A day trip to Girona | the beautiful little city in Catalonia

Girona is situated only 100 km (62 miles) north-east from Barcelona in Spain. It’s a 38-minute train ride from Barcelona with the high speed train, arriving directly in the center of Girona. Despite all those practical advantages and many recommendations from my friends , it took me almost 3 years before I decided to visit Girona with my kids.

When you are walking through Girona you might notice a fair amount of Catalan flags and yellow ribbons which is the symbol of the Catalan independence movement. The Catalans have many quirky customs and tradition which are very different from the rest of the country. The most iconic tradition is the “Els Castells”, or human tower. It represents solidarity and team spirit among Catalan people. To complete a tower, a child of the team climbs up to airy heights of more than eight meters. The experience of watching a team of castelleres forming a tower is quite breath-taking.

Catalans are fascinated with poop! One of the custom is the Cacaner, which means ‘the shitting one’ in Catalan. This porcelain figurine is placed in the Nativity scene during Christmas. It is a part of many kids’ favorite tradition of finding the hidden figurine. You can find all kind of different figurines representing well known personalities like Emmanuelle Macron, Lady Gaga or Donald Trump with the pants down and …

Crisscross the eleven Bridges

Girona’s old town is car free which makes it very pleasant to visit and stroll around this part of the city with kids. When you arrive at the Plaça de Catalunya you will see the Onyar river, separating the old from the new town. Girona has eleven puentes, each with a distinctive style and perspective on the city. The Pont de Ferra is the most famous and photogenic, made of rust red iron by the french architect Gustave Eiffel (yes, the one who built the Eiffel Tour in Paris).

When you are crisscrossing the bridges you have a beautiful view on the brightly painted patchwork of houses overlooking the Onyar river. The color swatches from yellow to deep orange or brown is a result of the work of two Catalan painters, Enric Ansesa and Jaume Faixó.

If you want to enter one of the houses over the Onyar river, you can visit the family home of architect Rafael Masó. It is one of his most important work and open to the public.

Casa Masó | Bellesteries, 29 | Girona

Walk the Roman City Walls

To enjoy the best view of the city you should climb up the “Passeig de la Muralla”, Girona’s old city wall. Located east of the Onyar River, the wall spans around 3 km and has seven towers. We started our visit with a walk through the beautiful Jardins de la Francesa which is situated behind the Cathedral. From there you can climb up the spiral staircases and start your walk along the wall with a beautiful view on Girona.

We would suggest avoiding the afternoon sun as it can get really hot in Girona during the summer month.

Tip: Don’t forget to bring suncream, sun hats for your kids and a bottle of water!

Get lost in Girona’s Old town

The Old Town is the most picturesque part and has the majority of places of interest. It’s a small area and you can walk easily from one sight to another. It’s a magical part of the city with labyrinthine cobbled streets, lined with stone buildings from Girona’s medieval past.

Put away your map and let your kids guide you and chose the next direction to go. We are sure you will come along some beautiful unexpected places, hidden gardens and small patios you would never have found following the map.

Girona has a rich history and hosts some interesting museums and historical locations that can help you to understand what shaped Girona, its culture and its people.  

The Museum of Cinema:

A real paradise for cinephiles. This museum exhibits Tomàs Mallol’s valuable collection of pre-cinema pieces, from the first moving images from shadow theatres to today’s cinema.

Museum of Jewish History:

The museum is actually housed in an old synagogue, and gives visitors a great in-depth look at the culture of the Jews in Catalonia, and in Girona itself. 

Museum of Archaeology:

It’s located in the Monestir de Sant Pere Galligantsis, one of the most notable examples of Catalan Romanesque architecture from the 12th century.  The museum contains materials found during archaeological excavations at various sites in the province of Girona, dating from prehistory to the Middle Ages.

Museu d’Art:

Girona’s Art Museum is a must for Romantic and Gothic Art lover.

Climb up the Cathedral stairs

You can notice characteristics of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles as the cathedral combines architectural styles from several periods and was built between the 11th and 18th centuries.

If we counted well, we climbed up over 90 stairs to the top.  If you are a righteous person, you will count an even number of steps, and if you are a sinner, the number of steps will be odd. But even in this case you should not worry as there is another popular belief, according to which each step up the stairs removes one of your sins!

