Barcelona is the stylish, vibrant and young city by the Mediterranean sea that everyone’s talking about! From murals in the buzzing streets of the old town to parks and museums crawling with young adults — Barcelona has so much to offer! Its art and history, unique architecture, hip shops, colorful festivals, and beachside vibe tick lots of boxes for teens. Trust us, if you have a teen, they will absolutely LOVE this city. And what better time to explore it than during the Christmas break, when (usually) the whole family has some spare time together! If you’re excited, then keep reading and check out our long weekend guide to help you plan your own family trip to Barcelona with teenagers. Here are the 5 top things you should do while in this wonderful Spanish city with teens at Christmas!
1- Walk up and down La Rambla
You should definitely check out this famous shopping street extending right across the heart of Barcelona! La Rambla starts in Placa Catalunya and stretches until the harbour and the statue of Columbus. No matter what day of the week, or what season, there are always lots of stands and pop-up food shops where you can roam around and have a look at traditional clothes, beverages, gifts to bring back to your loved ones for Christmas. Along this street and the streets in the surrounding areas there are lots of popular clothing brands like Zara and Urban Outfitters. Another place you should check out is La Boqueria, a market with the freshest products, such as fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks to keep you and your little ones going through the day.
2- Stroll some more and fill your cart
Make sure you visit the Gothic area located next to the Rambla. At this time of the year, the small medieval windy roads are decorated with festive lights and merry decorations. Another great place is the Placa Catalunya, where you can find plenty of stores and the mall El Triangle which is a great place for some more shopping. Towards the end (or the beginning, depending on where your family adventure begins) of La Rambla, you will reach the harbor. If at this point the shopping hasn’t worn you out yet, then walk further and cross the wooden bridge to reach the Maremagnum Shopping Center, a special mall with amazing views of the beach.
2- Explore Montjuic
One of the most enchanting activities you can do is to head up to the top of the mountain at the Castell De Montjuic via the funicular railway and cable cars and then slowly make your way back down by foot stopping at the romantic botanic gardens, the beautiful Joan Miro Museum, the grand 1992 Olympic Stadium and the Font Magica (which is also known as the ‘magic fountain’). If your children are old enough and you are up for a little bit of exercise, then you can, of course, opt to hike Montjuic – but make sure to pack water and snacks because it is quite a hike! Once you are up there, check out the Montjuic Castle, take some memorable, frame-worthy family pictures and indulge in the stunning views of the city! Insider tip: In the past, there have been reports of robberies after dark at the Montjuic mountain top so be wise and make sure to be off the mountain after sundown.
3-Bum around la Playa
If you are very lucky, you will get to soak in the sun at one of seven beaches in the city! Okay, maybe December is not the best time of the year to enjoy the beach, but Barceloneta is a part of the city that you should definitely have a look at! This is basically a mile-long stretch where you can rent a bike, stroll along the wide promenade, take a dip in the ocean (if you are really crazy, or simply an avid surfer that follows his/her passion no matter if sun or rain), and kick back at one of the many outdoor cafes.
Park Güell is an amazing park that included in the list of UNESCO Heritage sites in the 1980s. This place is not only a great day trip to escape the busy city and immerse yourself into a beautiful and secluded patch of green. In fact, Gaudí’s signature patchwork style of colors, patterns, and organic shapes is intricately displayed here. Kids will love exploring the area, running around and spotting the colorful works of art that so uniquely weave themselves into the natural elements of the park. For those of you that are a bit more social, you should know that the park is a great spot for selfies. In a way, the irregular, multicolored tiles decorating these imposing buildings and architectural wonders, so beautifully brought into creation by the famous Gaudí, evoke the colorful and joyful spirit of Christmas! Insider tip: if you can, buy your tickets for the park ahead. The number of tickets released every day is quite limited, especially during the Christmas period!
5-Take in more of Gaudí’s work
To delve deeper into the fascinating world of Gaudí, consider visiting the two most famous houses designed by Gaudí – La Pedrera and Casa Batllo – both UNESCO World Heritage sites! If the weather forecast says that it will be a nice day, then time your visit so that by the end of your tour, when you get to the root of the buildings, you will be just in time to watch the sunset from the top terrace. Any trip to Barcelona with tweens and older kids should include a full day immersed in the work of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona’s most famous architect, and an undisputed genius.
All of these things can be easily adjusted to your kids’ ages and preferences. The Gaudí experiences do not last more than 2 hours, so if the little ones get tired, it is quite simple to leave, because the houses are so small. There are restaurants and coffee shops all over the city to take a breather and recover from all the shopping. Overall, Barcelona is an incredible destination for this year’s Christmas holiday. Your children will not only get to taste the local food, experience the local culture and stroll around but fully immerse themselves into the Spanish Christmas spirit!