Family holidays can often make for the best memories, but a lot depends on keeping the kids happy! Barcelona makes this an easy task as it’s a city that offers something for everyone, from beaches and parks to football stadiums and museums. To make your family holiday a stress-free experience, take a look at our guide to entertaining children of all ages in the Catalan capital.
Plus, book your Barcelona city break apartment with us and you’ll get a free set of city saver vouchers that give you discounts on loads of top activities all over Barcelona.
Activities for young children
Barcelona’s Aquarium is an ideal way to spend the afternoon with younger kids. It’s an underwater kingdom housing almost 400 marine species including Nemo and Flounder look-a-likes which children will love spotting. Watch their little faces light up as they walk through the 360º glass tunnel called the Oceaneri – they might even spot a few sharks.
As well as lions, tigers, elephants and gorillas, Barcelona zoo also has a great adventure playground where the children can run wild. We highly recommend the dolphin shows, which are great fun, especially when the dolphins launch balls for the audience to catch. Together with guided tours and workshops, the zoo houses a farm area with goats and rabbits for the younger kids to pet.
The zoo is based in the Parc de la Ciutadella which is a nice spot for a family picnic. The park is beautiful, especially on sunny days when children can run around, feed the ducks and take a rowing boat out onto the middle of the lake.
Hit the beach! Many people are surprised when they come to Barcelona for the first time and discover its vast stretches of beautiful beaches. Temperatures are warm enough for you to enjoy the beaches from March to October, so take the kids, let them take a dip and enjoy an ice cream. The closest beach to the city centre is Barceloneta and it can get quite overcrowded, so we’d recommend you heading a little further north to Bogatell or Icària beaches for a bit more space.
The Ramblas tend to go down well with kids, thanks to the street’s array of wacky street performers. Human statues of all descriptions, from angels to demons, line the street from top to bottom, mesmerising their audience with unique costumes and performances. Place a coin in a hat and be rewarded with a dance or sudden move. It’s a great photo opportunity but keep your wits about you for the pick pockets.
Activities for teenagers
CosmoCaixa is a great family day out, especially if you’re searching for something adults will also enjoy. Far from your average natural science museum, it’s an educational yet entertaining and interactive experience. The Amazon rainforest, complete with tropical downpours and alligators, is a particular highlight. You can conduct your own experiments, create sandstorms, and see animal species from all over the world.
Tibidabo is where you will find Cosmo Caixa and is great for slightly older children. It offers unrivalled panoramic views of the Catalan hinterland, the city and the Mediterranean Sea, while its funfair and amusement park are guaranteed to keep kids entertained for hours. Dare them to go on a few of the rides or simply buy some candyfloss and enjoy the view – either way, they will have an adrenaline- fuelled day out!
FC Barcelona Museum and Camp Nou Tour is an absolute must if you have teenagers who are interested in sport and would appreciate seeing the home of one of the greatest teams in the world. This legendary tour takes you behind the scenes; you get a glimpse of the president’s box, the changing rooms and can even walk through the players’ tunnel. The tour also includes entrance to the interactive museum which has over 100 years of memorabilia on show. If you’re lucky enough to be here when FC Barcelona are playing at home, then why not take the family to see a game?
Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia is the most visited attraction in Spain so it’s no wonder many families take their children to see it while on holiday in Barcelona. The Basilica, which isn’t set to be completed for another 20 years, is vast and dream-like. The inside is breathtaking and is full of models, photographs and plans from its humble beginnings in 1882 through the decades.
Shopping! Trawling the shops with kids in tow can be hard work, but it’s something most teenagers enjoy (especially if the spree is on mum and dad!). Barcelona is fantastic for a bit of retail therapy so why not spend an afternoon strolling up and down Passeig de Gràcia or Avinguda Portal de l’Àngel. Or if you fancy something a little different, wander down the side streets of the Born and Gothic Quarter and discover a huge range of independent boutiques.
Other fun-filled days out for children in Barcelona include:-