Barcelona with kids
Barcelona is such a fantastic city that has so much to offer. Whether you are travelling with or without kids, this city is excellent for all ages. I know because I have been there with and without kids. However, this post is all about things to do in Barcelona with kids, because it was our most recent trip.
Even though the first time around, we had a week to spend in this magnificent city. However, when we brought the kids along with us, we only had a weekend in Barcelona.
Yes we all fell in love with this great city, yes it is child friendly (which makes our trip more relaxed when you are in restaurants that is for sure), and we have concluded that as a family it is one of our favourite destinations.
So here is what to see when travelling to Barcelona with kids.
WHAT TO DO IN BARCELONA WITH KIDS
There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona with kids, and here is a list of things worth mentioning on your trip to Barcelona.
Visit the famous Columbus monument
Why not start your trip with a little bit of history. When touring places, we love to get the most out of trips by having the children learn about the history of the places we visit. Sure, there are many fun activities do in
Barcelona, but there are also some great ways to educate your children outside of a classroom.
This 60m statue stands proudly pointing in the direction of his latest voyage, which was the discovery of the Americas. The Colombus statue is also known as Monumento a Colón, and Mirador de Colón in Spanish was sculpted by Rafael Atché back in 1888.
Barcelona Olympic Stadium
An Olympic Stadium anywhere in the world is a treat for little (and big) kids. So head over to the Olympic stadium and either explore on your own or join a tour. Tours of the stadium start at 8 am and finish at 8 pm during peak season and 10 am to 6 pm during the low season.
The stadium is unique in the respect that it was originally built in 1927 for the international expo but lost out on the bid to host The 1936 Olympic games. Which meant they were finally able to host 56 years later!!!!! Don’t worry, it was refurbished in 1989 for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Explore Las Ramblas
When you are visiting Barcelona with kids (depending on the age of course), keeping them occupied is always high on the priority list. So heading down and exploring the busy Las Ramblas is always fun for kids.
Don’t forget to stop by La Boqueria as it is Barcelona’s best-known market, and you will find it has become a tourist attraction. Why? Because this fresh food market is in a prime location in La Ramblas, what better way to keep the kids occupied than to feed them fresh local produce. It is a win-win in my eyes.
Learn all about Picasso’s Youth
The kids love exploring Picasso’s youth. Book here for a spot on the walking tour and go back in time and discover everything from his first home to his first painting and his attendance at The Fine Arts School.
There is a tribute to Pablo Picasso that was commissioned by Barcelonas council in 1981. With notes from Picasso himself written in Catalan. If your kids love art, they will love this tour.
Tick the Sagrada Familia off your bucket list
This whole family bucket list item is a must because the Sagrada Familia is one of the most iconic attractions in Barcelona. Your family will love this. Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece.
Although this Roman Catholic Basilica has thousands of tourists a day; it is still a fully functioning place of worship with masses conducted regularly. If you are interested in attending, please check mass times on the website.
Purchasing tickets online will make your children happy, as the lines can be long. In peak season, the lines can be even longer, and the weather can be hot, which is not a good combination for little ones.
See why Plaça de Catalunya is named Barcelona’s nerve centre
As soon as you arrive at Placa de Catalunya, you will see why I added it to the list of things to do Barcelona. Built-in 1889 The square, covers 48,500 square metres, which is why many concerts and public events scheduled here.
This family-friendly area which was once the perfect place for live debates is now a great place for gatherings. Discover the many sculptures and fountains or enjoy grabbing some food at Barcelona’s most famous cafe Cafe Zurich.
Spend time at a Barcelona Beach
There are a few beaches spread along the coast of Barcelona, so finding a space to park yourself for the day won’t be hard. Of course, this depends on what time of year that you plan your family vacation.
If you are not heading to Barcelona with kids in Summer, then head down to the beach and have lunch at one of the restaurants. There is something special about the ocean at any time of the year.
Visit The Cathedral of Barcelona
You can not go past visiting The Gothic Cathedral; its grand appearance is a must for any age. Building commenced the 13th century and completed it in the 15th century! It took them a long time to build it, so it’s worth taking a look to discover for yourself why it is worth checking out. Your little ones (and big ones for that matter) will love the architecture as it is very different to most they have probably seen so far.
Check times here before you go, most mornings entry starts at 10 am however this can change at any time. Sunday’s usually open in the afternoon around 2 pm; you can now buy tickets for entry as well as (with bigger children) you can choose to head up to the terrace and enjoy the spectacular view.
