“Contemporary apartments in Barcelona’s trendy El Born district, plus quirky walking tours for foodies, designers and culture vultures”
The apartments are split between converted 18th- and 19th-century buildings in the very charming and intimate El Born area - on the Paseo del Born, Carrer Esparteria, Carrer Vidreria, Carrer de la Pescateria and Plaça del Mercat. A 10-minute walk away, in the equally central Gothic Quarter, are more apartments on Carrer Sant Pere. Paseo del Born 1-bedroom studio apartments Esparteria 1- and 2-bedroom apartments Vidreria 1-bedroom studio apartments Sant Pere 2-bedroom apartments Mercat del Born 1- and 2-bedroom apartments Pescateria large 1-bedroom apartments
The self-catered nature of the apartments means you have the flexibility to prepare your meals as and when you fancy; breakfast delivery can also be arranged for an additional charge. Kitchen facilities in each apartment vary - see below for full details: Paseo del Born 1-bedroom studio apartments Esparteria 1- and 2-bedroom apartments Vidreria 1-bedroom studio apartments Sant Pere 2-bedroom apartments Mercat del Born 1- and 2-bedroom apartments Pescateria large 1-bedroom apartments Note that basics such as tea, coffee, condiments and washing-up liquid are often not provided in the apartments, so you may have to stock up when you arrive. When it comes to food shopping, there are plenty of little grocery stores in the area, as well as the fantastic markets of La Boqueria and Santa Caterina, both brimming with fresh produce. The area also has heaps of tapas bars and restaurants - you won’t have to walk far to find one (though you may have to queue). On the loveliest little square in El Born, Plaça des Olles, is Bar Restaurant La Catalana, where you can relax in the shade of cream parasols and dine on delicious squid. We also had an unforgettable meal at Espai Sucre (Princesa 53, tel: +34 93 268 16 30) - a sweet little place, in more ways than one. You get a small main course, then 4 puddings followed by a superlative selection of home-baked biscuits, jellies and chocolates. Our first course, duck breast in a chocolate sauce, was as good as anything we ate in Barcelona.
The apartments are all within easy walking distance of the Paseo del Born, the sights and sounds of the Gothic Quarter, the famous thoroughfare of Las Ramblas, Parc de la Ciutadella, and the beach of Barceloneta. If you want to get to know the city, into Barcelona will tailor-make some of the best city tours you could hope for: leisurely strolls around hidden gems, undertaken in very small groups with wonderfully knowledgeable guides. There’s a whole raft of tours to choose from, so enquire when you book. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite:
If the above all sounds a touch tiring, then stay put and be pampered. Makeovers, facials, pedicures, hair cuts and massages can all be arranged at your apartment.
i-escape's Best for Kids Awards 2014 Winner: Best For City Breaks > See the full list of winners Carrie, who runs these apartments, is also the brains behind www.mumabroad.com and knows everything you could ever need to know about children and Barcelona. The apartments are a great option for families in Barcelona, set near Parc de la Ciutadella (home to Barcelona's zoo, and site of an annual children's festival, La Tamborinada, held each May) and close to Barceloneta beach. The various sizes and layouts on offer provide plenty of flexibility for families, and the tailored tours available through into Barcelona are a fun way for visitors of all ages to discover the city - child-friendly options range from themed Columbus tours to seafront tours on scooters.
Children (4-12 years)
The 2-bedroom Mercat del Born apartments work well for families with 1 child as they each have a double bedroom and a single bedroom. Another good option are the 1-bedroom apartments in Esparteria and Vidreria, which have sofabeds in the living areas.
For larger families, the 2-bedroom apartments in Esparteria are a great option (some have bunk beds), as are the 2-bedroom apartments in Sant Pere, which have 2 bathrooms. All of these have a double sofabed in the living room, so can sleep up to 6 people in total.
Some, but not all, apartments have a bathtub, and baby cots are available in all apartments on request.
English-speaking babysitting is available by arrangement through an agency. See Rates; book in advance.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The kitchens are well equipped but note that they don't have blenders for baby food; some of the smaller apartments have no microwave or oven, either. You can buy everything you need nearby; there are also child-friendly eateries within walking distance, and you can book breakfast delivery or order takeaway.
Some apartments are duplex, although stairgates can be provided on request. Other apartments are reached via a steep spiral staircase which may be difficult to negotiate with buggies and toddlers.