Barcelona is a fantastic city to visit with children and there are so many activities for kids of all ages to enjoy. Whether you’re staying in Barcelona for a week, visiting on a day trip from a Costa Brava resort such as Salou, or enjoying a pre-cruise stay, it’s worth researching what you plan to do before you travel.
In this post, we present five of the best things to do in Barcelona for families with children.
1. Magic Fountain
If you’re on a budget, the Magic Fountain is definitely recommended as it’s free of charge and a great way to spend an evening. The Magic Fountain, located in the Montjuic neighbourhood of Barcelona, is a huge fountain which combines coloured lights, music and dancing water sprays to create a spectacular show. The fountain show starts between 8 pm and 9.30 pm depending on the time of year and lasts for one hour. In the summer, it’s on Wednesdays to Sundays and at other times it’s on Thursdays to Saturdays.
The first performance of the Magic Fountain was in 1929 and it is still popular to this day. I’d recommend arriving a little before the start to get the best viewpoint, as it can get busy, particularly in the summer.
2. Barcelona Zoo
As Barcelona Zoo is located right in the city centre, within the Parc de la Ciutadella, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this would be a small zoo. However, it’s actually huge, and has plenty to fill a whole day. There are so many animals to see, including bears, tigers and crocodiles. The dolphin show is fantastic and kids love to see these intelligent animals perform. There’s also a great petting zoo, where they can touch rabbits, goats, pigs and sheep.
If you’re visiting the zoo, it’s a good idea to take a picnic as the food can be expensive and there aren’t many healthy options for children.
3. Parc de le Ciutadella
As well as being home to the zoo, Barcelona’s Parc de la Ciutadella in itself is a great place to visit and also contains several other attractions within the park. Here you’ll find the Modern Art Museum and the Zoological Museum, which is full of stuffed animals and skeletons.
You probably won’t have time to explore the park on the same day as a visit to the zoo, but if you have a few days in Barcelona, this would be a great place to put on your list. This 74-acre park is a beautiful area to enjoy a long walk, have a picnic under a tree or you could even hire a rowing boat to use on the lake.
4. Playa de la Barceloneta
What visit to Barcelona would be complete without a visit to the beach? Barcelona’s Playa de la Barceloneta is the most popular beach in the city and has lovely white sand. It’s a great place to relax all year round, and even in December you will see people swimming in the sea as Spain enjoys fairly mild winters compared to the rest of Europe.
The beach can get very busy, so it’s worth investing in a large beach sheet to mark your territory. There are some lovely ones available to buy from local street vendors. People will also approach you to sell you cocktails or cans of beer for €1. Whilst this can be tempting, it’s worth noting that drinking alcohol in public places such as the beach is illegal in Barcelona.
5. Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas is Barcelona’s most famous street and if you haven’t been to Barcelona before, it’s certainly worth going to see. There is a pedestrian section within the middle of the street which is lined with outdoor markets, shops and cafes. It’s a lovely location to take a stroll at any time of the day or evening. However, it can also be frequented by pickpockets which is something to be aware of. Plus, if you’re thinking of stopping for lunch or dinner, it’s recommended to head off down one of the nearby side streets instead, where you’ll likely find better food for a cheaper price away from the main tourist street.
Visiting Barcelona with children
Whilst this list only covers a few of the favourite things that families often enjoy in Barcelona, there are actually hundreds of activities to enjoy with children. One great way to get your bearings and decide where you’d like to see more of is to take an open-top bus tour of the city. Alternatively, if your kids are old enough to walk for a couple of hours without complaining (or young enough to ride in a pushchair), then a walking tour is a good way to learn more about the fascinating history of this city.
This post was supplied by Simon Hansen of familytravelplanet.com.