Category Archives: Barcelona with children

Papabubble Interview


After writing about the very fabulous Papabubble sweetshop in Barcelona I thought I would email them to see whether they would answer a few questions for our little blog. I sent off the email, thinking they may be a bit too busy, but hoping I’d hear back from them. In a few days I had a lovely message back from Alejandro who answered my questions while in Shanghai, spreading the word about his delicious business.

Sweetshop barcelona

So, here is some inside info on the ideas, inspirations and tastes behind gourmet sweet makers Papabubble:

1 – Who started Papabubble and what sparked the idea?


2 – Where did the name come from?


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Family Activities in Barcelona | Kids in Barcelona

Sun, fun, furry things and a whole lot more

Family Fun in Barcelona – Ideas and Activities for Kids


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Plaça Vila de Gràcia

The old and the new

Plaça Vila de Gràcia

Plaça Vila de Gràcia

As Gràcia was absorbed into the expanding ¨new¨ Barcelona of the latter 1800s, its old town square adopted a rather priapic clock tower, its most striking -pardon the pun- architectural feature, facing the town hall on its southern side.

Vila de Gràcia is very much a local square where residents of all ages and backgrounds sit out on sunny days to chat, play chess, kick footballs around or enjoy a drink at one of the several outdoor cafés. Its character has not changed much in recent years and it has a more tranquil and less bohemian feeling than other parts of the district, as it isn’t in the thick of the cosmopolitan shopping, artistic and gastronomic experience further up across Travessera de Gràcia. It is the ideal place to stop off and relax and let your kids run around while visiting this part of Gràcia.

Plaça Vila de Gràcia is only a ten minute walk from the Diagonal and the upper part of Passeig de Gràcia, and therefor not far from some of the most notable modernista houses such as Casa Fuster,  Palau Robert, Palau Baró de Quadras and Casa Terrades, the House of Spikes

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Filed under Barcelona with children, Gracia, Squares and Gardens


A street that’s short but sweet

Tucked away behind the Diagonal between Vía Augusta and the Jardinets at the top of Passeig de Grácia is this small



unassuming street with a charm all of its own. Named after the Roman orator, who people here will remind you is their favourite Spanish celebrity from antiquity, hailing as he did from Córdoba, carrer Séneca derives its charm, not from any significant architectural gem along its short stretch, but from a mix of design shops and galleries and a small theatre, as well as the nobodinoz kid art design shop and a small cosy restaurant offering tapas and light home-made dishes.

So, if you’re heading from the left Eixample towards Gràcia, you could do worse than to cut across from the bottom end of Vía Augusta along Séneca and stroll, away from the traffic, experiencing these visual offerings of contemporary Barcelona design, or even a bite to eat or a coffee, before coming out at its other end at the Jardinets in front of the modernista Casa Fuster.

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Filed under Barcelona with children, Eixample Streets, Hidden streets and passages

Even the smallest streets have their parties

Colour and kids’ play in the Eixample

Tucked away behind the Diagonal between Muntaner and Casanova is Passatge Lluís Pellicer, a narrow lane that this weekend is hosting a street party ending tomorrow Sunday.

IPassatge Lluís Pellicer Street Party

IPassatge Lluís Pellicer Street Party

The three-day event brings in families from around the left Eixample who find street entertainment in the form of an inflatable slide, bubble-making, skittles and other street games.

As you can see from the picture, this small and normally sleepy passage is bedecked these days with Catalan esteladas and bunting and is bustling with activity. Happy faces and cries of delight abound and there is a really warm atmosphere with snacks and drinks available.

Suitable for children 0-10.

With this event, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, a small tiddler of a street makes its contribution to the Barcelonese tradition of offering a whale of a time to its Eixample residents.

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Filed under Barcelona with children, Events, Street events, The Eixample

Calella de Palafrugell

The Fishing village that turned posh

Calella de Palafrugell is one of those places that largely escaped foreign travellers’ attention until well into the 60s and remained one of those hidden jewels of the Costa Brava for much longer. Even in the 90s, a travel writer for one of the London broadsheets who discovered it at the time wrote effusively about its natural beauty but wouldn’t reveal the name as he thought too many visitors would spoil it.

Port-Bo, Calella

Port-Bo, Calella

The secret is out, with National Geographic declaring it a Top 10 World Destination in 2012, but it still remains pretty much unspoilt – at least its seafront, broken up into small coves and stretches of beach of various sizes. You will no longer see the fishermen’s nets stretched out on the beach to dry and mend when the first tourists discovered Calella, or the dairy farm that stood behind the church on what was then the edge of the village, but the houses that line the front, both the more modest ones of the old fishing families and the more sumptuous mansions of the bourgeoisie from nearby towns who went to spend the summer in Calella, have been preserved. At one end of the largest beach, the Canadell, stands La Torre, a 17th century stone tower where a bonfire was lit to warn of the impending arrival of pirates and allow the villagers to retreat to the walled safety of Palafrugell, some 3 miles inland, until the intruders had sailed off with whatever spoils they could find.