A city for all Game of Thrones Lovers

I never really managed to finish a Game of Throne saison. But I can completely understand that Girona has been selected as one of the top location for the famous tv show, mainly for the season 6. You can find awesome locations and hidden places around the old town and the jewish quarter, taking you back into a sober mid-century mood. We visited (not on purpose) several “Game of Thrones” location like the stairs of the Cathedral de Girona or the Arab bath which was built in the 12th century.

The Arab bath | Ferran el Catòlic s/h | Girona

Enty price: 2 Euros

You can check out this article if you want to do your own self-guided Game of Thrones tour.

Restaurants in Girona

  • El Celler de Can Roca is THE food place in Catalonia and has gained a worldwide prestige after winning the World’s best Restaurant title twice. The three Catalonian brothers who grew up locally with a love of Catalan cuisine. Joan, a chef, Josep, a sommelier and Jordi, a pâtissier have combined forced to create an experience that is authentic to the core. But if you’re a foodie, and have a special celebration coming up, there’s no place I can recommend more highly.

El Celler de Can Roca | Carrer de Can Sunyer, 48, 17007 Girona

  • And if not, there’s always the off-shoot ice cream shop in the heart of Girona, Rocambolesc Gelateria.

Rocambolesc | Carrer Sta. Clara 50 | Girona

  • La Fabrica is a nice place to take your lunch when you in the old town. Former pro-cyclist Christian Meier opened this coffee shop and lunch place together with his wife.

La Fabrica | 17004, Carrer de la Llebre, 3 | 17004 Girona

  • Bionèctar is a bio restaurant in the center of Girona with a small concept store.

Bionèctar | Carrer D’en Francesc Eiximenis, 8, 17001 Girona

Hotels in Girona

HOTELS/APPARTMENTS

Hotel Nord 1901 Superior

This family-run hotel is only a 5-minute walk from the Cathedral and offers a nice garden terrace with a small swimming pool to relax after the city visit.

Price per night from 150 Euros for a double room with extra bed.  Click here to check the prices and availability.

Alemanys 5

This beautiful and typical stone house from the sixteenth century was restored recently. The Alemanys 5 house can be rented as a single large home (5 bedrooms), but it can also be divided into two independent apartments: El Badiu (3 bedrooms) and El Jardí (2 bedrooms). Click here to discover more.

Bed & Breakfast Bells Oficis

The charming 19th-century town house is very well situated in Girona’s old town. It’s the cheapest on our list with prices from 80 Euros. Click here to check the prices and availability.

AIRBNB

A historical Appartment with a vintage touch | A perfect combination between contemporary modernity and early 20th century architecture. The apartment has great tranquility, natural light in all rooms and beautiful views. It has 3 double bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen, living room and balcony. Click here for more information.

Great appartement with a huge terrasse | It’s a spacious and very bright appartement, with large windows to the pedestrian street, well equipped kitchen, two cozy and spacious double rooms and a bathroom. You can enjoy the beautiful views of the “Barri Vell” from the sunny roof terrace. The building is part of the Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

If you love apartments but aren’t a fan of Airbnb, then follow this link to find lots of other options.

HOTEL OUTSIDE GIRONA:

When you have the chance to stay a couple of days longer in Catalonia, we can recommend the Eco Country Hotel Mas Pelegri.  The hotel is set in the countryside with beautiful views over the Garrotxa volcanic national park and close to the lake Banyoles.

Hotel Mas Pelegri | Serinyà | Girona (Outside Girona, 40 Minutes by car)

PRACTICAL FACTS

Girona Airport:

The Girona Airport is only a short 20 minutes taxi drive from the city centre. The price is around 30 Euros. Alternatively, the airport is serviced by several local bus routes – see here for further details.

Barcelona Girona Train:

Girona is a great day trip when you are based in Barcelona. You can book the high speed train easily online on renfe.com which takes you in only 38 minutes from Barcelona Sants to Girona. You have trains every hour in both directions. The ticket price is depending the day and hour of your trip and costs between 10 and 30 Euro (one way). Children under 14 years will get a 40% discount and kids under 4 years can travel for free.

Costa Brava:

Girona is only a 45 minute drive away from the Costa Brava. When you are staying a couple of days, we can recommend you the lovely cost village Begun or a visit to Cadaques and the Dali Museum.

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20 UNMISSABLE THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA WITH KIDS

A WEEK-END IN GRANADA

20 unmissable things to do in Barcelona with kids

Barcelona seems to find its way onto most people’s itineraries… and for good reason. It has a vibrant food scene, fantastic art and architecture, great Mediterranean weather and beautiful beaches. And it’s simply a great destination for a family trip!

