It’s a place locals bitterly refer to as Europe’s adult Disneyland.
Maybe you’ve already experienced that Barcelona, the one every tourist knows and loves, but things have changed now and you’re starting to feel the heat.
There’s nothing to do for them.
If you’re braving Barcelona with kids I’ve only got one thing to say to you: calm the heck down, my friend. With a list of child-friendly attractions you’ll be kept busy day and night if you want to.
Barcelona With Kids
Things to Do in Barcelona With Kids
Hop on Hop Off Bus
Have your kids ever made a scene for having to walk too much? Problem solved.
If they also love bus rides then this is a no-brainer, and with the double decker beauties at Bus Turistic they’ll get double the fun. Sit up top in the sun and learn with an educational audio guide covering 87 Barcelona attractions.
You may want to bring your own earphones for kids as the ones on the bus can be too big. Also, bring your tablet as a back up as the kids also love the free WiFi.
Buying online using the button below gives you a 10% discount off window rates.
The Magic Fountain
A can’t miss for your little ones if you don’t mind getting a bit wet. Right at the foot of the glorious Palacio Nacional is this 20 minute Magic Fountain show and its 3620 water jets and 4760 lights. Here you’ll see over 7 billion light/water combinations.
It’s all synchronized to a musical score with shows varying from classical to modern pop. I haven’t heard of a disappointed kid yet. Check the Magic Fountain calendar for more information on times.
Any guide for Barcelona with families should include something educational, shouldn’t it? And here I’m talking about both the children and the adults. This science museum is home to a plethora of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
At the Amazonian rain forest exhibition children love the piranhas and crocodiles and the Planetarium will take you on an adventure into space not soon forgotten. The ‘toca toca’ (‘touch touch’) section may beat them all, allowing your kids to touch exotic animals!
Best of all? At only €2.50 (half price buying online with the link below) it’s one of the cheapest things to do with children in Barcelona.
Tibidabo Amusement Park
Yes, it’s a monastery at the peak of a mountain with spectacular views of the city. Not exactly what your kids would consider among the many fun things to do… but wait, there’s an amusement park!
This retro amusement park was built in 1889. You can’t leave without a spin on the Ferris Wheel or the world’s first flight simulator. You’ll also get great street theater and kid-friendly shows.
Get a 10% discount off window rates booking with Barcelona Tourisme using the button below. Tickets also include bus tickets from Plaça Catalunya.
The Barcelona for kids that I know wouldn’t skip out on the animals! Let them discover an underwater world made up of 35 tanks including the spectacular 260 foot underwater tunnel. There’s nothing quite like standing in the midst of all that life.
At feeding time the 118 foot ocean tank holding massive sharks, rays, penguins, and other large fish is a must. In all your family will see over 11,000 animals made up of 450 species.
It’s the most educational aquarium dedicated to Mediterranean marine life in the world.
There are 4 different beaches in the city centre (some being nudist, places for young people to drink etc.) so you’re going to want to select the most family-friendly beach. Cue Platja del Bogatell.
With cleaner waters, a children’s playground, superior shower and toilet facilities, and a decent proximity to the city centre your kids will thank you!
Just get off the Bogatell metro station (yellow line L4) and walk the 600 meters down.
The Camp Nou Experience
This one is self-explanatory for places to visit with kids in Barcelona, especially football lovers.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bigger treasure trove of football memorabilia than Barcelona FC’s historic stadium. You’ll see Messi’s Golden Boots, the team’s Champions League trophies, and learn the history of the world’s best club via a massive interactive space.
What could make this better? Touring the stadium of course. From walking onto the pitch via the player’s tunnel to sitting around the dressing rooms your children will be footballers for a day.
Another option? If you’re there in season check out one of the matches.
Another idea for visiting Barcelona with children with a guaranteed 100% strike rate! Being half-Italian I find myself partial to the artisan gelato spots spread throughout the city: a great one in the Gothic Quarter near the famous cathedral is Gelaaati di Marco.
Looking for equal sweetness in the winter cold? Grab some delish churros con chocolate.
Barcelona’s most famous street offers a million distractions for your little ones.
Here toddlers and smaller children can’t get enough of the street artists. To find these crazy people dressed as mythical creatures, footballers, movie characters, and even a table freshly set with paella you should head to the end of the street around metro stop Drassanes.
It’s best to avoid this place at night due to pickpockets.
The Chocolate Museum
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Let’s learn about the history of chocolate as an obscure American ingredient to its conquering of a continent using Barcelona’s port. All while your children stuff their your mouths.
At the Museu de la Xocolata you’ll find creative things to do with kids like the ‘Chocolate Artists‘ activity where they make sculptures and even paint in chocolate. The interactively tasty workshops are great for adults too.
Get a 5% discount booking online at Barcelona Tourisme clicking the button below.
For animal lover children and toddlers what better place to visit than a zoo that holds 2000 animals and over 300 species? Some highlights are the hippopotamus, the common lion, the Rothchild’s giraffe, cheetahs, and the Western lowland gorilla.
