Barcelona is one of the most exciting cities we have visited so far on this trip. Would we go again? Yes! Would we take our 15 month old again? Yes! Did we have enough time to fully explore the city? No way, we think it would easily fill 4 or 5 days of exploring. It is a super friendly city for little ones, if a little hilly and quite spread out! You need to be prepared to walk, preferably without a pushchair and experience the busy metro if you want to go out of the city centre! But dont worry, its really reasonably priced, nice and clean and easy to use, and the city is well worth the effort!
We found a sweet little spot right on the seafront in the beach town of Cunit to park our motorhome and go into Barcelona from. This became our campsite for 3 nights whilst waiting for my mum arrived from the UK. She had come to join our little motorhome adventure for a week, it was so lovely to have her join us. We planned to leave the motorhome in Cunit for the day as we took the train into Barcelona, nice and early on an hours train straight into the centre. Easy.
For a wildcamping site, it felt pretty safe as there were many motorhomers in the carpark. It’s always a worry when leaving your ‘home’ in an unofficial campsite, but the police were doing lots of drive-bys and they didn’t seem to mind. Plus, it actually came recommended from someone at our previous site, so we were really happy with the location. And it was free. Double bonus! It’s easier and safer to not drive into Barcelona with a motorhome. It’s busy and there are tons of horror stories about motorhomes being broken into. There are some campsites around for around 30 euros a night, or this spot in Cunit was pretty sweet. We will add it to our Spain map so you have the coordinates if making the same journey.
Ethan and I had ventured on a train journey when he only just started to become a wrigglepants when he was around 10 months old, journeying from Bristol to Southampton to see family. His second train journey being the commuter train from Cunit into Barcelona and he loved it! The train ride was only 5 euros each way for a good hours journey (wow beats London prices!), although true to form our little monkey would not sit still, so Terry followed him up and down the carriages as he waved good morning to all of the passengers. He loves to wave and smile.
As the train reached it’s final destination, we jumped off and followed the commuters to the exit. We were in Barcelona! And it was sunny! I say this as we have only just started having some good weather and what better way to show off our new motorhoming life to my mum with a bit of sunny Spain!
Barcelona was everything I imagined. Cosmopolitan, exciting, friendly and with a refreshing buzzing vibe. People were on the move everywhere you looked, but not too quickly it seemed. They took their time, stopped for coffees, and read the local papers as they went on their way to work. Tall monuments and long artsty streets greeted us as we found our way to the Plaza de Catalyna for our first activity.
I always love to book a walking tour in cities so you get to see the city from a locals point of view, and it’s even better as these tours as free, and work on a pay as you feel fit basis. We chose to take the Gothic Quarter tour with Free Walking Tours Barcelona and it was just as we imagined. We journeyed through tight little streets, taking in the sights of the old town. Huge cathedrals with a fantastic history lesson all the way from Romans up to the days of Franco.
A baby carrier was definitely our first choice of transport for Ethan on this tour. It was quite fast paced, and there were steps involved. If needs be, a pushchair could work but you would need a little help along the way getting up and down. Plus the streets can get quite busy with tourists too so navigation and driving skills are a must.
Ethan did a grand job and was complemented by many for how good he was. He decided not to nap at all (obviously loved the commentary) which didn’t matter too much as we were all ready for lunch and a relax after the tour.
Travel as they grow tour rating: 7/10 – Great, informative tour if you have more than one day in Barcelona. Barcelona is a massive city, and this tour took up a great portion of our day. It was interesting, but it meant we had to sacrifice many other areas.
Next stop was Las Ramblas. This felt like the city’s main street and was filled with vendors and street entertainers galore. It’s like walking down a pedestrian street market between two busy roads. Half way down Las Ramblas is a really cool food market, called La Boqueria. It’s a huge open-air market, full of colours, scents, flavours and an upbeat energy. This is definitely not a place for a pushchair as it’s busy and buzzin! It is definitely, however, a great place to take a baby as their senses will go on overdrive! It’s a lot of fun just to walk around, but you can also pull up a stool and grab some nice local food, which is great.
After a long walk around the Gothic Quarter and taking in the city buzz of Las Ramblas, we decided to visit the Parc Guell which is situated on the outskirts of Barcelona…much further than we thought! Due to it’s location, we had to take the metro. A first for Ethan and so much fun! We picked up a 10 trip ticket for around 10 Euros, and made our way to the park.
When we arrived at the metro station the other end, I had read that the journey was around 15 minutes but little did we know how uphill the journey would be! It was so uphill that they had even installed escalators on the streets! Yes, you read that right escalators on the street! Made life a little easier for us and for Terry’s back when carrying our two stone baby in his backpack!
The park is well worth a trip. It’s beautiful, serene and definitely a long way from the hustle and bustle of the main part of the city. They have a fantastic little park too for a rest stop, and Antonio Gaudi, one of Barcelona’s most famous residents, architecture is something to be admired. Truly spectacular.
No visit to Barcelona can be completed without a visit to La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Construction of La Sagrada Familia Cathedral began in 1882 and is still underway today. This unique cathedral was designed by Gaudi for whom the word ‘gaudy’ was coined to describe things that are overly ornate. We didnt have time in our one day whistle stop tour of Barcelona to visit this magnificent building, but could see it from the Parc Guell and it looked awesome.
After a VERY long day of sightseeing and walking, we found our way back to the metro via some very steep streets once more, and after connecting with the train for the hour back to our motorhome, we collapsed into it for a well deserved rest!
So, verdict on Barcelona with a baby – do it! Be prepared for a long day, or try and take a few extra days to take things more slowly. Plan it well and choose your sites wisely as theres so much choice! Take lots of snacks, and enjoy it!