With my local insider’s knowledge, I help you to plan your trip wisely, so you won’t miss out on the essentials. Barcelona is a fantastic city but usually gets very crowded during the summer months. Many sightseeing places and the city center get packed with people and you’ll have better to keep away from those places during peak season (July/August). I have listed for you my top 20 Barcelona highlights providing a perfect mix of “must seen spots” and hidden places known only by locals.

In the map below you can find our best addresses and itineraries of Barcelona.

1. SPEND A DAY AT THE BEACH

We really love Barcelona during the off-season, when beaches are empty. Already in March the temperature is very pleasant and you may have a nice walk and lunch at the Barceloneta beach. If your kids are old enough to ride a bike, enjoy a cruise along the beach in direction of the Port Olímpic. The restaurant close to the beach are a great to have lunch and the kids can play at the beach.

During summer months, beaches in Barcelona  are always packed with endless people and are really and crually lacking. If you want to spend a relaxed family day at the beach, follow the locals and head to one of the beaches near Tarragona, called playa de la Roca Plana” and the Cala Fonda” (called Waikiki Beach by the locals). 

To get there you need to walk 20 minutes, so we recommend it only to families with older kids. But its definitely worth the effort and you will feel like at the Costa Brava or in Menorca.  Dont forget to pack enough water and food for the day (there is no bar/restaurant around).

 The easiest way to get there is by car. You have many car rentals in the center of Barcelona, like Avis or Europecar. The price for a day rental is around 40 Euros depending to the season.

Park your car near  La Mora Beach in Tamarit (Tarragona). This is the closest place where you can park. Then its a 20 minutes walking to the Roca Plana” beach or 30 minutes walking to Waikiki beach.

Check out the itinerary in our map below.

2. Sagrada familia, park güell, casa vicens – visit Gaudí’s incredible work

The architecture in Barcelona makes this city unique. Its wide range of modern and traditional architectural style, standing side by side throughout the city, is creating a beautiful balance between old and new. Antoni Gaudí is Barcelona’s most famous architect and has given the city some of the most incredible and distinctive buildings. He worked on all his creations until the smallest detail, integrating into architecture a whole series of hand-crafted works of which he himself mastered the techniques to perfection: ceramics, glassmaking, ironwork, carpentry.

His most incredible and famous work is the Sagrada Familia. The construction still started in 1882 and is actually planed to be finished in 2026. Here you can watch an impressive 3D video on how the Sagrada Familia will look once finished.

  • Better to buy your tickets online to avoid long queues. You have different ticket option and guided tours which you can book directly on the official website.
  • The Sagrada Familia opens at 9 am everyday and it’s surely when there is the least number of people. 
  • If you are planning to go on top of either of the towers, keep in mind that children who are less than 6 years of age are not allowed.

3. Stroll through the narrow streets of  Gothic District

The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, is a dense web of historic buildings and shady atmospheric squares located between Las Ramblas and Via Laietana, and has formed the central part of the Old City since Roman period. The Gothic District is full of character but also is one of the most touristic aeras in Barcelona and can get very crowded during the high season in July and August. Nevertheless, it is a nice district to stroll through the very narrow, winding streets and explore the amazing medieval architecture.

Some of the classic sightseeing spots in the Gòtic neighborhood are the Portal del Bisbe (Bishop’s Gate), the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia, Plaça Reial or Plaça de Sant Jaume.

Here are our top picks for the Barri Gòtic:

Eat/Drink: The Gothic District is a very touristy area and definitely not the place where you find the best restaurants of Barcelona, most of the restaurants are tourist traps or uninspiring fast foods. But if you are in the area and hungry, we recommend you 2 traditional restaurants.

Bodega La Palma | Carrer de la Palma de Sant Just, 7 | 08002 Barcelona

El 4Gats | Carrer de Montsió, 3 | 08002 Barcelona

4. Try out some real good tapas

Barcelona is heaven for all foodies and one of the world’s best cities when it comes to eating and drinking. The offer is varied and of high-quality, from the neighborhood Tapas bars that’s been around forever to the more than 30 Michelin stars restaurants.

In Barcelona kids are very welcome everywhere and eating out as a family is a huge part of the local daily life!  So let your kids discover the delicious Catalan food.

In the map below we have listed our favorite restaurants.

