Having 2.5 and 6 year old kids at home is hard enough, so I was a little nervous taking them to Barcelona, where we would have to navigate busy streets, endure a few museums, and feed the kids really late. But there were so many fun things, I want to go back again right away! So here are my favorite reasons why Barcelona is super with kids.
1. Churros and chocolate
This is my main reason to go back. Two times a day is not too much, three might make you sick. You can eat them bags of them on the go or sit down at a “granja” cafe so you can dip and eat at a more relaxed pace.
2. La Rambla
La Rambla is a 1.2km long pedestrian street, lined with trees and street performers. Many other neighborhoods have similar “ramblas” that are perfect for a leisurely stroll any time of day.
On the La Rambla, your kids can chase birds, browse one of the many outdoor pet shops, and gawk at street performers.
3. La Boqueria Food Market
La Boqueria market is great fun to look at even if you’re not shopping for dinner.
There are several tapas joints inside La Boqueria for quick eats if you snag a spot at the bar. Patata Bravas are almost always on the menu, so if you kids can have fries if they don’t like squid or fried chili peppers.
4. The Beach
Barcelona is right on the coast, so there are miles of beaches (with a paved boardwalk) to explore.
This was a great way to relax after a long hot day of sightseeing.
You can drive out of town if you want a prettier, quieter beach. But the city beaches are full of entertainment: cafes, playgrounds, strange people, rocks to throw, sea glass to collect, etc. Plus you can swim.
5. Funky Architecture
Continuing on the Gaudi theme, Park Guell is a must-do with its candyland-like appearance and open space to run. Bring a picnic and find a spot on these curvy tiled benches.
6. L’Aquarium Barcelona
Visit the fantastic aquarium, which kicks the pants off Sea Life Konstanz.
7. City Parks
Get your wiggles out in the city park by the zoo. You can rent four-seater family bikes, which are difficult to maneuver but definitely amusing.
Cities are full of creativity and mystery. Barcelona seemed to have something strange and interesting around every corner, like this enormous three-legged sculpture or these geese inside a Kloster.
Instead of a hotel, we rented an apartment in a neighborhood a few bus stops outside the center of Barcelona. It was wonderful having so many little parks, playgrounds and plazas for our kids to run around in and meet local kids to play with.
8. Street Art
We spent a whole morning just wandering the narrow street, photographing our kids with their favorite street art. They loved the slideshow we made when we got home.
9. History & Culture
Mont Juic has lots of culture and history. Visit Poble Espagnol open-air museum and see all of Spain in one day. Climb on old artilerty in the Castell de Montjuic. Then take a gondola ride all the way back to the beach.
10. Magic Fountain Light & Music Show
Keep the kids up late one night to admire the magic fountain in front of the national museum. Then take a cab home to enjoy the city at night.
Bonus points: Hiking!
As you all know, hiking with my kids is my favorite pastime. Montserrat is just an hour train ride outside of Barcelona. The rock formations are so interesting and there are trails suitable for families.
Are you convinced yet? I am. I think I’ll book our next trip right now…