10 Facts About Barcelona for Kids - Al Fresco Holidays
10 Facts about Barcelona for Kids: Ignite Their Imaginations Before Your Holiday!
Have you recently booked a holiday to Barcelona? Or are you currently exploring your options, and the Catalonian capital is proving to be a high contender for your choice of destination? Whether you’ve booked yet or not, chances are that you’ve already done a little research into the city, and are feeling fairly familiar with the attractions on offer.
However, Barcelona is a city full of secrets and surprises. If you’re taking a break in Barcelona, particularly with the kids, here are 10 of the most fun facts that we could find about this irresistibly charismatic city; all of which are guaranteed to help bring the place to life for you and your family.
The city has two languages, not one
Unsurprisingly, most people who visit Barcelona believe that the people speak Spanish, and only Spanish. This is a common misconception. Actually, the city is staunchly immersed in its Catalonian heritage, and as a result, Catalan still remains the main language. Have fun learning a few basic words before you go, and see the locals smile when you try them out!
Barcelona has many UNESCO World Heritage Sites
You might be forgiven for thinking that this particular fact isn’t too inspiring for a younger audience. However, Barcelona’s world heritage sites are a little different. Seven of them were created by the city’s most famous son, Gaudi, a prolific architect, whose strange, alien buildings remain legendary across the world. Adults and children alike tend to be entranced by the weird, multi-coloured turrets, strange mosaic animals and melting stonework that encapsulates his work. Key heritage sites to visit are the Sagrada Familia (Gaudi’s strange, gothic cathedral) and Parc Güell, with its otherworldly grottoes and multicoloured mosaics.
It boasts amazing beaches
When you think of Barcelona, you don’t initially think of beaches. Yet Barcelona’s beach is consistently ranked as one of the best in Europe, by prestigious publications such as National Geographic. If you want to enjoy your own beachside break, head to Vilanova Park, which offers great proximity to the attractions of the city.
According to legend, the ancient Roman god, Hercules, founded the city of Barcelona, 400 years before Rome was constructed. However, it’s also speculated that it was Hannibal’s father who built the city. In short, no-one knows for sure, but it is good fun to form your own opinions!
Spain’s most popular street
Take a stroll down Barcelona’s Portal de l’Àngel, and join the many other people who throng through it’s streets, making it the most walked on street in the whole of Spain. On average, approximately 3,500 people pace the pavements every hour.
Thumbs down to Flamenco
The general perception of Spain is that it is a country enraptured by the national dance, Flamenco. However, if you’re looking to enjoy a flamenco performance, you won’t find it in Barcelona. The Catalan locals not only tend to reject the dance, but actively dislike it, and most residents much prefer the more contemporary rock scene.
Football, football, football
The city, home to the legendary football team, FC Barcelona, is completely football crazy. Similarly football mad kids will enjoy a tour of the stadium, which, with a seating capacity of 100,000, still remains the largest privately owned stadium in the world.
Avoid the roads!
The drivers of Barcelona have recently been awarded a rather unnerving accolade. According to recent statistics, the citizens of the city are the worst drivers in Europe, with accidents occurring, on average, once every 19 seconds. However, don’t be perturbed. It’s also recognised as one of the most pleasant cities to walk about in, with over 130 hectares (260 football field sized areas) that are fully pedestrianised.
Before 1992, there were no beaches in Barcelona
Amazingly, Barcelona’s idyllic coastlines were entirely manmade. They were constructed in 1992, to provide entertainment and pleasant relaxation for the Olympic Games. It is in these areas that some of the best restaurants and bars can be found.
It’s most famous attraction is incomplete!
Barcelona’s most famous building is undoubtedly the Sagrada Familia. The remarkable cathedral, created by Gaudi, is an iconic sight in the city. However, perhaps rather astonishingly, it still remains unfinished, even though construction began in 1882! According to official statements, it will finally be complete in 2020, though only time will tell if this is true or not.
Barcelona remains one of Europe’s most appealing cities, and, with so much to see and do, it is not surprising. The city has a strong personality, and combined with a myriad of attractions, atmospheric streets and some of the finest beaches in the continent; it’s not hard to see why more and more families are heading to it for their holidays. If you’re looking for somewhere affordable and child friendly to stay, visit Al Fresco Holidays, for some inspiration.