Barcelona with Kids

While doing some research on Barcelona, I came upon a section on Traveling with Children in Spain on Wikitravel 

Toddler happiness is considered a public responsibility in Spain: in any public place people around you put every effort into making your toddler happy: whenever he or she looks bored or is crying, everyone does their best to entertain or to calm them.

Sounds like the perfect place for a family vacation. But for some reason, when my husband and I announced to our friends and relatives that we were going to Spain with 2 kids (2 years and 11 months toddler and 5 month old baby), some of them laughed in our faces and said that we will not be there for the sights but actually to stay at the hotels. Despite the negative outlooks, we still ventured out and had a blast! Wikitravel can not be more right about Spain. The city is so kid friendly that I might even compare it to Disneyland. The people of Barcelona deserves a special mention because I just couldn't believe how friendly they are to kids. When we carried strollers and babies up and down stairs of metro stations, people passing by always offered help carrying baby equipments for us. Not only am I in love with the city but with the people as well. Here are some things that made our trip memorable.

Great apartment

Eric Vokel Apartment

Tato and his beloved balcony
This two bedroom apartment was perfect for us. I love having this comfy and spacious apartment to come back to after a long day of sightseeing. It is clean and new and for a really reasonable price. We had the kids take naps in separate bedrooms so they don't wake each other up. It comes equipped with pots and cooking utensils so we were able to cook for our toddler when he's craving for some comfort food. (Comfort food for him is chicken soup with pasta and broccoli.) We just picked up some groceries from a grocery store around the corner and we were able to cook up a delicious meal. There is a balcony that my son just loves. Every morning that's where he enjoys his breakfast of yogurt and apples while watching cars and people go by. We also put the washing machine to use everyday. I can't imagine how much it will cost us if we stayed in a hotel and paid for laundry service.

The Chocolate Museum
Chocolate Museum Barcelona

I was very tempted to do an entire post just on the Chocolate Museum alone, but I stopped myself. Being a chocoholic myself, this was a must see for me in Barcelona. Since our toddler was going through a chocolate and machinery phase at that time, the Chocolate Museum in Barcelona was a big treat for him as well. He loves all things chocolate and all things that resembles machinery. A place that has a combination of both just can't go wrong. Not only did he look at all the models made out of chocolate but he also carefully examined all the machinery used to make chocolate that was on display. At the end of the visit he ate his ticket; which was a chocolate bar. In conclusion, we had one happy toddler on our hands.

The Markets
Welcome to the Candy Shop!

Even though La Boqueria Market is a little on the touristy side, I still couldn't resist the urge to shop around. I'm so glad I did! There were cold meats hanging from meat stalls, beautifully colored ripe berries, endless options on nuts and candies, many variations of fruit juices, well known tapas bars...the list goes on.

Arts and Craft Market

We browsed through a quaint little neighborhood arts and craft market on a lazy Sunday Afternoon.

The Gothic Quarter
Gothic Quarter

I looked forward to visiting the Gothic Quarter since I started planning this trip. However, I have to be realistic about how patient my kids are going to be while I explore all the museums, cathedrals and historical architecture. But thanks to my inventive and selfless husband, I didn't have to worry about dealing with the kids and was able to see all I wanted to see.
Feeding the pigeons

Barcelona Beach and the Old Port
Old Port
Tato's first time in a swimsuit optional beach, but I don't think he noticed.

There really is something for everyone in Barcelona, even for our 5 month old baby (Allie). We were in Barcelona in early September and the weather was still quite hot. Especially for Allie since she's either in a sling or on the stroller. We're usually not the type to lounge on the beach but we decided to take a break from sightseeing and to check out the beach. I found a spot under a tree near the beach to nurse Allie. She really enjoyed the light ocean breeze while she nursed. I almost dozed off myself listening to the sound of the crashing waves. The boys on the other hand are running around playing in the water, on the sand or looking for ships...doing what boys do.

Antonio Gaudi
Sagrada Familia

I didn't think Tato would be too interested in seeing the Sagrada Familia but I was wrong. He loved looking at the spires that seems to reach for the sky as well as the cranes surrounding the architecture. He's really into heavy machinery as previously mentioned. After we came back home, we asked him what he remembers from our trip in Spain, he replied: "I remember Gaudi's big building".

The Food
Paella Negra

We were walking along the beach and noticed that both kids are asleep. It was 1:30PM and the smell of fresh seafood and wine filled the air. My husband and I looked at each other and we stopped in front of a restaurant with Al Fresco seating just steps from the sea. We both knew opportunities like this doesn't come up often when you're traveling with kids. So we grabbed it and treated ourselves to a delicious lunch of delicacies from the sea.

This list is by no means all there is to do in Barcelona. But our time was limited (only 5 days), so we tried to make the best out of what we have.

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