Recently, a member of the Select Team, Rose, travelled with a school to Barcelona. Find out some great insider tips from her travels!
Where did you stay and how was the hotel suited for school groups?
We stayed in the Hotel Garbi in Calella. The group were very pleased with the location. Calella is a peaceful little seaside town with a good selection of shops and restaurants. The prices there were more reasonable than in Barcelona, so if a group wanted to make their own arrangements for lunch this could be a good alternative to La Ramblas. Hotel Garbi is right on the sea front, so the group really got to make the most of the beach.
Which excursion did the students enjoy the most?
The Dali museum was a big hit, which says a lot considering this group hadn’t studied the artist at all beforehand. The artist’s eccentric style appealed to the students and kept them interested. The building itself is impressive and very peculiar – much like the collection. Investing in a tour guide would enhance the experience as the students had lots of questions about the work, but overall, they were really engaged in interpreting the various pieces and we had no difficulty at all getting them involved.
Where are the best activities/excursions to help students practice their language skills?
One of the main opportunities the students got to practise their language skills was buying their own lunch on La Ramblas. We took them to La Boqueria, a bustling food market with fresh local produce, and gave them an hour to get lunch in the surrounding area. Many of the students stayed in La Boqueria and bought Spanish ham, roast chicken, fruit salads and pastries. A few of the more adventurous students ordered some fresh mussels and calamari from a stand. Others wandered on to La Ramblas and ate in restaurants. Delicious tapas is available everywhere on La Ramblas, as well as all the usual restaurants you’ll find in a big city. My tip would be to encourage the students to eat in La Boqueria – the prices are reasonable and the food is fresh and typical from the area. The restaurants and cafes on La Ramblas are generally much more expensive, and the waiter is likely to speak English, so it doesn’t advance their language as well.
Is there much to do in the evenings for school groups? Which were the most popular/why?
Due to the excellent location of the Hotel Garbi, there was really no need to pre-plan evening activities. Most of the group went to the beach every night and played volley ball or just chatted and watched the sunset. The hotel also has a large activity room with pool tables that we used a lot.
Any tips for school groups planning a trip to Barcelona?
If you choose to book Park Guell directly to benefit from the free visits, remember to do so well in advance. The group I was with left it a little late, so we went to Ciutadella park as an alternative. It was beautiful with a picturesque fountain in the middle – a great group photo opportunity!
Choosing accommodation in Calella is a great option for teenage groups as it’s a safe area where they can spend their evenings outdoors on the beach or exploring the town. However, if you choose Calella make sure to allow plenty of time for getting in and out of Barcelona during rush hour.
Thank you, Rose for some great insider tips! If Barcelona sounds like the place for your next school trip, you can view example tours and find further information here.