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Julie Sheridan
Created byJulie Sheridan
Freelance writer and translator based in Barcelona

Family-friendly Barcelona

Featured Guide

City breaks can be tricky when you’re travelling with the family in tow, but Barcelona offers several important advantages. Its stretch of sandy beaches – one of the most meticulously maintained urban beaches in Europe – are a brilliant option for an easy family day out when the heat on the city streets gets too much.

Several attractions such as CosmoCaixa, the Zoo and the Magic Fountain, are compelling enough for adults to enjoy as well. And while specific kids’ menus in restaurants are rare, you’ll find most waiters very accommodating when it comes to smaller portion sizes.

As a Scot who’s been living in and writing about Barcelona since 2011, I’ve taken part in my fair share of family days out with local friends. My top tip is to take the kids up to the mountain-top Tibidabo funfair. The rides, the views over the city, the fresh mountain air – it’s an experience your children are bound to remember for years.  

  • Restaurant
    Sidestepping the potential to be cringingly kitsch, Barcelona’s Magic Fountain is a surprisingly stirring spectacle. A worthy symbol of the city, the fountain soars and sinks... more
  • Attraction
    Tibidabo’s amusement park is a family day out with a difference – the backdrop of stunning cityscape views, stretching right to the Mediterranean horizon. Laid out on different... more
  • Attraction
    If you visit just one museum with your children in Barcelona, make it this one (my Catalan friends with kids are there so often it’s become a standing joke). CosmoCaixa is an... more
  • Attraction
    This park is one big playground for the city’s residents – adults and children alike. With its shady paths, grassy areas, waterfall, boating lake and life-size woolly mammoth... more
  • Hotel
    This is a 3-star hotel that feels like a 4-star, just a short stroll from the central Plaça Catalunya. It really is in a privileged location, whether you plan on hitting the historic... more
  • Restaurant
    If you’re at all into seafood, sun, sand or sangria (and who isn’t?), try and fit in a visit to this open-air restaurant bar on the boardwalk of Barcelona’s Bogatell beach. This... more
  • Restaurant
    A country house with a farm, this Catalan eatery on the outskirts of Barcelona poses the perfect place to escape to nature, enjoy local cuisine and keep the kids entertained all at... more
  • Hotel
    This 4-star hotel has a great location on the Gran Via, within walking distance of loads of landmarks but a nice distance away from the hustle and hassle of the old town. The... more
  • Attraction
    Nestled (sorry) in the bohemian Born district of Barcelona’s old town is a museum with exhibits good enough to eat, helpfully signposted in English, French, Spanish and Catalan.... more
  • Restaurant
    If you don’t mind a bit of a wait to get in, the Barcelona branch of the Hard Rock Café is an easy option for those travelling with children (or just craving a satisfying burger). Its... more
  • Attraction
    City zoos can often be a depressing affair, but Barcelona’s is a refreshingly cheery corner of the city that offers good value for money. It's most famous for its resident... more
  • Attraction
    With its dark history as a prison and site of torture and executions, Montjuïc’s castle may not seem an obvious choice for a family day out. The main reason people make the trek (or... more