Christmas days are over, but Barcelona is still a magical city for kids. Today we give you some ideas to make the most of your stay in Barcelona this Winter. Bye bye boredom!
Comic books and more
In Barcelona there is a place where you will find all kinds of comic books, videogames, science fiction and fantasy products. That is The ‘Nerd’ Triangle, an area near Twentytú with the best shops in town. Kids will love it… and grown-ups too!
Museums with kids
They are warm and full of culture, but they can also be reaaaaally fun! In Barcelona there are some museums that kids will love, such as one all about chocolate, inventions or wax statues. Read our post on Museums for kids in Barcelona!
A walk in Park Güell
In Barcelona there’s a park with the most strange sculptures and shapes you can imagine, and great views of the city. There is even a dragon there that has already become an icon of the city. A Winter morning with kids in Park Güell is a great idea!
Tibidabo Theme Park
Looking for cool roller coasters and vintage fair rides? You place is Tibidabo Park, which also features great views of the city as it is on top of Collserola mountain.
What kid doesn’t enjoy a good, nice and easy bike ride? In Barcelona there are thousands of interesting cycle routes, such as these we told you about on our post Cycling in Barcelona. Our favourite for families is the route from Port Vell to Barceloneta: always by the sea, with a bike lane and really easy.
Under the sea in Aquàrium
Although some can be quite frightening, isn’t it cool to see sharks, exotic jellyfish and all kind of sea species… just one metre away? In Aquàrium you will get to see the most beautiful, frightening or surprising sea creatures you can imagine.
Finding treasures in the city: geocaching!
Why not go treasure hunting around the city with a mobile app? This is what geocaching is about: people hide treasures all around the world, also in Barcelona, and you have to find them following some clues. A really fun way to travel with kids!
Still want more? In our post Things to do for families in Barcelona we gave you some more ideas, a few months ago. So if you are coming to Barcelona with kids this Winter, there are plenty of things to do and enjoy the city!
Yeah! We are really looking forward to New Year’s Eve in Barcelona this year because… the best New Year’s dinner is bound to take place at Twentytú! You are all welcome to come and enjoy a great New Year’s party. Are you in?
We are going to have a great New Year’s dinner, and we will welcome 2015 following the Spanish tradition: eating 12 grapes (one for each bell) and toasting with cava. How will we know when the bells are ringing? Easy: Agbar Tower will illuminate with each one! All with the best environment you can imagine: the great views from our chill-out rooftop terrace.
- New Year’s Menu at Twentytú
– Starters: Prawn Salad, Spanish omelette cubes and Serrano ham croquettes
– Main dish: Chicken thigh on sweet mustard sauce
– Dessert: Chocolate cake
And… a fantastic goodie bag, a glass of Cava and grapes to welcome the New Year! All for only 19€!
- And after our party… the night goes on!
All clubs in Barcelona host New Year’s parties of all sorts. You can either look for small parties at clubs or bars, or just go to some of the most popular parties in town.
- Are you into alternative and indie music? Go to Razzmatazz, where you’ll find a special party to welcome 2015 but with the best indie music you can find in Barcelona. And the good thing is that it is only a couple of minutes away from Twentytú!
- Do you prefer regular pop and dance music? Poble Espanyol New Year’s party is the biggest in town: 3 different areas with different styles of music, and the entry includes hot chocolate and breakfast to finish the party with a good taste. If you go from Twentytú, you will have to go by metro until Espanya station, but it is only 7 stops away!
So, have you decided yet? Come to Twentytú to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Barcelona!
Christmas has arrived to Barcelona. Have you noticed it? It is all around the street! Today we talk about Christmas markets in Barcelona and also our favourite street lights.
Christmas markets in Barcelona
As well as other European cities, Barcelona also holds some really amazing Christmas markets, though respecting Catalan traditions. So you’ll find toys, nativity figures, simbombes or tambourines (traditional musical instruments) and other Christmas souvenirs that are typical from Barcelona. Here’s a list of some of the most popular:
- Santa Llúcia fair: a huge Christmas market located in front of Barcelona’s Cathedral. This year they celebrate its 228 anniversary and it is open until 23rd December.
- Three wise Men Fair: when Santa Llúcia is over and Santa Claus has left, everyone starts looking forward the Three Wise Men: three Oriental Kings that come the 5th January at night to give presents for those who have well behaved this year. In Gran Via you’ll find a huge fair with all sorts of toys and gifts. And a must: delicious churros!
- And vintage and second hand markets all over Barcelona: Remember we told you about them on our post Second hand and flea markets in real Barcelona .
