If you like museums, and you have 2 kids as we do, then El Poble Espanyol is for you. A perfect place to discover Spanish architecture, culture, art, traditional craft and gastronomy in one single place. El Poble Espanyol or translated as Spanish village is an unique open air museum built in 1929 for Barcelona International Exhibition. Which purpose was to reproduce real buildings of the country.

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How to get. El Poble Espanyol is located just a short distance away from the Montjuïc Fountains. We went there by car, as if you get up early in the morning, there is no problem to find a parking place nearby. If you choose public transport there are various options to get there. Bus using the lines 13, 23 and 150, the final stop will be Poble Espanyol. Metro (L1 and L3), stop Espanya.
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What to do with kids. We went to El Poble Espanyol with both our kids on a very sunny day. Once we entered, we felt like having left the city and transported into a pleasant Spanish village. We began our visit in Plaza Mayor, and we were very surprised about the variety of activities that were organized for kids on Sunday. All the activities were included in the price of the entrance ticket. These were: painting workshops, playground with Montessori toys for the little ones, painting the faces by professionals, being a Djs right in the Plaza Mayor. Kids enjoyed this part of our stay the most. El Poble Espanyol, also organize paid activities for kids, more about, you can find on theirs web.

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Discover. As mentioned previously El Poble Espanyol is the perfect place to discover the art and architecture of all Spain in one single place. Strolling around we discovered the architecture of Castilla, Galicia, Asturias, Aragón, Andalucía. We enjoyed the museums that gather works of: Picasso, Miró, Dalí. We have seen genious craftsmen and women, who work more than decades in Poble Espanyol in their shops. Offering theirs best hand-made embroideries, paintings, ceramics, jewels, leather to the customers. Professionals who offer visitors unique and exclusive pieces.

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Food. Plaza Mayor owns a lot of small restaurants which offer traditional dishes to all the visitors. There are some hidden restaurants while walking through the village as well. Just find your perfect place to eat and enjoy the finest weather of Barcelona. Apart of gourmet restaurants, the area is rich in traditional cuisine products: cheese, olive oil, honey, Iberian cold meats, chocolate, bread, wine, and other regional Spanish specialties. Ideal for those who like to buy unusual souvenir gifts.

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Overall. A quiet and peaceful place to go with kids and enjoy a day in a weekend. Perfect place to get out of the city routine and get closer to your family. El Poble Espanyol, helped us to relax and spent worthy the time with our kids.

Opening hours El Poble Espanyol. The village is open 365 days a year. Mondays – 9am to 8pm; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays – 9am to 12midnight; Fridays – 9am to 3am; Saturdays – 9am to 4am.

Prices.  Adults, children(4-12 years), seniors 12.60EUR ticket, Family pack (2adults and 2 kids of 4-12 years) costs 36.00EUR. Other offers you can find directly on their website.

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Wild, unpredictable, but always stunning is the Italian island – Sardinia. It was our second time this year when we have visited Italy. Even if, Sardinia is one of top summer destinations, it doesn’t mean that it is less precious in spring. Our one week holiday in March on Sardinia remained in our hearts as one of the best family holidays.The countryside is ablaze with color and the warm, sunny weather is ideal for touring. Accommodation prices are also very reasonable and, outside of the main centers, there are few tourists around.

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Flights. We bought flights few months earlier in one of the promotion that offered the airline company. So, the price were very cheap, we paid 25EUR per pers a return ticket. Avg price to Cagliari from Barcelona is 30-45EUR per person one way.

Hotels. As mentioned previously, the best part of taking holidays in spring is the price for accommodation. Being a top destination, the prices in high season for hotels are quite expensive. We thought to take an apartment, just because of the kitchen and the way we need to prepare something quickly for both our kids. We took the apartment on airbnb, and it was great. 30EUR per night, I think a very cheap price for an entire apartment.

Car. We always take car at the airport. And from this holiday, we learned one thing. All things have to be booked in advance. Only one company had cars, and all of their cars were quite small for our family. Apart of this, you can’t negotiate the price or to have the option to choose something better for same price. At the end we took a Fiat Punto and went to our apartment in Tertenia. 210 EUR the car for our stay in Sardinia. At the end not so expensive as we thought it would be.

