Barcelona With The Kids!

Park Guell kids!With its location on the Mediterranean, great food, fun museums and friendly people, Barcelona is a favorite among savvy travelers with kids.

Although Catalan is the official language, most people here speak Spanish and many understand English. In addition to the usual aquarium and zoo, this art center of Spain has a lot to offer:

Chocolate Museum Learn about the history and see sculptures done in chocolate of famous characters (Nemo is a favorite). A cute café is on site for a quick break.

Citadel Park has a playground where kids from around the world make friends. Rent a rowboat for a fun afternoon. (Warning: no life jackets.)

Kid-Friendly (teal & purple)

Beaches on this coast they are rocky so bring water shoes.

Urban Jungle – called “Barcelona Bosc Urba”, this has a zip line, rope walks, bungee jumping, log rolls and 50 + attractions for everyone.

Maritime Museum – at the foot of the Ramblas in the 13th century Royal Shipyards, these are the best preserved medieval shipyards in the world. (Open 10 to 8 daily, 3.50 euros to get in but free on Sunday.) And when you get tired of the ship models, nautical gear, concerts, etc., there is a cafeteria on site for a quick lunch.

The Aquarium – at Port Vell.  The kid will love checking out the seahorses and sharks!

Ramblas – the main street in Barcelona leading up from the harbor. Check out the market, shops and cafes here when you stroll like the natives. The statue of Christopher Columbus offers great views from the top.

Gaudi sightings – famed architect Antonio Gaudi left his mark on the Sagrada Familia Church (still not done), Park Guell (with its serpent sculptures done in colorful tiles), and many unusual houses around the city (check out the rounded walls and unique tilework).

In addition to the above, Barcelona’s museums and galleries have interesting exhibits, there are free concerts and street performers, and festivals abound throughout the year. Barcelona is one of the most kid-friendly places and should not be missed. Buen viaje!


  1. There are several websites now to purchase tickets in advance and skip the long lines at places like Casa Mila and the Sagrada Familia. Do your research before you go to see if a multi-day ticket on a Hop On/Hop Off bus is worth it. Despite being in the news recently with protests, etc., Barcelona is a friendly and safe city and definitely worth a visit.

  2. The Cosmo Caixa is probably the most beautiful science museum in Europe with a mini Amazon rain forest, a planetarium, and many interactive activities for the children. Open Tues. to Sun. from 10 am to 8 pm. Admission is 4 euros for adults, children under 16 are always free.

  3. The Museu d’Historia de Barcelona (Placa del Rei, metro stop is Jaume I) also has a website to prep you before your visit to make the most of your time – Admission is 7 euros fro adults and 5 for children, but free the 1st Sunday of the month and 3 to 8 pm every Sunday. Highlights include: Roman foundations of the city, medieval courtyard, restored Roman tower and wall, underground laundry, remains of 6th & 7th century church, ancient wine making stores, 14th century palace chapel. Literally there is something for everyone.

  4. The wrought iron “Boqueria” on La Rambla is a city landmark, opened in 1840. This is one of the world’s largest indoor food markets with a great selection of Spain’s favorites: wild mushrooms, hams, seafood. There are several bars and cafes inside and the Pinotxo bar near the main entrance serves breakfast. So much fun for kids and adults alike. Remember that they use the metric system here, so a kilo of cookies is really 2.2 pounds.

  5. If you are going to buy a Barcelona transportation card, you should know that it is also good for a ride to and from the airport. For about 14 euros for 2 days, 20 euros for 3 days, you get unlimited passage on all subways, buses, RENFE (railroad) runs. This is a real bargain as Barcelona has one of the best transportation systems in Europe.

  6. Thank you for suggesting the Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) which was the best day for my daughters. In a 2 hour 30 minute workshop, they learned to make bars, truffles and lollipops. This costs 65 euros for 2 people. Other workshops are aimed at 8 to 12 year olds. The museum is in an old monastery – so interesting. Your ideas are fabulous; please do more cities in Europe.

  7. Be aware that restaurants do not open for dinner until 8 pm at the earliest. The biggest meal of the day is taken in the afternoon and this can be difficult for American kids. I try to find local snacks and fruit to tide them over and outdoor markets sell nuts to snack on as you walk. Nutella (the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread) is all over but American peanut butter is very hard to find.

  8. El Corte Ingles (department store like Macy’s) started in Madrid but the biggest one in the chain is on Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona. Go to the 9th floor and have a snack or lunch outside on the roof terrace for beautiful views of the city at no extra charge. Many people speak English at this store so no worries and the staff is extremely polite and helpful.

  9. Several coloring books for kids (although many adults like them, too!) are available with Gaudi designs to get them interested before you go. Older children will find books at the library that can explain his genius ideas. Start with a visit to Park Guell where the kids can run around mosaic serpents.

    1. Be sure to prep the kids before you go so they can truly appreciate the genius of Gaudi. His tile designs, serpents, etc. are amazing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.