Let me introduce you to Christine. This beautiful woman blogs at Adventure, Baby!, where I particularly love the travel guides that she has written for New York, Singapore, Barcelona and London – all with families in mind. So useful! Plenty of good stuff about entertaining the kids in Sydney too. Particularly if they’re partial to ice-cream or nutella donuts! Mmmm yummy! Spain is one of the few countries in Europe that I haven’t been to, but I have my eye on it because so many Mediterranean cruises leave from there. And if we love our Disney Caribbean cruise as much as I think we might, then Europe will be next on the list!
Barcelona is a place on most people’s travel bucket lists. Usually, however, it’s on a list for adults travelling sans kids, rather than a place you’d bring your preschoolers for a relaxing break. It turns out, however, that Spain is a fabulous destination for families to visit, for the 9 reasons below.
1. Spain is cheap
The Euro is not usually in an Australian’s favour, but Spain is quite cheap right now, making it an affordable European option for families. A croissant and coffee will set you back about 2 Euro.
2. It’s cosmopolitan
Barcelona is so easy to get around and communicate with people. Tourists are very welcome and most people speak at least a small amount of English. On the reverse side, it’s also very easy for kids to pick up bits of Spanish even during a short stay. My almost four-year-old left Barcelona happily greeting everyone she met with a big, cheery “Hola!”.
3. Lots to do
Barcelona is packed with fun things to do, all within a short subway ride away if not in walking distance. From beaches to mountain tops, there’s no end of ways to occupy your time without needing to travel even further afield.
4. Easy to get around
The public transport system in Barcelona is great – fast, easy to use trains take you all over the city as well as to destinations making for day trips like Montserrat, the monastery on a mountain top.
5. It’s a culinary adventure
There are lots of new foods for kids to try without it being too “foreign” for picky eaters to try. Tapas-style dishes are a great way to encourage kids to try the local food. Favourites for us included Spanish omelette and paella.
6. Sangria is available all day long
It’s totally acceptable (you might even say, encouraged) to drink Sangria with lunch and dinner.
7. Gaudi architecture
The main reason most people want to visit Spain is the amazing buildings and sculptures by Gaudi. Barcelona is an amazing place where many of these works of art are in parks or buildings that are very kid-friendly. Casa Batllo, for example, one of the most popular Gaudi sites, has a video guide that has been adapted to let people of all ages enjoy their virtual reality experience.
It’s easy to strike a balance between entertaining kids and adults when you have the option of nearby beaches at your disposal.
9. Great climate
Barcelona has mild winters and hot (but not humid) summers. Their average yearly temperature is a balmy 20 degrees celsius.
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So there you have it, nine reasons why Barcelona should be your next holiday with kids.
Have you been to Barcelona or another part of Spain with children?
Christine Knight is a Sydney-based writer. Her blog, Adventure, Baby!, is a guide to navigating the world and parenthood. Follow her travel, food and parenting adventures over Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.