Hippy nonsense or powerful pain relief?

Our first baby was born by caesarean after a long 32-hour labour so when expecting our second child, we looked for a course in Barcelona that would prepare us better than just teaching the mechanics of having a baby.

Hypnobirthing is very popular among midwives and mums in the UK (where I am from) so we studied a couple of books about it and practised the relaxation techniques. They really helped and our second baby was born in 3.5 hours with no interventions or pain relief!

worth the wait!

Maybe the birth would have gone that way…

Meet Lucy and her family

Hello, what’s your name?

Lucy Hackney

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am an English physiotherapist and mother of 2 kids, aged 7 & 11. I treat mainly international English speaking patients. I also teach on an undergraduate International Physiotherapy Degree run by EUSES/UdG.

How long have you lived in Barcelona and why did you move here?

I moved here in 2012 because my boyfriend wanted to live abroad. I was totally happy where I was in London and so the first few job offers to places like Malta and South Africa, I…

Calle Marià Aguiló, Poblenou, Barcelona 08005

Poblenou feels a lot like a village and with it’s good connections to the centre of Barcelona and proximity to the beach, it’s not a surprise that it’s a hit with many young Catalan and international families.

Calle Marià Aguilò marked with a blue line. Source: Google Maps

Calle Marià Aguiló is a pedestrianised street that runs parallel to the main Rambla de Poblenou and is a hive of activity. Here are the highlights for families.


  • Aúpa! Organics (№1–3) — Open nearly 3 years now, Aúpa is slightly set back from the street in a quieter part of Marià Aguiló. This quietness plus…

Hello, what’s your name?

Paddy Burke.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m 40 years old, I’m a teacher, I’m married to a Catalan and have a Catalan-English son!

How long have you lived in Barcelona and why did you move here?

I’ve been here since 1999! I’d lived here previously for an academic year (’97-’98) at university as part of my course. I absolutely loved it and was determined to come back!

Which area of Barcelona do you live and what do you love most about your neighbourhood?

In Ciutat Vella — more specifically, in Sant Pere-Santa Caterina-La…

A calçotada is a traditional barbequed Catalan meal devoted to the calçot. The calçot season runs from December to April and the town of Valls, near Tarragona, is the centre of calçot country.


A calçot looks like a giant spring onion but tastes more like a leek. Chargrilled on an open flame then served on a earthenware tile and sometimes in newspaper, it’s hard to eat without getting messy!

Source: Flickr

While calçots are growing the farmer has to ‘calçar-les’, wrap the onions with soil, many times. …

Hello, what’s your name?

Hi, Jon Wigley

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a 45 year old father of two. I’m a British national, originally from Swansea in South Wales. At university I studied International Business with Italian, at Brighton in England, and have since worked in various finance roles in multinational companies. I’ve previously lived in a few places around Europe — London, Turin, Milan and Rome in Italy, in Brussels… and now, for longer than anywhere else, in Barcelona! I have a five year old son and my daughter is about to turn seven.

How long…

It can be quite hard to get your head around the public school system in a country where you didn’t go to school yourself and you end up comparing everything to the system you are used to in your home country. The uniform (or not), the hours, the language(s), the food. Everything is different. It takes a while to get to grips with.

Pre-school in Barcelona

Pre-school is a three year cycle (P3, P4 and P5). Most children start school in P3 although compulsory schooling does not start until Primer which is the first year of Primaria (the Primary department)

Hello, what’s your name?

Mariana Petinatti

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in São Paulo, Brasil, and after living for 4 years in Austria moved to Barcelona 14 years ago. I came to Barcelona in 2004 just for 6 months but now I´m settled here with my small family. I met my Austrian husband here and we have a six year old daughter, who was born in Barcelona.

How long have you lived in Barcelona and why did you move here?

I have lived here for 14 years now. While living in Austria I sent some…

Hello, what’s your name?

Annette Pacey

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a bit of a citizen of nowhere — originally from New Zealand, about 15 years in the UK and now married to a Spaniard and living in Barcelona since 2010. I have a 5-year-old daughter who was born here, and who attends a local school. My career has been a bit of a dog’s breakfast. I studied politics but worked as a restaurant manager in the UK, and as an English teacher here. …

Where to Watch Films in English in Barcelona

It’s easy living in such a sunny climate, to forget the simple pleasures of indoor activities like going to the cinema.

It may seem obvious to go to the cinema in the winter when it’s maybe a bit chilly or even raining (yes it does rain in Barcelona sometimes) but actually it can be really nice to escape the summer heat too and enjoy the air-con!

There are a few cinemas that always show films in VO or VOSE (Version Original or Version Original Subtitulada En) which means films will be shown…

BCN Family Living

Activities, advice & anecdotes about what it’s really like to live in Barcelona as an international family. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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