BARCELONA WITH CHILDREN: 20 TIPS ON WHERE TO GO IN BARCELONA WITH CHILDREN

Are you planning to visit Barcelona with children? This guide will help you plan where to go with children in Barcelona + other useful information (transport with children, accommodation for families with children in Barcelona and a clear map with tips).

Published 3. 9. 2022

Why is Barcelona with kids a good idea?

Barcelona, like London and Amsterdam, is one of the best cities in Europe to visit with children. Especially with the younger ones, where no one will look at you through their fingers when the child starts a hysterical scene that they want or don’t want something (we all know almost everyone 😃). The locals take their kids everywhere. Even late at night.

Barcelona with children

Why Visit Barcelona with Children?

Barcelona is a mixture of different architectural styles. The most famous and distinctive is the Gaudi style, which has made a strong presence in Barcelona in a number of places. And it is Gaudí’s playful and colourful style that fascinates children. This gives us adults a chance to see the sights in peace and to better match the programme to the children’s requirements. Walking through the town, children will be entertained by unusual statues or smaller, neighbourhood squares with seating under trees and a playground. They’re on almost every corner. Another magnet for children in Barcelona are the long sandy beaches, which are also family-friendly.

Planning to visit more paid sights, museums and attractions? Get Barcelona Pass . This is a tourist card that gives you free entry to over 35 sites in Barcelona including the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or Camp Nou. In the itinerary below, I’ve noted for each place whether it’s part of the Barcelona Pass to make it easier to see what’s included. About Barcelona Pass read more in a separate article.

20 tips on where to go in Barcelona with kids

Sagrada Familia Basilica

Sagrada Familia Basilica can’t be missing on any list and is among the best activities to do in Barcelona with kids. In addition, it is for children up to 11. birthday absolutely free. The Sagrada Familia is Gaudí’s masterpiece and is being built thanks to donations and contributions from the general public (your admission fee will also contribute to its expected completion in 2026).

Barcelona in 3 days - Itinerary : Sagrada Familia

Gaudí was known for taking inspiration from nature in his designs. And that’s why children of all ages will love this place. Inside, you will feel like you are in a forest thanks to the towering columns with branches and leaves.

If you plan a visit for the evening, you’re in for a spectacular show – the golden light will lean into the stained glass windows and create a beautiful spectrum of colour. It’s like a rainbow that’s almost within your reach. You can climb up to the tower (children over 6 years old only; fee applies) and enjoy another great spectacle from there. Do you have little boys at home? Perhaps, like us, they will be most interested in the huge crane sticking out of the basilica.

Barcelona with children / Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia Basilica is one of the most visited monuments in Barcelona. Everyone wants to see it and the queues can be really long (even in the off-season). I recommend booking tickets in advance and skipping the line with the kids. When booking, you choose a specific time slot with a 15 minute window.

  • Admission to the Sagrada Familia: Adults €32.50, children 11-17 and students €31.20, seniors over 65 €27.30, children under 11 free; it is better to book in advance; BUY TICKETS (skipping the queue)
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: November-February 9:00-18:00, March and October 9:00-19:00, April-September 9:00-20:00, Sundays throughout the year opening hours until 10:30
  • Address: C/ de Mallorca, 401
  • How to get to the Sagrada Familia: Sagrada Familia station – metro lines L2 and L5

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

La Rambla

La Rambla is a busy avenue in Barcelona separating the Gothic Quarter and El Raval
Barcelona with children
Plaza Catalunya is an important transport link in Barcelona

La Rambla is the most famous avenue in Barcelona, connecting Plaza Catalunya with the port. Hence, it’s insanely touristy but also fun with kids thanks to street performers, musicians and live statues. Just be careful with your belongings here, because pickpockets abound and they’re pretty crafty – often posing as tourists. Another drawback is the food. You won’t find a good restaurant here. One of the restaurants even “boasts” the title of the worst restaurant in Spain. This doesn’t apply to La Boqueria market, which is touristy, but great to eat here with kids (more on that later).

