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Barcelona is a super city break with children. It’s just 15 minutes by taxi from the airport into the city so you can maximise your time in Barcelona with kids. We visited Barcelona with our three children; our girls aged 9 and 8 years and our 10 month old baby boy during the Easter holidays of 2022. We arrived in Barcelona after having visited Valencia and Ibiza and we stayed for 3 nights.
We were unfortunate to arrive just as the weather turned and we actually got a few rainy days, which is really unusual for Barcelona in April. But we still had a lovely time in the city, there are plenty of things you can do when it rains in Barcelona.
Tips for planning your city break in Barcelona with kids
We enjoyed staying in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. See my full review of our hotel, Grand Hotel Central here. It’s a good central location for staying in Barcelona with kids as many attractions are within walking distance.
There isn’t anywhere you can stay that puts you in walking distance of absolutely everything. It’s not really the kind of place you would want to have a car (parking isn’t easy) but the taxis are very useful. We use an app called FreeNow to order our large taxis that would take a family of five when we need to get around. We found them really reliable. I liked the fact that it knew where I was (like Uber) so I didn’t have to explain my location and I could see the final price before getting in the car.
Things to do in Barcelona with kids
Barcelona is a very family-friendly city. There are even kids play areas within the baggage reclaim area at the airport. I’ve travelled a fair bit with my kids and I’ve never seen that before! It was such a good opportunity for the kids to get the wiggles out after the plane journey.
This famous city park is a lovely half day out with kids in Barcelona. You’ll see the monumental area with Gaudi’s mosaic work but you can also walk for miles around the gardens. You’ll burn off plenty of energy walking up the hills and exploring the grounds.
There are play areas for the kids, and different play areas to suit different ages which is great!
It is buggy accessible BUT I recommend asking for their special map for people with reduced mobility if you’re with someone on wheels. There are a lot of steps around the garden and this special map will help you reach all the good view points without the need for steps.
There is one cafe in the park. It’s right by the exit and very busy. They mostly serve savoury tapas options. We decided not to stop here as there are so many other eatery option in Barcelona, we didn’t see the point in battling the crowds here.
The park is at the top of a hill so if you have a busy day of walking exploring planned I recommend getting a taxi to the park rather than walking there to avoid over exerting little ones.
You can pre-book tickets to the park to save time when you arrive.
After seeing all of Gaudi’s gorgeous creations around the city your little ones might be inspired to have a go at mosaic themselves. If you’re looking for something calming after a busy day exploring the mosaic workshops at Mosaiccos are brilliant.
My girls spent an hour here one afternoon and wished they could stay longer. Younger children use acrylic tiles to decorate their project. Older kids and adults can learn the traditional method and break up actual ceramic tiles to create their masterpiece as part of a longer workshop.
I found this to be an incredibly mindful activity for the girls, after so much sensory overload in the city it was an excellent activity to help them wind down.
Known as Casa dels Entremesos this a free entry museum showing off the incredible giant puppets that are used in the city parades. Allow around 30 minutes to explore the puppets. No need to book, just wander in when you’re passing for a free activity in Barcelona with kids.
ChocolaterÍa Valor is a tiny little cafe. It’s not much to look at but crikey the chocolate and churros options are delicious! We tried a tasting menu of drinking chocolates and dipping chocolates and had round after round of churros. It was epic. Super indulgent but when in Barcelona with kids you HAVE to eat churros right?
Indoor food market
Another free activity in Barcelona with kids, the indoor food market is an explosion of colour and smells. You’ll find all the traditional Spanish foods here in the Santa Catarina market. The kids are always mesmerised by the fish counters in these markets and the piles of gorgeously brightly coloured fruits and veggies make for healthy snacking. It also a lovely way to get a real feel for local shopping. Not many tourists will be stocking up on their produce for the week ahead, it’s mostly locals that actually shop here.
Walk Las Ramblas
This renowned shopping street isn’t as lively and vibrant as it used to be (pre-covid). I think many of the performers found other ways of making a living when the pandemic hit. But I live in hope that the street performers will make a come back and once again it will be an incredible, theatrical experience in Barcelona with kids.
The first time we visited there weren’t any performers out. The second time we found two which delighted my 9 year old and we made sure to drop a Euro to get a photo with the beautiful bronze lady.
The Enchanted Bar
This is a busy bar just off Las Ramblas. Popular for drinks in the evening with adults but a great place to visit earlier in the day with kids so they can explore the fairy forest. The food isn’t amazing, but there are burgers and chips and empañadas which will please most kids. If you’re going forfor dinner in Barcelona with kids consider visiting here, but arrive early. We had to queue at 7pm on a dreary Tuesday evening in April. I can only imagine it gets very in the peak season.
Tapas overlooking the Sagrada Familia
If your children are like mine they might not enjoy spending ages walking around cathedrals and churches. It’s not that they don’t appreciate seeing cool buildings, they just don’t need to linger too long.
Luckily you can enjoy the Sagrada Familia without paying for a ticket and heading inside. There is a garden and play area directly opposite the stunning building so the kids can have a play while you admire the architecture. Then head into one of the nearby restaurants for a tapas lunch. We ate at Casa Angela and it was delicious.