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Our first day was getting to the final destination in Sardinia, Tertenia. There we had our super large apartment. Tertenia is in the middle of the East coast of the island. When we took the apartment we thought that we will visit the north of the island and the south. And in this way it will be easier to see all the island.

On the second day we went to Olbia, making our first stop at Arbatax, then Nuoro and at the end Olbia. What to say, on this day we understood how big is the island. To get to Olbia took us 3 hours ride, and back the same. Both of the kids were amazingly quiet, what surprised us a lot. And we thought, that it will be our unique visit to the North. As the way is too long and it is too much to ride to get to the North of the island and to visit it properly.

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Arbatax amazed us with it’s beaches, stunning views over the sea and landscape. Olbia is an oasis for flamingo, and it is very close to Costa Esmeralda, the most visited coast of the North.

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Our real holiday began at the third day of our stay. It was the best day of our stay, because we had a private tour through the Grotte Is Zuddas caves, and tour to the best beaches at the South. Thanks to Bitan tour we had a really amazing day and we could enjoy at 100% the day at this amazing island. The best way to discover a new place is to have a personal guide, local guide who knows all the wonderful places to visit for a tourist.

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After the tour we went on our own and discovered Pula, a town which had a long history behind. Here I would like to say that Sardinia’s history includes influences from Roman, Arabic and Spanish settlers. Pula owns the oldest village Nora, where Roman ruins are found in a dramatic setting at Tharros, near Oristano. It was too late when we got there and it remained half an hour till they close, and we didn’t dare to enter. We took a walk around the place and enjoyed a stunning sunset.

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On the next day we had a lot of energy to continue to discover the island. We went to Costa Rei, Cala Sinzias, Villasimius, Solanas and Quartu Sant’Elena and discovered gorgeous beaches, that we couldn’t believe that such a beauty can exists. Beaches were small, tranquil, turquoise waters and a very fine sand at every beach we have visited.

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A great reward of this day was a stop at Maneggio Tanka, they organize outdoor activities on horseback. We haven’t participate in such activity because kids are too small for it. Damian went spellbound when he saw so many beautiful horses.

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Our last day we dedicated for Cagliari only. We decided to explore the city on our last day, because it was near the airport and it was easier to get at the final point. After a perfect breakfast at a Macdonalds with sea view, we went to explore Cagliari. Kids were tired and not so keen to discover new places. So, we just left our car in the city center and walked on tiny streets till we got to the Cathedral. Just after Cathedral, there is a place where you can have some breathtaking views over the city. Picture-perfect place for travelers.

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Last Sunday, just after our return from the amazing island of Sardinia, we had an invitation to participate in one of the Zoo Private Activity called Family Sundays. There were a lot of things to do in the house, but we accepted the invitation, as in our family, KIDS are always first. We thought that our boys will enjoy a lot such an activity. And we were right, we spent amazingly time at Zoo. Actually, we always have a lot of fun at the ZOO.

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The best part of Family Sunday activity is that you have a personal educator. Educator explains you in details about the life of the animals for a Sunday activity. In our case, we discovered aquatic mammals lifes. How they live, how and what they eat, how the personnel of the ZOO take care and so on. We discovered interesting facts about aquatic mammals, that for sure we wouldn’t know if we didn’t participate at such activity.

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Interesting facts:

  • The whale bones that you can see at the entrance of the Zoo, are real, and were found at the beach of Gava, not so far from Barcelona Beach.
  • On spring a lot of whales come very close to the beaches of Barcelona, there are plenty of youtube videos where you can clearly see it.
  • Whales, 35million years ago were terrain mammals, and due to nature conditions, their body changed to be aquatic mammals.
  • Even if, there are a lot of similarities of outward appearance between Californian Sea Lion and Harbor Seal, there are some noticeable differences. Family group to which the true seals belong, have descended from a terrestrial weasel-like ancestor. Sea lion family group, descended from a terrestrial bear-like ancestor. Harbour Seals are “earless” because they lack an external ear flap, whereas in “eared” seals or sea lions an external ear flap is visible. Then, differences between the front flippers of the two groups, and the hind flipper differences are noticeable. In seals, the hind flippers extend directly behind the body, and are not capable of rotation unlike the hind flippers of sea lions that are longer and may be rotated toward the front of the body.

