Barcelona remains a huge attraction for tourists, with hotels welcoming more than eight million visitors in 2018 alone. Many people draw to the city for its vibrant culture and rich party scene. However, despite its buzzing nightlife, Barcelona remains a great place to bring a young family.
If you thought your trips to Barcelona were over once your children were born, think again. The city has much to offer kids as well as adults. You can still soak up the culture, gastronomical delights and sunshine with your little ones in tow.
If you're anxious to catch the games at CocoVail, you can even find holiday-nannies in the city who can free up a Sunday evening for you. This way you can kick back with a beer and peace of mind that your kids are having fun, too.
Trying to absorb a city’s culture with small children can present its challenges, but tours are a great way to see the area and keep children entertained too. For a sporty family, consider the Barcelona Foodball Lover Tour, which is a family-friendly tour of football and tapas, and begins at Camp Nou. Alternatively, kids will love an open-top bus tour, but you can really make your explorations special by arranging a private family tour.
Devour Barcelona run private walking tours designed especially for kids, which will take in stories and legends, candy shops and history. The ticket price covers an interactive walking tour through the city center and stops at local food establishments and historical monuments. The tours target kids between 4 and 12, and teach history and language through vivid storytelling to capture their imagination. Parents even get to indulge in a glass of cava while the kids learn to make authentic Spanish sandwiches. The beauty of any type of tour is that you can bookmark places you want to revisit during the rest of your stay, so take note of which places interested them the most, so you know what day trips are likely to be winners for the rest of your visit. Of course, you can also take the opportunity to note good places to catch some football while you're away.
Looking for child-friendly restaurants on a family vacation can sometimes be a challenge, but not in Barcelona. Here, you’ll find restaurants that are more than just child-friendly. In fact, they’re child-oriented, and can allow you to enjoy all the pleasures you enjoyed pre-kids while your little ones are kept entertained.
Double Zero, in the Barceloneta area, serves a variety of Asian fusion dishes and is particularly recommended for its sushi. It has a children’s menu, but better yet, it also has a staffed play room so the kids can go and play while Mum and Dad enjoy a longer meal. Font Màgica with its captivating light show, water acrobatics and music is definitely somewhere you’ll want to take the kids for evening entertainment, and nearby Suarna is the perfect place to fuel up before hand. It has a comprehensive children’s menu and a play area with lots of toys.
For a full hands-on gastronomical adventure for your small ones, try Semporoniana, which as well as offering authentic Catalan and French cuisine, has cooking workshops for kids. They get to cook a complete three course meal and eat it afterwards. If your children have allergies, make sure staff are aware of them before they don their chefs hats though, and be sure you have their epi-pen on hand in case of emergencies. In any place you’ll be eating, ask about the ingredients just to be on the safe side.
A trip to Barcelona is incomplete without a visit to one of the city’s beaches. If you pick the right spot, they’re a great place to bring kids, who’ll be happy to while away the hours building sandcastles while you soak up the sun. Some beaches are more child-friendly than others, so check out the options before rocking up to the first piece of sand you see. Playa de Calella has three beaches, which are great for families, and are well-equipped with facilities for a full day in the sun making sandcastles and kicking about a football.
For a bit more entertainment for the children, Playa de Malgrat del Mar has a kids club with a beach library, workshops and inflatables. All beaches have facilities for toilets and ice-creams… but if they can wait until they’re off the sand, for the ultimate ice-cream experience, try Eyescream and Friends, where you get to top your ice cream with googly candy eyes!
Traveling with a young family doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy all the things you loved about Barcelona when you were young, free and single. From gastronomical adventures to relaxing in the sun, there are plenty of ways you can keep the kids happy on your trip.
Don’t forget kids are welcome at CocoVail Beer Hall too, although you may want to consider a nanny service if you're hoping to catch the Sunday evening game. #feelathome
Blog Contributor: Jane Sandwood