6 of the Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in Barcelona
It could be said that Barcelona is the ultimate city break destination! A bustling city full of history, shopping and incredible architecture. Combine all of that with a great selection of beaches to make this the perfect place for an amazing family break.
There is so much to do in Barcelona that it can be hard to squeeze everything in so I've listed out 6 things that you should experience whilst you are there. Oh and if you're a family that loves sweet goods then you must head to chök where you'll find some of the best cronuts I've ever had! You can thank me later.
Barcelona has loads of charming parks and attractions but Tibidabo Park is one of my favourites.
Aimed at younger children, it's a colourful, electric park that features a retro-styled Ferris wheel whose sight alone is sure to excite your kids. The park has a number of rides including a water roller coaster, carousel, bumper cars and a robotics lab. However, the highlight must be the replica of the 1927 plane that once took passengers from Barcelona to Madrid. This 1928 plane, hooked up to a crane, whisks you around in a circle to give you the impression of flying. It's not often that you get the chance to go inside a near 100 year old plane, let alone 'fly' in one.
Tickets are c.€30 for Adults and c.€10 for kids. If you have a large family or you're tempted to visit the park more than once on your trip then consider an annual family pass that costs c.€130.
If you need some respite from the Barcelona sun, or the crowds, then I'd recommend checking out some of its amazing collection of museums.
For Young Science Lovers
The CosmoCaixa science museum is the ideal place for budding scientists and rather than just being full of exhibitions that you can only look at, the CosmoCaixa is renowned for its many hands-on experiences. Have you every wondered what it's like to touch the eye of a tornado, or how sand dunes develop in the desert? What about how satellite dishes work? Well, wonder no more. After a day at this science museum you'll all want to become scientists! The museum is a little way from the bustling centre so it's usually a bit quieter too.
Entrance into the museum is free for children under 16. Over 16s will be expected to pay €4.00, however, if you have the Barcelona Card then admission is free
For Those with A Sweet Tooth
If, like me, you have a massive sweet tooth then you'll have to head to the Museu de la Xocolata. The Chocolate Museum will take you on a journey through the origins of chocolate. From when it first came to Europe and how it spread around the continent, to understanding its medicinal and nutritional values. You can also book workshops or chocolate tasting sessions if you can't bear not to get your hands a little dirty.
Admission is free for children under 7, but for everyone else it's €6.
Go on A Variety of Tours
It's all well and good wandering around Barcelona and taking in all the sights, but to truly understand the city's history we'd recommend going on a few tours. Whether it's a bus tour around the city, or audio guides around some of the museums, we can guarantee that where you go and what you see will take on a whole new meaning with an expert guiding you around.
La Sagrada Familia
It wouldn't be a guide on Barcelona without including at least one of Gaudi's masterpieces. La Sagrada Familia is arguably the most well known building in Barcelona (unless you're a football fan of course!). Construction started in 1882 but by the time of his death in 1926 less than a quarter of this magnificent building had been completed. And it's still not finished now. The latest projections are that it will be finished in 2026. However, don't let that put you off. The main body of La Sagarda Familia is finished and it's absolutely stunning both inside and out.
The demand for tickets is very high, especially during the busy summer months so make sure you book tickets well in advance so you don't miss out.
Barcelona is a foodies dream. Whether your kids are picky eaters or will try anything, you'll find exactly what you want here. Food is such a huge part of Spanish culture and if you really want to experience everything on offer then I'd recommend getting yourselves on a food tour. There are some great options including tapas and wine tasting tours, Barcelona market tours with local chefs, cheese tasting tours and of course vegetarian and vegan food tours.
There are a number of companies offering food tours. I'd recommend taking a look at Tripadvisor's top 10 list as a place to start.
Cool Off on the Beach
You won’t have to forfeit splashing around in the water and sunbathing when you travel to Barcelona. There are lots of beaches you can choose from that offer year-round sun, clear water, and lots of food options.
Platja de la Nova Icària is a great family-friendly beach in Barcelona. It has all the amenities that your family will need. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, public toilets and showers are available, lifeguards are on duty, you can hire sun loungers on the beach and if you're really missing the connected world, there are even WiFi hotspots! Platja de la Nova Icària also has some of the most comprehensive offering of water sports in Barcelona, so if you fancy trying your hand at something then this is the beach for you.
Aquariums and Zoos
The Barcelona Aquarium is home to many varieties of marine life that you would expect an aquarium to have including sharks, moray eels, rays and most of the cast of Finding Nemo. If your brood is feeling really brave then you have the option to get up close and personal to the sharks that live in this aquarium by either diving with them or being in a cage. Age restrictions do apply and if you any of your family are qualified divers then make sure you bring your PADI identification as this will allow you to do more.
If you prefer your wildlife on the land then head over to Barcelona Zoo. It's located in the Parc de la Ciutadella which is only a couple hundred meters from Platja de la Nova Icària so if you're enjoying a day at the beach then head over here too. You'll find an impressive array of animals here from quick gazelles and lazy sloths to larger animals such as elephants, bears, lions and giraffes, to name just a few.
Barcelona has a number of great galleries including the world famous Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya so if you fancy exposing your family to a little more culture during your time in Barcelona then head over to one of them.
I'd recommend taking a trip to the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, or the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, where you'll find an amazing collection of around 5,000 works. The best known artworks are from artists such as Tàpies, Fontana, Saura and Klee. Exhibitions change every 3-6 months but what you will be assured of is whatever they have, they will definitely inspire your brood.