Welcome to Catalan country! The city of Barcelona and the surrounding area is very different from the rest of the country – in passion, style and even language. Not that we hate Madrid, but Barcelona is one of those cities that has more to offer than high rises.
Try a little architecture
You might have kids who roll their eyes at boring buildings, but the cultural offerings in Barcelona are special. Many of the architectural wonders were created by Antonio Gaudi, who had a flair for color and whimsy. Kids will look in awe at the swirly topped smokestacks, winding staircases, rainbow walls and more in his most famous creations.
Of course, his biggest masterpiece, the Segrada Familia, cannot be missed. But skip the long lines to go inside and try a few other treats. For instance, the Casa Batllo is a private home full of wonder. It has an interesting wavy façade which leads into mosaic-tiled elevators, bumpy ceilings, and endless white hallways. The kiddos will also be grateful for a run around Parc Guell – one of Gaudi’s outdoor parks. See the artist’s home and then explore the distinct style seen in funky park benches, overhangs, installations and statues made of bulky ceramic pieces.
Have you ever ordered your kid a crapshoot dinner, praying they’ll like it, to only have the hot meal rejected with a crinkled nose? This might still happen in Barcelona – but the good thing is portions come in small, bite-sized orders. Your little one can try a bunch of different things and find their favorites without much going to waste. Our crew especially enjoyed “croquetas” (little fried breaded nuggets) or “patatas bravas”, which are basically cubed French fries paired with a tangy sauce.
If the kids have taken an interest in all things culinary, you can bring them to Semproniana on Saturdays. They have cooking classes for ages four through 10 called Patacutxi that’s a real hands-on experience in Spanish and Mediterranean dishes.
Otherwise, Head to La Nena, perfect for rainy days and antsy children. They have baked goods, light bites, and sandwiches for everyone to love plus a play area with toys and books for younger children. When the sun shines, try El Jardi for its lively eating terrace and tasty tapas menu.
There might be nothing better than a city located on the ocean, as it gives opportunities to explore both urban landscapes and a beachy escape. The quickest way to get your toes in the sand is to venture t Barceloneta right by the center of the city. But there’s a couple of miles to explore each way for a more tranquil experience. Over by the Olympic village, there are some sandy spots to relax and a few climbing ropes for the kids to check out. Many of the best hotels in Barcelona are along the strip outside of downtown. Do note that some beaches welcome clothing-optional sun bathers if that’s of concern to you with little ones in tow.
Let us know if we can help in achieving your travel goals, we love to offer personal tips and advice – ask away. This post was created in partnership with the #HipmunkCityLove project. All opinions are our own and we only promote destinations we’ve experienced first hand (unless it’s on our bucket list!)