Barcelona with children / La Rambla

Park Güell

Park Güell is one of Gaudí’s most ambitious works, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally built for Barcelona’s elite, but they didn’t want to move out of the centre of Barcelona and the whole project ended in a fiasco and huge debt. In 1922, Park Güell was opened to the public. In recent years, Park Güell has become so popular that the most popular part of the park has had to charge a fee and limit visitor entry.

Children will love Park Güell. It’s a magical world with gingerbread cottages (this is where the Casa del Guarda concierge is located). It has a dragon staircase, a huge hall of columns reminiscent of a petrified forest and a terrace with benches covered with colourful mosaics. The Park Güell is situated on a hill, giving you a beautiful view of the city from the terrace. Once you’ve walked through the toll section, you can cross over to the smaller public area of the park, which is mostly forest and has a playground. It is available free of charge.

Park Güell is extremely popular. The queues here are long and in high season it’s common not to get in without a reservation in advance for the earliest times. The number of people is limited and tickets are often sold out several days in advance. Park Güell is another place where it is better to book your ticket in time (can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance for free if necessary).

I recommend booking your tickets for the morning. This has two advantages (especially during the season). It’s the least crowded and the temperatures are pleasant (there aren’t many shady spots in the park otherwise). The ticket will be for a specific time, which must be respected at Park Güell and arrive within half an hour, i.e. if you have a ticket for 10:00, you must arrive between 10:00 and 10:30. They won’t let you into the park afterwards.

Barcelona with children
  • Admission: adults 13 €, children 7-12 years and seniors over 65 years 9,50 €, children under 6 years free; long queues and limited number of visitors at the venue; tickets sold out even several days in advance; BUY TICKETS with skip the line
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: 9 :30-19:30
  • Address: district of La Gràcia
  • How to get to Park Güell: metro line L3 – you can get off at Lesseps metro station (from where you walk straight ahead and then uphill) or Vallcarca metro station (from where you walk and then take the escalator) – in both cases it takes about 15 minutes from the metro.

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

Hop-On, Hop-Off sightseeing bus

Sightseeing buses are a great way to experience the city from a different perspective. They’re two stories high, so you can sit with the kids all the way up to the top, where they’ll have the best view of the city. It’s fun and also practical for smaller children who get tired easily when walking around town.

You can choose from two routes or buy a two-day ticket and choose one route for each day. At any time throughout the day, you can get on, get off, and after seeing the sights, take the next connection. Buses run approximately every half hour, more frequently in high season.

  1. Route: Plaça de Catalunya – Port Vell – Museu d’Història de Catalunya – La Barceloneta – Port Olímpic – Poble Nou – Zoo – Teatre Nacional – Auditori. – Glories- Torre Agbar – Sagrada Familia Cathedral – Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau – Park Güell – Tibidabo – La Pedrera – Casa Batlló
  2. Route: Plaça Catalunya – Arc de Triomf – El Born- Ciutadella-zoo – Passeig Colom – World Trade Center – Jardins de Miramar – Fundació Joan Miró – Anella Olímpica – MNAC Museo Nacional de Catalunya – Poble Espanyol – Caixa Fòrum-Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe – Plaça d’Espanya – Estació de Sants – Camp Nou (F.C. Barcelona) – Plaça Pius XII-Palau Reial- Pavellons Guell-Monestir de Pedralbes – L’illa Diagonal – Avinguda Diagonal – La Pedrera – Casa Batlló
  • Fares for 1 day: full fare over 13 years 30 €, children 4-12 years 16 €, seniors over 65 years 25 €; fares for 2 days: full fare over 13 years 40 €, children 4-12 years 21 €, seniors over 65 years 35 €; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: 9:00-19:00

Note: Just show your reservation to the bus driver on the spot; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance are free of charge

Casa Milà-La Pedrera

Casa Mila La Pedrera Barcelona with children

La Pedrera is another of Gaudí’s works on Passeig de Garcia. It is an apartment building with a waving facade inspired by Mount Montserrat, with tangled metal on the balcony up to the roof chimneys. And that’s why the kids will love it here. Upstairs, the rooftop is open to the sea and offers a spectacular view. There are various sculptures that will surely interest children. The roof is surrounded by a fence, but if you have bigger stunts, you might want to be more careful here.