5. Visit one of Barcelona’s covered Food Markets

La Boquería is no doubt one of Barcelona’s most famous tourist attractions. The fresh ingredients and cooked foods available are impressive and it’s a culinary icon of Barcelona. There are a couple of well known legendary tapas bar within La Boqueria ( El Quim De La Boqueria or Bar Pinotxo) where you can eat while being surrounded by the busy market environment. If you visit during high season try to come early in the morning or visit one of the less known markets. The Santa Caterina market or the Mercat Sant Antoni are a good alternative.

6. Visit Barcelona’s great museums and expositions

In Barcelona’s museums you’ll also find plenty of collections that span from medieval period to the 1990s. Here is a list of our favorite art museums:

  • Museu Picasso – The museum features over 3,500 works of art by Picasso, one of the larges Picasso Collecion in the world.
  • Fondació Joan Miro – A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró was created by Miró himself and built in collaboration with the architect Josep Lluís Sert.
  • MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani – Every weekend, the MACBA offers an ongoing program targeted for families, which combines tours of the exhibition galleries and workshops
  • MNAC – Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – The MNAC collection includes what is believed to be the largest collection of Romanesque art in the world.
  • CaixaForum – Is one of the city’s  architectural jewels lesser known. This cultural center has 4 art expositions, an auditorium for special shows, workshop and movies for kids

We also recommend two great Science Museums:

  • Cosmo Caixa – offers an amazing experience for everyone interested in science and nature. You can see live experiments in physics, geology, biology and mathematics. The highlight is certainly the “Underwater Jungle,” a 1000 square meter greenhouse with real crocodiles and 30 meters high trees behind the ceiling-high glass.
  • Museu Blau –  The massive blue triangular shaped building is an architectural masterpiece of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. The Museu Blau features a permanent exhibition called “Planet Life”, which covers the progress of our planet from the beginning to our days.

7. Get lost in the Park del Laberint d’Horta

This is Barcelona’s oldest garden which is situated outside the crowded city center among the hills of Horta district. It’s one of Barcelona’s best kept secrets and a great spot to spend a relaxed family afternoon. The highlight of the gardens is, of course, the neoclassical-style labyrinth standing at its center. Apart from the labyrinth, the park also has a large playground, an outdoor/cafe bar, picnic areas, and gorgeous landscaped gardens to contemplate.

Entry price: 2.50 Euros (cash only)

Opening hours: December to February, daily from 10am-6pm; March and November, daily from 10am-7pm; April and October, daily from 10am-8pm; and from May to September, open 10am-9pm.

Laberint d’Horta Park | Passeig dels Castanyers, 1 | 08035 Barcelona

8. Explore the mount Monjuic

Montjuïc is a great place to escape the noisy city life and relax in the many green areas and parks. Possibilities are wide on the small mountain of Montjuïc and it is easy to find a quiet place for a family picnic. We reveal our best addresses for Montjuic here in another dedicated article.

9. Design, fashion & street food at Palo Alto Market

If you’re staying a little longer in Barcelona, ​​Gràcia has a great selection of creative activities. we recommend the ceramic

Palo Alto Project started with the idea of transforming an old factory into a space that brought studios and creative professionals’ workshops together. Today, it’s the most popular street market in Barcelona with live music, workshops for kids, fashion & design stalls and insanely good food trucks. Make sure you won’t miss it. It takes place the first weekend of every month.

Palo Alto Market | Carrer dels Pellaires, 30 | 08019 Barcelona

10. Relax in the Parc de la Ciutadella

When you need a rest from the bustling city take a walk through Barcelona’s most famous Parc de la Ciutadella.  Locals love to organize picnics here, play table tennis, practice yoga or to have their kid’s birthday parties, while tourists come to soak up the atmosphere.

11. Visit the trendy El Born District

El Born is one of Barcelona’s trendiest districts, located between the Ciutadella Park and El Gotic. It’s a very historical district in the heart of Barcelona, an old craftsmen area in the past. Nowadays, it’s filled with nice restaurants, trendy bars and concept stores. It’s also home to some famous places as the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona’s most stunning concert hall or the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.

Here are our top picks for El born:

Eat/Drink:

Casa Lolea | Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 49 | 08003 Barcelona

Shop:

Bornisimo | 08003 98, Carrer de Sant Pere Més Baix | 08003 Barcelona

Tinycotton | Passeig del Born, 7 | 08002 Barcelona

Gidlööf | Passatge Mercantil, 1 | 08003 Barcelona

12. Take a Ceramic or Mosaic class with your kids

Barcelona is a great place for creative people. The city offers a large range  of courses in different artistic domains. Two of our favorites are open for parents and kids:

Atuell Ceramic | Carrer del Montseny, 45 | 08012 Barcelona | Spain – Open from Mon – Fri, 18.30 – 21h.

