Visiting Barcelona with Kids
So you've decided to visit Barcelona... maybe you fancied a nice romantic weekend away? We can only imagine your horror when the children insisted on coming too! But fear not, even if you weren't able to dissuade your little darlings from joining you (let alone convince Granny to look the mischievous munchkins for a few days) visiting Barcelona with kids needn't be a chore. In fact, with so many ways to entertain them, a family holiday can be even more invigorating than discovering the city with adults.
Naturally, being a big city, there will be a few challenges for those families coming to Barcelona on holiday, particularly for those with young children or toddlers. The metro is invariably crowded, as is La Rambla thoroughfare, whilst the city beaches, especially Barceloneta, can be action-packed and chaotic - and naturally the sea and the scorching sun mean sensible precautions must be applied at all times! On the plus side, there are literally scores of attractions that will hold the interest of even the hardest to please children, from the surreal creations of Gaudi to full-access tours of Camp Nou (perfect for young football fans!), and not forgetting of course a fantastic zoo and rare attractions like the Museo del Mammut (Mammoth Museum).
Above: Taking the kids for a stroll by Barcelona's Arc De Triomf
There are also plenty of great day trips from Barcelona suitable for families with children. Kids will love the wider quieter beaches of Sitges or Ocata, whilst Figueres up the road boasts the Dali Museum - whose twisted imagination makes him a favourite with youngsters. Overlooking Barcelona itself is the Collserola mountain ridge, on top of which is Tibidabo amusement park... so a perfect combination of natural and man-made attractions!
Read on for our top suggestions of things to do with children in Barcelona, and if you haven't booked your accommodation yet then we suggest you check out our article on Barcelona apartments for some family-friendly flats, or our hotels directory for an A-Z list of beds in BCN.
Things to do in Barcelona with Kids
Here are some top suggestions to put on your itinerary. Click on the blue links to find out more!
How many times a day do you find yourself telling your children "Don't touch that!", "Put that down!", "Get away from there!". Well for once you can relax a little. At the Mammoth Museum in the central El Borne district guests are actually allowed to handle ancient treasures like the genuine teeth and tusks of woolly mammoths, found recently in Siberia. The friendly staff have plenty of fascinating tales to tell your kids about the Ice Age as well.
Are you hoping to qualify for parent of the year award? If so then one thing that will definitely ensure you get your kids vote is an afternoon go-karting at the city's best indoor track. They have special karts for children over 1.3m tall which are less powerful than the adult machines, and means they can race safety and securely. Who knows maybe your little one is the next Lewis Hamilton?
Nothing gets kids exciting like the chance to see the creatures of the Discovery Channel in the flesh, fur, feather or scales. Barcelona's Zoological Gardens are some of the best in Spain with big cats, gorillas, elephants and even a pod of acrobatic dolphins to entertain your children.
Barcelona Treasure Hunt
Every kid fancies themselves as a young Sherlock Holmes, so what better way to pit the whole family's wits to the test than a race against the clock where you'll have to solve a series of clues - and move fast - to win the prize.
Ice Cream Tasting
If the little ones have done a sterling job of behaving themselves throughout your whirlwind tour of the city's museums, then perhaps you'd like to reward them - and yourself - with some sweet treats. Barcelona has some lipsmackingly creative ice cream parlours with every flavour you could imagine for sale, from chocolate chip to lemon sorbet - and quite a few you couldn't, like curry flavour! Click on the link above for options.
We'll update this page soon with some more great things to do with the sprites in tow. Meanwhile if you have any suggestions for what to do with kids on vacation in Barcelona please comment below! We'd love to hear from you.