Kids in Barcelona: A Tourist Guide for Parents

Published on 7/11/2008 in Holidays in Spain

Although Barcelona is a city more reknowned for it's clubbing and dance scene, not to mention it's convenient sandy beaches, the city offers plenty to the family visiting with children. With every neighborhood well represented by the number of playgrounds and parks, and a variety of great places for families to visit, it can be the perfect city for a family break.

The city of Barcelona is very child friendly, and families visiting will find plenty to do and see without having to break the bank. From the Aquarium to the funfair up on Tibidado, you'll find more than enough to keep the kids amused and entertained, so here's a brief guide to help you get the best out of your holiday.

Every child loves the Zoo, and Barcelona's is a good place to start. Located quite centrally in Parc Ciutadella, it is home to over 7,000 animals and includes a very fine dolphinarium which has daily shows, as well as a new penguin enclosure featuring the endangered Humboldt penguin. There is also a very large play area that has a great climbing structure for the little monkeys you bring along. Local families like to bring a picnic, there are plenty of green spaces where you can sit down and relax in the shade, and I'd recommend this as it will also allow you to bring nourishing food rather than have to buy the over-priced, sugar-enriched, unhealthy fast food that is on sale there.

Keeping on the nature theme, Barcelona is also home to the largest aquarium in Europe, and, in terms of Mediterranean marine life, the most important in the world. This beautifully designed building, located down in Port Vel, has an impressive 80m transparent walk-through tunnel, full of sharks and other fish you'd rather not encounter without considerable protection. There are 20 other tanks, a brand new interactive space, Explora, with 50 activities for children to play with, 3 different marine systems, and my own personal favourite, a life size model of a sperm whale which you can wander through, with lots of small displays built into it.

Also located in the Port Vel area is Barcelona's Imax Cinema, 3 big screens usually showing fine documentaries on nature in circular, giant screen or 3D format, showing all day from noon onwards. A great place to escape the worst of the afternoon heat and enjoy a brief respite from the hustle and bustle outside.

Not far away from the Imax you can catch a cable car that runs up to Montjuic, the hill that overlooks the city and the Mediterranean and is home to many parks, sports fields, the Olympic Stadium, various museums and Poble Espanyol. The latter is a nice place to visit, a village built in 1929 which contains aspects of the many different styles of regional architecture prevalent in Spain at the time. Full of bars, shops, restaurants and craft shops, there are many activities to enjoy, including glass-blowing shows, and lots of kids-only activities which allow you to drop them off while you relax on one of the many picturesque terraces. However, it's worth making sure you don't visit during siesta when most of the shops will be closed!

Although this may well appeal to adults more than children, there is a fine chocolte museum located next to Parc Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomph. This museum traces the history of chocolate, and you can reward the kids at the end of the tour by sitting them down for a cup of delicious hot chocolate, or any of the other delicasies on offer. Not the place to visit if you're trying to avoid the calories. One of the best days out you can give the kids is a visit to the funfair at Tibidado. Located at the top of a mountain behind the city, the funfair is reached by taking a pleasant trip up the hill on an antique (to my mind) blue tram, and then transferring to a funicular railway, a journey both kids and adults will enjoy immensely. The rides aren't that terrifying, but new attractions are continually being added, including a new multi-media experience that allows kids to become part of an animated film.

To enjoy a day of pure sightseeing, take the Bus Turistic which will pass all the major, and some of the minor, attractions in the city, including Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi buildings, Parc Guell, Camp Nou, and the waterfront. There are three different routes, over 40 different stops and an audio commentary in 10 languages to choose from. One ticket will allow you to jump on and off whereever you like, so you can spend as much time as you like in whichever spots you fancy. It's also worth noting that the T10 ticket that you can buy at any metro or tram stop allows you ten journeys on the metro, tram, or buses, and also permits transfers from one mode to another without it being deemed another journey. They are excellent value for money, and last as long as you want them to last.

Finally, one of the most interesting museums in Barcelona is CosmoCaixa, a centre for experiencing many different aspects of science. There are always different children's activities, educational workshops, and facilities that allow children to experiment and engage with interactive media. Different sections explore specific fields of science, like astronomy, meteorology, mechanics and optics, and the centre also houses different temporary exhibitions. This is particularly popular with inquisitive kids and I recommend it highly.

Finally, if you or the kids are interested in maritime history, or just like looking at boats, a visit to the Maritime Museum will be well worth your while. It describes the history of the Catalan fleet through exhibitions of old sailing ships, paintings, figureheads, navigational instruments, maps and charts. There are two permanent exhibitions and educational activities for children, who can physically board both Don Juan de Austria's royal galleon and Narcís Monturiol's primitive submarine. The museum is housed in the Reials Drassanes, a typical 13th century Catalan Gothic construction built on the orders of King Pere el Gran as a boat repair yard at a time when the Catalan fleet controlled many of the Mediterranean's important trade routes.