Mosaic Course by LÍVIA GARRETA | Carrer de Pere Serafí, 39 | 08012 Barcelona

13. Watch a movie under the stars

During summer months, the Sala Montjuic takes place in the garden of the Castillo Montjuic. This popular outdoor cinema starts always with live music. Friends and families gather together for a picnic, to listen to music before movie session begins. Don’t forget to reserve your tickets in advanced here.

14. Enjoy a swim with a view

Montjuïc Municipal Swimming Pool is located up in the mountain of Montjuïc and has one of the most spectacular view of the city. The complex also offers a pool for children and another one for babies to refresh along with the family.

15. Explore Barcelona’s most bohemian district

Gracia is our favorite district in Barcelona. It’s a very bohemian area, home for young families and working artists which has retained a village feeling. In the crowded summer months this area is a much more pleasant than the stuffed neighborhoods near the sea. We have dedicated an entire blog post on Gracia and reveal our best addresses. Find out more here.

16. Get the best view of Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the cities that has quite a few things you can only experiment here.  Like the Tibidabo Amusement Park, on top of the Tibidabo mountain or the carretera de les Aigües with an incredible view on the city. Find out more in our special Tibidabo post here

17. Have fun at a Summer Open Air or Street Festivals

There are so many things to do in Barcelona during summer! Eeach district has its own festival but the most extravagant is far and away the Festa Major de Gracia. The residents transform streets into pirate ships, rainforests and Jurassic landscapes depending of the given theme. You can find over 600 activities, from concerts to ‘sardanes’ and bouncy castles for kids.

If your kids are older and you like open air concerts we can recommend Primavera Sound or the Cruïlla Festival both located at the Parc del Forum with a view on the sea.

18. Bargain in one of Barcelona’s Flea Markets

“One man’s garbage is another man´s gold”. That´s the main philosophy of the Flea Market Barcelona, which is organized monthly in the streets of Barcelona. Here is the link for the upcoming markets: Fleamarketbcn

Barcelona’s Encants Vells is the largest second-hand market and one of the oldest in Europe. You can find everything from rare antiques, second-hand books, ornaments, cameras, furnitures and clothes.

19. Try Calçots, the Catalan green onion

Calçotada is something that is completely unique to Catalans; it is a grand celebration, a winter barbecue where the calçots are packed tight on a grill – it’s a type of spring onion crossed with leek. You peel off the outer skin and then dip them in a delicious Romesco sauce accompanied with all type of grilled meat . The Calçotada menu runs from November to April, whilst the spring onions are in season.

Here are 3 restaurants where Calçotada is served in and outside of Barcelona. Don’t go without reservation.

20. Go to see a movie in the charming cinema Verdi

The movies in Barcelona are mostly spoken in Catalan or Spanish. The Cine Verdi is one of the few cinemas where you can watch movies in the original version. It’s a small and charming independent cinema situated in the Gracia district . They have always a good selection of kids movies.

Cinema Verdi | Carrer de Verdi, 32 |  08012 Barcelona

Things NOT on our list:

Las Ramblas:

La Rambla is still on the lists of many tourist guides and travel blogs and we don’t really know why! It’s a pedestrian street packed with tourists and sellers of cheap trinkets. Restaurants on Las Ramblas are overpriced and serve low quality food. Better to stay away and to enjoy some more authentic spots in Barcelona.        

The Beaches during peak season:

From June to August, Barcelona’s beaches are over crowded with annoying tourist and the sea along is very dirty.  You won’t find many locals at the Barceloneta beach during Summer months. If you like to spend a day at the beach, go to Tarragona, Sitges, Castelldefels or the Costa Brava.   

Flamenco:

Flamenco comes from the south of Spain, from Andalusia and is not a Catalan tradition. In Barcelona, Flamenco shows have mainly appeared in response to tourist’s expectations.

Shop at Z*** & Co.:

Prices are even lower in Spain due to small transport costs but the quality remains the same, cheap & low. We prefer to buy in small local shops where you can find nice and unique designs. Check out El born or the Gracia district where you can find many local design shops.    

