Sightseeing Barcelona with kids

Is it fun to go to Barcelona with kids? Yes it certainly is! There is enough to do in Barcelona to spend at least a few days there. Especially since the city is located on the beach, it is definitely not a punishment to go here for a week, thus pairing a week at the beach with sightseeing and activities. Here we list the best sights and activities in Barcelona with kids for you!

Barcelona with kids: how to get there.

You have several ways to go to Barcelona with the family. Some families visit the city of Barcelona during the summer vacation when they spend two weeks in a hotel somewhere or camping and other families take a city trip of a few days to Barcelona. We list the different options on how to get to Barcelona with kids.

By car: many Dutch families visit the city of Barcelona from their vacation address. We ourselves have also driven several times from our campsite in the south of France to Barcelona by car. If you drive from the Netherlands to Barcelona in one trip, it will take you about 15 hours without stops. Most Dutch families drive from the Netherlands to this Spanish city in two days.

By train: another option for visiting Barcelona with kids is by train. You can get to Barcelona in just over 11 hours from Amsterdam, and you have to change trains once along the way. Of course, this is a relaxing way to travel and you won’t be bothered by traffic jams or roadworks. You board the train at nine in the morning and arrive in Barcelona a little past nine in the evening. There are five trains a day from the Netherlands to Barcelona. For all information on traveling by train to Barcelona, take a look here.

By plane: most families who go on a city trip to Barcelona travel by plane. You fly to Barcelona from the Netherlands in two hours, and dozens of planes fly to this Spanish city every day. So always carefully compare all flights from the Netherlands and perhaps also from Germany (Düsseldorf) and Belgium (Brussels). That way you can save a lot of money. We ourselves actually always compare flights through Skyscanner’s website. We personally find that to be the easiest website to book airline tickets. To compare flights to Barcelona take a look here.

City break Barcelona with family: what do you need to know in advance?

If you are going on your first city trip to Barcelona with kids, it is helpful if you know a few things in advance. We list them briefly below.

  • Public transportation. You can easily explore the city by public transportation. This is well regulated in the city. We mostly used the metro the times we visited Barcelona and then you get almost everywhere in the city. Almost all of the Barcelona attractions and children’s activities in this list can be reached by metro. You can buy these metro tickets very easily in the metro station.
  • Safety. Despite Barcelona being a safe city, you have to watch out for pickpockets. These often operate in the metro and near the beach. A friend of ours went to sit on a bench on the promenade near the beach for a while and his bag was taken by a cyclist in a jerk. Of course, you really don’t need to be afraid, but do pay a little attention to your stuff.
  • Times of eating. Spaniards eat much later than us. For example, they have lunch around 2 p.m. and often do not have dinner until 9 p.m. That’s usually too late with kids, but in Barcelona you have plenty of restaurants that are open all day. We always ate at Dutch times and had no trouble finding a suitable eatery.
  • Shopping. You can shop well in Barcelona with the family, and generally the prices of clothes are cheaper than with us in the Netherlands. You also have many outlets in Barcelona where you can buy branded clothes at cheap prices.
  • Take it easy. Especially if you visit the city of Barcelona with kids in the summer, temperatures can be quite high. Then don’t put too many activities on your schedule, but choose two to at most three things you want to do or see in a day. And make sure you rub in well. We once used the Hop on Hop off bus for a day and did not realize (because of the wind) that we were getting quite burnt anyway.

Not-to-be-missed sights

#1 Sagrada Familia: this is Barcelona’s most famous landmark and therefore should definitely not be missed on your list of course. This basilica that was partly built by artist Gaudi is still not completely finished, and they hope it will be completely finished by 2026. When you stand in front of the basilica you immediately see that it really is a tremendously special structure with enormous details. The inside of the basilica is also beautifully designed and the stained glass and lead on the inside is also very nice to see.

You can climb one of the towers in the basilica and then also have a beautiful view of Barcelona from the basilica. Kids up to 10 years old can enter the basilica for free.

