One of the best things of Barcelona is that all the members of the family can enjoy an unforgettable holiday. Barcelona with kids: the huge range of activities for children proves that Catalonia’s main city is a family-friendly destination. In other words: there is no excuse to stay at home! So pack your bags, grab the children and have fun all together!
There is no doubt that the sea is one of the main attractions of Barcelona with kids. And also the fantastic weather of the city makes a sailing route an attractive option for all ages to spend the morning or the afternoon. The boats known as ‘Las Golondrinas’ are a kind of an institution in the city. They leave from Maremagnum –just behind Columbus statue-, and offers a great opportunity to enjoy the relaxing sway of the waves and see the most important icons of the port and the sea front. You can choose between a 40 minute journey around the port which includes views of the ‘Porta d’Europa’ (‘Europe’s Gate’) bridge, where you can see the cruise ships, and a longer journey with an estimate duration of one hour and a half, that sails along the coast with the chance to see Montjuïc mountain from a different view, the ‘W’ Hotel, or the Port Olímpic with its most exclusive yachts and sailing clubs.
After a lovely trip along the sea, what about exploring the creatures that live in the ocean? A few metres from ‘Las Golondrinas’ there is the Aquarium, a real «must» in order to enjoy your stay in Barcelona with the kids. The main hall, the ‘Oceanari’, has a unique 80 metres glass- where you can see all the species –including sharks!- swimming around you, just as if you were diving in the sea. For the youngsters, Barcelona’s Aquarium also hosts ‘Explora!’, an interactive space designed to raise children’s awareness of the marine world. It features over 50 interactivities where the kids can touch, see, listen to, investigate and discover nature.
In Explora! space, three Mediterranean coastline environments are represented: The marshes of the Ebro Delta, a corner of the Costa Brava and an underwater cave in the Medes Islands. For the grown-ups there is also ‘Planet Aqua’, an extraordinary, split-level circular space with Humboldt penguins.
Spending a day at Tibidabo Amusement Park is a guarantee that everyone in the family is going to have a great time. The wide-range and variety of funfairs and the breath-taking views of the city and sea makes this place very special. Remember that the park is perched on Tibidabo Mountain, the highest point on the Collserola Ridge and the city’s natural green lung. Apart from roller-coasters, flying chairs or carrousels you can also find the fantastic Sky Walk, a spot that boasts the best views of the city, and a unique Automaton Museum. For over a century, the endearing Tibidabo Amusement Park has been considered by the locals as a real symbol of Barcelona.
Sagrada Família & Park Güell
Yes! Gaudí architecture can be great fun for children. And two good examples of his worldwide known masterpieces are: Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.
Still under construction since 1882, the gigantic temple is spectacular inside, especially when the sunset begins and the coloured glass on the windows start to glow. The afternoon is also one of the quietest moments of the day -considering that Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited monuments in Barcelona-, so it is a great chance for the kids to have more space and discover the corners of the basilica for themselves.
But Sagrada Familia offers other surprises outside. If you head towards the Nativity Façade you can play trying to find almost 30 different animals hidden there. From doves to tortoises, from ladybirds to hens…all the animals have a meaning in the façade of the basilica. Discover the mysteries hidden on the facade!
On the other hand, Park Güell is more than a park, it is also an Unesco World Heritage Site and can be a magic world from the eyes of a child. Gaudí’s multicolored mosaic salamander, popularly known as «el drac» (the dragon) welcomes the guest to explore a space in the nature with lots of corners to play games like hide-and-seek. The unique and famous park was originally conceived as a ‘Garden City’ for Barcelona’s affluent away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. There is also a pink, fairy-tale style house where the world famous architect lived for a while.
Located in the heart of Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona has its own Zoo for over 120 years. Hundreds of different species live in this place enjoying the smoothness of the Mediterranean climate. Visitors favourites include giant hippos, the prehistoric-looking rhino, sea lions, elephants, giraffes, lions and monkeys. In fact, one of the main interest of the Zoo is the area dedicated to gorillas. One of the main reasons is that Barcelona has hosted the only white gorilla known so far: ‘Floquet de Neu’ (‘Snowflake’) who lived there for over forty years. Barcelona’s Zoo child-friendly features include a farmyard zoo, pony rides, picnic areas and two excellent playgrounds. If you are able to visit on a week-day, you’ll get a plus with less people around and a really relaxing and comfortable stay.
Plus!: Just a few metres from the Zoo there is the Museu de la Xocolata. That’s right! A museum dedicated to this delicious treat. Chocolate fans –let’s be honest, 90% of kids-, have also the chance to get their hands on cocoa and play and create in one of the many workshops they organise.
Cosmoscaixa is more than a simple science museum. Just stepping inside, an Amazon rain forest welcomes the visitors. You can go into this mini-forest enclosed in a huge glass space – where it rains once every a certain period of time-, and also see from the outside the big fishes that actually live there. The whole family will enjoy the newly opened planetarium that offers different shows during the day. It is also a great chance to have fun, but also to learn interesting scientific facts in the workshops conceived for children: From ‘Toca Toca’, where kids get the chance to touch different creatures, ‘Clik’, an interactive exhibit of touch, smell and discovery for kids aged 3 to 6 and ‘Flash’, a scientific interactive activity for kids aged 7 to 9 .
Don’t miss! One of the real highlights, for both the young and the not so young, is the hugely entertaining sound telescope outside the Plaça de la Ciència, an open-air square with a peaceful atmosphere and fantastic views of Barcelona.
Known as the ‘Magic Mountain’, Montjuïc is one of the places that Barcelona people are most proud of. Is the best way to remember the historic 1992’s Olympic Games with the Stadium and Palau Sant Jordi, but is an area that during the years has become a touristic magnet. The main reason is that there are plenty things to do and nobody of the family will get bored! From fantastic parks where you can have a nice picnic and children can run up and down, to interesting museums. It is also an attraction the way to get to the hill. You can take the ‘Port cable’ that you can take just from Barceloneta beach –the views from a height if 70 meters are just priceless-, or the Funicular, another way of transport to consider and really easy to take (just from Paral·lel metro station). How to enjoy it!