Casa Mila Barcelona La Pedrera Barcelona with children
  • Admission: at the door – adults 27 €, children 7-12 years 15 €, students and seniors over 65 years 21,5 €; online – adults 25 €, children 7-12 years 12,50 €, students and seniors over 65 years 19 €; BUY TICKETS (skipping the queue)
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: low season 9:00-18:30 (last entry half an hour before the end of opening hours), night tour 20:40-22:00, high season 9:00-20:30, night tour 20:30-23:00
  • Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 92
  • Getting to La Pedrera: Diagonal metro station (lines L3 and L5), La Pedrera is easily accessible on foot from the city centre (15 minutes walk from Sagrada Familia or La Rambla)

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

Parc de la Ciutadella

Parks are rewarding places in any city when travelling with children. There are some great parks in Barcelona too, where the kids will love it. Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona’s largest park, where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The entrance is through the large Arc de Triomphe.

Barcelona with children
Barcelona with children

Inside the park you’ll see the Cascade Fountain with a cascading waterfall, playgrounds, a ping pong table, a life-size mammoth statue and a lake with rowboats for rent. You can have a picnic, feed the ducks, and there’s usually someone making giant soap bubbles for the kids to run between. The park is also home to the Barcelona Zoo.

Barcelona with children / Where to go in Barcelona with children
Barcelona with children / Where to go in Barcelona with children
Barcelona with children / Where to go in Barcelona with children
Barcelona with children / Where to go in Barcelona with children
  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: 10:00-22:30
  • Address: 21 Passeig de Picasso
  • How to get there: metro station Ciutadella Vila Olímpica (line L4), the park is located between El Born and the Olympic Village, a short walk from the sea

Casa Batlló

It probably won’t surprise you that we have another Gaudi masterpiece. And again, it’s something unconventional. That’s the great thing about Gaudi’s work. Each of his works is unique and different from the previous ones. Casa Batlló has an undulating façade with mosaic glass, ceramic panels, bone-shaped stone columns and a roof that symbolises the dragon’s back.

Inside, you and your children will feel like you’re in an underwater world, with fish and other creatures from the deep coming to life around you, rippling walls and railings, and ceiling patterns reminiscent of shells. You will walk through the rooms of the Gaudí Dome and the Gaudí Cube and experience a 10D experience thanks to augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The roof terrace shimmers beautifully with kaleidoscopic patterns of broken ceramic tiles and glass covering the undulating chimneys representing the spine of a slain dragon. Do you already know why we list Casa Batlló as the perfect place on our list of things to see in Barcelona with kids 🙂 ?

Admission is not the cheapest, but it’s worth it. The whole experience is original, playful and perfectly describes Gaudí. In addition, they are prepared for families with children and have stroller storage and a baby carrier available for rent. Preferably book in advance because there’s usually a queue in high season.

  • Admission: Adults €35, children 12-17 years and students €29, seniors over 65 €32, children under 11 free; BUY TICKETS (with skip the line)
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: low season 9:00-18:30, high season 9:00-20:15
  • Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43
  • How to get to Casa Batlló: Passeig de Gràcia metro station (lines L2, L3 and L4), Casa Batlló is easily accessible on foot from the city centre (a few minutes from Plaza Catalunya)

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

Aquarium Barcelona

The aquarium in Barcelona is not just any aquarium. It has the largest sea tunnel in Europe, where you can see sharks, rays and moonfish with your children. Apart from them, there are 11,000 other organisms, so there’s a lot to look at. There are also interactive elements where children can play.

  • Admission: full over 11 years 24 € , children 5-10 years 17 €, children 3-4 years 10 €; BUY TICKETS (with skip the line)
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: in season 10:00-20:00, out of season 10:00-19:00
  • Address: del Port Vell, Moll d’Espanya
  • How to get there: metro station Drassanes (line L3) or station Barcelonata (line L4); the aquarium is on the seafront; easily accessible on foot from La Rambla.

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

Barcelona Cathedral

Next to La Rambla is the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic). It is a busy part of the city that is more than 2000 years old. While exploring the Gothic Quarter, you will come to Barcelona Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop and the only cathedral in the area.

