Spain – Barcelona

 

Barcelona!

Parc Guell

Barceloneta – Beaches!

Magic Fountains

Best Things to Eat

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Country:Spain City:Barcelona  
Barcelona is one of the most fabulous cities in Europe. With a great public transportation system, fabulous beaches with cityscapes, awesome playgrounds, and plenty of interesting and I’d say even kid-friendly architecture, we at HFMT think that Barcelona is one of the most kid-friendly places to visit in Europe that you will remember forever.
Sagrada Familia Cathedral PlaygroundsAfter (before…or during…) a Sagrada Familia visit, you HAVE to check these playgrounds out. They are awesome. I say they – there are multiple ones!!! Check out BOTH sides of the cathedral – on the east side of the cathedral, they have one area with a bunch of different things. But also the west side has a couple of different playgrounds that are geared to more specific ages. All are typical REALLY COOL European playgrounds – that is, a little more adventurous and unique than American ones, which all seem to have the same things. Your kids will seriously never want to leave! And you won’t want to immediately, since you’ll be busy trying to take pictures of them with one of the coolest-looking buildings in the world right behind them. Then you can sit down on a bench and relax. The metro stops right at Sagrada Familia so these are really easy to get to.
Sagrada Familia Cathedral (http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/)Days / Hours: November to February9 am to 6 pm March9 am to 7 pm; April to September9 am to 8 pm; October9 am to 7 pm; December 25, 26, January 1 and 6 – 9 am to 2 pm

Adult Cost (30-59 yrs) : 15.00

Adult/Child Cost (11-29 yrs) : 13.00

Child Cost (0 – 10 yrs): FREE. You will need to get a ticket for them, but there is no cost to the ticket. All children must be accompanied at all times by an adult (as if you’d leave them there 🙂 )

Tips – Admission/Line/Extras: I would recommend you buy your tickets beforehand on the website. You’ll need to know the date and time of when you plan to enter the cathedral. You can get tickets online from the day of to about a few months in advance. They’ll then e-mail you the tickets that you can either bring electronically or print out. The line is not too bad as the tickets are all timed. You can pay for extras – an audioguide, museum guide, or a trip up the tower. We put a premium on saving money, so instead we get the basic purchase and then read up before, bring a downloaded Rick Steves’ podcast, rely on signs, etc. to figure out what we’re looking at –  it’s really hard to do anything too elaborate yet keep track of kids. There’s a lot here though folks, the cathedral is huge and filled with symbols everywhere. Might be worth it here.

Tips – Refunds – Oh and this is cool – you can get a refund for the tickets if they are unused – you do have to show up at the cathedral and present them within 30 days after the date of reservation. This is pretty cool, I think – you can be ready to tour the Cathedral’s interior but cancel if you decide not to.

Free Wifi? I couldn’t find any when we were there in the summer of 2017. Most churches don’t offer this…

Bathrooms – Yes, free.

Strollers – Parking? Easy of use? Allowed inside? No no and no. They didn’t design this castle with stollers in mind, I guess that wasn’t the priority back in 1000 AD.

Outside food allowed inside? Nearby food options: I’d feel ok bringing snacks in, but I’d go outside to find a place to picnic.

Dress Code: While not completely finished, the cathedral is a catholic church, which is enforced; like every other catholic church, the dress code includes no see-through clothing, tops must cover shoulders, no plunging necklines or exposed backs or bellies, and shorts and skirts must come down to at least mid-thigh. I’ve seen both men and women turned away; although I didn’t see it when we went, I wouldn’t even put it past a zealous guard of not letting your kids in, so don’t risk it, make sure you’re ready.

Is it worth it? The exterior, ABSOLUTELY. See the playground section below. It’s so big and so tall that your head will hurt while looking at it, but it’s so cool. Your kids will like finding weird designs and things on the outside. This is a highly sketchable exterior,  too, although there is so much they might have trouble deciding which part to draw. As for the interior? It is amazing. Do you have to go inside with the kids??? Not necessarily. Use your judgment, it will depend on how old they are, their personality, if you’re going back to Barcelona without them, things like that. If you think you might, buy the tickets, knowing that you can always return them.

Beach Showers, waves, cityscape behind…
Montjuic Magic Fountains – We got a tip from a family member that when we visited Barcelona, we NEEDED to take our kids to the light and music show at the fountain show. I was a little skeptical – our hotel was on the other side of town, we normally bring our kids back to the hotel before it was dark outside. So glad we went – my 5 year-old daughter keeps talking about the magic fountain show and the perfect music and how great it was and I’m sure yours will too. This was one of the moments I wanted to freeze in my memory forever – my kids holding hands and dancing around in a circle to a beautifully themed playlist of music and beautiful colorful fountains playing along.

Days / Hours:   (October to April) –  Fri & Sat every 30 min from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

(May to September) –  Thu, Fri, Sat, & Sun every 30 min from 9:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Cost: FREE

Tips – During the summer, it does get pretty busy. I’d recommend bringing some snacks and having a little picnic while you wait for the show to start. There will be lots of people so that makes it fun to people watch.

Location – Pl Carles Buïgas, 1. If you’re taking the Metro, the closest stop is Plaça d’Espanya and it’s a 15 minute or so walk from there. I was super nervous about being lost while going there, but it’s really easy – follow the crowd toward the big building (the National Museum of Catalan Art) on a hill. You’ll go up and down escalators to go over streets near the fountains but you really can’t miss it. If you check it out early it also gives you the opportunity to find the best vantage spot. Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder here – we’ve either been or talked to people who have sat from the very top of the stairs down right next to the fountains and there’s really not a bad spot as long as you don’t have people right in front of you blocking your view.

Strollers – It gets pretty crowded during the summer so strollers are a little more difficult but still doable, if you want one.

Bathrooms – There are bathrooms/changing rooms in the National Museum, but that involves a trek around the entire building.

Parc Guellsssss

Days / Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 17:00

Adult Cost: FREE FREE FREE Child Cost: FREE FREE FREE (donations welcome)

Tips – Line: We were there on a busy tourist day in the summer….and we did not feel crowded in the slightest.

Free Wifi? Yes!

Bathrooms – Free and there were baby-changing stations on pretty much every floor.

Strollers – We could have used our double stroller everywhere here. Very easy and convenient, elevators, ramps, everything. You could leave a stroller in the cloakroom if it folds up enough but I’d just take it with you.

Outside food allowed inside? Yes, you can eat them in the Group Room in the Entrance Hall as long as it hasn’t been reserved. We ate some snacks in the entrance hall and were not questioned. Nearby food options: The museum has a fun café overlooking the main gallery.

Is it worth it? I think so! At HFMT our philosophy is not to over-museum kids, but the child-centered exhibits, free cost, and pretty central location makes me think it worth a couple hours of your time.

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 Places to Eat – Lots of places to eat. If you’re walking around in the late afternoon/evening, I would recommend Bene’s – http://benes.co.uk/ It’s the best fish and chips place in Edinburgh. My kids LOVE FISH AND CHIPS.Also, while you’re walking down the Royal Mile, don’t forget to stop by the Fudge Kitchen. Fudge. Free Samples. http://www.fudgekitchen.co.uk/ Last time we caught them at the right time and got to watch them make the fudge – my kids that was awesome. The staff was super friendly, they have fun flavors, and we bought a big chunk to take with us for our picnic on the Salisbury Crags later that day, it was our reward for getting to the top 😛