Barcelona is one of the trendiest cities to visit in the European Union, and it’s the capital of Catalonia. Barcelona’s strategic location on the Mediterranean coastline and near the border of France makes it attractive as a tourist destination for its rich cultural heritage, creativity, innovation, gastronomy, and leisure activities. The weather in Barcelona makes it so appealing to visit all year long and even during the winter holidays when there’s less of a crowd. You will find plenty of fun activities where you and your family will be entertained regardless of a luxurious or budget itinerary.
I have been planning to visit Barcelona since 2020. In 2022, I continued with my plans to visit this destination because it’s full of history and has a unique must-see itinerary with symbolism and architecture. Barcelona was known in ancient times as Drakcelona. The story of Barcelona’s dragons is linked to the legend of St. George, or Sant Jordi. If you are a fan of Games of Thrones, House of Dragons, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, or video games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Dragon Ball, or Raid: Shadow Legends, you will find exploring Barcelona a Deja Vu kind of place to visit, like a dream come true.
You can plan ahead of time for each activity you are interested in to avoid long lines, and you will find more time to explore the city with your family. The first day we arrived, we explored the town as we walked to our hotel, which was a lot of fun. Compared to other larger European cities, we found Barcelona exciting because it’s compact and easy to get around. The public transportation network allows users to combine different forms of transport on only one ticket. An excellent underground urban network connects this city, and the public bus network is impressive. Besides the remarkable funiculars and subways designed to travel on hilly terrain, the modern tram service is entertaining, pleasant, and visually enjoyable. We enjoyed the public transportation in Barcelona; taxis are accessible everywhere at accessible prices.
We stayed in two hotels in Barcelona, and we also traveled to Majorca, one of the Balearic islands, which is a Sun-kissed archipelago. I recommend staying in a hotel with the most fantastic buffet with a delicious Iberic breakfast, which has a lot of variety such as different meats like chorizo, salami, serrano ham, etc., as well as cheeses, eggs, fruit, vegetables, and a variety of delicious pastries.
Did you know that most people speak two languages? Spanish and Catalan. Barcelona’s youthful atmosphere makes it attractive to young tourists with incredible day and nightlife. The first thing I planned was a romantic evening with my husband with Flamenco, tapas, and sangria. There are plenty of places in Barcelona with excellent Flamenco shows, and it was so delightful during the holidays. Barcelona is one of the best party cities in Europe, especially during summertime; My husband and I strolled one night to explore the nightlife. People in Barcelona party very late. We went to two fun bars, Especiarium Bar and Dr. Stranvinsky (these two bars are unique, and you must visit them when you travel to Barcelona, both have great exotic cocktails out of this world). We ended up in a little nightclub for a while, but next time we need to go to the famous Razzmatazz.
Traveling during Christmas, one can see Catalan culture is very interesting. We learned about Caga Tio – a Christmas character translated as the “poo log,” I know it sounds odd, but it brings presents to the Catalan children by a friendly log pooping the gifts instead of Santa. Defecation has long been linked to everything from good luck to prosperity to good health. Nowadays, they have collectible defecating figurines in many gift stores that range from celebrities to politicians as part of the tourist attraction.
It would help parents to discuss with their kids what kind of activities they would love to be involved in. I booked a bike tour, a Sunset Jazz Catamaran in the Mediterranean Sea, and an interactive cooking experience for Paella and sangria. The bike tour with Fat Tire Tour was a remarkable outdoor experience because it was very informative. We got the chance to learn about the architecture and history and the opportunity to meet other Barcelona travelers. A bike tour is so fun in Barcelona because you get to see more in less time. My teen suggested the Sunset Jazz sailing experience, and It was indeed outstanding to enjoy the mediterranean sea with the view of the Barcelona skyline. The live music was memorable and, with pleasant jazz melodies so relaxing, perfect for enjoying if you are alone, on honeymoon, or in the company of the whole family with a cocktail or snack on board. I highly recommend an extraordinary experience by the sea if you visit Barcelona any time of the year. The cooking class is a must-do experience if you visit Barcelona with your whole family. The chef took us to La Boqueria Market to buy fresh ingredients, the Paella and sangria were so delicious, and we connected with other adventurous travelers and families.
We visited the spectacular Montjuïc mountain. There’s a lot to do at this location, including a lot of places to visit, from palaces, pavilions, parks, botanical gardens, sports stadiums, exhibitions, and much more. This mountain is the most famous hill in Barcelona. We visited the Pueblo Espanyol and Montjuïc Castle, and to get to these two locations, we took the super modern Teleferic de Montjuïc.
La Sagrada Familia is Gaudí’s masterpiece. It was ranked “Europe’s Top Must-Visit Tourist Attraction,” and it is the number one attraction why many people visit Barcelona; you must buy the tickets in advance. The exterior is as astonishing as the interior. This neo-Gothic architecture has been under construction since 1882. La Sagrada Familia is a Unesco World Heritage site. The symbolism of this structure has many visual elements inspired by nature; you don’t need to be religious to visit and appreciate this iconic place. We also visited Casa Batilo, another UNESCO world heritage site in Barcelona, which is a house designed by Antoni Gaudi and considered to be one of his masterpieces.
We also visited a new Museum in Barcelona called “Moco Museum,” which has reached a lot of attention in Amsterdam with contemporary and modern art from recognizable artists like Keith Haring, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami, and many other talents. It’s worth it and fun to visit this museum.
The gastronomy in Barcelona is unique and different from other parts of Spain, and it’s a dynamic combination of tradition with various influences from other cultures. If you are a foodie like my family, you will find one of the most extraordinary culinary experiences in your life; from quaint tapas bars to world-class fine-dining restaurants, bustling markets to local wineries, you need to avoid the tourist traps and seek out the authentic foodie experiences in Barcelona. We visited many restaurants but had great experiences at Ole Mallorca and the best tapas at the famous Cal Pep. Next time we visit Barcelona, we plan to have a food tour.
If you visit Barcelona, you must have day or weekend trips to explore the mountains, monasteries, beaches, and beautiful historical centers. I was planning to visit Monserrat, which was on my bucket list, but my teen boy was getting overwhelmed, so we’ll save it for the next trip. We did visit Girona, one of the filming locations of Games of Thrones. Many streets and buildings served as places in Braavos and King’s Landing, and the monastery’s interior was used as the Citadel in Oldtown.
When you travel with kids of any age abroad, you teach them about planning and organizing. You are also teaching them about happiness and helping them to explore their values and perspectives by exposing them to other cultures. Traveling for the whole family is an enriching experience, and the memories are priceless, especially after the pandemic. We realized that creating great memories with our loved ones is essential because time has gone by so fast. I know shortly, my son will go to college, and it will be more difficult to travel together in the future.
My family got sick after we came back from our trip from Covid. We are all recovered now; I was the last to get the virus. The fatigue was so real I wanted to feel 100% before publishing my blog. I took a break from social media, and it took me three years to finally get this virus for the first time.
My blog helps to guide your family to plan your trip to Barcelona. Feel free to reach out to my Instagram @yenismonterrey if you have any questions!