The cathedral blends several styles from Paleo-Christian, Romanesque to Gothic facade with Renaissance and Modernist stained glass windows. You can take the lift up and enjoy the view from the roof. Children will love the indoor garden, where there are 13 geese.

Barcelona Cathedral Barcelona with children
  • Admission: 9 € over 12 years; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: NO
  • Opening hours: weekdays 9:30-18:30, SO 9:30-17:30, SUN 14:00-17:00 (last entry always 45 minutes before)
  • Address: Plaça de la Seu
  • How to get to Barcelona Cathedral: the Jaume I metro station (line L4), the Cathedral lies in the centre of Barri Gotic and is easily accessible on foot

Magic Fountain

Our boys love fountains. And if they still play all the colors, they are ecstatic. All children will be thrilled with the Magic Fountain near the Spanish Square.

Magic Fountain Barcelona

The fountain consists of 3 concentrated pools where an incredible 2600 litres of water flow per second. The biggest show starts in the evening, when the fountain is illuminated by 4760 bulbs and a light show in 5 colours with classical music starts.

  • Admission: free
  • Opening times: specific times when the fountain plays vary by season – click for current times. I recommend arriving a little early as it gets really crowded, so make sure you get a good view.
  • Address: Plaça de Carles Buïgas, 1
  • How to get to the Magic Fountain: Espanya metro station (lines L1, L3 and L8), from here a few minutes towards Monjüic Hill and the National Art Museum of Catalonia

Cable car to Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a hill by Barcelona’s harbour, which translates as the Mountain of the Jews. There are plenty of interesting places to see on its summit and slopes, including extensive gardens, the village of Poble Espanyol (more on that later today) and the Montjuïc fortress. It is one of the oldest parts of Barcelona, which for centuries has been used as a strategic vantage point to defend the city.

You can take a cable car to the top of Monjuïc Mountain, which may just beat any childhood experience in Barcelona. You can choose from two cable cars:

Historic cable car

Historic cable car (Telefèric del Puerto; see photo above) starts at San Sebastián Tower on La Barcelonata beach and ends at Miramar station. From here you still have most of the Montjuïc hill to climb, so if you have small children, a second cable car would be a better choice. On the other hand, the views from the old cable car are better because it is high above the city and you can see the sea and the harbour. Tickets can be bought on the spot – a one-way ride costs €11 and a return ticket €16.50 (no discounts for children). I recommend going in the morning/afternoon when it’s least crowded, as there can be 1-1.5 hour queues in high season.

Opening hours of the historic cable car:

  • 1.1.-28.2. 11:00-17:30
  • 1.3.-31.5. 10:30-19:00
  • 1.6.-11.9. 10:30-20:00
  • 12.9.-27.10. 10:30-19:00
  • 28.10.-31.12. 11:00-17:30

Modern cable car

Modern cable car (Telefèric de Montjuïc; included with the Barcelona Pass) takes you up to Monjuïc Fortress, so there’s no uphill climb. It starts at Parc Monjuïc station, which can be reached, for example, by funicular from Para-lel metro station (metro lines L2 and L3). The same tickets apply for the funicular as for other transport in Barcelona, including a multi-day pass Hola BCN . The funicular will take you to the bottom station of the cable car. Here you have to buy a ticket separately – a one-way ticket costs €9.40 (€7.50 for children 4-12 years old) and a return ticket €14.20 (€10.20 for children 4-12 years old). You can buy tickets buy at this link . The cable car does not stop on the way up, but you can get off at 2 more stops on the way down.

Opening hours of the modern cable car:

  • January-February 10:00-18:00
  • March-May 10:00-19:00
  • June-September 10:00-21:00
  • October 10:00-19:00
  • November-December 10:00-18:00

Whichever cable car you choose, I recommend you walk down. Along the way, there is plenty of greenery in the gardens with fountains, including a children’s playground and cool slides.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

We are heading up another hill in Barcelona. This time it’s Tibidabo Hill, where the Tibidabo theme park is located. It is the oldest operating theme park in Spain and the third oldest in Europe (it has been operating since 1905). When you come here, you will feel like time has stopped. Everything here is perfectly vintage. Even new attractions are produced in the “old” style. There are 25 attractions in total, including a Ferris wheel, roller coasters and a carousel.

