Barcelona Hotels Articles

April 21, 2010

Top 10 Sights and attractions for children in Barcelona

Barcelona is a very child friendly city. It is not uncommon to see young children out late at night in terraces and on the streets when normally you would expect them to be in bed. So it’s no surprise that there are a host of attractions for children as tourists, as well.

1. Las Ramblas (FREE). This is the most famous street in Barcelona, and everyone must visit the old river bed during their stay. The street is always busy, and is a great place for children to enjoy the human statues who are some of the best in Europe, the artists and caricature artists, and various national artists. You can write your name in Chinese, in various artistic methods, and also enjoy the weekend craft market.

2. At the bottom of Las Ramblas, crossing the Rambla del Mar bridge to maybe feed the fish at the old Port (Port Vell) you will find 2 more great attractions for kids. The city’s Aquarium is a sure fire winner, and has Europe’s largest moving walkway tunnel, where you can marvel at the moon fish, sharks and sting rays who swim above and around you. The installations also have a great penguin enclosure, seahorses, and some great interactive models of whales, submarines and other marine life.

3. Right next door to the Aquarium is the amazing IMAX cinema. This usually offers a double bill, often a 3-D showing and a normal IMAX cinema film. This is an amazing experience with the screen much bigger and wider than your average cinema screen, and the made-for-IMAX movies are breathtaking.

4. Barcelona beaches (FREE). Barcelona has many beaches, although it’s really just 1 stretch. The old fisherman’s village of Barceloneta has the real beach – those of the Olympic Village down to the Forum are man made, but it’s hard to tell. For city beaches, Barcelona beaches are pretty good, and cleaned each night and morning and are a great way to escape the climes of the city and enjoy a picnic or and early morning dip, before the midday sun sets in. Remember to always take plenty of water and strong sun block.

5. The Magic Fountains of Montjüic (FREE). Although this doesn’t start until 9pm, so may not be the best idea for the very young, this magnificent spectacle still pulls in the crowds and coach loads of visitors to Barcelona. Located at Plaça España, at the foot of Montjüic, jets and spurts in the fountain “dance” to light and music. There are various shows until 11pm, and often in between the shows, fire jugglers and dancers entertain.

6. Park Güell. This is one of the many attractions made by the architect Antoni Gaudi, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This a wonderful place to visit with children and take photos with the emblematic dragon fountain and marvel at the Hansel and Gretel houses at the ornate entrance. Many school groups also visit and meander around the wonderful central “plaza” with the broken tiled benches and magnificent views of downtown Barcelona.

7. Barcelona has two mountains or hills. Montjüic we have mentioned, but at the very back of Barcelona we also have Tibidabo. This has the last working tram in Barcelona, the Tramvia Blau, and from here you can take the funicular train up to the attractions park at the top. Log flumes, aeroplane rides and other favourites are nestled in such peaceful settings of the Coserolla park. A brand new roller coaster is currently under construction, too with the hope of bring back the hoards to the park.

8. The Cable cars. There are 2 great cable car rides in Barcelona – one from just next to the Miro foundation and Greek theatre on Montjüic which takes riders all the way to the summit of Montjüic with the old castle and some amazing views of the port and the old town. The other leaves Miramar, a lookout, and goes all the way across the water (usually over the top of the odd cruise ship) and down to Barceloneta beach. Either one is a great trip for the kids, and queues are usually tolerable and entertaining whilst you view the comings and goings of fellow tourists.

9. Cuitadella Park (FREE) is the garden of Barcelona, and is a great stroll on a weekend or a lazy Sunday morning. Children love to feed the ducks and geese, or maybe hire a rowing boat and explore the lakes at their leisure. There is a magnificent fountain designed by Gaudi, and a fantastic scale model of a Mammoth which is a photo-stop for everyone to perch on the trunk and snap away.

10. The tourist bus of Barcelona. What better way to see the sun-kissed streets of Barcelona than on an open top bus with an official tourist guide? Many of the previous 9 attractions can be enjoyed at pace with no tired legs and no to-ing and fro-ing underground. The tourist bus is a great way to get an idea of the size of the city, and is especially advantageous for families with smaller children who could tire with the various gradients Barcelona has.

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