Christmas lights in Barcelona streets
The main commercial avenues and streets of Barcelona are already dressed by Christmas. Have you seen how colourful and bright are the trees in Las Ramblas? And the shining lights in Passeig de Gràcia? Just go for a walk at noon and enjoy!
This year, we especially recommend going to Gran Via, where the lights are really original: each one is a small sentence about Christmas, such as “Ding Dang Dong” (bells) or “Txin Txin Txin” (glasses in a toast). And also Aragó street looks really beautiful: with a “sky” of small light bulbs as if they were little stars (below photo).
And our everytime favourite: come to our rooftop terrace and enjoy Agbar tower during Christmas!
Christmas is waiting for you in Barcelona!
It’s already Winter in Barcelona! Well, actually not yet (few days to go), but the weather is as cold as it will probably get, so here’s a couple of things we love to do in Barcelona during winter days. But don’t be afraid: winter in Barcelona means around 12ºC (53F); that’s like Spring in northern Europe!
So what to do during winter in Barcelona? There are a lot of things to do in Barcelona when the days turn colder!
Well, yes. You probably already know this, but Christmas is just around the corner. That’s why Barcelona streets are all about Christmas lights, shopping, wishes and much more. If you want to learn about Christmas in Barcelona, read our post on Christmas in Barcelona.
Winter is a great time for shopping
Whether it’s before Christmas, when everybody is looking for the best presents for the special ones, or after Christmas, with sales going on, if you like shopping (and you can afford it) this period of the year is a dream come true. In Barcelona there are thousands of shops of all kinds and sizes that will delight you. Read our post on Shopping in Barcelona.
Remember: vermouth is a great thing to do in Barcelona during all year long, even in Winter. But maybe you are not that much into cold drinks in Winter. No problem! Here are at Barcelona there are some places that master the art of… hot chocolate with churros. At breakfast or after lunch, this meal will be absolutely unforgettable. We specially recommend going to Petritxol Street, right in the city centre. Absolutely delicious.
Catalans’ favourite: calçots
What are calçots? A calçot is just a long onion cooked by the fire and eaten with a special sauce and, most importantly, with your fingers. In Catalunya, calçots are a really popular meal in Winter, but it’s much more than that. Gathering some friends at the countryside, preparing a fire (in special areas just for that), cooking calçots and then eating them. It is a ritual more than just a meal! You can also find calçots in some restaurants.
Mountains, snow and skiing
Catalunya is not Switzerland, but we have great snowy mountains too! In the north of the country, by the Pyrenees, ski lovers always find their place. Even if you don’t like ski and just prefer doing snowmen or enjoying the views, we recommend a visit to this area.
If you are going by train, Vall de Núria is a great place. Jump on a R3 train in Arc de Triomf station until Ribes de Freser. There you can get a really cute train that will take you through the mountains to the most beautiful valley you can imagine: Vall de Núria. A great place to walk around, enjoy the views and also ski and practice other snow sports!
Come and enjoy many things to do in Winter in Barcelona.
Street art in Barcelona is everywhere. If you walk around the city with no rush and your eyes wide open, you’ll see hundreds of art pieces hidden between urban furniture and buildings. And especially Poblenou, our neighbourhood, is a great place for street art lovers. Keep reading!
Keith Haring against AIDS
“All together we can stop AIDS”. That’s the claim of this mural painted by Keith Haring in 1989. You’ll find it right next to MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Beautiful, meaningful and already emblematic in Barcelona, after 25 years, you can’t miss it.
Les Formigues (Ants), a visual poem by a Catalan poet
Joan Salvat-Papasseit was one of the best poets that Catalunya has ever known. In this piece, the poem form a line of ants, that is what the poem is all about. It says: “Camí del sol / per les rutes amigues / les formigues” (On the way to the sun, through the friendly routes, go the ants). It is in Passeig del Born Street, at the corner with Rec Street.
Joan Fontcuberta’s “The Kiss of Freedom”
This Catalan photographer and visual artist has recently installed this beautiful mosaic of hundreds of photos that all together form a lovely image: two kissing mouths. The photos were sent by many Barcelona locals that wanted to be a part of it. You’ll find it at Isidre Nonell Square, right next to the Cathedral.
Poblenou Street art
Poblenou used to be an industrial district, but over the past few years it has been transformed into an avant-garde neighbourhood. Plenty of new businesses and start-ups are coming to Poblenou, and also many audiovisual and creative studios. But there are still some abandoned plots that are the perfect scenario for street artists to do their thing.
That’s why if you are interested in street art in Barcelona, we highly recommend a walking tour all over Poblenou with your eyes wide open. Totally worth it!
We have great news! We have received a very special prize! We are glad to tell you that we have been awarded with a Sustainable Tourism in Catalunya prize, in the entrepreneurship category!