Tibidabo theme park / Barcelona with children

You can eat in the restaurant or have a picnic. You can buy tickets for all theme park attractions or to panoramic areas where there are 5 attractions to choose from (Ferris wheel, airplane, guard tower, carousel and slot machine museum).

  • Admission (park + panoramic area): 35 € over 120 cm, 14 € for children 90-120 cm tall, panoramic area only 19 € over 120 cm, 10,50 € for children 90-120 cm tall; better to book in advance; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: NO
  • Opening hours: the Tibidabo park is not open daily – check the official website for current opening hours
  • Address: Plaça del Tibidabo, 3
  • How to get to Tibidabo theme park: land cable car from Plaça Doctor Andreu, runs every 15 minutes during park opening hours, the price of the cable car is included in the price of the theme park ticket

If you like beautiful sights, make Tibidabo a stop at the neo-Gothic Sacred Heart Cathedral. The park is located near the CosmoCaixa science museum on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Parc del Laberint d’Horta

Want to escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona city centre? Head to the Parc del Laberint d’Horta in the north of the city. You can wander around in a large natural maze or just stroll along one of the trails.

Barcelona with children
  • Admission: adults 2,23 €, children up to 14 years 1,42 €, ST and NE free
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: NO
  • Opening hours: 1 .4.-31.10. 10:00-20:00, 1.11.-31.3. 10:00-18:00, 25.12. 10:00-14:00
  • Address: Passeig dels Castanyers, 1
  • How to get there: metro station Mundet (line L3) – 25 minutes from the centre

Barcelona Zoo

A zoo is always a good idea with kids. And the Barcelona Zoo is worth it too. It is rather smaller, but still has a huge number of animals (more than 400 species), which have well-kept and clean enclosures. The area is flat, so children will get a good view of lots of animals including gorillas, zebras and rhinos. In addition, there are plenty of trees here, so you can cool off in the summer.

Barcelona with children

The best time to visit is in the morning when the dolphins are feeding (the dolphinarium is a few minutes from the entrance on the right). Inside the zoo, you can have a snack or bring your own as there are plenty of picnic areas (kids will love the straw roof tables). Barcelona Zoo is located in the Parc de la Ciutadella.

  • Admission: full over 13 years 21,40 €, children 3-12 years 12,95 €; better to book in advance – there are usually queues at the venue; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: vary according to season and day of the week – in winter usually 10:00-16:30 (up to 17:30), in summer 10:00-19:00 (up to 20:00)
  • Address: Parc de la Ciutadella
  • Getting there: metro station Ciutadella Vila Olímpica (line L4)

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

Poble Espanyol

You can think of Poble Espanyol as Spain in a nutshell. It is an open-air museum with 117 buildings from different parts of Spain. Poble Espanyol was built for the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929, but the place became so popular that it was preserved for the public and several films were shot here.

Where to go in Barcelona / Barcelona City
sights in Barcelona / things to see in Barcelona / Poble Espanyol
sights in Barcelona / things to see in Barcelona / Poble Espanyol

Children can run free, there are several shops with traditional handicrafts and restaurants where you can eat and enjoy the Barcelona atmosphere late into the evening. The village of Poble Espanyol is located on the Monjüic hill, giving some places a beautiful view of Barcelona.

  • Admission: full over 13 years 11,20 €, children 4-12 years 9 €; discount for advance booking; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: mon 10:00 – 20:00, Tue-Sun 10:00 – 00:00
  • Address: Avenida de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13
  • How to get there: metro station Espanya (lines L1 and L3) – from the metro at Plaza España, about 10 minutes walk past the Catalan National Museum of Art and the Magic Fountain

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

CosmoCaixa Science Museum

Science museums tend to be our favourites in many European cities. They are fun and full of interactive elements that allow children to “feel” the science for themselves and better understand the context of the game. And it’s no different at CosmoCaixa in Barcelona, where there are more than 200 interactive models.

