Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region in Spain. We had a fantastic, though far too short visit in January. The food and eclectic architecture were like stepping into a new world, and the kindness of the people made it a fantastic city break.
As a kid friendly dinning destination, Barcelona was ideal. The kids were forced to push their boundaries on food that was different, but was still familiar enough not to scare them away. Paella, tapas, and breakfast empanadas were big favourites and lunches of street food were great affordable options when we were on the go. We even ate at a restaurant where the staff fed and entertained our toddlers while we enjoyed a few moments to eat in peace. (This was a big hit with both parents and kids.)
La Rambla and La Boqueria
While strolling the main drag in Barcelona, you and your kids can take in the sites, smells, and sounds of the vibrant Catalonian culture. Street performers intermingle with souvenir vendors, tapas bars, and intriguing architecture. Just off La Rambla, La Boqueria is the biggest market in Barcelona, and while touristic, it is a wonderful spot to wander through and meet some vendors and learn about their wares. Jamon, fresh exotic fruits, and café con leche are all on the menu. Our kids enjoyed ham, sausage, fruit samples, and they also displayed a new found enjoyment of fried squid.
This was our first exposure to modernisme and Gaudi architecture. The Sagrada Familia is certainly something everyone should see once in their life. I will be the first to say that I am not a fan of modern art, but I can appreciate different things for being risky and different. When you are standing there in front of that ostentatious cathedral, you certainly will realize why the word gaudy is derived from Gaudi’s architecture.
L’Aquarium de Barcelona
We wrapped up our visit with a trip to the aquarium. Aquariums always amaze kids of all ages and present excellent learning opportunities as well. Barcelona’s aquarium was no different. Sharks, tropical fish and penguins were all highlights, though I think the jellyfish were everyone’s favourite. The surroundings were spectacular as well, right along the waterfront with epic seascape views and sailboats calmly cruising by.
Barcelona was a great, relaxing, winter city break. The temperature in January was 10-12 degrees every day with sun and a light breeze. Other than what was mentioned above, Barcelona is full of parks and playgrounds for short breaks during the day. Given more time we would have tried harder to get to Park Güell and the Picasso Museum but as the point of our time in Barcelona was also to relax for a long weekend, we built in lots of playtime and did not feel like pushing the kids too hard.
Please share your memories Barcelona in the comments below, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and don’t forget to share this article so others can join the discussion as well.
Happy and safe travels.
PS. This blog can also be reached via #citytripping courtesy of Wandermum.co.uk.