Why even your teenage kids would want to go back to Barcelona.

We finally managed to find a city even my teenage daughters truly enjoyed, begging us to return. Barcelona provides the right balance of art and culture, entertainment and shopping, food scene and positive Mediterranean vibes.

During our trip to Barcelona in February, we were blessed with the most amazing sunny and mild weather. This helped of course, as I doubt we would have brought back such long-lasting memories if we visited the capital of Catalunya under the rain or freezing temperatures. Instead, we hardly saw a cloud in 4 days and we managed to wear shoes without socks, which for us, who live in a less clement climate,  meant everything.

We found a cool, metropolitan boutique hotel a few minutes from Plaza de Catalunya, Yurbban Passage, with a  rooftop pool and terrace commanding stunning views of the city and the sea, a lovely spa  with indoor heated plunge pool and organic treatments, a very well-equipped gym and a restaurant run by a Michelin star chef. From here, you can reach many sites on foot and even our rides in official taxis were no more than €10 each to cross the city. The taxi rides includes a complimentary commentary, all in Spanish, about the current political climate in Catalunya! There you go, free lesson for your kids! Uber is also available if you need to drive long-distances at a better fee, but no fun political facts included.

The roof terrace at Yurbban Passage

For kids not so much interested in art and culture and drawn more to the local Zara and Urban Outfitters shops, Fundació Joan Miró will manage to grab their attention and capture their imagination. The Museum, located up on the hills in the quiet and leafy Parc de Montjuïc, is a cool space to discover the marvels of the eclectic Spanish artist. Even teenagers who find art boring, will recognize the uniqueness and genius in Miro.   From the museum gardens and terraces, you can enjoy a 180 degree view of Barcelona beneath.

Fondacio Joan Miro

From here you can easily reach La Barceloneta, Barcelona’s beach, either  by taxi, bus or cable car. When we were there the cable car was closed for repairs, such a shame as I am sure it would have bit fun.

Gaudi’s House in Park Guell

La Barceloneta’s neighborhood was constructed during the 18th century for the residents of the Ribera neighborhood who had been displaced by the construction of the Ciutadella of Barcelona. Locals head to Barceloneta to surf, sunbathe or have a light snack. We had a fantastic alfresco lunch at a laid back and casual bar/restaurant close to the beach,  Surf House Barcelona, serving healthy; freshly pressed juices, cocktails, a rich breakfast menu including bowls, pancakes or yoghurts, freshly prepared salads, burritos, tacos, burgers and a selection of desserts including Triple Nutella (three slices of bread with Nutella!).

Park Guell

From here, you can easily walk to either one of the largest Desigual stores you can ever imagine, Maremagnum II, or for those more culturally inclined, head to Santa Maria del Mar Gothic church, whose huge pillars and vaults are jaw dropping.

La Sagrada Familia

You cannot visit Barcelona without visiting La Sagrada Familia. The unfinished masterpiece by Gaudí is still under construction, believe it or not!!! Consecrated and proclaimed ‘basilica’ by Pop Benedivt XVI in 2010, the Roman Catholic church was started in 1882 by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Catalan Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his irrefutable style,  combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms.  Prepare to be mesmerized. We entered the church at 4.00pm when the sun light was beaming through the glasswork. Nothing prepares you, the experience is deeply moving. Book your entrance tickets in advance,ce. We used a booking site called Tiqets.

La Sagrada Familia

If the weather is sunny and skies are clear, head to Park Güell, a park with an enthusiastic and colorful fusion of nature and architecture. Don’t forget to sit on one of Gaudi’s most Instagrammable benches. From here, you can easily walk down to Gracia.

Park Guell

Young teenagers may still enjoy the Aquarium, before Nemo gets old and boring as well.

Bored of Barcelona? I doubt, but just in case, take a train. An hour from the city, your kids may enjoy theme parks such as PortAventura , Ferrari Land in Cambrils or swimming with tunas in Salou!

Hungry? You won’t be left starving in Spain. Options are endless! Our favorite places:

Mediamanga, www.mediamanga.es, Aribau 13, Barcelona: gourmet Spanish food and excellent wine list. Places are very limited, reservations a must.

Mont Bar, www.montbar.com, situated next to Mediamanga, Carrer de la Diputació 220. Michelin star. Avant-guard traditional Spanish. Reserve well in advance.

Flax & Kale, Passage de les Manufactures, @flaxandkale.  Healthy, clean eating with a large selection of gluten-free food.

ChichaLimoná, Passeig de San Joan. Spectacular breakfasts!

 

Shopping:

Nuovum, El Raval, C. Pintor Fortuny 30, 08001 Barcelona. Concept store featuring upcoming Spanish designers. 

Swimming with tuna in Salou

Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande

Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande is Founder and Director at Passepartout Homes, luxury holiday homes.

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