Back in February we bought last minute tickets to Barcelona and crossed our fingers for blue skies and sunshine. Neither of us had been before and we had no idea what to expect. We arrived late on a Friday night and promptly went to bed. Cheers to traveling with a toddler! We woke up on Saturday well-rested (relatively) and bright eyed – ready to discover the city.
El búho on the Avinguda Diagonal
We knew Barcelona had a beach, a big crazy unfinished church, sangria, paella, cava and tapas. Oh my Gaudí! We were blown away by the whole city. So much so that I can’t do our long weekend justice in just one post. So consider this part one! I’m saving all the Gaudí bits for part two.
Walking through Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf
While Paris might have a more well know Arc, Barcelona has really impressive one as well. And the rows of palm trees lining the Passeig de Lluís Companys could not have been a more welcome sight for these Londoners. The lovely pedestrian boulevard leads to the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella. Which is where we discovered a large and very colorful Latin dance festival was taking place. I couldn’t help but stop and take a picture of this trio.
From the Parc we made our way down to the beach in search of paella and sangria. It was pretty touristy and most foodies would probably disapprove but we couldn’t help ourselves. So we grabbed at table at Xup Xup and indulged. The sun was so bright we actually felt hot – in February!
Paella and cava for mama. No coats or sweaters needed.
After our sunny lunch we walked along the boardwalk of La Barceloneta and enjoyed the sea.
And we all touched the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. Hopefully not the last.
Henry loves the sand
After the beach we headed back into the older medieval parts of Barcelona, El Born and the Barri Gòtic. We loved going from the bright sunny beach to the old narrow cobblestone streets in just a block or two. Barcelona really does have the best of both worlds.
Barcelona Catedral at Twilight
Inside the medieval Catedral
Colorful flags and laundry in El Born
Old water fountains in El Born
But the best thing about visiting Barcelona with a toddler were all the playgrounds. You can find them everywhere, tucked away in little squares and along the boulevards.
We absolutely loved this city and I hope we get to go back again soon!