Some free activities for kids included in ticket prices are: penguin feedings, elephant training sessions, dolphin shows, and the “farmer’s task” workshop that teaches children how to look after animals.
The Port Cable Car
Why not float 300 feet above the city and take in the best panoramic views around?
What can only be described as a type of urban ski-lift will take you on a 7 minute voyage from the port area of Barceloneta all the way up Barcelona’s tallest hill: Montjuic. Along the way you’ll see the sea, Las Ramblas, the Arc de Troimf, Sagrada Familia, and more.
The arrival at the Torre de Miramar in an amazing place to take in the city and the gardens here are a great place to wander – just be prepared to hold the family tight during the breath-taking swing at the first tower!
Tickets cannot be bought online and must be purchased in person – more info here.
El Bosc de Les Fades
Parents, don’t ever tell me I don’t have your back because I’m thinking about you on this one. If you just had to take a break from Barcelona’s children’s activites and dive into one of the many bars in Barcelona this would be it.
First off it has solid baked goods and coffee – but there’s also sangria and some pretty stiff gin and tonics too. It’s also fairy tale land. The whole bar is made up to be a woodland complete with simulated thunder storms.
Look for this truly unique bar at the bottom of La Rambla next to the Wax Museum.
Still don’t know what to do in Barcelona with kids? Do as you do at home: go play in the park.
You’ll find Barcelona’s biggest park near the famous Arc du Triomf in the fashionable Born district. My advice would be to buy a cheap football to have a kick around the open space. You can also take a picnic lunch for the ultimate family day out.
A great thing to do for kids is explore the park’s artificial lake in the rowboats available for rent. Prices start at just €6.00 with rentals going from 10 am to dusk.
La Boqueria Market
The explosion of colours, sounds, and tastes found at the biggest market in Barcelona isn’t just for adults. Children can’t get enough of the €1.00 fruit smoothies and little fruit cups. This is a great chance to eat healthily but be careful because there are candy and ice cream stalls galore.
Kids also have a strange obsession with the hams hanging from the ceiling and the many rare cuts of meat and still-alive seafood. It gets crowded so keep the kids close: I recommend visiting before 10 am or after 4 pm.
Looking for a less crowded alternative? Try the Santa Caterina market.
Getting Around Barcelona with Kids
Kids under four ride free on Barcelona’s public transport network.
To save money on transport I recommend getting the Hola BCN card. This unlimited transport pass can cost as little as €6.40 a day (kids under 4 ride free) and is available in 48, 72, 96, and 120 hour formats.
If you really want to put out the effort keep in mind that kids 4-16 who are registered as residents in the TMB area can ride free if you mail in a pass request. This pass is called the T-16 and you can find more info about it here. FYI: this involves an identity check and can take up to 30 days.
Need transport plus attractions? There’s the Barcelona Card. You get unlimited transport, free entrance to 25 museums, and 85 discounts on attractions, shows, food, shopping, and more.
Passes for children start at just €19.00.
A bit confused on which pass is for you? See a page comparing the two options clicking the button below.
If you’re arriving at Barcelona airport and need a quick taxi solution that includes complimentary car seats for children: you can get a free ride quote at the Taxileader website.
Exploring by Bicycle
Even though this is the transport section, one of the best things to do in Barcelona with kids is getting around the open air with a bicycle. In a city of 300 km of bike lanes there’s no sense not soaking up the sun and keeping fit at the same time.
At the moment parents can rent bikes for their children starting as low as €2.50 an hour including helmet. Whether you’re cycling between attractions or going on a long ride along the beach with ice cream stops this is highly recommended.
Where to Stay in Barcelona with Kids
In my opinion the best area to stay with kids is the Eixample district. From here you’ll minimize your dependence on transport and avoid all the late night shenanigans of the city’s tourists.
Another great option is to stay is classy El Born for its proximity to Ciutadella Park as well as the beach. You also can’t go wrong in the mini-village of Gracia which maintains an independent charm not seen elsewhere in the city.
For more elaborate info read my article on Barcelona’s best lodging neighbourhoods.
General Tips for Visiting with Children
- Spanish dinner hours are normally between about 8 pm and 11 pm, with many top restaurants closing in the middle of the day. Plan kids’ snacks accordingly with supermarket visits.
- If you travel with kids you’ll know the pain! For pharmacies keep your eyes peeled for fluorescent green or red plus signs. A centrally located 24 hour pharmacy is open at Carrer Aribau 62 should you need it.
- If you’re visiting in June, July, or August it’s recommended to pack hats and sunscreen.
- Leave some room for improvisation! Barcelona is a great city to walk around and get lost, even for children.
Get More Info Talking to Me
I can only imagine how difficult it is to visit Barcelona with kids, and all I’ve done is write an article! If I’ve missed anything or you need any custom advice please be in touch with me in the comments below.
Happy travels 🙂