These awards acknowledge the best practices in responsible tourism in Catalunya: those who struggle to minimize tourism’s impact on environment and local communities. The awards are organised by Xarxa de Turisme Responsable (ICRT Barcelona) and DESCOBRIR magazine, in collaboration with the Catalan government and Barcelona city council.
Twentytú has been recognised with the award on Entrepreneurship (projects less than 3 years old), due to the innovation in an urban environment and because it is a differential project in the accommodation business. The jury considers Twentytú to be “a source of inspiration for new projects” and an icon in new generation luxury youth hostels.
We hope to become a reference for others and spread our sustainable and respectul towards environment model to all touristic businesses. Let’s bet on responsible tourism!
What do we do to promote sustainable tourism? We were the first the first building in Barcelona intended for hotel use to be awarded the highest energy efficiency classification. We use domotics and smart technology to guarantee sustainability and energetic efficiency on our installations. Read all about it on Twentytú Ecohostel. And once in a while we talk about sustainable tourism on our blog: have a look at the posts!
Ah, and we also love cycling in Barcelona!
Eating patatas bravas is nearly a religion for many in real Barcelona. That’s why you need to know the best places to eat bravas in Barcelona, the most genuine and popular places for Catalans, not for tourists.
With a pint of cold beer or soda, but also vermouth (Remember our post In real Barcelona we prefer vermouth!), patatas bravas are the perfect appetizer at any time. But, what is it exactly? Simple: fried thick potatoes with a spicy sauce. But not really spicy compared to some Japanese or Mexican delicatessen, of course.
Avoid those bars where the potatoes come from the freezer and the sauce is just ketchup mixed with mayonnaise: those are not real patatas bravas. Here’s a list of our favourite places to eat bravas in Barcelona:
- Bar Tomás (Sarrià)
This is supposed to be the best place to eat bravas in Barcelona, or at least so says the tradition. The only drawback is that it is a little bit far from the city centre, in Sarrià area. But the trip is only 15 minutes long (by FGC train, Sarrià stop) and it is absolutely worth it: the neighbourhood is cute and the bravas are amazing.
- Moritz (City Centre)
Moritz beer’s brewery is popular among tourists and locals to have a niche fresh beer but also to delight your senses with their delicious plates. Bravas are not an exception. You can go either to 300 del Born or to the original brewery
- Bar Calders (Sant Antoni)
Right next to Sant Antoni Market, within walking distance from Catalunya square, you’ll find some amazing tapas bars. Calders Bar is one of the best places to eat great plates in Barcelona as well as beautifully decorated and very popular.
- La Principal (Sant Antoni)
Excellent patatas bravas cooked with skin and at the oven, with a deliciously spicy but soft sauce. Amazing! And the bar is quite cool too, and close to Universitat square.
- Mercat de la Princesa (Born)
This is not exactly a bar, but a market with many small food stalls of all kinds (Japanese, vegetarian, Mexican, Tapas, seafood…). A good place to have dinner in a different environment. And you’ll find amazing bravas there as well!
- Segons Mercat (Barceloneta)
This bar is right next to the sea, in Barceloneta neighbourhood. You’ll find delicious patatas bravas there, and many other exquisite dishes and the best seafood. Also, it is within walking distance from Twentytú!
Do you know any other places to eat good bravas in Barcelona? Tell us!
Sustainable tourism begins with using responsible means of transport, such as our favourite: the bike! Today we tell you the basic things you need to know to go cycling around Barcelona, as well as some interesting routes you will love.
Basic advice for cycling in Barcelona
- – There are bike lanes all over the city. Use them as far as you can, and try to avoid routes where there are no special lanes for bicycles. The city Council has mapped all the bike lanes in a map. If that’s not possible, just respect circulation rules and use your common sense!
- – If you go cycling around Barcelona’s city centre, be patient with pedestrian and do not rush, just enjoy the views. In this area, most streets are really narrow and crowded, so it is highly important to respect everyone.
- – Helmet is not compulsory when you cycle inside the city, but it is recommended. Also, if you ride at night, remember to use lights and to be even more careful.
- – If you need to use public transport, take into account that during rush hours (around 9 am and around 5pm) you can’t carry your bike by metro or train. And also, check out our post on sustainable tourism and green mobility in Barcelona.
Cool cycling routes around Barcelona
We’ve chosen three routes that represent what Barcelona is about: city, beach and mountain. All in one… and by bike!
- Barcelona seaside
From Colom monument to Fòrum there’s a great bike lane. You’ll see the harbour and some beaches. Just take it easy and enjoy! This route is especially cool in a bright sunny day.
