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Barcelona in August with kids. A good idea or not?

(36 Posts)
3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 09:37:16

I've just priced up flights and an AirBnB apartment for the five of us and it's looking much more affordable than any villa or hotel beach holidays.

So any thoughts on this as a plan? Would you do it?

What's the beach like? will it be rammed? Or will it be ridiculously hot?

And is there a lot to do with kids in Barcelona?

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 11:54:27

maybe the May half term would be a better idea, weather-wise?

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 18:26:17

anyone got any thoughts?

justaweeone Thu 08-Jan-15 18:30:43

What age are the kids and what is the cost are you going to be paying for accommodation ?

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 18:34:41

kids are 9, 8 and 3.

accommodation is coming in at a grand, meaning with flights it's around 2k. I've been looking at villas and hotels all over the med but struggle to get the price under 3.5k for the 5 of us.

Also, lots of hotels don't have family suites big enough.

emotionsecho Thu 08-Jan-15 18:37:23

Depends on the age of the children, whereabouts the flat is - central or outskirts.

Temperatures in August are usually in the 30's, and it is a very busy city during August due to the influx of tourists from all over Europe. Beaches will be busy.

May temperatures will be more comfortable mid to high twenties, and it will probably be quieter.

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 18:39:07

I was looking at places near the beach - is it Barceloneta?

Maybe I'll look at May then.

dayslikethis Thu 08-Jan-15 18:40:47

Yes! Excellent idea! We have holidayed in Barcelona several times during July & August with our kids and would definitely go back. (in fact - I want to buy an apartment there) Last time we went our kids were 8, almost 6 and twins were almost 3.

The beach will be rammed, and to be honest the closest one (Barceloneta) is not a nice beach. There are a number of beaches and some are nicer than others, but none of them are great.

It can get very hot - last time we went was in July at it was mid-high 30s every day. The beach will feel hotter because it has no shade obviously. We gave in to the kids' requests and went to the beach one morning last time and that was the only day we really felt too hot. There is generally a good breeze and it is the perfect city for wandering and you will therefore be in and out of places and in and out of wee streets with shade.

There is loads to do - no need for the beach. What ages are your kids and I will give you some recommendations. Also - where are you planning on staying as that can have a huge impact on what you do. The metro is good and quite cheap (esp as kids under 5 go free), but there aren't a lot of lifts up and down to the stations (some have them, but not all) so if you have a buggy (or two like we did) then you do have to do a fair amount of lifting it up and down steps. It's a small thing though and wouldn't put me off going.

iwantgin Thu 08-Jan-15 18:43:01

How about a place near to Barcelona but not in it.

I took DS to Calella a couple of years ago. Much, much cheaper for accommodation - yet just a few euros on the train into the city for tourist stuff.

Me and DH went to Sitges in September - again, cheaper and less frantic as a base, but easy to get into Barcelona to look around.

A few years ago we took 3 DSs to a campsite near to Barcelona and went into the city just once. It was very, very hot and very, very busy. Not a relaxed trip out at all - and ours were older than yours.

18yearstooold Thu 08-Jan-15 18:43:08

We went in may, the beaches were lovely -busy enough that there were things going on but not too busy that you felt overcrowded or overwhelmed -plenty of room to play

The city however was a no go area between 12-3ish, just too hot

emotionsecho Thu 08-Jan-15 18:43:48

There is a lot to do in Barcelona, but probably more for older children and adults.

I know someone who rents out a villa which is an easy distance from Barcelona and a local airport which is served by Ryanair (Reus) and has a pool, air conditioning and wi-fi, also not far from Porta Ventura, could pm you details if you like.

HermioneWeasley Thu 08-Jan-15 18:46:59

I would go in May, it was mid 30s in august when we went which is too hot to really enjoy the stuff in Barcelona. Yes, the area near the beach is Barceloneta.

