I thought having kids would mean the end of city breaks. I remember mourning this quite extensively in the early days of motherhood.
My husband asked me “what can I do, to make it better, what would you really like to do?” and my reply was “I’d like to be sat outside an osteria in Venice with you, a coffee, a prosecco, with my shades on, in the winter sun, all afternoon.”
Yeah, the above pic, Venice 2009. Not happening again for a while.
But, on our European road trip in June, I discovered that city breaks with toddlers and even with dogs in tow are amazing, all thanks to beautiful Bilbao in Northern Spain.
This week I’ve written for Clickstay again about the incredible towns, villages and beaches in Northern Spain that we found. Do check it out if you’re planning a trip there, it’s such a stunning, fun-filled area of the world.
However, Bilbao was the true jewel in the crown of our time in that area. It looks so industrial from the outside, but you glide in via the astonishing Gugenheim and bridge view, into broad, clean streets with ace shops, a lovely river with a distinct London’s South Bank feel to it, and the perfect Old Town, with secret squares, mouthwatering pintxos and cold, cold beer.
And the playgrounds! So many lovely, clean, well kept playgrounds. The one opposite the opera house, and the one by the Gugenheim were our favourites. And dogs are welcomed and admired on the streets. Such a relaxed vibe. We were there midweek and there were so many young local families enjoying time together.
I’ve made (badly) a little video of our time in Bilbao. I hope it inspires folk to give city breaks a try, even with toddlers!