Violet (3), Lou (6), Pacôme (7)
and their parents in Barcelona
A lively city, both picturesque and modern, with a great climate! Museums, walks, parks and beach: the ideal cocktail for a great family trip…
The cable car ride at Montjuic, the old city’s western hill. We visited the Miró Foundation in the morning, and, from there, took a cable car up to the top of the hill: the children loved it! At the top, enjoy a coffee on the large terrace and admire the stunning view of the port. Then, you can walk down, through the large park, and maybe stop for a picnic. There are playgrounds and sand-pits along the way. A beautiful walk and lovely afternoon together as a family! And to finish off the day, at the bottom of the hill, don’t miss the ‘Magic Fountains’, in front of Palau Nacional: a water jet show, with music and lights, which the kids liked a lot! From May to September: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 21h30 and 23h30. October to April: Friday and Saturday, at 19h00, 19h30 and 20h00 (Metro: Plaça Espanya )
Ambling on la Rambla: the one place you can’t miss to go for a walk in Barcelona! Its wonderful to wander down this long bustling avenue which heads down to the port: stalls, street shows, musicians and mime artists. With its broad pedestrian zone down the middle of the street, the children had a fantastic time, in complete safety! It’s a popular place for people to hang out at the beginning of the evening, before dinner. Just off la Rambla, is the pretty Plaça Reial. With its arcades bordered by palm trees, it’s a super spot for an aperitif.
Spending a relax afternoon in The Güell Park, a place full of charm and magic, created by Gaudí: a fountain in the shape of a salamander, mushroom houses, coloured mosaics. You can spend hours there discovering all the wonders, as well as enjoying yourself in the playground. Watching the sunset from here is magnificent, and once sat down you won’t want to get up from the benches which snake around the place. The Park used to be free… but is not anymore! If you want to access to the “Monumental Zone” (and everybody should want!), you’ll have to purchase a ticket, slightly cheaper online.
A day on the beach at Barceloneta: the old sailors’ and fishermen’s district has a long promenade along the sea front, with lots of cafés and restaurants, where large families go for lunch at the weekend. We ate paella there, a real treat! The children can play on the beach, whilst the parents walk along the water’s edge: a real holiday place, only a few minutes from the town center!
Walk around in The Barrio Gotico: one of the oldest districts in the center, full of traditional streets. You can walk around with the children without any problems, because there are very
few cars. Lots of small shops selling craft wares (including one which makes delicious candies: PapaBubble), and, another speciality of the area, frescos made with paint bombs splattered on the shops’ shutters. A great opportunity to let the kids loose with the camera, as they had great fun taking shots for this report!
Two other wonders by Gaudi in Barcelona: Casa Batlló (Paseig de Gracià, 43), and of course, the Sagrada Familia. Absolutely amazing, you can’t miss it! Buy tickets online with fast pass entry, otherwise the line to get in is discouraging with kids. It’s beautiful, a magical scenery. Don’t miss the museum in the crypt with models, plans, etc.
The Miró Foundation: a splendid modern museum that the children adored! To get there take the funicular railway, which is great fun. The museum itself is spacious and light. The brightly-coloured and graphic works, as well as the audio-guide visit, were a great success. And for pretty photographs, the sculptures on the outdoor terrace are perfect! To avoid the very long waiting line, you should book your tickets online. And it is much less crowded in the morning. From the Miró Foundation, you can take the cable car up to the top of Montjuic.
Barcelona Aquarium, near the harbor. We went in the morning and there was no line and few people… but you can also purchase tickets online. It’s rather expensive, but what a success with kids! The highlight of the visit: the tunnel with sharks! Very impressive! But do not miss before leaving the playground, penguins and rays pond (all the family liked it and we spent there almost half an hour).The visit may last a morning before having lunch on the beach.
Tibidabo amusement park, on the highest hill of Barcelona: a breathtaking view of the city! The park is an institution for Barcelona’s children for over 100 years. Smallers (from 6 years old) and olders (to 14 years old) like it a lot. You pay at the entrance and then you can do anything you want (robot museum, cinema 4D, roller coasters, haunted house, stand up, etc.). Funicular from the Subway Av. Tibidabo.
The Boqueria Market: located approximately half-way down la Rambla (Metro: Liceu), this large indoor market is well worth a visit. Very lively and busy, with well-stocked stalls: a feast for the eyes! Not only that, it is also great to stop at one of the small bars inside, and try the delicious ham and other charcuterie, which you can get vacuum-packed if you want to take some home. They are selling super fruit juice and small fruit salads to take away. Delicious and great fun!
“Happy Pills”, a fun little candy shop: all of the candies are bottled like prescriptions. It looks like a medical lab, everything is white and pink. Kids loved it!(Several locations in Barcelona, one not far from the Boqueria market: Rambla de Catalunya, 12)
Store Vinçon: a large design shop on several floors, from little gadgets to large furniture. It’s fun for kids and parents. The store is located in an old house typical of Barcelona with terrace, workshop… something you should see! Passeig de Gràcia, 96
We rented an apartment on Friendly rentals, and it worked out very well: everything looks like the pictures on the website!
Ours was nicely decorated and perfectly located, on a charming square in the Barrio Gotico, with lots of shops around. It is really handy being able to eat at home, when the children are exhausted after a long day out and about…
A quick mention about the no-smoking rules which are different in Barcelona: some restaurants are ‘non-smokers’, and others remain ‘smokers’.
Barcelona is the place to eat tapas, the small plates of ham, cheese, charcuterie, seafood, etc… a treat, and perfect for the children who like to pick and choose! There are lots of tapas bars all around the city, including in the Boqueria market, and if you get the chance, go to the Palau de Musica, where the tapas bar is fabulous.
The little ones will love thick hot chocolate with ‘churros’, small deep-fried pastries. Greasy and sugary… sheer delight for the kids!
In Barceloneta, there are lots of places to eat along the sea-front: the ideal place for a paella… One restaurant we particularly enjoyed: El Atril, Carders, 23. A very friendly welcome and good traditional cooking with fresh produce straight from the market. And a nice change from tapas!
The Picasso Museum with the children: we must say that the children did not particularly appreciate the museum, nor were they taken in by the charm of the medieval building… too dark and crowded. A flop!..
Barcelona is a city where you do a lot of walking, even if you can use the metro which is clean and practical. Worrying beforehand that the kids might get very tired, we had the great idea to pack their scooters! As a result, the walks we did were fun for everyone: a real pleasure!
Barcelona is a very nice getaway for a week-end, or, of course more… We were there 4 days, in May, with a very nice weather. Sun shines in Barcelona almost all year long!
- a pocket-sized notebook + pencils
- in summer, sunscreen + hat
- a basic medical kit
- and foldable scooters! (to either fit in a suitcase or checked in separately)
|Our favorite children’s book about Barcelona :
An activity book to discover Miro’s painting, before/after visiting the Foundation: Sticker Art Shapes: Joan Miró. Young readers can learn about his life and explore six of his paintings : by arranging the re-usable stickers, kids can recreate the original or produce their own individual and surprising masterpiece!
A pre-trip book, Molly and the Magic Suitcase: Molly Goes to Barcelona (Volume 2), that includes a number of interesting facts and landmarks about Barcelona.
Enjoy your stay in Barcelona with kids!