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A Weekend in Barcelona with Kids

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Last Updated on July 15, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

We just returned from a short weekend trip to Barcelona with our kids. Having very little previous experience with Spain, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but I must say…What a gem of a city!

Barcelona differs from much of Spain as it declared independence from Spain and was then re-integrated.  It has its own form of Spanish culture that differs from other regions.  However, not many countries are completely uniform!

We took our five kids around the city for two days, and all had a blast!

Getting Around Barcelona with Kids


Barcelona is built for walking.  Throughout Spain, you’ll see large medians on the big streets that are reserved for pedestrians and bikes only.  These are fantastic!  Be ready to walk a good amount each day, and come prepared with comfortable shoes.

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Taxis in Barcelona are plentiful and easy to flag down.  Since our family is so large, we often had to split into two cars.  If you are staying in a hotel, utilize your bellman to help you when you can.  All of our taxis were metered, spoke English, and accepted credit cards.

Uber Vs. Free Now

As we’ve mentioned before, we are big Uber fans. However, Uber does not operate in Barcelona.  I believe, like in Rome, Uber is illegal, and you’ll need to use FreeNow instead.  If you somehow manage to get an Uber driver, consider yourself lucky!  

FreeNow works in essentially the exact same way but seems to own the rights for certain cities.  Be sure to download their app and create your account before you arrive.

Public Transportation in Barcelona

We used both the Metro and the bus during our time in Barcelona.  Both were very efficient, and we could buy tickets on the spot with a credit card.  

The easiest way to map your route using public transport is with Google Maps.  Once you enter a destination and click “get directions,” you can toggle through walking, driving, or public transport options.

*Below is an example of what Google Maps directions look like*

Kid-Friendly Activities in Barcelona

Following Gaudi

Many of the top things to do in Barcelona deal with the famous architect Antoni Gaudi.  He radically changed this city, and his masterful work is a must-see, even for kids.

Sagrada Familia

Arguably the most famous landmark in Barcelona, this stunning basilica stands out.  Even post-Covid, it was packed! 
If the itinerary allows, I highly recommend you visit early in the morning.  We went mid-day on the weekend (the worst possible time), and we were surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of other people.  

This incredible structure is a masterpiece designed by Gaudi himself. The building is still unfinished after over 200 years of construction. If you choose to tour the inside, which I highly recommend, your ticket comes with an audioguide that you download to an app.  The history of the building is quite amazing.

The audio guide is not kid-friendly, but it may keep them from getting bored.  I made my older children listen, and they did get some out of it!  However, it does require a device for each person.  

The tour itself takes about 45 minutes.  You basically admire the outside, enter and walk around a bit, and then exit on the opposite side to admire from that side.  Without the audioguide, it’d be a very quick activity.

My tips for visiting La Sagrada Familia with kids:

  • Enjoy the views and beauty of the area outside, but be very aware of pickpockets.  Barcelona is famous for pickpockets, and this area is ripe and tourist-filled.
  • Keep the kids close.  There are a lot of people and lots of big tour groups. It’s easy to get separated and lost in the crowd.
  • If you’re touring inside, book your tickets at least a few days in advance; they sell out daily. You can click here to check availability.
  • There are several cute cafes around, so it’s easy to make lunch or dinner.
  • There are two playgrounds surrounding the basilica.  It’s an excellent place for the kids to let off steam before you go inside.
  • Share your favorite snippets from the audioguide with the younger kids.  For example, I told my boys about the crypt and how Gaudi was buried there.  Little facts like this kept them fascinated for several minutes.  🙂
  • This is almost a “temple of light.”  If you visit on a sunny day, the colors coming through the fantastic stained glass are astounding.

Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, and Casa Vicens

These houses, also designed by Gaudi, will inspire even the youngest visitor.  My kids love exploring new homes, and the audio guide for the kids was incredible! All three homes are close together on the Passeig de Gracia, which has an amazing outdoor mall and great restaurants.

We only visited Casa Batllo, which is the most stunning from the outside.  The roof reflects a laying dragon, and the entire home is filled with wonder and mystery.  
The tour took about an hour and had an optional light show at the end.  Overall, the whole family loved it.

My tips for Casa Batllo with kids:

  • Purchase audioguide for everyone in your group (over 3).  This was one of my favorites that I’ve done.  The adult headsets auto-update room to room based on your movements. The kid versions have interactive phones that show the room in an alternate form and are super fun and engaging.
    You can purchase your admission ticket/audioguide here.
  • The gift shop is great; we bought several things there!
  • There is a bar on top if you want to stop to enjoy a drink and the views of the city.
  • Inside, you’ll be stopped for a photo-op, which you must purchase.  We liked ours and did end up buying it.
  • You don’t see any bedrooms on tour, which was disappointing, but you get two outdoor spaces.
  • There are a good amount of stairs as the building is quite tall!  However, there is also an elevator for those who want to use it.
  • Strollers would not be a good item to bring on this tour.  Opt for a baby carrier instead.

Parque Guell

Continuing on with the Gaudi theme, Parque Guell is a vast park that overlooks the city.  We actually made it here but didn’t have enough time to explore, so we didn’t go in.  If we were going to pay the entrance fee, which is about 10 Euro a person, we wanted more time to really enjoy ourselves.

However, several people recommended it and said kids love it!  We took the bus to get here, which was easy and cheap.

You can purchase admission tickets ahead of time here.

Other Activities in Barcelona with Kids

  • La Rambla: This is a beautiful, tree-lined tourist street with tons to see and do. You can find restaurants, shops, street performers, and more.
  • Rent bikes and ride around the city.  You rent many bike stations throughout the city from your phone.
  • Fountains at Montjuic.  A beautiful fountain show, initially built in 1929. Typically this show performs every half-hour, but Covid has affected this a bit, so you’ll want to check for possible shows in the evening.
  • Torre Baro Castle.  Great for kids to explore!
  • The Gothic Quarter.  This is the central historic part of Barcelona. Full of history, amazing architecture, and endless activities, many people say this is a must!
  • Walking tours of the city of Gaudi’s work
  • Markets:
    • La Boqueria:  Touristy, but super fun.  It’s best to go during the day.  You can get all kinds of food here and eat some fun treats.  There are also amazing candy stands!
    • Mercat de Santa Maria

What To Eat In Barcelona With Kids

Tapas is the name of the game in Spain!  Tapas are essentially a small plate or “appetizer” of Spanish cuisine; you must try these small dishes. Even the airport offers some amazing versions.

Paella is a rice dish with all kinds of filling, from seafood to meat to vegetables, and it’s delicious!

I gathered suggestions from followers prior to our visit and these were a few of the recommendations:

Outside of Barcelona

If you are able to take a day trip out of Barcelona by car, be sure to visit the Abbey of Monserrat.  It’s a stunning catholic monastery carved into the mountain with breathtaking views. It looks incredible! My good friend Laura has a great post about it!

Any more suggestions for visiting Barcelona with the kids?  Please add them to the comments below!

Booking your flight to Barcelona? Catch great fare deals from Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia, and get some budget-friendly tickets.

Find a family-friendly hotel in Barcelona from Booking.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com).

Discover more about Spain through fun activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator and discover more of Grindelwald.

Need to rent a car? Visit Rentalcars.com.

Get insured while traveling with World Nomads.

Want to have a photo shoot while traveling? Check out flytographer!

Capture your best travel memories in Barcelona as we do with a GoPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini.

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!


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