Barcelona is much more than just architecture and sea – just open your eyes and you will realise the potential that the city offers for all members of the family. When you travel with children, you need to use your imagination to ensure that they enjoy the trip as well. In Barcelona you will find museums, amusement parks, cafeterias and places of interest to keep them wide-eyed at all times. Play together, discover new places and collect memories that will bring you closer together with a journey designed for the young stars of the house. Their delighted faces will be the perfect reward. The following are the best plans to enjoy a family-friendly holiday in Barcelona.

    1

    Catalunya en Miniatura

    Visit all Catalonia and see its most famous sights

    Catalunya en Miniatura is a model village that's a great way to get to know all of Catalonia's attractions at one time. It can be found at Torrelles de Llobregat, some 20 kilometres from Barcelona. Its collection of models will make you feel like Gulliver in Lilliput. Discover the Sagrada Familia and the Camp Nou football stadium, Montserrat mountain, the Roman city of Tarraco, the ski slopes in the Pyrenees and the Romanesque churches in Vall de Boí. A perfect way to round out the day is to visit the adventure area – there are 4 circuits with more than 66 activities for children of all ages.

    Location: Can Balasch de Baix, s/n, 08629 Torrelles de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 2 pm

    Phone: +34 936 89 09 60

    Map
    2

    Rent a rowing boat on the Parc de la Ciutadella lake

    Go rowing on the lake in Barcelona's best-known park

    Rent a rowing boat on the Parc de la Ciutadella lake for an enjoyable afternoon. Many locals come here to enjoy a Sunday picnic or the city zoo. One of the attractions that children like most is going boating on the lake. Let them take the rudder and say hi to the ducks and swans you'll meet along the way. Don't forget to go in search of the sculpture of the mammoth next to the waterfall. Did you know it's the only survivor of a dozen such reproductions of these animals that once roamed Catalonia?

    Location: Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +34 638 23 71 15

    Map
    3

    CosmoCaixa

    Give your kids a love for science at this interactive museum

    CosmoCaixa is an interactive science museum in Barcelona's uptown area above the city centre. It's a great way to instil a love of science in your children. Here they can experiment, touch and learn as they play. Open a window into the secrets of the Earth's geology together, visit the Amazonian rain forest and visit Antarctica. Who knows? Perhaps your kids will become the next Albert Einstein or Marie Curie. As well as the exhibitions, there are also various workshops and a planetarium where the whole family can discover the secrets of the universe. The shows are available in a number of languages and can be adapted for people of varying levels of visual disability.

    Location: Carrer d'Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm (closed or reduced hours on holidays)

    Phone: +34 932 12 60 50

    Map
    4

    Poble Espanyol

    Cover the whole of Spain in a single day without getting too tired

    Poble Espanyol is an open-air site that gives a perfect summary of Spain's architecture, culture and crafts. It features scale models of buildings and plazas from around the country, where you will also find works of art, craft shops, bars and restaurants. Set off with the family on a visit through Poble Espanyol and discover all its secrets. There are also sports competitions and games every day that the kids will love. Don't forget to check the activity programme before you leave – craft workshops, festivals and concerts are regularly held at the site.

    Location: Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Monday from 9 am to 8 pm, Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday from 9 am to midnight, Friday from 9 am to 3 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +34 935 08 63 00

    Map
    5

    Tibidabo amusement park

    Spend a great day at Spain's oldest amusement park

    Tibidabo amusement park opened in 1901 and is the oldest amusement park in the country. It can be found on one of the city's highest points, with stunning views out over Barcelona. Take the kids on historic attractions such as Avión, a plane ride near the entrance to the park that fills the city sky with colour, or visit the curious Museum of Automata and the crazy Miramiralls hall of mirrors. As if that weren't enough, you can also hold birthday parties at Tibidabo. As well as having a great time, the kids will also get an afternoon snack and a birthday cake. Does your visit coincide with a child's birthday?

    Location: Plaça del Tibidabo, 3, 4, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Hours vary

    Phone: +34 932 11 79 42

    Map
    6

    Casa Batlló

    The fun way to get to know this treasure of modernista architecture

    Casa Batlló, one of Antoni Gaudí's masterpieces (along with the Sagrada Familia), is a 'must-see' for everybody visiting Barcelona. Normal visits tend to be boring for children, but you needn't worry in this case. The building offers dramatised tours led by Gaudí in person or by Señora Ramoneta, a family servant, who explain all the anecdotes surrounding its construction and the lifestyle enjoyed by Catalonia's moneyed classes in the early 20th century. Before you go, check out the facade: Doesn't it remind you of Monet's Water Lilies? For others, it represents the legend of Saint George and the dragon. Decide for yourselves!

    Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm (last entrance at 7 pm)

    Phone: +34 932 16 03 06

    Map
    7

    Barcelona Wax Museum

    Have your photo taken with the world's most famous people

    The Barcelona Wax Museum brings history to life. Pay your respects to famous people throughout history – artists, monarchs and great thinkers share space in this neoclassical building, making this a good opportunity to give your children a fun history lesson they will never forget. After your visit, go to the famous Bosc de les Fades, which also belongs to the museum. This forest is full of magic, with its ancient trees and the woodland inhabited by gnomes, fairies and other fantastic beings. While you're there, try one of the potions prepared by the forest's elves.

    Location: Ptge. Banca, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm in summer, Monday–Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7.30 pm rest of the year, weekends and holidays from 11 am to 2 pm and 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm

    Phone: +34 933 17 26 49

    Map

    photo by traveljunction (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Cafetería Pudding

    Surround yourself with magic in this unique, creative space

    Cafetería Pudding lets you enter the magical world of Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter with a philosophy based on 3 things – eating, playing and enjoying. Try the delicious cakes and brownies, choose one of the board games and enjoy an entertaining afternoon with your family. This is also the ideal place in which to introduce youngsters into the marvellous world of reading. On their wooden bookshelves you will find all manner of books, including the saga of the young magician, of course.

    Location: Av. Diagonal, 515, 08029 Barcelona, Spain C/ Pau Claris, 90, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Av. Diagonal. Open Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm. Friday and Saturday, from 9 am to 11 pm. C/ Pau Claris. Open every day from 9 am to 10 pm.

    Phone: Av. Diagonal: +937 689 884 C/ Pau Claris: +936 761 025

    Map
    9

    Museu de la Xocolata

    Satisfy your sweet tooth at this delicious museum

    The Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) is located in a historic building that used to be a convent. Set off on a journey back in time that will take you through the centuries-old history of this wonderful delicacy. Finish up in the museum shop, where you can buy a tasty, sweet memento. The museum has a number of activities for children, such as confectionery workshops and how to handle chocolate in the most fun way possible. We recommend you find out the opening times and what activities are planned for the general public.

    Location: Carrer del Comerç, 36, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +34 932 68 78 78

    Map

    photo by Kippelboy (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Spend a day at the Isla Fantasía water park

    Get wet and cool down on the hottest days

    Spend a day at the Isla Fantasía water park, a great water park where you can cool down with your family. There are discounts for children depending on their height. Attractions include over 22 slides, 3 macro-pools, a large picnic area and various cafe and restaurant options. You don't need a car to get here; a city bus runs from Plaza de Tetuán in central Barcelona, or you can take a local train to Premià de Mar and then the shuttle service to the park. If in doubt, ask at the ticket office of any station.

    Location: Finca Mas Brassó, s/n, 08339 Vilassar de Dalt, Barcelona, Spain

    Open: Hours vary

    Phone: +34 937 51 45 53

    Map

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