Don’t miss the Space Room, the Antarctic Base, the Geology Wall or the Flooded Forest, which simulates the Amazon rainforest. You can also visit the Planetarium for a fee. Outside there is a sundial, a weather station or a Mediterranean garden.

  • Admission: 6 €, children under 16 free; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
  • Address: Carrer d’Isaac Newton, 26
  • How to get there: Buses H2, H4, V17, V15, V19, V13, 196 and 123; the museum is on the edge of Barcelona, where there is no metro

Camp Nou football stadium

Do you have a football fan at home? Then you can’t miss a visit to the Camp Nou football stadium, home to the famous Barça. The Camp Nou Stadium is the largest stadium in Europe and can hold up to 100,000 people. You have two ways to get in:

  • Go to a football match – Tickets for lesser-known and better-known rivals such as Real Madrid are available in advance; ticket prices vary by match; tickets sell out quickly.
  • Take a tour of the stadium as part of the tour – you will get to the seats where the TV and radio stations sit, check out the backstage area including the dressing rooms, press room, players’ tunnels, etc. It includes multimedia and interactive exhibitions.
Barcelona with children / Camp Nou
  • Admission to the tour and the museum: on site adults 31,5 €; online: adults 28 €, children 4 – 10 years and seniors over 71 years 21 €; better to book in advance – cheaper tickets; BUY TICKETS
  • Part of the Barcelona Pass: YES
  • Opening hours: 2 .5.-16.10. 9:30-19:00, 1.11-19.12. 10:00-18:00 (SUN 10:00-15:00), 20.12.-9.1. 10:00-19:00, 10.1.-1.5. 10:00-18:00 (SUN 10:00-15:00)
  • Address: Carrer d’Arístides Maillol
  • How to get to Camp Nou: Palau Reial or Les Corts metro station (line L3), or. Collblanc or Badal metro station (line L5)

Note: Just show your ticket on your mobile phone at the venue; cancellations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge

Port of Barcelona

Rambla de Mar / Barcelona with children
Rambla de Mar

If you have young boys, a visit to Barcelona’s harbour where they can watch the boats is almost a must. For example, you can get here from La Rambla, past the Christopher Columbus Monument (you can stop here and climb to the viewpoint in the monument). Continue along the modern waterfront walkway of the Rambla de Mar. At the end of it is the shopping centre and a short walk behind it is the Aquarium Barcelona. Behind the aquarium there is a park where children can run around or people often sit and have a picnic.

Boat trip

Barcelona with children

A boat trip (included with a Barcelona Pass) is another great activity to do in Barcelona with children. You will see the city from a different perspective and the children will have a lot of fun on the rocking boat in the waves. You can choose between eco-friendly and quiet by catamaran and classic boat cruise which is a little cheaper. The embarkation point in both cases is in Port Vell and the cruise takes less than an hour. With the kids, you’ll not only see the port, but also some famous Sights of Barcelona and local beaches.

Beaches in Barcelona for families with children

Barcelona has several city beaches that are easily accessible and free. And while Barcelona’s urban beaches are generally fine, not all of them are entirely suitable for children. For example, they do not have good access to the water and the sand is coarser or with smaller stones. Here are some tips for beaches with fine sand and good quality of services (toilets and restaurants by the beach), where you don’t have to worry about going even with children.

La Barcelonata

The most famous and easily accessible beach in Barcelona is La Barcelonata, which is surrounded by a promenade. Due to its easy accessibility it tends to be overcrowded, but on the other hand it is relatively clean for the amount of locals and tourists. For families with children, the beaches of Nova Icària or Bogatell are better just next door (with the town at your back to the left of La Barcelonata). It’s less crowded, the beaches are clean and the kids can play on the rope climbing frame.

Bogatell beach

Barcelona with children: FOOD

One of the best places to eat in Barcelona with kids (and without kids) is La Boqueria market. It can be found off La Rambla. Be prepared for it to be very touristy and really crowded. Still, it’s worth it. You can buy food from local farmers and eat well here. They have fruit juices for a few pennies, lots of dried fruit or a variety of sweets (especially the pizza or hotdog shaped ones, which the kids will love). I recommend going to La Boqueria market in the morning when it’s the least crowded. There are several other markets around town where you can go to buy food or eat.