Written by: Anthony Deegan

About the author:Anthony Deegan is a web developer and copywriter who splits his time between Ireland, Spain and Finland. In Barcelona he provides content for a Barcelona Apartments rental agency, and elsewhere concentrates on his Irish SEO Consultants business.

Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:

Related articles in this category

10 Good Reasons To Visit Spain

10 Tips For First Time Holidaymakers In Tenerife

2010 Holiday Choices - Tenerife

2010 Vacations On The Costa Blanca

5 Great Theme Parks in Spain

A Golf Delight at La Manga Club

A Holiday in Benidorm

A Spanish Winter

A Visit to Oasys Mini Hollywood in Almeria

Adopting The Spanish Timetable During Summer

Almuñecar Tourist Information

Altea Tourist Information

Assimilating Spanish Style?

Balearics - Fun in the Sun on Stone Age Islands

Beach Or Pool?

Beautiful Barcelona on a budget

Bonalba Golf Course In Costa Blanca

Cabo Roig - A Great Holiday Destination on the Costa Blanca

Caleta de Fuste in Fuerteventura

Car Hire From Jerez Airport

Chipiona Tourist Information

Costa Blanca - What A Lovely Region

Costa Calida a Driving Adventure in Spain

Cycling In La Manga Spain

Day Trips From Granada

Different Things to Do on Your Holiday to Ibiza

Discover The Beauty Of Valencia In Spain

Easter Holidays in Port Aventura

Eastern Europe Fail To Hit Traditional Spanish Holidays In 2007

Escape for Holiday Fun in Murcia Spain

European Flight Delays - Your Rights

Excess Baggage Charges And How To Avoid Them

Finca Cortesin Golf Course

Galicia - Try Something Different

Garrucha Tourist Information

Golf Holidays in Majorca

Great Day Trips From Tenerife

Great Places To Eat In Murcia Spain

Holiday in Seville

Holidaying in Rural Spain

Holidays in Almuñecar, Costa Tropical

Holidays in Orgiva, Andalucia

Hopeless Integrators

How To Save Money Traveling In Europe

Is The End Nigh For Low Cost Airlines?

Kids in Barcelona: A Tourist Guide for Parents

Lanzarote Tourism Defies Credit Crunch

Lanzarote Tourist Numbers Tumble In December

Love Affair With Costa Del Sol May Be Over

Majorca - The Ticket to the Ultimate Sports 2008 Golf Vacation

Menorca And The Twilight Game Of Golf

Menorca Holidays

Menorca Or Mallorca? Which One To Visit?

Murcia Car Hire Guide

New Airport Boost For Andorra Ski Holidays And Property

New Jeep Safaris On Menorca

No Rain in Spain!

Oliva Tourist Information

Perched On A Cliff In Catalonia

Personal Safety in Spain

Planning your Holiday in Javea Spain

Play Golf In Murcia

Pottery, Fino and a Little Silver Renault

Priests’ Spanish holiday

Skiing in Sierra Nevada

Soria - An Undiscovered Corner Of Spain

Spain Confident For 2008 Tourism Numbers

Spain Draws 15 Million Tourists For First Half Of 2008

Spain Paradores - Surrender to the Enchantment of These Magnificent Accommodations

Spain Woos Emerging Markets of India and China

Spain's Most Superior Holiday Destination?

Stunning Mountain Biking Route in Marbella

Take the Drive of a Lifetime in Northern Spain

Tarragona Tourist Information

Tasty Churros - A Funny Story

Ten Essential Things To Do When You Visit Barcelona

The 5 Must Play Golf Courses of the Costa Blanca

The 5 Must Play Golf Courses of the Costa Brava in Spain

The Beautiful Beaches of Alicante

The Best Beaches In Spain

The Best Things to See on Holiday in Aragon

The Canary Islands Holidays

The Flight Fiasco That Reduced Monarch From Kings To Clowns

The Lighter Side of Spain - Laughing Donkey

The Pueblos Blancos of the Serrania de Ronda

The State of Tourism in Málaga in 2013

Things To Do In Palma De Mallorca

Things To Do In Spain

Timeshares: The Law And Practice

Top 10 Alicante - Summer 2009

Top 10 Attractions In Spain

Top Summer Festivals in Spain 2009

Tourist Numbers Down Again In Lanzarote

Traditional Tenerife

Walk the Balearics

Walking the Camino de Santiago

Wandering Wild In Majorca

Where to Eat Out in Style in Marbella

Why it's no Longer Plane Sailing with Monarch to Murcia

Why Murcia Is Perfect For Theme Park Developers

Why Puerto de la Duquesa?

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x