Its warm Mediterranean climate, colorful buildings, and ongoing festivities make Barcelona a family-friendly destination. The problem with visiting this Spanish city isn’t the lack of kids’ activities. It’s having to choose the ones you want to do – because there are too many options!
A Guest Post by Justine from Latitude 41
As a US expat living in Barcelona for 10 years, I love raising my 3 young children here. The city is convenient to navigate, its activities are easy on the wallet, and the vibrant streets are exciting to explore. If you’re just staying here for a few days, you can easily get to most of the main attractions by walking. Here are some top picks of things to do in Barcelona with kids that are educational, cultural, and most of all, fun!
This exuberant park designed by Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona’s most avant-garde architect, is a masterpiece of nature. With its wacky mixture of colorful broken tiles and symbolic shapes, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most Instagrammed places in Barcelona.
Kids will love to climb the stairs to meet the mosaic dragon, run through a tunnel with a tiled wall, and hide behind towering colonnades. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance though to avoid long lines, especially in the summer.
One of the largest museums in Spain, the Cosmocaixa science museum is top-notch. Kids will delve into disciplines like biodiversity, geology, living matter, and astronomy. They’ll also love interacting with the hands-on exhibitions as they touch a massive block of dry ice or press a button to create a sandstorm.
The most picturesque section of Cosmocaixa Museum is the 1000-square-meter Flooded Forest, which houses an immense Amazonian tree. Here, you’ll get to see over 100 living species hanging out in this urban ecosystem and watch it rain down every 15 minutes!
This is Barcelona’s main park, which is accessible from the city center. You can take advantage of several paths for an easygoing stroll, grassy areas to have a picnic, and gorgeous buildings to explore. Head to La Cascada, a monument with a large fountain area and steps that lead to a terrace for a spectacular view of the park. It also has 3 playgrounds, a small lake to row a boat, a huge mammoth sculpture, and an umbracle with an indoor garden.
It even houses the impressive Barcelona Zoo, but it requires a paid entrance. Make time to enjoy this urban park after lunch when you need some downtime! Find out more about Ciutadella Park.
La Pedrera (Casa Mila)
Have you ever seen a building that doesn’t have any right angles? This block of apartments designed by Antoni Gaudí fits that bill. Kids will love its blue underwater-like interior and the attic that resembles the interior of a whale’s spine.
Most of all, the kids will be fascinated by the rooftop area, where tall chimneys look like curious knights and soldiers.
The Montjuic area is an expansive hillside of Barcelona with lots of interesting places for culture and nature. One of its features is the Montjuic Castle, a former 17th-century military fortress where kids can let their imaginations run wild. From this altitude, you can get a glimpse of the port and the city, seeing the Sagrada Familia basilica jutting out of the skyline.
Montjuic also has several parks like Joan Brossas Park, which has a fun musical playground. My favorite park for an afternoon picnic is the hilly Jardins del Turo del Putxet, which has a small lake in the middle and some terraced ponds.
Barcelona’s seaside has an exciting and airy ambiance, and one of these areas is Port Vell. You can access it by going down Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s infamous street. Then head toward the sea until you spot the tall Christopher Columbus sculpture as he points to the new land.
Cross the waterfront, and go down the Rambla del Mar a wooden bridge that takes you to Maremagnum, a shopping center complex. It’s a great place to browse the shops and enjoy the breezy Mediterranean air. Nearby, you can find Moll de La Fusta, the dock area to sit on a bench watching the sunset.
If you don’t have time to see all the cities in Spain, you can visit many of its villages in a day. The Poble Espanyol is an enclosed area of different pedestrian streets and plazas that mimic the architecture of different Spanish provinces like Andalusia or Aragon.
You can spend a whole afternoon here as there are several bars, restaurants, and artisan shops. On weekends, kids can join in on activities like a puppet festival or a medieval fair. And don’t miss the long super slide at the playground!
There are 7 beaches in Barcelona, each with its unique personality. Barceloneta is the busiest but most entertaining of all – complete with volleyball players, loud beats, and unrelenting hawkers. However, if you walk along the boardwalk heading north, you can find several playgrounds for the kids and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Parents, you can have lunch or a stiff drink at a Xiringuito (beach bar on the sand) while your kids play in the sand next to you. Barcelona’s shoreline stretches for four kilometers long, so you’ll definitely the right place for your family.
Your kids will love getting lost in this park. The location is a bit off the radar, but it’s worth visiting if you’re looking for a fun place that’s not overrun by tourists. The main attraction is the human-sized labyrinth: the objective is to find the statue of the god of Eros in the middle.
After that, you also have to find your way out! When you do, you can climb up the stairs and enjoy a peaceful pavilion with a pond. You’ll also enjoy the Italian-style statues, neoclassic gardens, and rocky waterfall. There’s also a large playground with an outdoor bar for you to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine.
So, do you think Barcelona’s a destination you’d like to visit with your family? If so, I hope you’ve found this guide helpful!