#2 Ramblas: Barcelona’s most famous street is the Ramblas and it is definitely fun to take a spin around here with your kids. The street is car-free and all over the street there are performers trying to entertain the public as a living statue, acrobat or clown.

What we ourselves find a very nice square adjacent to the Ramblas is Placa Reial. This is a square with a huge number of cozy terraces and nice restaurants. Another nice market on the Ramblas is the Boqueria Market. An indoor market, where they sell all kinds of products. The market is not super big, but if you are on the Ramblas it is fun to look inside with your kids.

A nice neighborhood adjacent to the Ramblas is Barri Gotic, the old historic center, where you have many narrow medieval corridors that today house trendy bars, restaurants and clubs.

If you are a lover of old churches, you can also visit Barcelona’s old cathedral for free with kids in the neighborhood.

#3 Parc Güell: This is Barcelona’s most famous park and also a not-to-be-missed Barcelona attraction with kids. This large city park was created by architect Gaudi and you can see that right away in the park. You have gorgeous mosaics and unusual shaped stairs everywhere, and the view in the park over the city of Barcelona is beautiful. We must say that we always get very happy when we visit the park when we are in Barcelona. By the way, the park is bigger than just the paid section, so there is also an option to visit part of the park for free. The park also has playground equipment in several places for kids to play.

Keep in mind that you pay an entrance fee for the park, so it is not a public park. By the way, kids up to 6 years old can visit the park for free. These days there is also a children’s attraction Gaudi 4d nearby.

As you can see, the architect Antoni Gaudi plays a big role in the city of Barcelona. Several buildings he designed in the city include Casa Battlo and Casa Mila. Not interesting for kids to visit, but from the outside these buildings look nice.

#4 Beach: if you are in Barcelona with kids in the summer months, you have to go to the beach! At Playa de Barceloneta you will also find play equipment such as a large climbing pyramids and slides.

Near this beach is also Parc de la Barceloneta, which also has an excellent playground in the park. We always love it when we have spent a day visiting all kinds of things in a city to take a dip in the sea and lie on the beach by the end of the afternoon. Along the beach there is also a pleasant promenade, where you can have a bite to eat and a drink and where it is pleasant to walk along.

#5 Fountain Show: this show that takes place mainly in the evening is also one of the most famous Barcelona attractions with kids. The show is not every day so check the website in advance to see when the show is and also the times are often quite late (9 in the evening), but do your kids have the age that they can stay up that long it is a fun free activity you can do with your kids.

Family-friendly hotel Barcelona
Barcelona with kids

Fun parks in Barcelona

The city of Barcelona has several fun parks worth visiting with kids. We list the best parks in Barcelona with kids for you below.

#6 Parc de la Ciutadella: Located in the middle of the city and close to the beach, this park is well worth a visit. In the park there are beautiful ponds with beautiful statues, and the nice thing is that you can go boating with your kids on the big lake in the middle of the park. This park is also home to two playgrounds. You will also find a giant mammoth in the park.

#7 Parc de la Creueta del Coll: this is a fun park where you can easily spend a few hours with kids. The park has a playground, of course, but also a nice swimming pool, which you can go to for just over 2 euros. Really a very nice pool and also ideal for small kids because the pool is so shallow. In addition, there is plenty of grass in the park for family picnics, for example.

#8 Parc del Laberint d’Horta: This is a very large park with a nice maze of bushes in the middle of the park. It is also fun to take a walk through the park past the various gazebos and ponds. Of course, this park also includes a fun playground for the kids. On Wednesdays and Sundays the park is free to visit and on the other days you pay a little more than 2 euros entrance fee.

#9 Parc del Castell de L’Oreneta: This is another super family-friendly park with plenty for kids to do. A small train runs through the park and kids can also ride a pony here. Again, of course, there is a playground in the park.

Barcelona with kids
Barcelona with kids

Family-friendly museums in Barcelona

If you are visiting Barcelona with kids, you may also want to visit a museum. There are a number of family-friendly museums in Barcelona and below we have listed the best ones for you!

