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Young family - first timers

Perth
Level Contributor
14 posts
4 reviews
Young family - first timers

Hi all,

First time to Barcelona so any suggestions would be welcomed.

We're looking for an area to stay with that 'local' feel but must still have some life about it. Our kids are still young so we're not interested in night clubs and late night bars, but would still like to be able to eat at local restaurants, open squares and have that traditional feel about it.

I've seen 2 areas that interest me Gracia and Eixample, would these be suitable for a young family?

Thanks

9 replies to this topic
Barcelona
Level Contributor
5,346 posts
1. Re: Young family - first timers

Basically any location in Barcelona should be good for a familyso it depends on what's important to you, as not all families look for the same thing. In any case, the city itself is safe.

As for the mentioned areas,

Gràcia is the name of a pretty big district but when most say it they refer to Vila de Gràcia, which is one of the 5 neighborhoods in Gràcia. It is a very nice neighborhood with great atmosphere, small alleys (in most oe the area) and plenty of young people but some areas can get noisy at night, especially during the weekend.

The Eixample is also a big district with 6 neighborhoods. It is the modern part of the city (19th to early 20th centuries) with wider streets and is one of the main commercial centers. It's a great place to stay and the safest bet for those who are not sure. try to stay close to the center (Pl. Catalunya) a few blocks north or south from Passeig de Gràcia. Another great Gràcia neighborhoods is Sant Antoni, which is also part of the Eixample..

Poble Sec is another great place to stay, it has some resemblance to Vila de Gràcia in style and character..

As for restaurants, as there are more than 10,000 bars and restaurants in Barcelona (a var is a type of restaurant, it's not a pub) you'll have no problem finding panty of them nearby wherever you stay (in the Eixample there are around 2000 of them, in Vila de Gràcia alone there are more than 400, in Poble Sec close to 300 so you'll have no problem finding a few nearby).

Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
71,344 posts
3,815 reviews
2. Re: Young family - first timers

Downtown Barcelona is the Plaza de Catalunya. Use Booking.com to screen hotels or apartments in Downtown Barcelona. A good place to stay is the Eixample, the modern barrio of the city built in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a square grid of streets.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
22,119 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Young family - first timers

My son grew up in the Eixample, as did his father before him. Noisy and polluted and busy streets, where we live so not ideal. The Sant Antoni sub-section of the Eixample is rather quieter and has a more villagey feel (and less through traffic). A friend of mine with a toddler lives in Poble Sec and is finding it convenient with little squares, quiet streets (and eg walking distance to the harbour). As a neighbourhood It is similar to Gracia in fact, but only now becoming a bit "trendy"

Alternatively consider staying near Ciutadella park and the harbour and beaches. Gracia is attractive but is away from most sights and up the hill; getting to sights is going to involve a metro ride or bus every time, which is not so great with small kids (and makes it harder to go back to your accommodation for a break in the middle of the day)

Edited: 06 January 2018, 19:51
Perth
Level Contributor
14 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Young family - first timers

Thank you all for your replies, very much appreciated.

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
236 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: Young family - first timers

Lynda,

What do you mean by “polluted”? I live in Eixample and it is shockingly clean for a city center. The sanitation people clean the streets almost daily and hose down the sidewalks regularly. In my experience it is one of the cleanest parts of Barcelona. If you mean air quality, it is quite good here according to my pollution meters (I am asthmatic and highly susceptible to air quality and check the readings daily before going out), and certainly no worse than other parts of the city.

I spend lots of time in Sant Antoni and it is less touristy than most of Eixample, but the amount of traffic and street noise is the same. It’s the identical street grid and has plenty of through traffic. But it is indeed a very nice area and quite convenient for sight seeing.

Southampton
Level Contributor
4,536 posts
188 reviews
6. Re: Young family - first timers

Check out the Museu de Xocolata, very good for young kids.

Germany
7 posts
7. Re: Young family - first timers

I'm appreciating all the helpful replies here. Will be very helpful for our trip. Thanks for the responses!

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
22,119 posts
7 reviews
8. Re: Young family - first timers

dma, yes I was referring to air quality, which is a problem with the traffic density. Our part of the Eixample certainly doesn't benefit from pavements being hosed down regularly, and unfortunately there's no rain to clean them either, although it's true that litter gets picked up regularly. I live at a major junction in the Eixample, with traffic passing more or less non stop to get across town, so the streets of Sant Antoni have less traffic compared with that, because there's not much traffic passing right through that neighbourhood (Sepulevda being the busiest street, because of the bus routes)

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
236 posts
14 reviews
9. Re: Young family - first timers

Lynda, if you're comparing Sant Antoni traffic to traffic specifically on Arago or Balmes then sure, those two Eixample streets have more traffic. But in my experience the average Eixample street has no more traffic than the average Sant Antoni street.

Regarding air quality, I walk the streets with a Plume air meter that measures pollution (since I need to be careful about exposure to avoid severe asthma attacks). The air quality in Eixample is just as good as it is elsewhere in Barcelona. In fact, due to the extra wide sidewalks, Eixample is one of the safest neighborhoods for me to walk since the exhaust isn’t right in my face. I have a terrible time in areas like Gracia which have narrow streets where the vehicles are inches from me and the exhaust fumes are overwhelming.

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