Barcelona is a fantastic city and has an all-round family-friendly atmosphere thanks to the importance that family plays in local Catalan culture. It’s a destination that everyone will enjoy, with Gaudi’s zany architecture, fun interactive museums, beaches, parks, and more. The problem here is that because it’s so famous now, it’s hard enough booking accommodation for two, especially in the peak season. So, when it comes to arranging a place to stay for a large family, it can seem almost hopeless… Don’t worry though, once you get that part sorted, the rest is simple and there are plenty of things to do, especially for families! Let’s take a look.
Why hotels aren’t an option
There are plenty of hotels in Barcelona – in fact there are hundreds – the problem is that the majority only offer rooms for two and when you’re visiting as a family you’ll want to stay under one roof together. That leaves the suites, which although expensive, can sometimes work if you’re a family of four… But what if you’re a large family, of say 6, 8, 10, or more? Or what if you want to travel with nephews and other relatives? Hotels suddenly become rather impractical!
Holiday apartments accommodate more people
Instead of a select few places that can host families of four as is with hotels, there are loads of options for places to stay when it comes to holiday apartment. That’s the case even if there are 8 of you. If you’re reaching numbers of around 10 or 12, of course there is a smaller selection, but there are still enough options available to give a varied choice!
As an example of what’s on offer, take a look at this selection of holiday apartments for large groups and families in Barcelona. The selection ranges from 6-bedroom villas in residential areas to 7-bedroom city centre flats, with places to stay spanning across the various neighbourhoods of the city.
If you need help deciding which part of Barcelona to stay in with your family, consider taking a look at this guide on the neighbourhoods of Barcelona to get an idea. For instance, it’s not recommendable to stay in the Raval area as a family.
Other advantages of apartments for large families
It’s not just the fact that everyone gets to stay together and have fun as a family even when not sightseeing. It’s incredibly expensive to keep people fed on holiday, adding up breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone. Normally there’s no other option but to eat out each day and the costs can add up quickly. At an apartment you will always have your own kitchen so you can self-cater! Grocery costs are notably lower compared to other countries, for instance France and England.
When it comes to accommodation, normally the more people that visit, the cost-per-person-per-night stays stationary, so it can quickly get more and more expensive. In most apartments though, the cost-per-person-per-night goes down when more people stay. This, in addition to various discount coupons on attractions and activities around Barcelona and insider information offered by apartment owners and agencies that is harder to come by elsewhere.
Some fun activities in Barcelona for families
Once you’ve found your perfect accommodation, you’re going to want to start planning family activities on your trip and Barcelona is full of them! One activity that makes for a great day out is a visit to Barcelona’s science museum CosmoCaixa, which in addition to having a planetarium with 3D projections (some in English), has plenty of fun interactive and informative exhibits and a mini amazon eco-system that you can walk around meeting the animals. The animals are non-dangerous… Careful though, it still rains in there! You can read more information in English like prices and hours here.
Much of the typical Barcelona itinerary is already child-friendly, offering discounts for the little ones and in others they can visit completely free. Places with free entry for children include the aforementioned CosmoCaixa (under 16), Picasso Museum (under 18), MNAC – National Museum of Art Catalonia (under 16), Chocolate museum (under 7), and Park Guell (under 7). Another free activity that will put the entire family in awe is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, a public lights and music water spectacle that will certainly create unforgettable memories. You can consult the official timetable of the show on the Barcelona tourism website.
Finally, although not free for most children but equally awesome days out are the Tibidabo Amusement Park located on the mountain that overlooks the city (it’s fun and easy to access), Barcelona Aquarium found at the city’s main port at the end of Las Ramblas, and Barcelona zoo in Ciutadella Park. There are plenty of things to do!
That’s the essentials you need to know when visiting Barcelona as a large family. There are of course other points, like the Metro, which is free for children under 4. Normally it’s recommend that tourists buy the T-10 card, which gives ten journeys for just under €10 euros shareable between users… However, families with between 5 and 10 members will use that ticket up in just one or two trips! Instead large families should consider the T-70/30, which gives 70 trips to be used within 30 days for just under €60. It works out cheaper per trip than the T-10 and you won’t use it up in one trip, but rather 7 – 10 trips depending on how large your family is.
If you’ve travelled as a large family in Barcelona, we’d love to hear how your experience was or if you have any tips of your own. Be sure to leave us a comment if you’ve already been or are planning on going to Barcelona with your own family!