Barcelona has a multitude of family friendly attractions from its parks and beaches to its museums and monuments. Many of the ticketed attractions such as Gaudi’s Sagrida Familia and Guell Park will have long queues which can be difficult to manage with young kids. If you will be visiting, make sure to buy your tickets in advance to avoid queuing. When travelling between sights, the hop on hop-off bus service is great if you have a stroller as they are stroller accessible and stop right outside all the major sights.
Barcelona’s parks are fantastic for kids and Parc Guell is a definite must see (however there are plenty of steps here and a baby carrier would be useful). This is the unique and famous Gaudi park overlooking the city. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Gaudi. It was originally conceived as a “Garden City” for Barcelona’s affluent away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. The park along with Gaudi’s pink, fairy-tale style house is a curious and wonderful place to visit with kids. The park opens daily at 9am and pre-book your tickets if you can as the queues in the park tend to be quite long.
Tibidabo is a great option for families with toddlers and young children. It is the mountainous region overlooking Barcelona where the city’s amusement park is located which is suitable for children of all ages. There is also a church at the top which is illuminated at night. Tibidabo has a funicular (tram) that takes you up the hill from Avenida Tibidabo.
Ciutadella Park is another great place to take toddlers for a run around. The Barcelona Zoo is located here and is one of the most beautiful zoos in Spain and has more than 4,300 animals. There is a dolphin show as well as a picnic area and a playground within the grounds. For a complete list of Barcelona’s parks and gardens click here.
The Natural Sciences museum, is interactive and aimed towards children of all ages is worth a visit as is the Aquarium of Barcelona, located in the Port Vell where you can see more than 11.000 species of sea life. The Montjuïc Fountain is also worth seeing and is a mix of lights, music and water and will enthral older babies and toddlers.
Universal Mediterranea on the Costa Dorada close to Barcelona is made up of the Universal Studios Port Aventura theme park, the Costa Caribe water park, the Hotel El Paso, the Hotel Port Aventura and a Beach Club. Universal Studios Port Aventura makes for a perfect day out with kids. The park has a multitude of exciting rides, colourful shows, a wide variety of restaurants. Woody Woodpecker and his companion Winnie, together with the muscular Popeye and his girlfriend, Olive Oyl, the Pink Panther, and other friends, are your hosts in the park. The Costa Caribe Water Park has an area of 4,200 square metres of artificial beaches, a dozen attractions and a covered area for winter.
There are also plenty of more grown up attractions in Barcelona and you will be able to do many of these with kids in tow. The top three attractions in Barcelona are Gaudí’s church of the Sagrada Família (stroller accessible but you should pre book tickets to avoid queues), the winding streets of the Barri Gotic (the Gothic Quarter), and Las Ramblas, a world-famous boulevard filled with bars, restaurants and hotels. The city is a shoppers paradise and has many of the high street stores that you would find in the UK and Ireland such as Mango and Zara along with designer stores, boutiques and large department stores such as El Corte Ingles.
There is so much to see in Barcelona and on one visit you might just scratch the surface. It is definitely a city that will keep you coming back for more. La Ribera, home to the Picasso Museum, is worth exploring as is El Raval, an area filled with cafe bars, tapas bars, restaurants and boutiques along with the contemporary art museum, MACBA. The fortress-topped hill of Montjuïc, contains the stadium used for the 1992 Olympic Games as well as some of the city’s best art museums including the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.