#10 Museum CosmoCaixa: this is the natural history and science museum where kids can do all kinds of experiments. In the museum, on the first floor you have a very large aquarium with all kinds of fish and you can walk through a tropical garden downstairs. The museum has several departments with themes such as humans, evolution and geology. They also have a kind of laboratory section where kids can do experiments. Admission for kids under 16 is free and parents pay only a few euros, so you certainly don’t have to settle for the price. The museum also has a restaurant inside.

#11 Chocolate Museum: located on the edge of the Parc de la Ciutadella, this museum is obviously dedicated to chocolate. Fun for kids is that in showcases you can admire different figures such as soccer players, Lego dolls and cartoon characters like Asterix and Obelix made entirely of chocolate. The museum does not suggest much, but with kids, of course, chocolate tasting is always a good idea.

#12 Museu de Ciencies Naturals de Barcelona: this is the city’s natural history museum and in front of the entrance to the museum is a very large dinosaur. If you walk up the stairs into the museum, you walk under a huge skeleton of a fish. The room with the skeletons of dinosaurs are impressive and you certainly do have some interactive displays throughout the museum, but it’s also mostly a lot of looking. Kids can also enter this museum for free.

#13 Wax Museum of Barcelona: it is a bit like Madame Tussauds, only here among the 300 wax figures there will be a lot of unfamiliar figures for Dutch kids, because of course there are a lot of famous Spaniards among the statues. For kids, you have several themed rooms here and in the evenings you can even book a horror experience here with older kids. It does feature some international stars your kids will know like Messi and the protagonists of the Netflix series La casa de Papel.

#14 Big fun museum: this is a fun museum for small kids and it does look a bit like we think of the famous Instagram museums in the Netherlands. You have all kinds of objects in this museum that are huge, where you can take fun pictures with kids. So you can stand in mega-shoes, in a giant sink, a giant pair of underpants and much more. There is also an area where everything is upside down (a bit like Upside Down in Amsterdam), there is a large ball pit with many colored balls and an area with lots of mega candy. We always really enjoy this kind of museum, but educationally it is obviously a lot less.

#15 Barcelona Olympic and Sports Museum: in 1992 were the Olympic Games in Barcelona and you can still see elements of this in the city such as also the Olympic stadium and the rings and there is also still a museum about these Olympic Games. The museum looks beautiful inside with lots of big TV screens with all kinds of sports on them. There are certain games for kids to do as well as activities such as long jump, for example. The price of this museum is again reasonable. Kids pay no admission and adults pay a few euros.

#16 Maritime Museum: this is the museum dedicated to shipping. Still, it doesn’t compare to, say, the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, which is much more focused on kids. The reviews of this museum are not super good. On Sundays, you can enter the museum for free at certain hours.

Barcelona with kids
Barcelona with kids

Moving around Barcelona with kids

There are several ways you can explore the city of Barcelona with kids. We list the cutest ways for you.

#17 Hop on Hop off buses: if you want to see many sights in Barcelona with kids in a short time, these buses are ideal. When we visited Barcelona the first time, we used these buses for a day and we always love sitting in the sun at the top of the bus with the roof open and watching the city around you. You have two different companies(Barcelona Bus Turistic and Barcelona City Tour) that offer these bus tours around the city. There are different routes that the different buses run and check beforehand what you all want to visit and which route then suits you the most. 

#18 Cycling: if you want to explore Barcelona with kids by bike, you can go to the Dutch company Baja Bikes. This company organizes different types of bike tours of Barcelona, including a bike tour with kids. They already have kids’ bikes for kids as young as 4, and it’s also possible for your kids to go on the back of your bike on a child seat. This bicycle tour takes about 3 hours. For an overview of the different organized bike tours of Barcelona with kids, take a look here

#19 Boat Ride: You can also see the city’s skyline from the water in Barcelona with kids. For example, you can book an hour-long canal cruise and then sail along the beach. Kids up to and including 14 years old can take the boat for free.