In Barcelona, it is common to dine between 9-11pm. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to eat earlier. The best choice with children are restaurants near smaller squares, where there is usually a small park (often with a playground). Children can play in the park while you prepare your food. Or have a picnic. There are plenty of places around town and the locals like to picnic too.

And what can you enjoy in Barcelona with children? Try tapas, which can be eaten in many ways. The best tapas is usually in the backstreets where the locals go. Many places also serve sliced pizza or stuffed empanadas, which are easy for kids to hold and eat.

tapas

When visiting Barcelona with children, you must also try the Spanish hot chocolate. It’s so thick, you need a spoon for it. Sweet, fried pastries coated in sugar are dipped in chocolate.

Barcelona with children: TRANSPORTATION

Transportation with children from Barcelona-El Prat Airport

There are 4 basic options to get from the airport to Barcelona:

  • The Aerobús shuttle bus, which departs from both terminals every 5-20 minutes. They don’t stop on the way, so you’re in the centre in half an hour. Children under 4 years of age travel free of charge on Aerobús buses. Older children then travel at full fare with no discount – a one-way ticket costs €5.90 and a return ticket costs €10.20. You can buy tickets buy in advance online (just show the tickets on your mobile phone at the airport) or at the ticket machine and driver at the airport. The buses and machines are light blue with Aerobús written on them.
  • TMB bus no. 46 – A red bus with the sign TMB of Barcelona’s integrated transport system stops at terminal T2 and then T1. This is not a direct connection, so the journey takes significantly longer than with Aerobús buses. The T-Casual card applies to the bus (not valid on Hola BCN). Children up to 4 years of age travel for free, older children pay full fare.
  • TMB metro – the orange L9S line leaves from the airport and takes you to Plaza España in 20 minutes. The Hola BCN card is valid for the metro from the airport (T-Casual is not valid). Children under 4 travel free, older children pay full fare of over €5.
  • the RENFE suburban train, which is not as frequent, but on the other hand it is fast and comfortable. The train is covered by both the Hola BCN and T-Casual cards.

If you don’t plan on buying a Hola BCN card or a T-Casual ticket, I recommend taking the Aerobús buses to central Barcelona (see first option). They are fast and run really often. In addition, they have enough space for strollers.

T-Casual ticket and pass machines

Metro and buses in Barcelona with children

Barcelona is largely walkable. Where you can’t walk, you can take the metro or bus. Children up to 4 years of age travel for free, but there are no discounts for older children and they must pay full fare. You can choose from 4 options to pay for public transport in Barcelona with your children:

  • Single ticket for € 2.40 – not valid for the metro from the airport (line L9S). You can buy a ticket from the red machine in the metro (see photo above).
  • T-Casual ticket for 10 journeys for €11.35 – 1 journey is valid for 75 minutes and a maximum of 3 transfers (none can be return). Valid for public transport in Barcelona except for the metro to the airport (line L9S). You can buy your ticket from the red ticket machine in the metro or at the entrance to the station at the airport.
  • T-familiar for 8 journeys for €10 – the whole family can travel on the ticket at the same time; 1 journey is valid for 75 minutes and there can be a maximum of 3 changes (none can be return). Valid for public transport in Barcelona except for the metro to the airport (line L9S).
  • Hola BCN is a card that allows you to travel unlimitedly for a pre-selected number of days. Unlike the T-Casual, it also applies to the metro from the airport. The price of the card varies according to its validity – 48 hours for €16.40, 72 hours for €23.80, 96 hours for €31 and 120 hours for €38.20.
  • The Barcelona Card, which includes free entry to more than 25 venues in Barcelona and unlimited travel around Barcelona with the Hola BCN card. More about Hola BCN and the Barcelona Card in my previous article.

Note: Tickets are validated on entry and exit in Barcelona – you just need to show your ticket. If you have a T-familiar card for more than one person, you attach the card according to the number of members, i.e. 1 adult and 2 children – you attach the ticket 3 times on entry and 3 times on exit (you have to enter and exit at the same time at the same place).

