Planning a city break to Barcelona with kids?
This guide will take you through everything you need to know, including the best places to stay in Barcelona for families and the best things to do.
We’ll also help you decide how long to spend with our 1-3 day Barcelona itineraries, take you through the best places to eat and recommend some top day trips from Barcelona.
Here is the ultimate guide to planning and making the most out of a Barcelona city break with kids, whether you’re planning a Barcelona weekend break or a longer trip.
Is Barcelona Child-Friendly?
Barcelona with kids is an unforgettable experience, and the city is extremely child-friendly and often ranked along with the best cities in Europe.
The many different family-focused activities on offer and events throughout the year make a Barcelona family holiday a great city break for children of all ages.
I spent over a month in Barcelona for work while my daughter attended Peekaboo international nursery. We never ran out of things to do, from exploring the ample beaches to day trips to the zoo, aquarium and Tibidabo amusement park. We also enjoyed weekend trips to nearby destinations such as Salou, Sitges and L’ametlla de Mar.
When is the best time to visit Barcelona?
Barcelona has a great climate, and we have visited in Spring, Summer and Winter to experience great weather with low rainfall on each occasion. Some seasons are more predictable than others, so the best two options for visiting Barcelona with kids are here.
Barcelona in March
Visiting Barcelona with kids in Spring or Easter break is perfect, as the weather is much warmer and usually has low rainfall (Average 17ºC).
March is a great time to visit with fewer tourists and lower accommodation costs. Saint Medir festival is held at the beginning of March in the Gracia district, involving a musical parade where thousands of sweets are thrown to children from horses and carts and fireworks in the evening.
Barcelona in June
The weather in June is perfect for enjoying the beach and outdoor activities in Barcelona. While this is a busy period for tourists, it is not peak season, and temperatures are lower than in July and August (average 24ºC).
The feast of Saint Joan marks the start of the summer in June and is a major event in Barcelona. There are many street displays and musicians and bonfires, and fireworks at Barceloneta beach in the evening.
How to Get to Barcelona
The best way to get from the UK to Barcelona, Spain with kids is to fly to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat (BCN) airport. View flights for your dates here.
Barcelona airport to the city centre via train leaves from T2 (take the free green shuttle bus from T1), and the journey takes 30 minutes. There are two stops in Barcelona: Estació Sants and Passeig de Gràcia.
The city bus leaves from Terminals 1 and 2, taking 30 minutes.
The taxi stops are at the exit areas of T1 and T2, the minimum fare is €20, and there are no fixed prices (reasonable rates would be around €30-35 / night rates may differ). Taking a taxi is a good option for younger children.
You can also pre-book a transfer and someone will be waiting for you on arrival. Book your transfer here.
Where to Stay in Barcelona with Kids
There are many hotels options for a city break in Barcelona with kids. If you are visiting with younger children, a central city area is ideal, with many pedestrianised areas and close to main attractions.
Read Our Full Review of the Occidental Barcelona 1929 Here
Read More: Hotels in Barcelona Near the Cruise Port
Read More: The Best Hotels in Barcelona for Families
Top 10 Things to do in Barcelona with Kids
Spain with kids is one of our favourite destinations, and Barcelona for kids is a fantastic experience. You can explore the busy Las Ramblas area, head to the beach, see fairytale Gaudi attractions, visit great museums and relax in beautiful parks.
Every time we visit, we discover something new, and there are so many family-oriented things to do in Barcelona with kids.
Stunning Barcelona attraction that you cannot miss. Antoni Gaudi designed this Roman Catholic basilica and began construction in 1882. The exterior and interior of the building are breathtaking.
Montjuic is a beautiful place to visit in Barcelona with kids and is located on a hill in the centre of Barcelona. There’s a 17th-century fortress with impressive walls and gardens to explore, ancient iron cannons and playground areas.
We took a tour of the castle and dungeons, which was terrific. The Fundacio Joan Miro art museum and Magic Fountains are also in the Montjuic area.
Visiting this magical park is a fantastic Barcelona kids’ activity. Created by Gaudi and featuring lots of fairytale-type architecture, beautiful gardens, giant lizard monuments, tunnels, playgrounds and mosaic benches with spectacular views.
During high season the park is very busy, so recommended to book a ticket in advance to avoid queues.
We loved the experience of Las Ramblas with the kids. While it is very touristy, it is still great to explore the winding streets, find cafes and markets in the many squares, enjoy the street artists, flowers stalls and diverse shops (read more about the best shopping cities in Europe here).
La Boqueria Food Market is well worth a visit. This vibrant market sells fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and cheese and housing snack bars and cafes where you can sample the amazing produce. Visiting this area at Christmas is truly magical.
Park de la Ciutadella
Great outdoor activity for the kids, as a great park and includes Barcelona Zoo. There are many open spaces for the kids to play, a large boating lake, playgrounds, animal statues and fountains.
Barcelona Zoo houses a wide variety of species, including giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles and cheetahs, and a terrarium, aviary and petting zoo.
There are daily animal shows and a small train that circulates the park if the kids get tired.
Located in central Barcelona, this impressive Gaudi building will excite the kids from the outside in terms of its fairytale appearance, followed by the interior and rooftop area, which is truly magical. The kids will love the vibrant rooms, and the AR experience is well worth trying out, with playful and immersive effects that will excite the kid’s imagination. Get your entry ticket and guided audio tour here.
One of the great free things to do in Barcelona on a Sunday is a beach day. Bogatell beach has table tennis, basketball, football and many playgrounds, and La Barceloneta beach is excellent in its close location to the city. The Olympic Village beach is a great family-friendly location with lots of play areas. Nova Icaria beach is a hidden gem and one of the best family beaches in Barcelona.