It is also possible to go sailing with your kids in Barcelona. This is a pricey undertaking, though. The company offers several cruises. 

#20 Cable car: you can also see Barcelona from the air with kids. Travel by cable car above Barcelona’s port to the Miramar viewpoint on Mount Montjuïc. The trip takes about 10 minutes and goes over an elevation of 70 meters. From this cable car you have a very cool view of the port and Barcelona!

Barcelona with kids
Barcelona with kids

Other children’s activities in Barcelona

As you can see, there is a tremendous amount you can do in Barcelona with kids. Hereby we list 10 more fun other activities in Barcelona with kids for you!

#21 Tibidabo Amusement Park: this is a very fun amusement park for young kids and the amusement park is located on a mountain. Because of this, you also have a magnificent view of the city from the amusement park. The amusement park has mainly carnival rides such as a Ferris wheel, bumper cars and a merry-go-round. The entrance fee is a bit on the hefty side. but you can easily have a day here with your kids.

#22 Torre de Collserola: if you really want a view of all of Barcelona and the sea, this TV tower is a good option. The tower is built at 560 meters above the sea, so is already a bit higher than the city itself, and then you can still take the elevator in the tower to the tenth floor at 115 meters to view the city. In good weather, you can see as far as 70 kilometers. A visit to the tower can be easily combined with Tibidabo amusement park, as they are on the same site.

#23 Barcelona Zoo: You can also go to the zoo in Barcelona with kids. The zoo has all the familiar animals such as lions, elephants, rhinos, monkeys and hippos. It’s quite a sizable zoo, so you can spend a few hours here with kids. They obviously have plenty of eateries in the zoo itself and for kids there is also a playground in the zoo.

#24 Indoor Playground Happy Parc: If you are still looking for an indoor playground where your kids can expend their energy when the weather is bad in Barcelona then this is a great option. The indoor playground is located in the center less than a 10-minute walk from the Ramblas.

#25 Illa Fantasia Water Park: just outside the city is a huge water park. This water park is easily accessible by bus and train and has more than 22 slides. Some slides have a minimum length requirement, so be sure to check the website in advance to see where your kids are all allowed off and where they are not.

#26 Aquarium Barcelona: the aquarium is the largest Mediterranean aquarium in the world and has 11,000 animals and 450 different species swimming around in its 21 large aquariums.

#27 Swimming Pool Municipal de Montjvice: if you want to spend a day swimming in Barcelona with kids, this pool is a very nice option. The pool is on a mountain and therefore from the pool you have a tremendous view of the city. The pool is only open in the summer months and admission is a few euros.

#28 Pable Espanyol: well how to describe this. It is actually a kind of enclosed part of a neighborhood, centered on the country of Spain. Whereas in Madurodam you can see all of the Netherlands in miniature, here you can see different parts of Spain and Spanish culture in miniature. If you are interested in Spanish culture, a trip here is an option.

#29 Stadium Camp Nou: If your kids are totally soccer crazy, then a visit to the stadium of soccer club Barcelona is a must. Tours of the stadium are very popular with tourists and we found it to be a very enjoyable tour as well. The tour takes you into the locker rooms, near the field in the stadium and into the room where all the club’s cups and awards are displayed.

Of course, it is also very cool to go watch a Barcelona game with your kids. When going to Barcelona with kids, look at Barcelona’s playing schedule and whether they have to play at home. In general, it is quite simple to buy tickets for the game online or in town. We also visited Barcelona once during a visit to the game and it does make an impression with so many spectators in the stadium.

#30 Port Aventura: if you own a car in Barcelona and want to take your kids to a big amusement park, this theme park is a must. The entire area actually consists of three different amusement parks: the Port Aventura amusement park, a water park and Ferrari Island. The amusement park itself has as many as 43 different attractions for young and old, and obviously you can easily entertain yourself here for a day.