Barcelona with children: ACCOMMODATION

Every neighbourhood in Barcelona has its own distinctive atmosphere. Barri Gotic is touristy and noisy, but on the other hand it is right in the centre. El Raval, on the other hand, is very international. Probably the best neighbourhoods for families with children are El Born and Sant Martí, which are quiet, close to the beach and well connected to the city. If you don’t mind more distance from the sea, another great neighbourhood is Eixample.

The best accommodation in Barcelona for families with children

You can also find our accommodation tips on the Barcelona map for easy orientation and an idea of where to go in the area.

  • Hotel ibis Styles is one of the best hotels in Barcelona for children. The hotel is a short walk from the metro station, which offers easy access to the entire city. There is an outdoor pool with sun loungers, a children’s playground and bicycle rental. There are also plenty of activities for children within walking distance (5-10 minutes), including Ciutadella Park, the Zoo and Bogatell Beach, which is sandy and ideal for children. Rooms are modern with private bathrooms and air conditioning. Check price and availability
Travelodge Barcelona Poblenou is an affordable hotel a short walk from the centre and Bogatell Beach
  • Holiday Inn Express Barcelona City is another great choice for families with children. The hotel is modern and affordable. It is just 3 metro stops from the centre and the beach is within walking distance of a quarter of an hour. There is air conditioning and a 24-hour front desk with luggage storage like at ibis Styles. – Check price and availability
  • Travelodge Barcelona Poblenou is a budget, modern hotel in the Sant Martí district, just a 10-minute walk from Bogatell Beach. There is also air conditioning, a 24-hour reception and luggage storage. The Llacuna metro stop is just metres from the hotel, so you’re 3 metro stops from the centre. – Check price and availability
  • Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar is located in the La Barcelonata district, where you can be on the beach or in the historic centre of Barcelona in minutes. The apartments have a private kitchenette, air conditioning, 24-hour reception and luggage storage. There is a common room, billiards and table tennis. – Check price and availability
Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar has apartments with a private kitchenette

How to Save in Barcelona with Kids

One way to save money in most major cities is with a tourist card. Even Barcelona has them. The first one is Barcelona Pass which gives you free entry to more than 35 venues in Barcelona. These include the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, the aquarium, the zoo, a boat cruise, a sightseeing bus and more. You can buy a Barcelona Pass for a selected number of days or according to the number of attractions. It depends on what you plan to visit, but in our experience and feedback, the Barcelona Pass can help you save significantly.

Another tourist card is the Barcelona Card which you can use with older children. The Barcelona Card includes free entry to more than 25 museums in the city, discounts to other places in Barcelona and unlimited free transport.

For more about the Barcelona Pass and the Barcelona Card, see a separate article including other tips, how to save in Barcelona .

How to enjoy Barcelona with children

  • Move the kids’ bedtime if you can. The town comes alive in the evening and there are lots of local children out and about. In addition, some monuments are beautifully lit up in the evening (for example, Casa Batlló or the Sagrada Familia). Or you can go to the Magic Fountain show in the evening.
  • You know that feeling in some countries when they look down on your excited children? That won’t happen to you in Barcelona. Children love it here and welcome you with open arms everywhere.
  • Skip the lines with the kids. Barcelona is one of the most popular cities and the queues at many places are really long. With children, they seem twice as long. Skipping the lines is the best way to see more and not poison yourself and the little adventurers. If possible, book your tickets in advance. You just scan your mobile phone on the spot and you’re good to go. Plus, sometimes tickets are cheaper when you order in advance. If necessary, they can usually be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance free of charge. I have listed the ticket information for each place separately for each monument and attraction.
  • Even if you choose a specific time to enter a monument, you don’t have to stick to it – the most visited places are the exception, but even here you have a time reserve. You must arrive at the Sagrada Familia max. within 15 minutes of your chosen time and you have a 30-minute reserve in Park Güell.

Barcelona with children: MAP

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map for Barcelona with children. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Barcelona with kids guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

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