Check out all our best addresses in the map below (we update our maps regularely).

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Gràcia is a very bohemian area, home to young families and working artists and has retained its village feel. In the crowded summer month this area is a lot more pleasant than the stuffed neighborhoods near the sea. The district is located above Avenida Diagonal and known to be an authentic, lively residential area with small shops, tapas bars and vermuterias. Gràcia is largely car-free and perfect for a walk with kids along the narrow pedestrian walkways. The large squares, Plaça de Sol, Plaça de Vila de la Virreina, are lively meeting points. The locals meet here to drink a Copa while their children play football on the squares or paint the floor with chalk.

Casa Vicens, Gaudi’s first commissioned work, is located in the upper part of Gràcia. Hidden in a narrow street, its colorful newly renovated façade stands out among the other buildings. Casa Vicens was built in 1885 as a holiday residence for a wealthy industrial family and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. It is definitely worth a stop, not only for Gaudí lovers.

Case Vicens | Carrer de les Carolines, 20 | 08012 Barcelona | Spain

Rates:16€ for adults | 0€ for children up to 11 years | Check out the time table on the official website as entry time vary 

CARRER VERDI & PLACA DE LA VIRREINA

Our walk starts from Casa Vicens and leads us downhill past the animated Calle Verdi and three of the most famous squares of Gracia. This off-the-beaten-path neighborhood has resisted the trend towards the big brands and maintains its small streets filled with local shops, organic markets, galleries and cafés.

ORXATA & GLUTEN FREE ICE CREAM

Gràcia has one of best ice cream shops in Barcelona that offer homemade organic ice cream and Orxata. Orxata is a Catalan drink made from tigernuts. A very refreshing summer drink which is much appreciated by the locals. If you come here for lunch time, we recommend one of the tapas restaurant on the squares. Not especially for the food (you have the usual catalan tapas at a fair price) but to enjoy the lively unique atmosphere of this neighborhood.

Parallelo / We are street gelato |Carrer Sèneca, 18 | 08006 Barcelona | Spain

RESTAURANTS

In the recent years it has become a very diverse multicultural centre when it comes to gastronomy. Scrolling through the streets of the neighborhood you will find many spectacular restaurants with not only the traditional Catalan cuisine, but all kinds of offers from other parts of the world. In our map below we recommend as usual our best addresses for lunch, diner or just a fresh speciality coffee. All addresses have been checked and approved by my kids:)

Here are our top 3 restaurant tips:

La Singular (Try it out for diner)

Carrer de Francisco Giner, 50 | 08012 Barcelona |Spain

El Petit Bankok (Best Thai Restaurant in Barcelona)

Carrer de Vallirana, 29 | 08006 Barcelona | Spain

La Pubilla (Catalan food)

(I was not so sure if I should reveil this gem … but I’ll do it for you! Go there for lunch with a reservation)

Plaça de la Llibertat, 23 | 08012 Barcelona | Spain

JOIN A POTTERY COURSE

If you’re staying a little longer in Barcelona, ​​Gràcia has a great selection of creative activities. we recommend the ceramic course Atuell Ceramic. The card for 10 hours costs 65 euros (card for 5h is also available) and you can choose the day and the duration freely.

Atuell Ceramic

Carrer del Montseny, 45 | 08012 Barcelona | Spain

Open from Mon – Fri, 18.30 – 21h.

FIESTA DE GRACIA

Every year in mid-August the Fiesta Major de Gràcia takes place during one week. It is known to be the most beautiful festival of Barcelona, prepared by the inhabitants of Gràcia for several months. Don’t miss it if you are in Barcelona in August.

Info and date of the upcoming Fiesta Major de Gràcia:

https://www.festamajordegracia.cat/

Check out all our top Gracia addresses in the map below (we update our maps regularely).

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TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THE ALHAMBRA!

Do you know that feeling? You just visited a place and then you feel that you want to return? That’s what I felt after visiting the Alhambra. I was fascinated by the incredible craftsmanship, the complexity and size of the Alhambra and I felt as if I had seen only half of it.

Before our visit I prepared and read about the Alhambra in blogs and guides but it is only when you actually stand in front that you realize the size and history of this place. The first stories go back to the 9th century. Palacio Nazaries and Generalife were built in the 13th and 14th centuries under the sultans Ismail I, Yusuf I, and Mohammed V and later improved and rebuilt by the Catholic kings, always with the idea of ​​creating a paradise on earth.

