Insightful ideas by Barcelona expat mother and writer Andrea Fellman. You can see more from Andrea at: WanderlustLiving.com
Often referred to as the California of Europe, Barcelona has become a very popular destination for families. With it’s laid back atmosphere, historic city streets, interesting art, famous architecture, and beautiful mediterranean climate, it’s no wonder why people want to experience Barcelona with kids!
Take a trip to the top of Tibidabo
Tibidabo is a mountain that overlooks Barcelona and at the very top is the Church of the Sacred Heart and an old fashioned amusement park that’s a family favorite. The amusement park has a variety of small rides including a colorful ferris wheel with great views, but the real secret is to go inside the church, and take the elevator to the top. It will cost 2 Euros per person but this where you will see the most stunning of views and walk right alongside the impressive statues.
Rent bikes and cruise the beach
Barcelona is a very bike-friendly, city and if the kids need a break from all the walking, renting bikes are the perfect way to explore the city even more! If you are a little nervous about biking the city streets, then head down to Barcelona’s beaches. Barceloneta has a beautiful wide promenade with a bike lane for bikers. The further up the coast you go there will be less people and more beach!
Gaudi themed escape room
If you are traveling with tweens or teens and want to learn more about the life of Barcelona’s famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, then head to Escape Hunt for a fun and engaging experience. They have a specific escape room that is dedicated to the history of Antoni Gaudi’s life and work.
Scavenger hunt and kids tour of the Gothic Quarter
Enchanting Barcelona Tours has an interactive kids tour of the Gothic Quarter that takes your family on a fun scavenger hunt within the historic walls of the old Roman City. You will hear fascinating facts and interesting tales of Barcelona’s historic streets and the kids will be fully engaged while they discover special artifacts on this tour.
The Barcelona Zoo
The Barcelona Zoo is a great activity for families with young children. The zoo is the ideal size that won’t overwhelm little legs and you can actually see a lot of the animals up close. Make sure you get in line early for the dolphin show, this is a intimate space, so there is not a bad seat in the house.
If you’re a family that loves to cook, then your family will enjoy learning how to make one of Spain’s most popular rice dishes, Paella. There are a variety of paella cooking classes to choose from with wonderful chefs that will actually take you to the market to shop for the ingredients first and then put you to work creating a huge pan of Paella to enjoy!
The Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum is a great museum for families because it’s a smaller museum that you can enjoy before anyone has a major meltdown. I suggest doing some pre-trip preparation making sure your children are familiar with Picasso’s work, if they have not already been introduced.
Wander through Park Güell
Another Antoni Gaudi masterpiece and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Yes, this is the park with the famous wavy mosaic benches, houses that look like gingerbread houses, and the iconic mosaic dragon. Make sure you get tickets in advance as this venue notoriously sells out. Or, better yet, Enchanting Barcelona Tours has a scavenger hunt in Park Guell for kids, if you’re up for another exciting adventure.
Hike the Barcelona Bunkers
An activity that used to be a little lesser known, but has recently become a bit more popular. The Barcelona Bunkers are the remains of the old Spanish Civil War bunkers that once housed military weapons. If you’re an active family then pack a small picnic lunch in a backpack and head here just before sunset. This is a very family-friendly hike that even younger kids can tackle.
See the Magic Fountain
This is always a great activity to do on the last night. Head to Plaza Espana for an entertaining light show in the fountain that sits right in front of the National Art Museum of Catalunya. The light show is set to music and lasts about a half hour. The shows happen in the evening starting at sunset (check online before you go, as it changes throughout the year) and start every half an hour.
Insider tip: Have a tapas dinner with food that is tried and tested at pleasing all taste buds at Lolita Taperia.