Welcome to part two of our recommendations for Barcelona’s best activities! This time, we will reveal some of our favourite things to do with your tweens or teens, to keep them entertained and upbeat throughout your Barcelona vacation!
No trip to the Catalan capital is complete without a heavy dose of renowned local architect, Antoni Gaudí. Whilst the Sagrada Família tends to take centre stage, for tweens and teens Park Güell is often the more popular option. Sprawling across 42 acres, its winding paths, sculptural abnormalities, quirky architecture and stunning view of the sea scream the perfect Instagram shot. With brightly coloured mosaics and imaginatively carved pillars, the park is akin to a Dr Seuss illustration and will no doubt capture the imagination of your inquisitive young adults, who can simultaneously top up their tans while admiring the creative genius of the Spanish architect.
Want an expert to take the lead and infuse your visit with family fun scavenger hunts? Try our Great Gaudi Family Tour!
Insider tip: bring your own tasty snacks along with you to refuel as there aren’t many cafes within Park Güell itself. What’s more, there are plenty of picnic benches for you to enjoy a quick munch as you bask in the Barcelona sunshine.
Bonus, suitable for rainy days:
Just outside Park Güell, tucked away in Gràcia, the Gaudí Experiència awaits those with a sense of adventure, eager to see Gaudí’s creativity brought to life through the modern power of 4D. Tweens will revel in the high-tech moving seats, special effects and surround sound which create the most immersive Gaudí experience possible. It’s great fun, whether you’re interested in architecture or not - so fun in fact that your kids might not notice it’s actually educational! Also a treat for high school kids, the Gaudí Experiència offers interactive boards for those kinesthetic learners, along with unique replicas of the architect’s unrealised projects, including one for an enormous New York hotel.
The Picasso Museum:
While the thought of being dragged around a dreary art gallery on vacation is a nightmarish thought for many adolescents, we promise that the Picasso Museum is both teenager friendly and anything but boring. Not only is it housed in a series of beautiful former palaces, but the artwork it displays are largely from Picasso’s own youth (especially hits home with kids 10 to 17!), which makes it far more relatable for youngsters. Who knows, the transgressive paintings may even inspire them to take up brushes of their own - how’s that for an incentive to visit!
You can see how Picasso developed his skills while only thirteen or fourteen years old, to become the most recognizable artistic genius of the 20th century. Many of his most famous works, studied in art classes all over the world, are just waiting to be admired.
The museum is found in el Born, an incredibly picturesque neighbourhood that is part of Barcelona's medieval Old Town, which is fun to explore as well as it is filled with upscale local artisans (everything from clothes to jewelry) and yummy restaurants that you can explore before or after your visit. Our favorite for families is Pim Pam Burger - the best in town and where your teenagers can rub elbows with the locals teens. Looking for dessert? Don't miss Bubo with their delicious looking (& tasting) sweet creations!
Insider tip: Whatever you do, make sure to buy your tickets in advance. All entrance tickets in Barcelona are timed and limited for crowd control. Kids under 18 are free of charge, which makes this an easy visit on your wallet!
Harbor & Montjuic Cable Cars
A cable car ride is guaranteed to be a treat and a great way to get an overview of the city (pun intended!). The cable car line across the harbor, built for the 1929 World's Fair offers such a vantage point that the entire city can be taken in, complete with the majestic Serra de Collserola mountain range at the very west (i.e. back) of the city, and the glistening Mediterranean waters below you. The slow moving cars give you plenty of time for photo snapping and landmark spotting as you rise above the parks and buildings below. Even better, the end of the journey brings you to the start of Barcelona's 3 miles of beaches.
Insider tip: Take a taxi up to Hotel Miramar and walk to the end of their cliff gardens to Cafe Miramar where you can enjoy a coffee and a snack (I would not suggest lunch here, as the food is not on par with the views!) before hopping on the cable car (station is below the cafe) for your trip across the harbor.
At the beach, you have options for paddle surf at Pukas Surf, bike riding or lunch of freshly made pizzas, salads or sandwiches at Santa Marta.