Park Güell, Barcelona in Spain

© D Jonez/Unsplash

Six things to do in Barcelona with kids

Discover why this city on Spain’s eastern coast is a big hit with all the family

December 2023

By Ashleigh Arnott

When it comes to holidays the little ones want fun entertainment and splash time in the water, parents want relaxation and for someone else to do the cooking, and the whole family wants to see iconic landmarks and spectacular beaches. The answer? A Princess cruise.

A cruise around the Mediterranean calling at Barcelona delivers it all. Sea life, cable cars and colourful mosaics – there are so many things to do in Barcelona with children that you’ll be spoiled for choice. But where to start? Here are six of our favourites…

Park Güell, Barcelona

Everyone will love the wacky, colourful mosaic structures at Park Güell © Martijn Vonk/Unsplash

Enter the magical world of Park Güell

As iconic cultural attractions go, Park Güell, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, might just be the most family-friendly. Its winding paths and mature planting are perfect for games of hide-and-seek, it’s full of squawking birds and interesting insects, and colourful mosaics that are as tactile as they are vibrant. The park gates are even guarded by iron dragons – it’s as if Gaudí intended it to be the stuff of fairytales. Get a guided tour of the park as well as of the artist’s unfinished modernist church, La Sagrada Familia, on the Gaudi-focused Princess excursion.

Watch penguins on their lunch break

Barcelona’s aquarium is home to over 11,000 animals, so there’ll be something to amaze visitors of any age. At 11.30am each day the penguins are fed, and if you’re feeling brave you can even check the website to find out feeding times for the sharks. Hands-on interactive displays make learning about life under water easy, and even the littlest kids will enjoy the oceanarium, an 80-metre underwater glass tube that sees you surrounded by sea creatures. Enjoy a visit to the aquarium as part of the Discovery Family Barcelona City Tour & Aquarium excursion.

Churros

Be sure to try delicious churros with hot chocolate when in Barcelona © Rosy Ko/Unsplash

Dunk your doughnuts

Of all the things to do in Barcelona with kids, this is the one that even teenagers will leap out of bed for. A fresh batch of – Spain’s version of doughnuts, which come as long, dippable fingers – is irresistible whether you’re having it for elevenses or an afternoon treat, especially when dunked in thick hot chocolate. At Chocolateria La Nena, not far from La Sagrada Familia, there’s even a child-sized table to seat little ones, which handily might stop them pinching your portion…

Zip up the Montjuïc

The Telefèric de Montjuïc is a cable car that whisks you up 213 metres of elevation on a 750-metre-long track, offering spectacular views over the city. Rides embark from downtown Parc Montjuïc and the five-minute journey is long enough to soak up the vista but not long enough for anyone to get bored! If you don’t fancy visiting Montjuïc Castle when you get to the top, follow the stairs a little further down from the cable car station and you’ll find two excellent slides to whizz down. Handily, under-fours travel in the cable car for free.

Sitges, Barcelona in Spain

Spend a family day on the beach in Sitges © Chan Lee/Unsplash

Spend a sandy day in Sitges

Everyone loves the beach and the pretty seaside town of Sitges is a delightful place to spend a sunny day. It’s just 20 miles down the Catalan coast from the city of Barcelona and can be enjoyed on a Princess Sitges Highlights excursion, which includes plenty of time for sandcastles and paddling. Plentiful sunbeds and beach bars make the outing plenty of fun for the parents, too.

Do some tiling

Having been inspired by Barcelona’s many famous artists, why not get stuck into a creative workshop with all the family at Mosaiccos. All of you will receive a pre-prepared tile to stick brightly coloured mosaic onto in order to create your own mini masterpiece. Whether you copy the Gaudí creations from Park Güell, channel the neat lines of Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian or go channel your own creative energy is completely up to you.

Excited to explore Barcelona?

See our Mediterranean cruises at princess.com

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About the Author

Ashleigh Arnott

Ashleigh is a food, drink and travel writer