Thinking of getting away this half term – then check out why Barcelona ranks highly for family travel…
At this time of year the sun is slowly coming out across Europe, and with its beaches, art and attractions – Barcelona is hot right now. Not literally of course – it’s about 13-16 degrees in March/April, but it reaches double that in July/August, if you’re chasing the sun.
No, Barcelona is hot because it’s less than two hours flight, the people are beautiful/welcoming, and there’s tons to do with the kids.
Having recently visited, here’s our top five family bucket-list…
If you want to encourage your child to have a new obsession (I’m personally getting sick of Thomas the Tank Engine), then a day at the zoo is all you need!
“Look Mummy it’s a monkey… baby monkey!”
Barcelona Zoo is a huge hit in the Milk Drunk house. My son loves the seals, the orange birds, the hippos and rhinos, the monkeys and giraffes. In fact he loves everything. Well everything but the Komodo Dragon, which scared the bejesus out of him. But hey that’s toddlers for you.
There’s so much to see here including a children’s zoo, dolphin display, peacocks roaming the grounds and an awesome playground.
Made with children in mind, this is a fun, educating and good value day out. It’s very accommodating for parents as well, with a dedicated breastfeeding room and lockers for the millions of bags you’ll bring!
They are big on conservation too, so it’s a great opportunity to teach the kids about the importance of preserving our environment. Start them young and all that…
Under 3s go free, children (3-12) cost 9.55 euros, and adults are 15.90 euros (please note this includes a 20% off discount at time of visiting the zoo).
2. YUM time
What is a family holiday without a bit of indulgence. Of course, Barcelona is not your stereotypical city – no, this is a city that does things with style.
Want ice-cream? The haul the family to Eyescream & Friends where they shave, yes shave, ice-cream and make it into fun creations, sticking googly eyes on it and all sorts. Still need A sugar fix? Then Chok will knock off your socks, with kronuts, donuts and cookies dipped in artery-clogging goodness (see picture).Your doctor may not thank you, but your kids will!
And finally, for the BEST tapas in town, Bar Lobo just off the heady Ramblas, takes you on a gastronomical journey of deliciousness.
3. Montjuïc Magic Fountain
Kids love a good fountain don’t they. Seek out any major city and you’ll see tons of children crowding around jets of water firing up in the sky.
Witness the magical mix of (50 different) colours offset to a musical soundtrack. And as with all things Barcelona, they thought about the environment by keeping it eco friendly by using recycled water. Bravo!
Free entry, visit barcelonaturisme.com
4. Cosmo Caxia
If your kid is the next Brian Cox, or actually even if they’re not but you need to keep idle hands entertained, then check out ‘Cosmo Caxia’. This is the biggest science museum of its kind in Europe. It’s the ideal place to let imaginations run wild. There’s lots of interactive displays, encouraging children to use their senses and learn about the world. It’s also affordable to enter, and a great way to lose a few hours learning and having fun.
Free for children – 4 euros for adults
5. Barcelona Beach
Take a stroll on the 4.2km of golden sand that Barcelona has to offer. Or, if your kid is anything like mine – jump in the cold sea, jump out of the cold sea, point at the dog, stare at the topless woman and have a tantrum where all the beautiful people play beach volley!
The fresh sea air will knock them out for the evening, allowing Mum and Dad to enjoy the local vino. There’s also a couple of cute restaurants ranging from the cute fisherman’s neighbourhood, to the high end W Hotel.
AND FINALLY… where not to go.
Well at least not with little kids. Park Guell – yes, I know it’s the home of Guadi and some of the greatest artwork and architecture known to man. But it’s set on the biggest bloody mountain, which means a lot of schlepping up gigantic hills – even less fun when you have a buggy in tow. Sure they have escalators, but half of them don’t work. And when you FINALLY get to the top, sweating, out-of-breath and with a cranky child, you have queues to look forward to. Sorry, but I’m out.
If you enjoyed this post, then check out our top travel tips with a baby going long-haul, here >>>
Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.