Thinking of going to Barcelona? I thought I’d share my experiences and tips on some of the things we did while we were away in case they’re helpful
Barcelona is very hilly and although the public transport is good, there is a lot of walking. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids in buggies or pre-schoolers who tire easily. Or elderly grandparents, come to think of it.
Everywhere seems to have got a lot busier since we visited 15 years ago. Yes, it was May half-term and there were a fair few Brits around, but not that many kids. It seems like Barcelona has just got generally more popular and busier since the dim and distant past of 1998.
Parc Guell is a beautiful and quirky park designed by Antoni Gaudi. It is free to get into! At the front of it is a statue of a lizard (or a dragon). This lizard is really the reason we went to Barcelona. My daughter learned about it at school and wanted to see it so much.
There are great views, palm trees and beautiful, unique architecture, like something from a fairytale. And crowds. Crowds and crowds of people. All clamouring to get the best photos. And spoiling your photos.
Camp Nou is the home of Barcelona FC, one of the biggest football clubs in the world. If you have a little footballer in the family, it is an essential place to visit.
It doesn’t come cheap, though. A tour set our family back a whopping 97 euros. And it’s not a tour in the sense that you get a guide – you just walk round at your own pace. It takes about two hours, so you kind of get your money’s worth. Again, it was heaving with people – all struggling to get a nice photo without someone else spoiling it for them.
This is a Gaudi building and probably my favourite part of Barcelona. Rather than describe it, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
The highlight is walking out onto the roof, where you are surrounded by weird dream-like figures. The views are stunning and on a sunny day with a bright blue sky the whole thing is breath-taking. It cost 57 euros for our family to get in.
Funicular railway and Mount Tibidabo
Mount Tibidabo is the highest point in Barcelona and it really is HIGH. You can see for miles, it is absolutely stunning. The best (and most fun) way to get there is via the funicular railway up the very steep hill. I would definitely recommend it although, like everything, it doesn’t come cheap! There was no reductions for children and it cost something like 37 euros for a return ticket for the five of us – and the journey is about five minutes each way!
La Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia – church of the sacred family – is Barcelona’s biggest and most fascinating tourist attraction. Designed by Gaudi, work started on it well over 100 years ago and it still isn’t complete. The place is literally swarming with builders.
It is truly stunning, inside and out. The detail in the sculptures is breathtaking and the stained glass windows and high ceilings inside are like nothing else.
There is a clear difference between the old and the new, but it fits together and works really well as a whole. There is an interesting museum on site explaining a lot of the history of this most incredible building.
Entrance is free for under 10s (hooray!) and you can pay a few extra euros to go up the tower. But the tower wasn’t open for another three hours when we arrived, so sadly that was out of the question. Queues are HUGE, but move fairly quickly.
Have you ever been to Barcelona? What did you enjoy? What would you recommend? And now we’ve got the travel bug, where should we go next?