Barcelona with children: a whole heap of top tips
Article updated 10 May, 2017.
Want to see Barcelona with your children? Here are a few suggestions that are strictly for under 18s only ;)
The enthusiasm and kindness of Marie, my contact at the publishing house Graines 2, quickly led me to publishing some of our top tips to traveling to Barcelona with children.
So here’s a little selection which, in my opinion, could very well appeal to your little ones.
Free fun activities to do in Barcelona with children
Discover Barcelona’s animal statues
If your little ones are dragging their feet, suggest you go hunting for animals in Barcelona and they will forget about being tired. The lovely giraffe of the Rambla Catalunya, the big Botero cat on the Raval, the mammoth at the Ciutadella are just a few, but there are lots more. Who will find them first?
Taking a scooter down the sea front
If you can take scooters in your luggage then you are set! Before or after a sandcastle session, your children will adore heading down the Passeig marítim along the beach. It’s an extraordinary experience and it’s safe as there are no cars there, and you can do it all year round. Off you pop!
Visiting a magical fountain
Fancy an excellent and free family attraction? After dark, don’t miss the light and sound show at the font màgica. Every half hour the fountain in front of MNAC, at the bottom of Montjuïc, moves to a musical beat, creating a feast for the eyes and ears!
Where? Plaça de Carles Buigas
When? Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm in Winter and Thursday to Sunday from 9pm in Summer
Why? For a fairytale light and sound show
Lose yourself in a labyrinth
Like to get off the beaten track? Head to Horta labyrinth park! This green space, although a little out of the way, is worth the detour. Rustic, romantic and fun, it will charm the whole family. The children will love getting lost in its green maze.
- Top tip: it’s free on Wednesdays and Sundays!
Run wild in the open air right in the centre of the city
In the pretty Born district, if your children happen to need a break, there is a quite and charming village square with a playground, sports pitch and even a little garden! A perfect place to recharge the batteries in the city centre.
Where? Near Jaume Giralt. Born
When? Every day of the year
Why? For a little break in the middle of the city
Quirky Barcelona cafés that are perfect for children
Atmosphere: Alice in Wonderland
In Barcelona, you can have an afternoon snack between two giant mushrooms in a setting straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Just head to We Pudding, a surprising café in the Eixample district. We advise you to go during the week before 5pm, to avoid the after-school and weekend crowds.
Where? Pau Claris, 90, Eixample
Where? Monday to Sunday 9am to 10pm
Why? For its quirky decor
Click for more info on this paradise for children from 0 to 99.
Atmosphere: mysterious forest
Who would have thought that at the bottom of the Ramblas, behind the lovely little wax museum shop there is a funny little place called ‘the fairy wood’? Shelter under its starry sky for an afternoon, or nestle at the feet of a human tree. Goosebumps are guaranteed, especially when the thunder rumbles in this unusual café that’s perfect for little adventurers!
Where? Passatge Banca, 5; Gótic
When? From 11am to 1am
Why? To give them a little fright
Atmosphere: cabin in the trees
Caseta del Migdia is a little green corner hidden behind Montjuï castle. It offers barbecue, cold drinks, good music, a relaxed atmosphere and a magnificent sunset. Your children can run wild in nature while you enjoy a drink in the shade of the trees. Sound OK to you?
Where? Caseta del migdia, Mirador del migdia, Montjuïc
When? Open afternoon only Saturday and Sunday
Why? To frolic in the forest just a few feet from the city
Cultural places in Barcelona to visit with children
- If you’re planning to make a few cultural stops, pre-book online to avoid queuing. That will save the whole family from hanging around in an endless queue, and it’s generally the same price as a ticket bought on site.
Don’t think for a second that visiting the Sagrada Familia is a chore for children. They love spotting the animals in the renaissance facade, feeling tiny at the feet of immense tree-shaped pillars, and admiring the light and colours through a giant kaleidoscope. It’s not to be missed!
The price of visiting Gaudí’s houses as a family can be prohibitive. But don’t worry! You can admire their facades from the passeig de Gràcia. The roof of the Casa Batlló , shaped like the body of a dragon, and the wavy chimneys of the Pedrera look like knights. And it’s even more magical at night!
Do your children have sea legs? Take them to the Maritime museum. They will discover fun temporary exhibitions and wonder at a huge royal gallery, or period sail boats, finishing with a visit to a schooner moored in Barcelona port. All aboard!
CosmoCaixa is a science museum with everything you could want. It’s interactive, varied, fun, educational and free for under 16s. We have a soft spot for the realer than real amazonian rain forest. And its cafeteria is a nice place to take a break with the family.
Our top 3 cultural visits in Barcelona
1- The Sagrada Familia for the budding architects
2- CosmoCaixa for the future Einsteins
3- The Miró museum for the artists in the making
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