Barcelona with 7 & 5 year olds

(16 Posts)
Bellini12 Thu 13-Mar-14 14:17:15

I would like to take my DC's to Barcelona. Either Easter or the May half term for about 3 nights.

I just wondered if anyone had any tips when would be the best time to visit (go later when it's hotter in May - will Easter be too busy?)

Also where to visit, obviously Parc Guell, the beach?

Finally, can anybody recommend a family friendly hotel? Something with interconnecting rooms (we don't like all being squashed in together). Perhaps with a pool.

Thanks you!

dreamingofsun Thu 13-Mar-14 20:55:29

there's a nice aquarium near the marina and my oldest son (20 year old) liked the zoo - which is also pretty near the marina. my youngest liked the big cathedral place that you see on all the photos - can't remember the name - didn't go in as the queue was too long - he's 15 and i was surprised he liked this. he also liked the tapas, more so than the mcdonalds my husband insisted on going to (not sure why as we don't go here)

GingerPCatt Thu 13-Mar-14 20:57:40

The science museum is brilliant. We took DS who was about 2.5 and he loved it and so did we. It's all really hands on and well thought out.

GingerPCatt Fri 14-Mar-14 08:33:30

The big market is really interesting and the tapas bars in there are fantastic.
One thing to be aware of is most restaurants don't open for dinner until 8. We just mainly ate at tapas places so it wasn't much of an issue for us.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 14-Mar-14 08:37:10

You can get the train easily to Montserrat and then get the cable car up to the monastery, that was a nice day out.

We loved the old cathedral in the gothic quarter. Had a courtyard with geese and you could also go up on the roof for fab views.

ShanghaiDiva Fri 14-Mar-14 08:41:35

The cathedral is la sagradia de familia (sp?) and is worth a visit. I went to Barcelona years ago but there was a hop on hop off bus that went around all the sights which was great and if you need more time just go back the next day. Also a Picasso museum, some interesting apartments designed by Gaudi, Jean Miro sculptures and the marina area was interesting too.

Dappydongle Fri 14-Mar-14 08:48:11
elQuintoConyo Fri 14-Mar-14 09:28:23

The zoo is a little old and cramped - it is a city zoo - but big enough for a day/long afternoon's walk around (you can take your own food in, there are picnic tables and drinking fountains dotted about. There is also a twice-daily dolphin show. Don't let the queue put you off, there's always plenty of room.

Overlooking Barcelona is Tibidabo, an old-fashioned-looking funpark with fabulous views. Also a tram/funicular to get you up there.

The cable car from Montjuic to the beach is great if you and dc don't mind heights. On Montjuic there is: Miro museum, Olympic bits, bottanical gardens. At the bottim of Montjuic in Placa Espanya are the Magic Fountains: watch the 'Barcelonaaaaaa' Freddie Mercury video and you'll see dancing fountains with lights andusic. Cheesey, free fun! Oh, and there are loads of parks around Monjuic that have things you can bounce on/hit/speak into etc to make noise! If you don't get up there, then the best park is right next to the zoo: Ciutadella.

There's a chocolate museum in the Born, plus a converted market (huge) that you can access freely, with old Roman bits in. It's recently opened. You can see the old Roman road that went through rhe city. There's a small Egyptian museum on Valencia syrett, just off Paseo.de Gracia (main street, very close to city centre).

Pigeons in Pl Catalunya. (Ok, not everyone's cup.of tea!) . The El Corte Ingles there is a huge department store - with loos! Barcelona lacks public loos, so unless you go to a cafe and buy a bottle of water or sneak into McDonalds for a McWee that's your cleanest bet!

Public transport is great, metros clean and efficient and just below street level. Or the tpur bus/es are great, they go everywhere - including Camp Nou, if your dc like football.

Easter will be lovely and warm (curently 17c) and May will be getting hot, around 23-25 not unheard of.

If you do head to the beach, aim for Vila Olimpica (there is a metro stop) rather than Barceloneta as it's a shithole (sorry!). Fake sand, ie dust, and it's dirty.

Fabulous city, enjoy!

GingerPCatt Fri 14-Mar-14 11:28:21

Cosmo caxia is the one we went to. Highly recommend it.

Bellini12 Fri 14-Mar-14 17:19:25

Wow, these are fantastic tips. Thank you!

Am veering towards the May had term for warmer weather now.

I've been before for a mini-break (before kids) and the dancing fountain was closed so would really love to see that. Sounds like there is so much for kids. Especially like the sound of the parks and museums.

The beach tips are great too.

Any advice re: accommodation?

If you go to the Sagrada Familia it is definitely worth going inside, it is really beautiful. The outside is very interesting architecturally although I didn't like it.

littlebluedog12 Fri 14-Mar-14 18:05:41

Ahhhh I used to live in Barcelona, would love to go back there with the kids envy Definitely the Gaudi stuff, also the Salvador Dali museum is fab, I imagine kids would love it. The main beach we used to go to was Sitges, accessible by train.

elQuintoConyo Fri 14-Mar-14 18:30:26

Oh, Stitches Sitges is just lovely smile

Cosmo Caixa science museum really is good, very interactive (make a tornado! Make a tsunamu!) and there's a big pool with trees and othervgreen stuff behind glass where you can see capybaras swimming -underwater! Justvthe cutest things!

<ahem, will try and calm down, now>

On Montjuic, halfway up from Pl Espanya, it a strange luttle place calked Poble Espanyol: it has different architectural examples from all over Spain, so a munaret from Seville, a Cantabrian farmhouse etc. Curious place.

In Pl Espanya behind the bullring-turned-shopping centre (great views from the top including a glass elevator, I think) is a big park called the Miro Park. It has a Miro sculpture in it, Woman and Bird.

No idea about accommodation, I'm afraid, as we live nearby and have never needed to book (I'm aware that sounds incredibly smug, sorry).

Tarragona an hour south on the train is nice if you have time: Roman amphitheatre and lots of other bits dotted about. There's a Roman festival on in May which includes REAL ITALIAN GLADIATORS IN LEATHER woopwoop! PM me if you'd like details, but as you're visiting 3-4 days, there's plenty in Barcelona to keep you occupied.

HermioneWeasley Sat 15-Mar-14 16:29:12

We stayed in the K&K hotel which had interconnecting rooms and a small rooftop pool. It's opposite the zoo which is in a park with some playgrounds and fun things to explore. We were onky there for a day and did the hop on/off bus tour which they loved, and we got off and did things like Parc .guell

angelcake20 Sat 15-Mar-14 23:52:15

We've been several times when DCs have been between 1 and 9, always in May or June when the weather has been lovely. We've liked the Aquarium, Tibidabo, Montjuic and the cable car, and Montserrat and love doing a harbour boat tour. To be honest, Barcelona is so lovely you can spend a lot of time just wandering around the harbour, up Las Ramblas and round the Old Town. There are several playgrounds which used to slow things down. I like the Placa del Rei Roman remains but might not be the thing for young kids. I'm afraid we always get an apartment (usually in Barceloneta as it's really handy for popping to the beach at the end of the day - we've never had any complaints about it) so can't recommend hotels.

Forago Tue 18-Mar-14 09:44:14

joining this thread as going in a couple of weeks with 9,6 and 3 y olds.

Where's best for an afternoon at the beach in case weather nice?

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