When you work almost every single day of the month , getting 4 straight days off is a miracle. It’s also a great opportunity to run away with the family. Our Italian Cruise left from Barcelona but we only got one day in that beautiful city. We decided that 4 days should be enough to go back to explore it.
So with some research before hand, we booked our Airbnb and set off.
This is only our second post to this blog. If you are new to us and haven’t read the first post on our Italian Cruise know that we are a family that travels often, all over the world, with our infant in tow. By ‘in tow’, I mean in a stroller. Which means that all the adventures we go on and write about are stroller and probably wheel chair friendly.
Ok. Enough chat! Lets get into it. Here are a list of places to go and things to do in Barcelona that are kid friendly. We only had 4 days and we tried to fill every minute but there we some kid-certified activities that we didn’t get to. We consulted an exhaustive list of activities from a tour site. We weren’t able to do all the things but we sure as hell tried.
We had heard that there were going to be street artists. What we didn’t expect was an amazing bubble artist that pretty much entertained our son alone for like an hour. This park is immense. Prepare to do a lot of walking. We always try to find large spaces often when we travel to allow our son free run. There are lakes and gardens hidden every where. We saw many people on blankets on the grass having picnics. As we explored the lake we were serenaded by a constant faint beat of drums. There are also African men selling what can only be described as a mesmerizing array of Wall Tapestries, adding even more color to this spectacular expanse of green. If you are someone who likes the hum and bustle of the local scene this is the place for you. The Barcelona Zoo is also somewhere within this park but we chose to go to the Aquarium another day instead.
TIP: Walk with as many coins as you can to tip the street artists. If you are going to stare in wonder at the Cyr Wheel Artist you might as well put some € coins in his hat.
There was a toss up between the Aquarium and the Zoo. We read on TripAdvisor that people found the Aquarium boring and thought that for the price it was too short and quick a trip through. We decided on the Aquarium because we have never been to one before and thought our son would lose his mind. We were right. We paid €20 each and €7 for our son. We spent about 2 hours in this place and it was incredible. We were able to see a lot of the sea life really up close. When you have walked through, there is a fantastic restaurant. Please stop for lunch. They have Sangria on TAP!!! It was the best we have ever had.
TIP: They keep your stroller at the gate for you. This is a great idea. If your kid is big enough to walk, leave the stroller and let them enjoy a walking adventure. If not, its ok. This place is stroller friendly.
TIP: Try to time your visit within 20 minutes of the feedings of the sharks, rays or penguins. It’s quite a sight!
This was the best adventure ever!!! We read that the easiest way to get to the castle was taking the Metro to the Paral lel stop then taking the cable car to the top of the mountain. Apparently, the cost of the cable car is included in the Metro ticket. There was a bus stop opposite our apartment, so we opted to take a €4,90 (per adult) ride to the Cable Car station. We took the 55 bus and got a little lost. The 150 bus drops you directly in front of the Cable Car Station called the Telefèric de Montjuïc. We paid €8,40 per adult for a 1 way ticket up the mountain. If you are afraid of heights , go on the cable car. If you don’t like being high up in a clean, noisy little space….go on the cable car. There is NO EXCUSE not to take that fantastic ride. It lasts about 15 minutes and you won’t regret it. You can easily fold a stroller and place it in the car. When you get to the top you have to pay to enter the castle itself. There’s not much to do but if you are someone who enjoys spectacular, panoramic views…this is the place for you.
TIP: Buy a one way ticket to the top. There is a main road that takes you down the mountain. Just to the left of that road there is a little foot path. It takes you all the way down to the bus stop at the bottom. Its a beautiful walk, along well sculpted gardens. It’s a smooth, zigzag path which is great for strollers. There are also steps cutting through the path that allow for a faster way down for the non- rolling traveler. Don’t be afraid to stop at the play park along the way to let the kids have some fun.
TIP: Wear comfortable shoes!
LA BOQUERIA MARKET
Go hungry. That is all!
The place is stroller friendly, meaning that it’s totally flat. It is heavily crowded , however, so gauge for yourself if you are willing to navigate through a million jostling feet with your stroller. Buy everything. Eat everything. Taste everything. Smell everything. This place is a menagerie of smells, sights, sounds and tastes and it is a sin to miss out on this even if you have 1 day in Barcelona.
TIP: PUT YOUR BACK PACK IN FRONT OF YOU. We were warned about potential pick pockets at this location so we placed our back pack at the front of our bodies and when we got to the market we saw many people doing the same.
TIP: You need a receipt from a vendor to use the restroom. If not you have to pay €1 but they only take coins.
TIP: The more expensive food is to the front of the market. As you enter, don’t let temptation win. Walk through the market to the back and there will be cheaper eats and drinks for you to enjoy.
RUNNER BEAN FREE WALKING TOUR
We wanted to do a tour that involved seeing the local sights and perhaps eating some local food. We found this company that does free tours hosted by locals. It was a truly amazing experience wondering through the tight, narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter learning about the history of each area. The tour lasted about 2.5 hours but was not tiring at all. There were short rest stops along the way but no food was included in this tour. Our tour guide, Ali, was so passionate she was breathless. This is one of the best tours one can do in Barcelona and we highly recommend it.
TIP: Walk with a hat, umbrella and comfortable shoes.
I’m just going to list all the restaurants we ate in. Our apartment was on Ronda de Sant Pere and most of the restaurants were walking distance from there. I gave each of them 5 star reviews on trip advisor and I highly recommend each one of them if you are in the area.
Las Sorrentinas – If you are looking for great Sangria and Lasagna this is the place for you.
Santa Piadina – Incredible Italian Sandwich shop. Try anything made on the tomato wrap.
Nou Mediterrani – Great place for breakfast. Hardly any English spoken but they figure it out. Great great great service!
Restaurant Corea– Superb place for Korean inspired food. This was the only restaurant we went in that was completely packed. No English but we figured it out.
LA WASH – This is a Laundromat with locations sprinkled around the city. It is fast, cheap and easy to use. For about €10 you can wash and dry a huge load of laundry. Soap is built into the machines so you don’t have to worry about that. On our last day we washed all our laundry before returning home. It was a good idea.
NUNOYA – I’m a bit of a sewing addict. Every trip I take worldwide I must buy fabric in that country. This little store has a wide range of fabric. Check at the back in the Sale rack and you will find cheaper options at the same great quality.
AEROBUS – Right outside Terminal 1 there is this great bus service that takes you into the heart of down town. It runs every 5 mins and has great WIFI. We were really surprised at how easy it was to get to our apartment at night. It’s a great option for those who are not trying to hire a taxi.
So there it is Folks. A great guide to 4 days in this amazing city. We came, we saw, we ate, we left. I hope this blog gives you the courage to bravely travel with kids to new and wonderful places. See you in the next one and as always..