Barcelona city breaks are a great choice for families looking for a fun and interesting place to visit. Cheap flights to Barcelona are available from many destinations and the short-haul flight is perfect for those travelling with kids. The city is packed with great, affordable places to stay and the Barcelona weather is beautiful all year round. The city enjoys long hot summers and mild cosy winters. Once you get there, use this list of some of the best family-friendly attractions and things to do in Barcelona.
Football is at the heart of Barcelona’s culture. The team is the city’s proudest export and references to them can be found all over the city. Taking a tour of the Nou Camp Stadium is a must for any football fan. It’s also a great day out for a football loving son or daughter. You’ll have the chance to see the locker rooms, the presidential box and even to walk onto the pitch. Tickets are available from the Barcelona FC Website.
The celebrated architect called Barcelona home, and the majority of his works are located in the city. For a great day out you should start by visiting Casa Vicens, Gaudi’s first major project in Barcelona. It is a mansion built for a wealthy family. Your children are sure to be impressed by the opulence and beauty. After this be sure to check out the facade of the La Pedrera and take a walk through Parc Güell. Here Gaudí’s home stands among a collection of other imaginatively designed buildings. There can be no better to finish to a tour of Gaudí’s masterpieces than a visit to the Sagrada Familia. The legendary Barcelona Cathedral remains unfinished despite construction starting in 1882.
La Rambla & The Gothic Quarter
Another of the most famous Barcelona attractions is the Gothic Quarter. It’s a district at the heart of the city, perfect just to wander around. Visitors can enjoy losing themselves in the narrow winding streets beautifully restored Gothic Facades are interspersed with clean, modern buildings.
La Rambla is the street which divides the Gothic Quarter from the western El Raval district. It is a popular area with tourists and locals alike. La Rambla’s kilometre stretch of pedestrianised streets, lead from the Christopher Columbus Monument at one end to Plaza Catalunya. La Rambla and Plaza Catalunya are lined with shops and thronged with crowds from early until late. Both of these areas make a perfect stop for lunch and a bit people watching or souvenir shopping. Barcelona is famous for street food and there are plenty of ice cream parlours should your children need a pick-me-up!
Situated in Citadel Park, in the center of the city, Barcelona Zoo features a great collection of animals. Your children’s favourite animals are bound to feature. The zoo is home to gorillas, orangutans, giant anteaters, hippos and wolves to name but a few. The dolphin shows are always popular with families. In addition, the farmyard zoo, pony rides and playgrounds are sure to tire out even the most active of children. A visit to Barcelona Zoo can easily be combined with a walk around the Citadel Park. You can also take in The Castle of the Three Dragons and the Catalan Parliament buildings as you go.
Picasso Museum & More
The Picasso Museum in Barcelona houses one of the largest collections of his artworks. A fantastic place to introduce your kids to Barcelona’s favourite adopted son. The collection includes several of the artist’s major works and documents Picasso’s close relationship with the city of Barcelona. He spent many of his formative years at La Llotja Art School in Barcelona. The Museum is spread across 5 palatial buildings at the heart of the city. The museum shop also has lots of gifts. It is perfect to find a memento for your kids to remember the experience. To avoid queues, try to arrive at lunch or towards the end off the day in high summer.
Barcelona has a proud artistic heritage, with modern and classical galleries dotted all over the city. The Joan Miró, Suñol and Antoni Tápies Galleries are both great places to gain an insight into the city’s history. See the city through the eyes of its most celebrated artists in the National Museum of Catalan Art. Macba (Museu d’Art Contemporani) and the Arts Santa Monica are perfect for those in search of a more modern take.
Barcelona is consistently rated as one the best beach cities in the world. A visit here in the summer is not complete without a dip in the Mediterranean or a couple of hours spent laying out on the sand. Within the city there are basically 2 beach options: Barceloneta or Icária. Barceloneta is a lively area, popular with the party crowd but relatively relaxed during the day. These are very family-friendly beaches, perfect for your kids to enjoy a paddle. Icária beach is the main strip of sand, stretching from Ciutadella Park out to the edge of the city centre.
Further afield, the town of Badalona to the north has another beautiful urban beach, and to the south the quieter resort town of Sitges is a lovely place to visit.
If you would like further information on this captivating city, we have a fantastic Barcelona City Guide that explores the city in greater depth.