CosmoCaixa (Science Museum)
Perfect on a rainy day in Barcelona is a visit to this museum located in the Sant Gervasi-La Bonanova area. The museum has interactive exhibits exploring the cosmos, evolution, human life, ecosystems and geology.
The indoor rainforest is spectacular. There are many freshwater animals and lots of science experiments for the kids to enjoy.
Overlooking Barcelona on Tibidabo Hill, this historical family funfair dating back to the 1920s is a unique experience. Apart from the fantastic views of the city, there are attractions suitable for smaller children to teens, street theatre performances and many café/restaurant options.
We took the funicular to Tibidabo, which was fun and visited the Cathedral, a beautiful experience.
Where to Eat in Barcelona for Families
Visiting Spain with kids is a treat, and a big part of this is the fantastic regional food you can enjoy. Barcelona is the capital city of the Catalan region, so there are many dishes to enjoy during your family trip, including paella, tapas and Crema Catalunya (Catalan crème Brulee).
El Nacional is located just north of the Plaza de Catalunya and is a unique building inside and out. We enjoyed sharing the excellent tapas on offer, but there are three other restaurants in this beautiful and atmospheric hall offering seafood, pasta and steak, so plenty of choices for the family.
Pudding is a perfect cafe for the kids. The décor is bright, colourful and vibrant, with delicious tapas, sandwiches, pastries and cakes to enjoy for lunch. The café was designed with children in mind, with lots of games, books, toys and iPads to entertain the kids.
Semproniana, located in the Eixample area, is a top-rated gourmet restaurant serving delicious French and Catalan dishes. The restaurant offers a kid’s menu and various portion sizes on the main menu options. If you visit on a Saturday (during the school year), there are cooking workshops for kids to prepare and taste their dishes.
Barcelona in 2 Days
There are so many things to see and do in Barcelona with kids, so making the most of your trip is important if you are taking a short city break. Here is a great Barcelona itinerary with kids, including the main attractions, hidden gems and great food experiences that you can enjoy with the family.
Day 1: 24 Hours in Barcelona with Kids
Morning: Visit Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, where the kids will enjoy exploring the narrow streets, flower markets, quirky shops and seeing the many street performers.
Barcelona Cathedral is well worth a visit, dating back 500 years, with beautiful stained-glass windows as well as geese living in the cloisters.
Head to Santa Caterina or La Boqueria Food Market for some lunch.
Afternoon: Visit Park Cituiadella, where you can relax in the many green open spaces, enjoy a boat ride, and the kids can enjoy the many playgrounds as well as visit the animals at Barcelona Zoo.
There are many cafes in the park to enjoy some food, or Pudding Cafe is only 15 minutes walk / five minutes by taxi.
Day 2: 48 Hours in Barcelona with Kids
Morning: Sagrada Familia Pre-book tickets to see this breathtaking building and take the elevator up to the top of one of the towers to admire the view across Barcelona.
The interior of the building is equally stunning, and guided tours are available. There is a small park next to Sagrada Familia with great food trucks and souvenir stalls.
Afternoon: Park Guell – Visit the fairytale Park Guell, where the kids can run around and let off some steam amongst the giant mosaic lizards, tunnels, fairytale buildings and playground areas.
This is a popular attraction and, while part of the park is free, it is worth getting a ticket to see the paid section and avoiding the queues.
Make sure you read our one week in Spain itinerary which includes 2 days in Barcelona!
Barcelona in 3 Days
Morning: Take the cable car from the funicular station to the top of Montjuic and visit the historic castle and dungeons. Montjuic is a heritage park, so there are many green spaces and playgrounds to explore and The Fundacio Joan Miro art museum and Magic Fountains. The fountains will be a hit with the kids, involving a show of water, light and colour to music, located in the lower part of Montjuic.
Afternoon: Head down to the beach to relax, and the kids can enjoy a splash in the sea. There are four main family-friendly beaches in Barcelona, with La Barceloneta beach near the city centre.
You can visit the many cafes and restaurants in this area and various markets that are fun to look around.
Day Trips from Barcelona with Kids
Barcelona has a perfect location on the northeastern coast of Spain, offering a fantastic city break and the opportunity to explore the Costa Brava.
There are many charming medieval villages, scenic countryside and beaches to enjoy, and fun theme parks and waterparks for more adventurous day trips.
This beautiful mountainous town is located one hour from Barcelona by train and is a great day trip from Barcelona with kids. The city is built around a stunning monastery nestled in the mountains, with a shaded courtyard, museums, daily choir performances, gift shops and fresh produce stalls.
Trains depart hourly from Barcelona-Plaça Espanya Station, then the R5 train service links with the cable car (Aeri) to Montserrat to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
Port Aventura Theme Park
The most popular theme park in Spain is worth visiting and is only one hour away from Barcelona. The park is home to the highest roller coaster in Europe, five themed attraction areas, a water park, a golf course, a beach club, and several hotels. This day trip offers some great adventurous activities just a short distance from Barcelona. Why not try this one day trip from Barcelona guided tour.
Girona is a town on the Maresme Coast known for its great beaches and located only 40 minutes away by train from Barcelona. The kids can explore the city walls and visit many parks in the area, including the family-friendly Domeny Park.
Getting Around Barcelona
Buy the Barcelona Card and enjoy free unlimited public transport across the city, including bus, Metro and train (including airport train), and entry to many attractions and various discounts. You can buy the card at tourist information offices in Barcelona or online, where you also will receive a further discount.
Barcelona has a cable car tramway and the funicular railway to various attractions, or you can take a bus tour or horse and carriage around the city.
Plan Your Trip to Barcelona
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.