Barcelona with Kids: Tips for Travel and Activities
Travelling with children to a new location is always a challenge. Preparation can help mediate some of the worry and stress that comes with travelling with youngsters, leaving room for a relaxed and meaningful family vacation. This article will discuss the best kid-friendly activities in Barcelona, as well as transport tips.
One of the most challenging parts of a family vacation is often getting from place to place. It’s hard to enjoy the sights and sounds of a vacation locale if you cannot figure out a family-friendly method of moving about. In Barcelona, travel from place to place is most often undertaken through the metro system, which is easy to understand and well-connected. Look into the T12 discounted ticket for children from four to twelve years old. T10 travel cards are also a good option for the whole family, as they contain 10 trips for one person at a discounted rate. You can also buy daily singles, a monthly pass or a family pass. It is free for children under four to travel on public transportation. The metro runs until midnight daily and through the night on Friday and Saturday.
If you know that your family enjoys museums, restaurants and cultural venues, it may be worth investing in a Barcelona Card. With this card you will receive free travel on public transportation as well as discounted or free entry to a multitude of museums, leisure facilities and restaurants. The cards come in two to five day options and range from €37 to €62 each for adults and €26 to €40 each for children. Depending on the ages of your children, Barcelona also lends itself to a biking destination, as it is easy to rent bicycles for self-guided or organized tours. The taxi system is safe, well-regulated, and relatively cheap compared to other major cities.
The Tibidabo Amusement Park
The Tibidabo amusement park is a 100-year-old Barcelona staple. Adults and children alike will enjoy this park with its old classics and latest thrills. Enjoy 25 rides, theatre and shows, all with stunning views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean. The Tibidabo Sky Walk is an area 500 meters high where you can see the best views of Barcelona and stop into the Automaton Museum. Enjoy this walk at no extra cost. The park is open from 12 to 5 p.m. and tickets cost €28.20 for adults and €10 for visitors under 1.2 cm. Children fewer than 90 cm enter for free.
Enjoyable for adults and children, Park Guell highlights designer Antoni Gaudi’s unique and inspiring aesthetic with its riveting stone structures, tiles and fountains. Gaudi’s influence from nature is evident in the twisted trunk-like columns that make up a walkway up to the tip of Guell Park, where you can see a terraced view of the park and city. The multicolored tiled mosaics are not to be missed. Keep in mind that there is at least a 20 minute walk from the metro, so it may be best to take a taxi to this scenic locale if you have smaller children. Entry is free.
The Barcelona Aquarium is one of the most popular visitor and education centers in the world for Mediterranean marine life. It boasts more than 11,000 animals, 35 tanks, and an underwater tunnel 80 minutes long – it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular aquariums in Europe! The enormous Oceanarium displays the wonders of the colorful Mediterranean Sea and will entertain and educate your children for hours. With monthly activities planned, be sure to check the schedule before your visit. Tickets range from €11.90 to €17.10 for daily entry.
For the animal loving child, the Barcelona Zoo is a perfect daytime activity. With a multitude of wildlife, flora, shows, events, and food services, the zoo can provide hours of entertainment. The zoo contains mammals to wow you and your children, including hippopotami, gorillas, a giant anteater, Spanish wolves and Saharan dorcas gazelles. The bird exhibits are colorful and vibrant with pink American flamingoes, red-fronted macaws and playful Humboldt penguins. There are also an array of amphibians including colorful frogs and toads to delight the slime lovers. Reptiles in the zoo include the Komodo dragon, Galapagos tortoises and Cuban boa. Each animal is accompanied by information on its size, age, behavioral characteristics and risk of extinction. With plenty of food and drink options, including a La Carpa, a Mediterranean buffet restaurant, Las Aguilas Grill and food trucks throughout the Zoo, your family can enjoy a sit down meal or a snack on the go. Ticket prices are €19.60 for adults, €11.80 for 3 to 12 year olds and €9.95 for seniors. Group tickets are also available.
Cruises are an extremely popular and convenient type of vacation for families due to their all-inclusive nature, the multitude of entertainment activities, and the space for your children to explore in a safe, family-friendly environment. It is no surprise that Barcelona is the fourth most popular cruise harbors in the world for cruises, with its sunny days, long beaches and child-friendly excursions. If you are arriving to Barcelona by cruise ship for a few days of exploration, you are in luck, as the main ports are all within a few miles of the city center. There are seven cruise terminals, all within a short walk or drive to the city center. In fact, Barcelona’s cruise terminals are all located at the base of La Rambla Boulevard, the main boulevard running through the heart of Barcelona. So step off the ship and into the sun to explore what Barcelona has to offer.
Only ten minutes from the center of the city, Barcelona’s beaches are one of her greatest draws. There are four main beach areas: Barceloneta Beach, Icaria Beach, Marbella Beach (which is an unofficial nudist beach), and Sitges Beaches. Swimming, windsurfing, and kiting are popular, as is sunbathing, drinking and reading a good book in the shade. The beaches are well-patrolled by lifeguards, but can get quite crowded at times.
Wax Museums are child favorites, and Barcelona has an impressive number of wax sculptures from history and popular culture. Full rooms of wax sculptures realistically show events from history, culture, cinema, music and the arts. Tickets range from €9 to €16. You also have the option of an all-inclusive ticket with museum entry for €29, which includes an audio book and guide, a photo souvenir and a discount to other areas in the museum.
Street Performer along La Rambla
La Rambla, the famous boulevard in Barcelona, contains dozens of street performers who will delight and intrigue children of all ages. The main promenade is lined with vendors selling souvenirs, flowers, and birds as well as local crafts. The street performers themselves range from break dancers, to magicians, singers, mimes and human statues. La Rambla is dotted with cultural buildings and activities, including Barcelona’s opera house, the art museum, and Mercat de la Boqueria, the city’s most popular street market.