6 Places to Take Your Parents in Barcelona

Fountains and Palau Nacional of Montjuīc


So your parents have decided to visit you in Barcelona. Where should you take them? We’ve rounded up a list of 6 places in and around the city that might tickle their fancy. From trekking the mountain of Montserrat to enjoying a live flamenco show, there is something here for every type of parent.

El Nacional, for the food and design-loving parents

Restaurant at El Nacional
People enjoying one of El Nacional’s many restaurants, photo via @elnacionalbcn

This gorgeous market-style dining emporium was transformed from an old parking garage. Following a short pathway from Passeig de Gracia, the entrance is quite secret for someone not paying very much attention. Entering through a greenhouse of sorts, your guests will marvel at the beautiful ceilings and ornately adorned bars and restaurants. This multi-space restaurant allows you to taste typical Spanish dishes with high-quality ingredients. El Nacional is a must-see for anyone visiting Barcelona.

Montjuïc, for nature and art-loving parents

Fountains and Palau Nacional of Montjuīc
Fountains and Palau Nacional of Montjuīc, photo via @dani_hm_bcn

Montjuïc (meaning Jewish mountain in Catalan) is a small hill overlooking the Barcelona Harbour. Upon exiting the Plaza Espana metro station, you’ll see beautiful fountains and a grand set of staircases leading up to the Palau Nacional, which houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia. On Montjuïc, you’ll find some other museums, Poble Espanyol, beautiful botanical gardens and paths, as well as the Olympic pool where diving and swimming events occurred during the 1992 Olympic Games. Wherever your interests lie, there is something for everyone on this hilltop.

JazzSí Club, for the music-loving parents

Live Flamenco performance in Jazzsí Club
Live Flamenco performance in Jazzsí Club, photo via @pocketpinup

JazzSí has been connected to the Taller de Músics (Musicians Workshop) and is known as an artistic platform for young musicians. Situated in the Raval neighbourhood in Barcelona, this small theatre hosts live music every night. From live jazz jam sessions on Wednesdays to Flamenco Fridays, there is something here for every music lover. Your parents will feel like VIPs when you take them to this unfamiliar, yet welcoming venue. 

Badalona, for the beach-loving parents

The Anis de Mono Monkey on Pont de Petroli in Badalona
The Anis de Mono Monkey on Pont de Petroli in Badalona, photo via booking.com

If your parents are already familiar with Barcelona and are craving some beach time, Badalona is the place to go. About 15 minutes by train from Plaza Cataluna, you’ll escape from the overcrowded beaches of Barceloneta to a more local and authentic experience. The Passeig de la Rambla of Badalona is a wide pedestrian avenue that runs along the train tracks. There are many little restaurants and cafes where you can bask in the sun or grab a small snack or cafe con leche. On the other side of the tracks, there are long stretches of clear, clean beaches. Don’t miss the Pont de Petroli with the famous statue of the monkey from the licorice flavoured liquor, Anis de Mono (the factory is just next door).

Montserrat, for the adventurer parents

Monastery of Santa María in Montserrat
Monastery of Santa María in Montserrat, photo via @yanacocoart

Montserrat is a monastery set on top of a unique rock formation. About 2 hours away by train or a 40-minute car rides, the mountain makes for a great day trip for those parents who crave the outdoors and want a bit of exercise. With a very rich cultural history, the serene monastery holds a certain kind of mystical magic and the mountains surrounding it add even more wonder and awe to the experience. There are a few hiking trails of varying difficulty and the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey has a beautiful square in its centre. This mountain is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of busy Barcelona.

Passeig de Gracia, for the shopping parents (and the architecture buffs)

The famous Casa Batlloó on Passeig de Gracia
The famous Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia, photo via @mrrobertoranieri

Maybe some parents have been there, done that. Maybe they are tired of sightseeing. Passeig de Gracia is like Barcelona’s own Rodeo Drive, housing the top luxury and designer shops as well as the basic Zara, H&M and Bershka stores. While your parents are making their purchases, they will surely appreciate the elegant and elaborate art-nouveau and modernist buildings that make this avenue so special, particularly Antoni Gaudí’s famous Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.


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