As a family we’ve always been more into relaxing holidays – all inclusive sunny destinations are my kinda jam but recently we decided to give city breaks a go. We’ve been on a bit of a journey, hitting up 5 locations in two weeks and the first of which was Barcelona.
We were really kindly invited along to review some tours with the company Withlocals so the majority of the activities that we did were through them and I cannot recommend them enough. I will do a separate post on our experience with the company as a whole as so many of you have been asking on my Instagram and Youtube to know more about them. For now though this is a little post dedicated to our time in beautiful Barcelona!
We were only there for a short period of time – 48 hours in fact and I would honestly say that it wasn’t long enough; when we go again, both with kids and without, we’ll definitely go for at least 3 days! We didn’t go to any of the typical attractions like the Sagrada Familia or Park Guell but instead started our first day with a trip just a short 40 minute train ride out of the city to Montserrat.
I did film a vlog of our whole stay which I’ll link below but here are a few of the images and a bit about our stay!
Once you arrive at the Montserrat train station it’s a quick cable car ride up to the top of Montserrat mountain and oh my goodness the views were just breathtaking!
There was a farmers market on which has been running since the 60’s where the boys tried cheese and honey and you could also purchase some lovely jams and cakes!
We then went on a hike to the best view point on the mountain; it took us about 45 minutes and I was so proud of Jasper as he ran along the whole way, occasionally hiding in the bushes to jump out at us! Once at the the viewpoint you can see the whole monastery in all of it’s glory and despite the freezing winds the blue skies made it just the perfect day for a hike!
We then took the (much easier) downhill walk back to the monastery where the bells were ringing and we made it just in time to listen to the boys choir introduced by the monks. The inside of the church was absolutely breathtaking and the singing gave me goosebumps! As is tradition whenever we visit a church Jasper then lit a candle for Aunty Michelle and we headed back down in the cable car to catch our train back into the city.
We did Montserrat in half a day but you could definitely spend the whole day there; they have a cafe for lunch, many more hike routes to enjoy and even a cave that you can explore! It’s also a photographers dream as the architecture and nature views are just breathtaking!
After our jam packed morning we headed back to our air bnb which was conveniently located in the popular El Born district, a hive of art galleries, quirky restaurants and boutiques amongst narrow streets and quaint squares. Our apartment was part of an old mansion, tucked away from a busy street through a hidden door into what seemed like a secret magical garden.
That evening, which happened to be my 29th birthday, we were treated to an amazing meal out with one of the Withlocals hosts. We then strolled through the busy streets browsing through the markets before settling down for an early night before our flight the next day.
It was a whirlwind trip and although we did so much in the time it still felt relaxing and peaceful, especially at the top of the mountain. If you’re heading to Barcelona soon I would definitely recommend taking a trip to Montserrat, it’s amazing for all ages and really takes you out of the hustle and bustle and into a serene world!
If you are looking to visit the more touristy destinations though we are planning a trip back very soon and will be ticking off all of the must-sees, so do stick around!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next adventure … Rome!