 

As a reward, at the end of a very interesting session, we had a very private Sea Lion Show. How cool is this? Yes, our kids had a lot of fun at Zoo Barcelona.

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Fees.
Zoo Club families:  30.25 €/family (including 2 adults and 2 children).  Additional 11.20€ fee per child from the third one.
Non-members of the Zoo Club: 89.60€ per family (including 2 adults and 2 children). Additional 17.90€ per child fee from the third one.

How to get.

The zoo is situated in the heart of the Parc de la Ciutadella. You can get there very quick in public transport. (Metro: red line L1 – Arc de Triomf or yellow line L4 -Ciutadella|Vila Olimpica; Tram: L5- last stop Ciutadella|Vila Olimpica or 1 stop earlier Wellington if you choose to enter through Parc de Ciutadella; Bus: H16 – Icaria/Parc Carles I, 39, 51, H14, 120.

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Sardinia was a really quick decision for our family holiday and we didn’t plan anything. We thought to take the apartment just in the middle of the coast of the island and to enjoy the island as much as we can. We underestimated the patience of our kids, and we thought that we won’t see anything on such a beautiful island. As mentioned, we haven’t planned anything, till we found BITAN company that offers various tours on the south of the island. We thought that it would be a great idea to spend a day with them, and just be guided by a local professional.

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Firstly, we had to take a tour on the famous village Nora, very first village of the island. As well to make a route of the undiscovered beaches. But, due to a very windy day, we had to change the plans… and we went for a guided tour in Grotte di IS ZUDDAS.

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We spent around 4 hours with Junior Ferreira and went to the most incredible places of the south of the island. Grotte di IS ZUDDAS cave was our first stop. Due to low season, we were unique guests to enter the cave….aaaaammmazing. We felt VIPs just because all the cave was ours, and with Junior Ferreira explaining to us all the history of formation of stalagmites and dolomite that we have seen in the cave. The cave itself was incredible – apart of impressive rooms we also saw interesting shadows of different stalagmites, as Disney character Guffy, a shark mouth, little chicken. I think this part was the best part of the cave for Damian.

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Things to know about this special cave are:

  • humidity is very high in the cave, almost 100%, what makes dangerous walk on stairs. We had to be very careful with Damian as he likes to run everywhere where he finds interesting it to do.
  • all year around it is 16 Celsius degrees.
  • the cave is long enough, it has almost 3km, but it is open for tourists only 500m. Believe me it is pretty enough to see in these 500m.
  • the cave was discovered due to the explosion of mining seekers. Now, the cave is protected by the Government.
  • another natural entrance was discovered recently by people exploring the island. It was closed due to undesirable damages that can be made to the cave.

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Kids, both of them were amazingly quiet and keen to discover the cave. As this was their first ever visit to the cave, interior of the cave surprised Damian, with it’s unusual lights and forms.

When we made it back to the outside world, we made 2 stops in panoramic places to the beaches. I would firmly say that we saw the most incredible beaches of the south. Most of which we would never dare enter – because we wouldn’t know how good the views would be.

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A huge thank you to Bitan Company for their wonderful hospitality and excellent guided tour of the Grotte di IS ZUDDAS cave. We highly recommend a visit to this cave which is excellent for small children.

 

Other excursions they make are:

  • Discovering Cagliari, a tour through the best places of the city;
  • Mountain, Is Cannoneris. High-flying excursion to the biggest European holm oaks majestic forest set over 900 meter feet;
  • Discovering Nora, the first village of the island;
  • Children Excursion – nature, animals and farms;
  • Nuraghe Tour – discovering prehistoric Sardinia;
  • Hidden beaches tour with a 4×4 car;
  • Hidden coves tour with inflatable boat + jeep tour;
  • Archaeological Site of Montessu tour.

 

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