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 18:47:09

this is fabulous, thank you! I'm looking at all your suggestions now.

starsandunicorns Thu 08-Jan-15 18:47:18

We went the end of sept last year and it didn't go below 22 even at night and was still really busy when we go back we will be looking at castfelldefels

emotionsecho Thu 08-Jan-15 18:49:47

Sitges is good, easy (and cheap) distance from Barcelona and nice beaches.

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 18:53:47

Sitges looks good. Are there plenty of shops/restaurants places to buy crappy sunhats and the like? grin

dayslikethis Thu 08-Jan-15 18:53:57

oops - x post. See my thoughts above on Barceloneta. Last time we stayed at the bottom of La Ramblas overlooking the Harbour - walking distance to the beach if you want it, also walking distance to the zoo (which is brilliant), the aquarium, the harbour area and of course La Ramblas and the mercado. I'll see if I can find the apartment online and send you a link so you can get an idea of location. It works well for being close to places but not too noisy and also safe. We have also stayed in the heart of the Barri Gotic before which is further up La Ramblas but you have to be very careful because some areas are not so good. Where we stayed was great, but we had a local friend who advised us. Habitat Apartments are maybe worth a look - they are a good company and their apartments are clean.

Things to do...
- La Sagrada Familia - you'll need to get a metro out there but it's worth it - stunning building
- Camp Nou - if anyone is into football at all then you kinda have to go - also need a train to get out there, but a decent tour
- Tibidabo - you get there via metro, tram and funicular railway - the journey is as much a part of the experience. The views from the top are amazing and worth the journey alone and the funfair at the top is great - lots to do for all ages so it would be a good thing to do to include all your kids, even the wee one
- The zoo - walkable from the city centre - probably the best zoo we have ever been to - we've been several times
- The aquarium - it's down by the harbour and we have never been as it seemed a waste to spend a day indoors when the weather was so beautiful, but it gets good reviews and if you fancied a day out of the heat it would be worth it
- Wandering - the Gothic quarter and the Cathedral quarter - definitely worth a day to just dander and people watch. The St Joseph Mercado is amazing and well worth a visit, (or two, or three...) If you spend a day doing that you can wander up to Placa Catalunya and get a gelato and sit by the fountains which is lovely.
- The Magic Fountains of Montjuic - a night time trip but well worth it. (get there early to get a good spot)
- Parc Guell - very famous, but I would think carefully about whether your kids will actually enjoy it. It's a lot of walking, esp in the heat. There are a few ways to get there - if you go, get the bus otherwise you have an insane walk up the steepest hill I have ever seen in my life - genuinely thought we were going to fall back down again trying to push the buggies up! La Sagrada Familia is better for showcasing Gaudi in my opinion.

Lots more, but that should get you started wink

Icapturethecastle Thu 08-Jan-15 18:54:54

We went to Barcelona over Christmas such a brilliant city my dc 7 and 5 loved it and there is so much to do. Would love to go back when it is warmer.

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 19:04:33

Emotionsecho I'd appreciate a link to your friends place, thank you!

dayslikethis that's amazing help thanks! I'd also appreciate a link to the property.

Misty9 Thu 08-Jan-15 19:07:19

I loved Barcelona, though haven't been with kids. Another option to consider is Valencia, lovely city and loads to do with the massive science park. Also a ggood beach and promenade bit too. August is hideous anywhere in Spain imo, but I don't like heat!

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 19:10:11

ooh I didn't know that, I'll check Valencia too!

dayslikethis Thu 08-Jan-15 19:15:14

Will get back on later - sorry, got to dash out, but will have a look later and see if I can find it. It was on Passeig de Gracia anyway.

3BloodyKids Thu 08-Jan-15 19:17:53

brilliant, thank you dayslikethis

and ooh at valencia, looks good!

emotionsecho Thu 08-Jan-15 19:25:58

Valencia is equally lovely, different to Barcelona but equally stunning. However, it will be hotter than Barcelona in the summer as it is further south, and they do long lunch and siesta between 1 and 5, whereas Barcelona stays pretty lively all day in the city.

emotionsecho Thu 08-Jan-15 19:29:23

Just getting details for you, will pm them as soon as possible.

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