Level: super easy and fun.
- Best views from the top of Barcelona
You can’t leave this city without having enjoyed a panoramic view from Collserola Mountain. There’s an area there, Carretera de les Aigües (Waters road), which is always full of cyclists and runners. A natural area where to make some sport as well as taking the best pictures of Barcelona.
Level: medium. 2-3 hours with some pronounced slopes but mostly smooth
- The city centre by bike
It is becoming more common to see groups of tourists riding around the narrow streets of Gòtic and Born. Why not be one of them? It’s a different (and faster) way to see the whole old town. But do not forget to take it easy and stop frequently: it is worth it!
Level: easy, but be careful with pedestrians in narrow and crowded streets.
Where can you rent a bike?
Well, guess where. AT TWENTYTÚ! We offer bikes for rental for 10€/day. Simple and great, isn’t it? Ask at our reception!
See? Cycling is the best way to discover Barcelona and practice sustainable tourism. Get a bike and enjoy Barcelona!
One of the greatest things about real Barcelona is that it hosts some of the weirdest museums you will ever find. Some of them are even unknown by Barcelona citizens. Here’s a list of our favorites.
- Perfume Museum
It was opened in 1961 and ever since then it has been showing the most beautiful perfume bottles. It’s good to have a different view of the history of fashion and style through the finest perfumes. One of those museums in Barcelona that not even local people know that exist.
- Inventions Museum
There’s a museum in Barcelona about the best and worst inventions ever. Some of them have transformed the way we live, but some others have never become a reality, although the idea was genius. For example, someone invented a mop with a microphone on top, so that cleaning your home could be much more fun.
- This is a museum that kids will absolutely love. Some weeks ago we told you about Barcelona museums for kids.
- Funeral carriages museum
This is not a joke. There is a museum in Barcelona all about funeral carriages. Transport from church to cementery has been nearly as important as the ceremony itself. That’s why Barcelona’s cementeries have put together this exhibit to discover the history of funeral carriages through the past century.
- Footwear museum
Another unknown weird museum in Barcelona: one dedicated to the history of shoes. But not only will you see a wide variety of footwear from all times. There are also shoes that belonged to famous Catalan personalities such as the clown Charlie Rivel or our most international musician, Pau Casals.
- Music museum
If you enjoy any melody, don’t miss this museum in Barcelona. You’ll see more than 500 musical instruments of all kinds, as well as other related objects and documents.
- Automaton Museum (Tibidabo)
Tibidabo theme park hosts a singular museum: one with many types of automata, vintage mechanical games and toys, coin-operated figures and much more. A great way to go back to childhood!
- Mammoth Museum
From all the weird museums that there are in Barcelona, this might be one of the best: everything about the mammoth and other prehistoric animals, especially those who used to live in Catalunya.
Did you like our list of the weirdest museums in Barcelona? If you prefer traditional museums, some time ago we told you about the best art museums in Barcelona and, most importantly, when to visit them for free, in our post Free culture in Barcelona.
Go ahead and enjoy the weird museums in Barcelona!
It’s Halloween in Barcelona, kids! But for Catalan tradition, the night of the 31st October it’s La Castanyada. What does that mean? We told you about it last year (read our post on La Castanyada).
To sum up: when summer is gone and it starts to get colder, it’s nice to sit by the fire, isn’t it? It’s even better if you’re eating some toasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes, as well as panellets, those little delicious sweets you’ll find in any bakery. That’s what La Castanyada is about!
So here’s what you have to do these days in Barcelona: look for a Castanyera (a lady who sells chestnuts at the street) and enjoy at any time!
Other Halloween plans in Barcelona
Even though according to the tradition we should be celebrating Castanyada and nothing else, Halloween has become popular also in Barcelona. That’s why there are many things to do in Barcelona in Halloween.
- Pumpkin Electronik: after their big success with Piknik Electronik, these guys are back in town with their Pumpkin Electronik: a Halloween party in Barcelona just for electronic music lovers.
- Halloween kids: as scary as it might be, Halloween is a fun party for children. That’s why we recommend this Halloween party at Poble Espanyol. If your kids prefer museums, check out this post: Barcelona Museums for kids.
- Basketween: this is only for basketball lovers. What about seeing an Euroleague match with FC Barcelona… but in a Halloween style? FC Barcelona is decorating the stadium so that you feel the Halloween vibe during the game. And if you like basketball, you’ll also enjoy this post: Real Barcelona for basketball lovers.
- The night of the souls: at Sagrada Família popular centre, there will be plenty of activities to get to know how different cultures celebrate the night of the 31st October.
So now it’s up to you to celebrate either La Castanyada or Halloween in Barcelona. Or both!