When you are in Barcelona with children it can sometimes be difficult to keep them entertained and amused. Here are 10 of the best that Barcelona has to offer you and your child.
1. Las Golondrinas
Las Golondrinas are small double-decker boats that offer two tours: a harbour tour and a harbour and coast tour. These pretty boats are great for children, though the harbour tour of 35 minutes is probably best if you have young children. The Coast tour takes 90 minutes and involves open sea cruising, but is only 12.50€ for adults and 5.00€ for children.
The port tour is priced at 6.00€ and 2.60€ resprectively. You get both directly in front of the Columbus statue, on the port side of the Plaça Portal de la Pau. The port only tour departs daily between 12.00am and 5.00pm. The longer tour also leaves daily from 11.30 till 16.30 depending on how the sea is.
Get Las Golondrinas (Swallow Boats) on 93-442-31-06
2. The Tibidabo Amusement Park
The Tibidabo is a must on your itinerary if you have a young family – and even the older kids love it. Tibidabo Amusement park exists for over a hundred years already therefore it is one of the world´s oldest funfairs. It was opened in 1908 and was renovated in the 1980s. As the amusement park Tibidabo combines over 30 types of key attractions within the sector: old-fasfioned traditional and original amusement family attractions as well as up-to-date attractions.
A day ticket is 25.00€ or 9.00€ for children below 120cm. Shorter than 120cm and they get in free. The rides include a Ferris wheel, carousels, roller coasters and an airplane ride. This is an all-day trip and the children will love it. There is only one problem: they will want to come back tomorrow! Note though that tthe park is more a funfair for younger children than teens.
3. Barcelona Zoo
Children love animals, and Barcelona Zoo is favourite with most families visiting Barcelona. It is situated in the Parc de la Ciutadella, and not only offers a large selection of animals but also electric cars, a mini-train, ponies and a restaurant and picnic area. It is open from 10.00 am all year round, closing times depending on the seasons, and admission is 16 euros for adults, and 9.60€ for children 3-12.
At last count it housed 50 species of mammals, 44 birds and 25 species of reptile, and offers a wonderful educational opportunity for your children to become familiar with animal life they have never previously encountered. The animals are well cared for with a number of breeding programs under way.
4. Sleep with the Sharks at Barcelona Aquarium
Barcelona has an excellent aquarium that children of all ages and their mums and dads will love. Most aquaria have much the same things to exhibit, and what separates the excellent from the average is how they achieve this. Barcelona aquarium does this in some pretty unique ways.
Situated at Moll d’Espanya del Port Vell, Barcelona Aquarium is the world´s foremost aquarium specializing in Mediterranean species, though this in no way suggests any limitation in the number and type of its exhibits. One day is not enough, and some families spend two or even three days here.
Particularly popular is spending a night with the sharks. Children from 8 to 12 are given dinner and breakfast, and investigate the sharks, hear stories about them and sleep and wake with them and lots of other fish.
Priced at 74 euros, and available on Fridays and Saturdays, this is very popular and has to be booked a week in advance at 93 221 74 74, and the price does not include entry to the aquarium. There are many other tours and special exhibits and the same number can be used to make enquiries and bookings.
5. IMAX Cinema
The Imax Cinema is a popular cinema complex located at Port Vell close to the city centre. It offers movies in three different formats on giant screens, and was the first Imax Integral movie theatre in the world. The technology available is:
Imax Technology: a massive screen measuring 600 square metres with a flat screen size of 21 metres.
3D technology: the same screen as Imax, but with 3D movies viewed using polarized glasses.
Omnimax Technology: The screen is hemispherical, and appears to wrap around the viewers.
The shows are amazing, even the travel films being very popular due the breathtaking scenery. Phone 93-225-11-11 for a booking.
6. The Wax Museum
The Museu de Cera is in the Passatge de la Banca, to the left of the Ramblas facing the port. If you want to entertain the children, first take them to the fairy tale exhibits, and tell them there are more later! The standard tour begins with Pope John Paul II, who is followed by a number of figures from the worlds of the arts and politics. Then you reach the fairy tale characters.
However, there is more for the children down on the ground floor: you enter a deep sea diving bell and tunnel underwater to a world that the kids will love. You find yourself between the decks of a sailing ship, taking a space trip, some across a cave with stone-age men and then the horror section with Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster. A good way to spend a rainy day at 12 euros for adults and 7.00 € for kids and oldies. Opening times and lunch periods vary, but always open during 11am-1.30pm and 4pm-7.30pm
This is the new Barcelona Science Museum that opened in 2005, and is a child magnet. Quite frankly, if you can’t keep them from complaining take them here at the Teodor Roviralta. A number of buses get you here, as does the ‘blue tram’ on its way to the Tibidabo Amusement Park. Exhibits include an Amazonian rainforest, and Geological wall and a planetarium. This is a fabulous museum, closed Mondays with general admission at 3 euros. Your kids will love it!
8. Parc de Ciutadella
The Parc de Ciutadella is Barcelona’s major public park, and contains among many other attractions, the city zoo (above). It is situated in El Borne district, and at one time was a fortress in the days of Napoleon. There is a number of traditional buildings here displaying what most people regard as real Spanish architecture that hold many pieces of Spanish art. There is also a large lake, where you can take the children out on boats, and also a fabulous toddler’s play area with scooters and cars that the toddlers can play with. You can enjoy a coffee in the adjoining café while you watch them colouring and painting.
9. Barcelona Happy Park
The Happy Park is a fabulous park area full of all sorts of bouncy rubbery things that kids love. If they need to let off steam for a while this is where to bring them: you will certainly tire them out. Situated in Comtes de Bell-lloc 74-78 (tel 93-490-08-35) and at Pau Claris 97 (93-317-86-60), these are open weekdays 5pm -9 pm and 11am - 9pm weekends, free for adults, but 4 euros for children. Sants metro will get you to the first, and Urquinaona to the Happy Park at Pau Claris.
This is for very young children only.
10. Port Aventura
Last, but by no means least, is Port Ventura. This is not actually in Barcelona itself, but about an hour in the train from it: kids love train rides, so this will be no hardship for them. This is one of the best amusement parks in Europe, so if you have children with you it’s well worth the trip. You will find it in Tarragona, and it has the biggest roller coaster in Europe.
Port Aventura is divided into 5 themes: Mexico, China, Polynesia, the Far West and the Mediterranean, and each has its own thrilling features to offer.
Port Aventura also presents Caribe Aquatic Parc, located next to Port Aventura park itself. Caribe Aquatic Parc was conceived as a piece of Caribean Islands and includes indoor area ( mostly for little kids) and outdoor area with a considerate number of water slides, tobbogan rides, wave machines and attractions.
These are our top 10 best things to do with children in Barcelona, but there are many other attractions that Barcelona has to offer. Enjoy them all during your visit.