You couldn’t ask for a destination more kid-friendly than Spain’s Mediterranean gem, with its welcoming spirit (Spaniards adore kids), abundance of outdoor fun, fanciful landmarks, and kid-centered activities.
If you’re headed to the Catalan capital, then put these on your must-do list!
This retro amusement park boasts sweeping views of the glistening Mediterranean, as well as old-fashioned rides like ferris wheels and carousels. (While Tibidabo does have a few adrenaline-pumping rides, thrill seekers would best venture to Port Aventura, about an hour down the coast.) Don’t miss the view from “Giradabo,” the new ferris wheel or the fun ascent to Tibidabo via funicular.
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3. La Rambla
You can’t leave Barcelona without strolling La Rambla, the tree-lined stretch from Plaça Catalunya to the sea. Kids love the living statues, musicians, and artists who put on quite the show for attention (and euros). A must-see: La Boqueria market, a feast for the senses, filled with gourmet treats from all over Spain (and the world), in addition to assortments of sweets for your candy connoisseurs…silver jelly beans anyone?
4. Montjuic Magic Fountain
After exploring Montjuic’s 18th-century castle, lush gardens, Olympic sites (and perhaps even the art or archeological museums), sit back and enjoy while this brilliant water show illuminates the night sky in front of the grand Palau Nacional. (As the days get longer, this show starts late, by our standards. Just remember you’re in a city where dinner starts around 10pm!)
Traveling during warm weather months? Then head to the Port Olimpic area, notably Nova Icaria Beach. This stretch is ideal for families, with restaurants, good facilities, and kid-friendly activities (climbing structures, volleyball nets, etc.).
6. Laberint D’Horta
When the camera-clicking tourist crowds have gotten the best of you, escape to the city’s oldest garden. The Laberint (labyrinth) features, as its name suggests, a maze, where kids (and adults!) love getting “lost” in the manicured maze of cypress. Once you find your way out, explore the rest of the park’s lakes, waterfalls, and hidden nooks, or take a cue from the locals and relax with a picnic.
7. Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park)
The perfect place for kids to burn off energy, whether running along palm-lined promenades, strolling past the beautiful cascading fountain, or “cruising” the boating lake (the park even has a zoo).
8. Cosmo Caixa
Science-enthusiasts in your troop? Rainy day? Then head here - a cross between a science museum, natural history museum, and zoo, complete with an Amazon rainforest re-creation and a planetarium. To top things off, it’s free for kids under 16.
Have you explored Barcelona? What would you add to this list? Reply/leave comments below!
Image Credits (all images have been cropped and enhanced): -La Boqueria Candy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/63511709@N06/ RockNRollFireSauce; -La Boqueria Jelly Beans: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oh-barcelona/ Oh-Barcelona.com; -Ferris Wheel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/93199592@N05/14961088617/ Diveuniversefest; -Sagrada Familia: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/ Wolfgang Staudt; -La Rambla Street Performer: Flickr, Spirosk Photography, Ferris Wheel: -Cosmo Caixa: Wikimedia, Year of the Dragon;Park de la Ciutadella: Wikimedia, Bernard Gagnon; Barcelona sea view: Wikimedia-Brenac; Magic Fountain: Flickr, Cali4Beach:https://www.flickr.com/photos/cali4beach/