Explore the area of Port Vell
There are many top things to do in Barcelona with kids, but nothing beats spending time near the waterfront. Port Vell is a beautiful area Marina full of gorgeous Yachts. Depending on the age of your children you can always visit the Maremagnum Shopping Centre, which is open seven days a week.
Port Vell is also where you can take a boat tour. The tour will show you around Barcelona’s harbour, and you can see significant spots such as The World Trade Center and the Clock tower.
Stop by Poble Espanyol
This is by far my favourite thing to do in Barcelona; this is because I love Spain and although my husband and I have travelled through Spain ourselves, the kids not so much. So this is a cultural Spanish Center that allows you the luxury of visiting different parts of Spain on a miniature version.
Poble Espanyol is a replica of villages around Spain; this includes both culture and architecture. Check out the handicraft and the museum, along with the history of the creation of Poble Espanyol.
Fun things to do in Barcelona with kids
Check out the human statues along Las Rambla
I know I have mentioned Las Ramblas previously, but you can’t go past the many human statues in this area. It will have the kids entertained for hours. The human statues who are also buskers in most parts of the world, and recently I have seen them popping up all over the globe.
The kids will love the many varieties of human statues. They will also enjoy the many ways in which to trick these buskers can trick your mind. Wait until the first time they see them move; it will have them talking about it for days.
Get a portrait done by one of the artists.
There are plenty of things to see in Barcelona, especially around Las Rambla. Why not sit down and allow one of the local artist to sketch a caricature or portrait of yourself or the children.
It is the perfect souvenir to take away from your family holiday. There are many artists scattered in and around this area, so you won’t have to wait for your turn.
Enjoy the Magic at Casa Batllo
Another design by Antoni Gaudi, and from the outside the building looks like skulls and bones. With the local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones) which makes perfect sense.
Visiting Barcelona with kids has never been more fun as you step inside this building and discover a world of magic. Entrance fee is 15 euros and can be purchased online here.
See Barcelona from the cable cars.
Riding the Port Cable Car (there are two cable cars in Barcelona) was built in 1929. Each cable car accommodates approximately 20 people and takes 8 minutes to cross the port.
I recommend lining up as close to the front as possible, especially if you want to take photos. Although you purchase your tickets online, you can find out the schedule for the cable car here.
Check out the Barcelona Aquarium
Here you will find over 11,000 animals. Barcelona Aquarium is the largest in Europe. So have fun exploring what is in the Mediterranean Sea and keep the little ones amused for hours.
Although there are many things to do in Barcelona with kids, the aquarium should be high on your priority list. Don’t forget to take note of the animal feeding times because it is always a crowd pleasure in our household.
Visit the Catalonia History Museum
The Catalonia History Museum is four floors of exhibitions. This museum is great for kids while visiting Barcelona because the children will learn more about the area that they are visiting.
The Catalonia History Museum is fun for all ages; I have to confess that I too learnt as much as the children did. So I guess you could say that we all took something away from the visit.
Explore Park Guell
Can you believe that Park Güell began to being built-in 1900? Back then, Barcelona was a very different place. It was the largest 19th-century city development project in Europe.
In 1984, Unesco declared it a World Heritage site, and today it is visited by thousands of people. I love Park Guell, the architecture is fantastic, and the kids will enjoy the colours that come to life in and around this unique park. Purchase tickets online and arrive early, the park gets busy, and the weather in summer can be hot.
Even though children 0-6 years old are free, you will still need to purchase a free ticket to show at the entrance.
Spend time at the chocolate museum
What kid doesn’t love a Chocolate Museum? Travel through time find out all there is to know about chocolate. Check out the different age group tickets that you can purchase here for a range of interactive activities, specially designed for the age group of your child.
This museum is the best thing in Barcelona for kids! And for big kids like my husband and I., I am not sure who enjoyed there time here more, the kids or the adults!
Join a Camp Nou tour
Whether you are a Barca fan or not, or even a football fan or not. The tour of Camp Nou is worth the visit. It is good to check ahead of time for dates of football matches because tours and the museum is not open during match days.
The museum within the Camp Nou is full of memorabilia of sporting greats of the past and present. Then head down to see one of the biggest football stores you have ever seen! Become part of the Barcelona family and order a jersey or pair of Barca boots with your name on it. If that isn’t your thing, don’t worry too much, there truly is everything you can imagine in one shop.