The complex and long history is reflected in the different parts of the Alhambra. You can appreciate it while walking through the various building and palaces connected by paths, gardens and gates. The visit is very varied and there are always much to see and discover on the way which makes the visit fascinating for kids. You will wander from the Palacio Nazaries with its Moorish art and highly ornate interior spaces through the beautiful botanical gardens up to Generalife. Almost everywhere you have an incredible view of Granada or the snow-capped Sierra Nevada.

NASRIDES PALACES

We started our visit in the Nasrid Palaces where we had booked the tickets for the morning visit. The Nasrid Palaces are the only buildings where you have to go in the time slot indicated on your ticket.

The Nasrid palace complex is designed in the Nasrid style, the last blooming of Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula, that had a great influence on the Maghreb to the present day. You wander through the different rooms of the palaces and can admire the incredible interior with its engraved calligraphies, verses from the Koran, colorful ceramic tiles accompanied by basins and flowers. The tour leads you through the various rooms along the famous Lions Court, crossing a wooden footbridge that offers a breathtaking view of Granada, and ends in the gardens of the Myrtle Court.

GENERALIFE & GARDEN

From there, we walked along many beautiful garden towards Generalife, the summer palace of kings and sultans. The path leads you through cypress trees, myrtle hedges, orange trees and beautiful flower garden.

The essential element, however, is the water that you’ll find here in the form of many beautiful fountains and water sources. This part of the Alhambra also offers several places to relax and enjoy a picnic.

ALCAZABA

The oldest part of the Alhambra is the Alcazaba military fortress. Its privileged position high on a hill overlooking the city made it ideal for surveillance. Walk up to the top of the ancient watchtower for an unbeatable views of Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountains beyond. Beneath the towers, in the old Plaza de Armas, you’ll see the ruins of the foundations of old Moorish houses and even a dungeon!

We visited the Alhambra in November and the weather and temperature was perfect. During the summer months, the temperature in Granada can be very high and a visit might be less suitable for small children. We spend around 5 hours in the Alhambra with some small breaks.

TICKETS:

If you plan a visit in high season,  we recommend highly to buy your tickets at least 3 months in advance. The tickets are limited and quickly sold out. The best way to buy tickets is through the official Alhambra website.  With the day ticket you have access to all public areas of the Alhambra: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife. The Nasrid palaces can only be visited on the booked time (indicated on your ticket)

WE LOVE:

  • The incredible mosaics and colorful tiles of the Nasrid Palaces
  • Watching the sunset on the towers of Alcazaba
  • Walking through the labyrinth gardens of Generalife
  • The amazing view over Granada and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada

EAT/DRINK:

  • We recommend to bring your own water bottle. You can find water sources everywhere to fill it up.
  • The “Parador de Granada”, is the only restaurant in the Alhambra complex. You can find more restaurants outside the complex, but to reach them it is time consuming and complicated with children. We recommend to bring your picnic.

STROLLER FRIENDLY:

  • Strollers are not allowed at the Alhambra. You can however borrow a baby carrier for free and leave your stroller in the cloakroom / baggage storage located near Puerto del Vino.

TIPS:

  • We suggest to book your tickets for the Nasrid palaces in the morning, so you will have plenty of time to visit the other parts of the Alhambra.

We did the following tour: After the Nasrid Palaces we walk through the different botanical garden in direction of the Generallife where we spent around 1 hour.  On the way back we came along the northern wall of the Alhambra back to the starting point, the Tore del Vino. In the evening we climbed up the towers of the Alcazaba to enjoy the breathtaking view over Granada during sunset.

DURATION:

  • The average visit duration is 3 hours. With children you should count easily 4 – 5 hours.

BEST TRAVEL SEASON:

  • We recommend a visit in spring or autumn. During summer month it can get very hot which makes a visit more difficult with small kids.

HOW TO GET THERE:

  • You can get there on foot but we would not recommend it with children. The hill is quite steep to climb and there will be a lot of walking in the Alhambra.
  • Take the bus C30 (Centro) or C32 (Albaicín).

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Montefrío – The Andalusian village with the famous view

Montefrio was named by National Geographic in 2015 as “one of the ten villages with the best views in the world”. And of course…we wanted to find out if that is true!

Montefrío is about 60 km from Granada . By car you drive through a landscape of olive groves and crop fields before reaching the village of Montefrío. The massive and impressive rock on which was built the small church and the Castillo is visible from a great distance. Below are lined up the whitewashed Andalusian houses inhabited mostly by olive farmers.

