was the most family friendly. My absolute favourite part of Barcelona was the amazing Gaudi architecture, particularly Park Guell. With such a good atmosphere, lovely food, loads to do, friendly people and the perfect mix between sea and city… it’s a great place and I can’t wait to go back this time as a family.
Barcelona doesn’t fall short on fantastic places to stay. The hotel we were in during our trip was one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in, ever. Imagine… rose petals on the bed, fruit basket and champagne. It was a dream! It was luxury, and the view outside our window wasn’t too bad, either. In Barcelona, you are spoilt for choice of accommodation. From lovely hotels to gorgeous Spanish mansions, there’s every type of accommodation available to suit your budget. I’m spoilt for choice.
Our trip back in 2011 was very much a city break, we didn’t get time to escape to the beach as we were too busy sightseeing and eating! I really loved Gaudi houses, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and Mount Tibidabo. It was so funny looking back at our photos from 2011 from this trip… we look SO different! At first I wasn’t planning on putting many of thereunto this post seeing as they’re from 2011 and were taken on a blackberry! (Yes, a blackberry phone, remember those!?) but oh well, who fancies a laugh?!
4 Reasons Why Barcelona Is A Fantastic Family Holiday Destination
4 Things I Really Loved About Barcelona
1. It’s a short (and affordable) flight from the UK.
It just takes over 2hours to get to Barcelona from Manchester Airport or 2 hours from London airports direct. Long journeys on a plane might seem daunting for some families, but 2 hours is hardly nothing! We booked our flights with a budget airline and they were very affordable coming up at less than £60 each return.
2. Barcelona is a city AND beach destination
If you and your family can’t agree on what type of holiday to have; beach or city? Sight seeing or lounging around in the sun? Then Barcelona might be a good option to suit everyone. We didn’t spend any time on the beach when we went because we absolutely loved the tourism there and couldn’t get enough of the sight seeing to fit a beach trip in!
But the Barcelona coast looks wonderful & there are some amazing villas, beach hotels & luxury places to stay if you want to escape the city. As for staying in the hustle and bustle, you won’t be stuck for accommodation as there are so many fantastic hotels in Barcelona city centre which are very affordable compared to the UK.
3. Absolutely amazing architecture and parks
Seriously, you have to see Antoni Gaudi’s famous architecture in Barcelona. And sightseeing with a toddler can be hard because they don’t understand, don’t have patience etc., but Gaudi’s architecture I’m positive would attract even the youngest of eyes.
We visited all of his apartments, Sagrada Familia & Park Guell and I will never, ever forget how amazing it all was. It really doesn’t seem real when you are inside the apartments… a complete fantasy, like stepping into another world. The imagination and creativity that has gone into creating those buildings is just something else.
Even if you are not a huge fan of architecture, you can’t help be wowed by Gaudi’s famous works in Barcelona. I can imagine Eric loving them too, with the colours, the shapes and the textures are completely different to anything in the UK. My favourite of all the apartments was Casa Batllo. Can you just imagine the family photos taken here?! They’d look pretty spectacular.
I remember getting audio tour guides when we visited these houses and really enjoying it… it was a while ago now so I’m not sure if you had to pay extra for them or not, and it’s probably not a good idea if you have young kids as you won’t be able to hear them, haha. But I would definitely recommend using the audio tour if you can because you do learn a lot of fascinating information about Gaudi and his work.
Of course, we HAD to see Sagrada Familia. It’s probably one you will have heard of because Sagrada Familia is very famous, and yes it’s amazing in real life! This gothic church is was still unfinished on our visit, we had a museum included which I will always remember because it was one of the highlights of the trip. The museum had many old documents, sketches and plans of Gaudi’s work and inspiration… you could see what the future plans were for Sagrada Familia and also works which never got finished. If you are interested in him you would love it, as I did! Apologies for the photo quality; remember these were taken on a Blackberry!
Park Guell is a city park and one of Gaudi’s main piece of work in Barcelona. It was like a wonderland going to that park and exploring, we visited close to sunset and it was very magical as we sat really high up and looked down on the city.
There are two parts to the park, the monumental core which requires a ticket, and the wider area which is free for all. Even the walls are amazing and everything is decorated so funky and reflects Gaudi’s architectural style, it’s very special. Such a different sort of place for a family walk. I would love to have a picnic there; definitely on my bucket list for future.
4. Mountain Tibidabo
I’d never been to Barcelona before, but Ollie had when he was younger with his family, so he knew all the best places to go and visit. He has fond memories of going on holiday there with his family when he was younger, so that must be saying something! One of his recommendations was Mount Tibidabo, and my gosh, what a very strange place that was. It was fun, just strange, lol.
We rode a little finicular tram up to the mountain, ‘Tramvia Blau’. Mountain Tibidabo is the tallest mountain in Serra de Collserola and 512 metres high and up at the top is a magical amusement park and a beautiful church. Eric would love this now as it’s such a novelty.
Now I’m sure it is very amazing when it is open, but on our visit, the amusement park was closed. The tram still took us to the top of the mountain and we went to see the church, enjoyed the views, etc., and it was a great experience! The views up there are fantastic and great for photo opportunities. But nothing else was open, and it had a very strange atmosphere, like something out of an old movie about a deserted island or something, lol.
Even though the rides were not working and nothing appeared to be open, we stumbled across a little museum that was open, filled with puppets and ventriloquist displays, moving old vintage arcade games and a mirror maze. We did go inside the mirror maze, it was lit, no staff were around, but no music was playing. It was so freaky!
I would definitely go back I just hope it’s actually open next time. Eric would love the rides, games, looking around and having all the space to explore on top of the mountain. 😀
Barcelona is very friendly, affordable and would make a great city break holiday destination for families
Even though we didn’t go with kids, I know if we took Eric back we would all have a great time. Besides my top favourite things to do in Barcelona above, worth a mention is definitely the amazing food. We ate out a lot in Barcelona and the restaurants are very cheap, but the quality of food very good. If you love dining al-fresco, that’s what they do best, so you won’t be stuck for places to eat outdoors and very tasty Italian food. I specifically remember very good pasta, yummmmm.
Barcelona is a very family orientated city and I would be surprised to find a restaurant that isn’t welcoming for kids; it’s their culture to eat all together and everyone was very accommodating to us back at that time; I’d have no concerns going there now.
We also went to Barcelona Zoo, that was great fun, and some shopping. The public transport in Barcelona is very reliable and easy to understand, so no problem getting around the city.
Have you been to Barcelona with our without kids? Where did you visit?
Thanks for reading! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed looking at these old travel photos as much as I did.
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