If you are staying near Sants Estació train station or in transit with some time to spare, there’s a park right next to the train station that your kids will surely love, Parc de l’Espanya Industrial. A perfect place to chill out, have some lunch and enjoy a giant slide.
In one of the most crowded, most popular streets of Barcelona, La Rambla you will find Palau de la Virreina. This baroque building invites you to peek into the old timers’ wealth. From the front door, you will see a lovely interior courtyard and stone stairs. Take them to the first floor where you will be able to view one of the temporary exhibits in La Virreina. Most exhibits are art and image related.
I´m happy to start this post by saying that Barcelona is a safe city. A city where you can walk at night or take a cab without having to worry about your safety. Crime is not an issue and you will be able to walk around the tourist areas day and night without major concern. In August 2017, the city was hit by a terrorist attack but that’s unfortunately no different from any other European city.
Taking public transport is also safe at any time of the day. However, saying that Barcelona is a fully safe city would be wrong as there’s a well-known problem with pickpocketing. I have lived many years in Barcelona and it only happened to me once (so far) but being a tourist can make you a target for pickpockets so below are a few tips to avoid them.
Flea markets have a special place in a city’s heart and Barcelona Encants Vells is the place to go for bargains and almost anything you can wish for. With over 600 years of history, the Encants Vells market in Barcelona is deeply rooted in the city and has evolved through the years.
Did you know that Park Güell was originally designed to be a neighbourhood for well off families? Eusebi Güell, owner of the land, commissioned Antoni Gaudí to design the gardens and 60 plots where splendid modernist mansions were to be built.
Work began in 1900 but only two houses were built in the following years. In 1914, the works stopped and the park became a large private garden. In 1926, it was opened as a much loved public park and since 1984, Park Güell is listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Every now and then you find a hidden gem. This is what it felt like the first time I visited Monestir de Pedralbes. Tuckled away from the crowds, in the upper part of Barcelona, this gothic monastery was home to a comunity of Poor Clares.
Visiting Barcelona but in a need to chill out a bit? Take a day trip to Vall de Núria and enjoy the refreshing views of Catalan Pyrenees with your family.
Vall de Núria is surrounded by peaks of almost 3,000 meters high, on one of the highest points of Ribes Valley and in the Eastern Pyrenees. ¿Wondering how to get there with small kids? the answer is taking the iconic rack railway. Covering 12.5 km, the rack railway takes you up to Vall de Núria through breath-taking landscapes.
Did you know that Barcelona’s Aquarium is one of the largest in Europe? The crown jewel is called Oceanarium, the largest aquarium in the complex. It has 4 million litres of water where different species live. Among them are rays, ocean sunfish and two types of shark: tiger shark and sandbar shark. You will have the opportunity to walk just a few inches away from the sharks thanks to a transparent tunnel of about 80 meters in length.
If you are visiting Barcelona with kids, don’t miss out the opportunity to climb up to Tibidabo hill. Over 500 meters above sea level, it’s the highest peak in Collserola natural park and it’s known as Muntanya màgica. At the top of Tibidabo you will find a picturesque church and an amusement park that dates back to the early 20th century.
On the fancy Passeig de Gràcia there’s a block known as “Illa de la Discòrdia”, in English Block of Discord. In this area, the most exuberant modernist buildings compete with each other in beauty and oddness, among them Casa Amatller.
Casa Amatller was built by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and is located next to another impressive building Casa Batlló, by Gaudí. It’s a must see building, with less queues than its neighbour and your kids will just love it…. because it smells of chocolate! 🙂