8 Things to do in Barcelona with Kids

Last month we traveled to Spain and got to visit many charming cities--one of them being Barcelona. I first traveled to Barcelona back in 2011 (for work) and fell in love with it. I knew one day I wanted to be back. This time I brought along my six year-old and nine year-old niece (along with my mom and sister-in-law). I'll be sharing a more extensive itinerary with everything we did, but in the meantime, wanted to share a few tips on traveling to Barcelona with kids and a few of our favorite things to do.

1. Sagrada Familia- You can't visit Barcelona without visiting the Sagrada Familia. The famous basilica first started construction in 1883 by Antoni Gaudi and it is still under construction. It is expected to be finished by 2026. It really is unlike any another church I've visited and the kids really enjoyed it. I highly recommend you book tickets in advance, especially if traveling with kids. The lines can be very long and many times won't guarantee that you'll get in. You can book your tickets by visiting sagradafamilia.org (you'll just have to pick a day and time).

2. Casa Batlló: Another amazing architectural work of Antoni Gaudi and a must-see is Casa Batlló. The historic building is a great representation of the influence Gaudí had on modernism. The kids will love the 3D Augmented Reality/Audio guide tour, which comes with a screen. It's as if they were playing a video game and can imagine what the house might have looked like with furniture in it.

This attraction is included in the Barcelona Pass, which I recommend if you're planning on visiting many attractions. In case you're not familiar, the Barcelona Pass is a sightseeing pass that includes free entry to 20+ attractions, monuments, museums and one-day of using the Hop on Hop off Bus. We also got to skip the line at several attractions, which is always a huge perk.

3. Casa Milá (also known as La Pedrera): While you're at it, also visit Casa Milá, another Gaudi creation. Kids will love exploring the unique hallways and not to mention the stunning rooftop. Children under 6 years old are free.

4. Hop on Hop off Bus : Children LOVE open air buses and if you're pressed for time, going on the Hop on Hop off bus is a great way to explore the city. Not only that, but it makes life easier visiting the city with kids and it gives their little feet a rest from all the walking. The bus stops at all the major attractions (and as mentioned is also included in the Barcelona Pass).

Make sure to pick up a map ahead of time and plan out what attractions you'd like to see and what routes to take. They have several routes including a red, blue and green route. We walked from our hotel to the Sagrada Familia (about a 10 minute walk) and started the bus tour from there. There is a Hop on Hop off bus stop right in front of the church.

5: La Rambla: Take a stroll through the famous pedestrian friendly boulevard of La Rambla. It reminds me of a Lincoln Road in Miami Beach (where I'm from). It's filled with tons of shops and outdoor eating. Just make sure to mind your valuables for pick-pocketters (as with any large city).  I always like to carry a cross-body bag when I travel.

6. Walk through Gothic Quarters: The same day as your walk through La Rambla, make sure to visit the Gothic Quarters. Kids will enjoy watching the street performers and adults alike will enjoy all the little shops around there.

7: Poble Espanyol: We had booked a dinner at Tablao de Carmen (a flamenco show in Barcelona) and had no idea it was inside the Poble Espanyol. This open air architectural museum features 117 buildings reproduced to scale to represent Spain's diverse regions. It's absolutely beautiful and also has many shops. I just wish we would have gone with more time. Many of the shops were closing by the time we went there for dinner.

Quick Tip:  Getting a taxi for more than 5 people can be really difficult in Spain. By law, a regular taxi can't carry more than 4 guests. You have to get a taxi van. The day we visited the Poble Espanyol we almost couldn't find a taxi to get us back to our hotel and it was starting to get dark. Uber doesn't work in Barcelona, but they do have the equivalent called Cabify (but I found it not to be too reliable). There's a Hop on Hop off bus stop right in front of the Poble Espanyol, so this could be a good option to get back. After waiting for almost 30 minutes, we were finally able to get a taxi van to get us back.

8: L' Aquarium Barcelona: We didn't get to visit the aquarium, but this could be another fun option for kids. It has one of Europe's largest sea tunnels where sharks, moonfish and rays swim above you.

I also wanted to add a few more items we didn't get a chance to do, but you might want to check out.

* Park Guell
* Teleferico del Puerto (Cable Car)
* Boqueria Market
* FC Barcelona Tour (for the husband haha or for the soccer aficionados)

Hope these help. Are you planning on visiting Barcelona soon? Let me know if you have any other questions or need more tips. Stay tuned for the rest of my Spain guide, which includes Toledo, Madrid, Segovia and Mallorca.

Happy Travels!


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