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Barcelona Family Tips from a Local

By Justine Ancheta

I have been living in Barcelona for 11 years and below I’m sharing my favorite attractions and restaurants for families visiting this beautiful city. There are so many wonderful playgrounds and colorful sites to visit, as well as great food to be tasted. My Barcelona family tips should help you plan the perfect itinerary for your family vacation!

Sagrada Familia Barcelona family vacation

Top Five Attractions in Barcelona

  1. I highly recommend seeing the Sagrada Familia for kids and tweens/teens. They will find this colorful basilica designed by Antoni Gaudí fascinating and intriguing.
  2. La Casa dels Entremesos is great for any age. It’s a cultural center with giant puppets. It even explains the local heritage of the puppets.
  3. Park Guell is a whimsical park: its snake-like bench, colorful tilework, and topsy-turvy walls and benches are fun to explore.
  4. La Boqueria is an iconic Barcelona sight. It’s a food market of vibrant displays of ham, sweets, exotic fruit, and fresh juices! Be sure to buy one as there are lots of visitors here.
  5. Montjuic Castle is an old fortress where you can let your children’s imagination run wild. It has old cannons, a museum, and spectacular views of Barcelona for everyone to enjoy.

RELATED: Best Things To Do In Barcelona With Kids (By Neighborhood)

Where to Eat in Barcelona

  1. El Corte Ingles Restaurant in Plaça Catalunya
  2. Pudding Bar
  3. El Convent del Born
  4. Ideal Cafe
  5. Doble Zeroo

Parks and Playgrounds

Parc de La Ciutadella is the main central park in Barcelona. It has 3 playgrounds!

Why it’s recommended:
“For one, it’s free! It’s a central place for a relaxing picnic, people-watching, rowing boats in the lake, and playing in the playground. It also has the Barcelona Zoo inside (entrance fee required). It’s the perfect place to spend the whole day or take a break between sightseeing. It’s central to the city, so you can walk to the beach from here and the Old City, where the majority of the attractions are. Everyone can enjoy it, and you can find a lot of activities here. Bring a picnic blanket, so you can sit down and find a shady area to relax. It gets crowded, but not so crowded that you can’t find anywhere to sit. You can also rent a family bike if you want to explore on wheels!”

Montjuic has a large superslide. You can get a view of the city while here, too!

Places to Shop

Maremagnum Shopping Centre is near the port. The children can enjoy the Mediterranean sea nearby! It also has a small playground inside for the little ones. Plus, it’s open every day!

Diagonal Mar Shopping Centre is near the sea, so it’s a great location if you want to go to the beach. Its best feature for kids is the large playground in the patio area.

Barcelona Family Tips

Closest airport: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport

Best time to visit: Spring or Fall. “The weather is moderate and there are less tourists. La Mercè is a special citywide holiday in September. It’s an exciting time when the city holds concerts, workshops, and events over 3-4 days.”

Best areas for lodging: The Gothic Quarter or Born. “Both neighborhoods are near the attractions. The Barcelona Catedral Hotel in the Gothic Quarter is very central, has a pool, and it accommodates children.”

Areas to avoid: “El Raval neighborhood. It’s an ‘up-and-coming’ area with trendy bars and restaurants. However, it can be shady in the evening and night. During the day, it’s safe to walk around.”

Helpful websites: and


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