Barcelona is an excellent city for families with children of all ages. Much of the city is easily traversed with a buggy, the locals are welcoming to little guests and older children are spoiled for choice when it comes to interactive museums and fun modes of transport. And of course, the swathe of clean, sandy beaches provide respite and activities for the whole family.

Port Vell

The clean beaches nearby will keep most children and parents happy in between sightseeing, and the Port Vell waterfront also has L’Aquàrium, one of the largest aquariums in Europe with fascinating marine life on display.  

Fun fact: L’Aquàrium is home to 11,000 animals, representing 450 different species.

Poble Espanyol

The Poble Espanyol in Montjuïc, a recreation of a Spanish village, is popular with families, both locals and visitors, and has plenty to interest teenagers as well as children. This village has over 100 buildings – a great interactive way to explore Spanish culture, architecture and history.  

Fun fact: Poble Espanyol was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition to illustrate Spanish architecture, heritage and culture.


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Tibidabo

Tibidabo amusement park offers good, family fun, and kids love to arrive there on the Tramvia Blau. As for museums, the science museum CosmoCaixa below the park is full of hands-on, child-friendly exhibits, including an area dedicated to three- to six-year-olds. 

Fun fact: Tibidabo’s Parc d'Atraccions is the longest running amusement park in Spain, as well as Europe’s third oldest. 

Fun museums

The Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) at Antic Convent de Sant Agustí, La Ribera, has tempting chocolate sculptures, while the Museu de Cera (Wax Museum) off La Rambla at Passatge de la Banca 7, with its lifelike models, is usually a hit as well. Teenagers can also spend hours watching skateboarders in front of the nearby MACBA (Plaça dels Angels) or joining in themselves.


Fun fact: The Museu de Xocolata also hosts activities for children, including building a chocolate sculpture. Book in advance to make sure you get a place.. 

Practicalities

When travelling to Barcelona with children, there are a few things to consider. Taking young children to restaurants is a regular occurrence, but the only thing to contend with is late dining hours – it’s hard to eat dinner in the more interesting places when you can’t wait til 9pm. However, a dinner of tapas or something casual at a beachside chiringuito may be a decent compromise.

In terms of getting around, public transport is free for children under four but full price from four upwards. However, child fares do apply on the Tourist Bus and there are Tourist Cards for children aged 4–12. In museums the age at which children go free, or pay a reduced price, varies.


Fun fact: As of 2015, there has been a huge push into making Barcelona a more child-friendly city. A €20.7 million initiative backs this and involves building and renovating over 200 play areas around the city.


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