A jewel of natural beauty

The village fills up in July and August, with many Barcelonese who have holiday homes there as well as tourists from abroad, so the best time to enjoy Calella and have it pretty much to yourself, with only a scattering of outsiders, is late spring and early autumn (when the sea is warmest). With its seafront streets pedestrianised, it is the ideal place to takeChildren playing at Port-Bò

children and let them run wild on the sand and rocks while you sit at one of the café terraces taking in the natural beauty and azure tones of sea and sky. And there are plenty of walks along the coastal Camí de Ronda, either towards the neighbouring resort of Llafranch and beyond to the promontory and prehistoric settlement of Sant Sebastiá, crowned by a lighthouse, or to the tiny cove of El Golfet, where you can sit on a beach in natural surroundings that you can imagine have remained largely unchanged since the time of hunter gatherers. Further along is the stone castle of Cap Roig, with its internal cloister, built by an eccentric Russian count and his English wife, who designed and landscaped a botanic garden among the cliffs that fall away to the sea. In summer it hosts an international festival that brings in performers such as Mark Knopfler or Katie Melua, as well as opera stars and some of the best known Spanish acts.

View from the Canadell

View from the Canadell

Some 10 km. down the coast is the fishing port of Palamós, where a wonderful variety of fish and seafood in the area is landed every morning to be sold in local markets and restaurants. Going inland from Calella into the Empordà, you will find medieval villages and Romanesque churches, art galleries and some of the best gastronomic experiences to be found anywhere in rural Spain. The walled town of Pals is a 20 minute drive away and Palafrugell itself has a Sunday market and a central square with a choice of cafés and restaurants where you can relax in the sunshine. And it also boasts Europe’s largest wine and liquor warehouse, Grau, where you can stock up from a huge range of wines, cavas and spirits. A further 15 km inland is the old Episcopal See of La Bisbal where dozens of shops display a treasure trove of classical Catalan ceramics as well as modern dinner porcelain that is sold around the world.

Calella has inspired painters and writers and was also the inspiration for Catalan singer-songwriter Juan Manuel Serrat’s 70s song Mediterràni, an ode to the distinctive landscape of rocky outcrops to which pine trees and cacti cling and golden coves bathed by transparent waters. It is an experience hard to describe in words, music or even images, but no visitor fails to be delighted by this gem of the Mediterranean.


Filed under Barcelona with children, Out of town breaks

Enric Granados

Running parallel to Passeig de Gràcia and down from the Diagonal to the old University, this is one of the most relaxed, leafy streets of the Eixample,  largely pedestrianised with a huge variety of pavement cafés and restaurants, interesting shops and, if you´re using a bike, a pleasant and safe ride between the Diagonal and the Gran Vía with a dedicated cycle lane in both directions, free from the fumes and noise of busy traffic.

Enric Granados

Enric Granados

Motor-free squares and gardens with children’s play areas at both top and bottom of the street and plenty of stopping opportunities along the way make Enric Granados the ideal way – especially for families – to walk or cycle between the town centre and the Diagonal.


  • Casa Sayrach (Diagonal 423, Corner of Enric Granados) – a must see! One of the last modernist houses to be built, its elegant stone-carved façade and richly decorated entrance lobby will charm you. It houses the classy La Dama restaurant. While you´re there, the adjoining house at Enric Granados 153 is worth having a look, especially for its lobby.

this block of the street is fully pedestrianised with benches, street cafés and a children’s play area

  • Enric Granados 106 (between París and Còrsega) – this building sports some intricate stonework on its façade with a riotous overhanging stained-glass galeria.
  • Enric Granados 119 (corner of Còrsega) – awarded the 1907 diploma of honour for urban buildings, this wide-fronted xanfrá edifice has impressive columns and beautifully-crafted oriel windows and galeria.
  • Enric Granados 32, 34 (betweenValencia and Mallorca) – these two adjoining houses display the attractive features of decorated façades and Catalan ironwork balconies typical of the less flamboyant bourgeois buildings of the Eixample.
  • Enric Granados 26, 24, 22  (betweenValencia and corner of Mallorca). In their own way, each of these houses represent the diverse creativity of Barcelonese architectural design, with exuberant stone-carved entrance doorways, balconies, oriel windows façades crowned with designs inspired by the modernista movement.

at the next block down you will find a small park with children’s play areas and benches.

Across the street (Aragó) you will reach the bottom section of Enric Granados with a pedestrianised area popular with local dogwalkers, with more benches and fenced-off children’s play areas, pavement cafés and a variety of restaurants.

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Filed under Barcelona with children, Eixample Streets, Parks, Sightseeing, Streets, The Eixample