Things to do at night Barcelona
Book in for a meal at Hard Rock Cafe
I know that your time in Barcelona with kids is minimal, and there are plenty of great places to eat Spanish food. But, and that is a big but, not all kids when touring a new country will want to eat the local foods. So the best way to compromise is to offer them something they are familiar with one night, in return they are to try the local cuisine the next night.
Besides, The Hard Rock Cafe has that fun, busy vibe that all kids find exciting. Just remember to book in advance (especially during high season) otherwise you will either miss out entirely or be waiting in a queue so long that even the kids will no longer want to eat there.
Watch the Magic Fountains Show
Although this is something you can do during the day, it is always more fun in the late afternoon or early evening (depending on the season you visit).
The Fountains come to life and is a must-see in Barcelona with kids. Just remember that the Magic fountains show does not operate on Mondays.
Attend a football match at Camp Nou
For my sports (and in particular football) crazed kids, this was by far the highlight of the entire trip. Whether you are a Barca fan or not, the appreciation of watching a world-class team at a world-class stadium is impressive.
The atmosphere was truly amazing and worth every cent we paid (and yes, the tickets can be expensive). Hear the fans sing, the crowd cheer and the music play, definitely worth a visit with kids.
Spend some time at La Pedrera -Casa Mila
Gaudi also designed this building, and you would be forgiven to think that Barcelona should be named Gaudi instead. This place can be visited during the day as well, so if that suits you better, there are many packages to choose from here.
Children under 7 are free, however, are probably more suited for the day time tours. Please note that most tours are in Spanish or Catalan. So there is also the option to tour the place on your own if that suits you better.
Where to stay in Barcelona with kids
Key Family Cosy Home
Most of the time, with kids, an apartment is the most comfortable option because there is plenty of space and there is usually washer and dryers (because with kids, this is always handy).
It is also great when you have a kitchen so that breakfast can be more accessible with little ones. Although we stayed in an apartment with the kids on our last trip, we did end up buying pastries fresh from the bakery down the road each morning.
El Avenida Palace
El Avenida Palace is an ideal location right next to Las Rambla. The site is close to main tourist destinations as well as many of the public transport stations.
This hotel is perfect for families as you can book a family room which is ideal for families with small children. Barcelona for kids has never been more convenient at this hotel.
Duquesa de Cardona 4* Sup
The Duquesa de Cardona 4*Sup is in the Gothic Quarter which is convenient to Las Rambla, the beaches and many of the tourist spots. We stayed in this area before and loved the convenience and of course the architecture.
If you prefer a hotel when visiting Barcelona with kids, then this is an excellent option at it is family friendly and accommodates children. It also has a restaurant if you want an early night with the children.
Food to try in Barcelona with kids
Although Paella means “frying pan” in Valencian. It is a dish, that should be tasted in any part of Spain. You can not visit Spain without trying the Paella dish, there are many different types, but my favourite is paella de marisco (paella with seafood), and it is just that full of fresh, delicious seafood.
This recipe can date back as the 16th century; it is not only a part of history that you will be tasting, but it is always a crowd favourite with the kids.
calamares and squid
Okay, so Calamari was first discovered in Italy, but it is always an easy option when dining out with the kids. If the adults want to learn a little bit more of Barcelona, then dive into the inked squid. Not a favourite with everyone, but it rates a mention.
Okay, so the Croquetta was first created in France. However, this is a delicacy worth trying in this part of the world. My favourite stuffing is mashed potatoes (croquetas de papa). The fluffy potato inside combined with the crispy crumbed outside makes this a must-try on your trip.
Visiting Spain and not eating Chorizo is like visiting Italy and not eating pasta. It is a must! You will find it in many places and served in many ways. My children love it, but it isn’t to all children’s taste.
Okay, so this one is definitely not for the kids. Sangria means bloodletting in Spanish. Sangria’s origins can be traced back to the 18th century. However, the Greek and Italians were doing something similar for centuries!
You will be happy to know that the origins of crema Catalana were created in Catalonia by Jewish settlers. Very similar to a crème brûlée but crema Catalana has fine corn flour, and the crème brûlée doesn’t.
Yes, I know the Croissant was introduced by French and the chocolate croissant by an Austrian Baker. But still, this is crowd favourite and love of children’s palette.
Hop-On Hop-off bus
If you have limited time, I highly recommend the hop-on, hop-off bus, even with children (in fact I encourage it). When you receive your ticket, you will also receive the map, here is where you can mark off the places of interest.
You can either plan ahead of time, or make one full loop of the bus route and then decide where you want to jump off next time through. It is the most convenient and time-efficient way to travel in Barcelona with kids.
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