We recommend to park your car near the Plaza de España, from where you can climb up to the Castillo. The walk goes through narrow streets and white houses. You will cross cats, dogs and only a few locals. It is quite a steep climb up the hill but in 20 minutes you arrive at the Castillo and can enjoy the beautiful view over the village and the olive groves. The church now contains a small history museum which can be entered for €2 (collect you ticket from the tourist office before climbing up). 

We were visiting the castle early in the morning and were the only visitors at this early hour. Most people only stop their car at the Mirador National Geographics, take pictures and continue to explore the area. But this small andalusian village definitely worth more than just a quick stop.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Montefrío is just one hour drive from Granada and a great trip for an afternoon. You can rent your car at the airport (we recommend) or take a bus from Granada

STROLLER FRIENDLY:

If you are decided to climb up to the top better take your baby carrier.

EAT/DRINK:

There is a selection of traditional tapas bars and restaurants in town and one grocery store with a nice selection of regional products. Montefrio is famous for producing both chorizo and salchichon sausages, and morcilla, which is black pudding. 

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A week-end in Granada

Granada has long been on my bucket list and I was looking forward to visit the Andalusian city which offers one of the most beautiful monument in the world, the Alhambra. It belongs to Granada like the Eiffel Tower to Paris and there is hardly anyone who leaves the city without having visited it. It’s considered the most beautiful monument of Moorish architecture and it is one of the most visited attraction in Europe.

We spend a day at the Alhambra. Check out our visit here.

Albaycín

Albaicín is one of the most beautiful areas of Granada. It is the oldest and most authentic part of Granada and is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You definitely should not leave Granada without taking a walk through Albaicín. It is known for its picturesque streets and white houses. Albaicín is located on a hill and gives you a perfect view of the Alhambra.

We started our walk at the Mirador de San Christobal  from where you have a beautiful view of the city. Here, you are at the highest point and it is very comfortable to walk downhill (and kids usually prefer) between the beautiful, white Andalusian houses. After 15 minutes walk you reach the mirador de San Nicolás, which is probably the most famous Mirador of Granada. At sunset, it attracts many tourists who enjoy the impressive view of the Alhambra.

Carrera del Darro

Our walk continues to the Paseo de los Tristes along Rio Darro. If you manage to arrive at sunset you can see the walls of the Alhambra, overlooking the paseo ,take the color red, which is a beautiful spectacle. Our walk goes further to the city center and ends in Plaza Isabel la Catolica.

*We suggest taking the bus to start the walk at the Mirador San Christobal. Bus Nr. C34 from Plaza Nueva (Ctra Murcia Stadium 47 – Col. Ave Mª San Christobal)

Catedral de Granada | Capilla Real

The historic center of Granada and the bustling heart of the city has many shops, restaurants, bars and attractions. The Alcaiceria district, south of the cathedral, originally sheltered a Moorish silk market under the Muslim domination of Granada. You can see Arab influences everywhere and it reminds how close Morocco is. You will find there many shops of Moroccan souvenirs with rather basic and cheap products. I rather recommend you to come here one evening and eat a delicious tajine or couscous. Kids love it!

In the center of Granada is situated Granada’s Renaissance Cathedral (Santa Maria de la Encarnación de Granada). After the Alhambra, the cathedral is the most important monument of Granada. With its unusual height, the cathedral is also very impressive from the inside. Right next to the Cathedral borders the Royal Chapel, called Capilla Real. Here are the mortal remains of many Spanish kings.

Tips: If you book online, you get a free entrance every Sunday from 15 to 17:45. In Capilla Real, it’s every Wednesday between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

Tapas vs Tajin

I have heard a lot about the tradition of tapas in Granada. Tapas, like flamenco, were born in Andalusia and I couldn’t wait to try some. I did not really find the quality better compared to the tapas I have eaten in other places in Spain. But there is a small difference, we liked very much! The bars and restaurants offer tapas to guests when they order a drink. With every drink comes a different tapa and several rounds of drinks means a full meal can be had. It’s probably also a reason that the restaurants are always packed and very lively with a good mix of locals and tourists.

You can find our “Best Restaurant of Granada” list on the map below. And if you have eaten too much tapas, I can recommend the Moroccan restaurants in the Alcaiceria district. As Morocco is really just around the corner, the quality of the restaurants is very good and we can recommend it. Buen provecho!

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