#31 Indoor Jumping Club: you can also go to a trampoline park in Barcelona with kids. By public transport you can get to this trampoline park in half an hour and it’s definitely a cool activity if, for example, the weather is not so good in Barcelona and you still want to do something with the family.

#32 Indoor Karting Barcelona: you can also go karting in Barcelona with kids. Indoor Karting Barcelona is located slightly out of the center of Barcelona and by public transport it will take you about half an hour. You can also go bowling and laser tag with kids at this center. This is also a great children’s activity in Barcelona when the weather is not so good.

#33 Bunker del Carmel: The best view of Barcelona is from these bunkers. These bunkers are located on the hill Turo de la Roviro and you can go here for free with kids in Barcelona. You can go here in several ways. By subway, stop at El Carmel subway station and then it’s another kilometer up the mountain. You can also catch bus line 24 and get off at Carretera del Carmel and then it’s another ten minutes up the mountain. And a cab, of course, can drive you all the way up the mountain, so you don’t have to walk at all with your kids.

#34 Bosque Urba Plaza Barcelona: you can also go to a climbing park in Barcelona with kids. This climbing park is located in the northeastern part of the city and public transportation will get you there in about 20 minutes. You can go here with kids as young as five. In fact, children as young as five can play on the big trampoline with big balls, and kids as young as eight can actually go climbing and do the family circuit. They must then have a length of at least 1.35 meters. Kids as young as eleven are then allowed to do all the courses at this climbing park. You can have a great time here for half a day in Barcelona with kids.

Barcelona with kids
Barcelona with kids

Day trip from Barcelona with kids

Of course, you can also explore the surrounding area with a rental car, for example. We ourselves did this in Barcelona and you can take several day trips from Barcelona.

#35 Andorra: We drove ourselves to Andorra in one day with a rental car. You drive from Barcelona to Andorra in about 2.5 hours by car. Many people go shopping in Andorra, as the tax on products is very low here, making prices low. The capital is fun to walk through once, but there aren’t super many activities here for kids. On the route from Barcelona to Andorra, there is a fun adventure park called Naturland that you can visit with your kids.

#36 Tarragona: you can also drive by car from Barcelona with kids to this place. Tarragona has plenty to do for kids including several nature parks, beaches, an amusement park and a climbing park. You drive to this place by car from Barcelona in just over an hour. By the way, it is also possible to visit this city by train. The train takes about an hour,

#37 Prades: if you and your family love mountains, you can visit the area around the town of Prades. You can do various children’s activities in the city, and in the mountains you can go hiking with the kids.

Barcelona with kids: car rental

If you are going to do the above described activities in Barcelona with kids, then a car will come in handy. Basically, there is public transportation in the city, but we still really like having our own car. We actually find the cars from Sunny Cars are always top notch!

You actually have all costs included in the price here and are insured for most things (including your deductible). We have had problems with this in the past with other rental companies, because all kinds of costs are added at the destination. With Sunny Cars, you know that’s not the case and that’s a nice feeling. You can additionally cancel the car 1 hour before your reservation free of charge. You can also rent a car in Barcelona with kids from Sunny Cars.

Check out the different rental cars here.

Family-friendly hotels Barcelona

You can stay in Barcelona with kids just fine. We list some great options in different price ranges below.

Budget hotel: Hotel Ingles

Mid-range hotel: Barcelo Raval

Luxury hotel: El Avenida Palace

To search for other hotels in Barcelona with kids click here the whole list.

Family-friendly hotel Barcelona
Family-friendly hotel Barcelona

Barcelona Family Card

Barcelona card: like almost every major city, Barcelona also has a card for tourists, which gives them free access to certain museums and public transportation. Look in advance at where you all want to go and what you want to see and then see if a map is cost-effective for your family.

Barcelona Family Card: you also have a card in Barcelona designed specifically for families. The card gives “free” access to many children’s activities in Barcelona. Even with this card, it’s a good idea to check the website beforehand to see what all is included in this card and whether you’ll get the money out of it if you’re taking a city trip to Barcelona with kids.

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