A complete Barcelona Itinerary Guide from Parenthood4ever
Ok, so here I will share the itinerary we have done, including tricks and tips that work well when visiting Barcelona with kids. We have added quite a few other sights to the list that are must-see and that we have explored previously. Finally, check out our special post on visiting Barcelona – Kids Edition.
Before we even purchased the flights, I insisted on checking the online tickets for Sagrada Familia. Last time we went to Barcelona with toddlers, we didn’t have a chance to get inside – “the biggest mistake I have made”, I thought back then. Indeed!
Check here how to avoid the queues and crowds in Sagrada Familia.
We spent half a day inside the basilica during this journey and could easily spend the whole day. Every angle, corner, and detail are so impressive that there are no words to explain everything we have experienced that day. The church Sagrada Familia is planned to be completed in 2026. This is the time we have promised to come back.
Tip: purchase the ticket with the Audio Guide. Trust me, it is an absolutely different story when you hear the idea of Gaudi behind it.
Additional tip: take your earphones or headphones with you. It will be much easier to listen to the guide and keep hands free for photos and your kids.
In short, when designing the church, Gaudi tried to solve one major problem: how to connect people with nature. This is why apart from all the religious episodes you observe in the Basilica, you will see that inside the main basilica’s hall Gaudi recreated the forest. Those enormous columns represent tree trunks. The walls are covered with leaves, plants and ladybugs, but the most incredible creation of Gaudi was the light entering the church. He put all the effort in designing the windows the way that the hall was covered in rainbows.
Honestly, it is a drop in the ocean. There is so much information about the church that there are books (not tiny pamphlets) devoted to this topic.
Last tip: Always look up when wandering inside the church!
Apart from the main hall and tower’s visit, you will find separate access to Gaudi’s museum where you will be told the history of Sagrada Familia’s construction and plans of the artist. One of the most amazing features for us was a video (which we were not allowed to shoot) with the explanation on how master Gaudi made all these colourful stained glass windows by using watercolour and then making cuts in various forms.
If you have a pre-booked ticket to Sagrada Familia, you must remember a few important things:
- Do not be late for your slot time. You have a 15 minutes window to enter. If you are late, you won’t be allowed to enter.
- You will see a massive queue, usually surrounding the entire basilica. You should go right to the entrance which is on the right side of the main building as shown in the picture.
- You will still be in a queue with all visitors that have the same slot as you, but this queue will take up to 15 minutes and you are in.
- I recommend taking an early slot, you will have less people and the entire day for yourself.
- Take earphones with you to keep your hands free and enjoy wandering in church and taking images.
- If you didn’t book the ticket online, you may stay in a queue, but it may take at least a few hours before you get in. Even when you purchase the ticket, you will be given a time slot and normally it takes 2 hours before you can enter. Also, there are a certain amount of tickets that can be sold per day, so make sure to come as early as possible to be the first in the queue.
Next, we went to have lunch opposite the Sagrada Familia.
Let me explain. You enter from one side and exit from the other. Then you go around the basilica back to the entrance, cross the road and you are in the little park. This park has the best views of Sagrada Familia. It has a pond and really relaxing garden where you and your kids would love to run and stretch.
Just walk around it, it is tiny. On your way out, on the right side, you will see a square with the gas station inside (I thought it was very odd to place a gas station next to Sagrada Familia, or the other way round). This square is full of cafes and restaurants serving paellas and other fantastically delicious Spanish meals.
It was the day of my birthday, 12th of October, and it was perfect timing to be in Spain with very few people enjoying real Sangria and paella in front of Sagrada Familia. Big love to my husband who made it happen. What a surprise!
After that we went straight to Park Güell. But what I didn’t think of is that the park is as famous and popular in Barcelona as Sagrada Familia. You must purchase online tickets in advance too if you wish to get inside the Gaudi’s House (Casa Museu Gaudí).
It is only a 25 minutes’ walk from Sagrada Familia, so we were not bothered to take any transport. Plus, it was nice to observe the city and little squares we were passing through. If you travel to Barcelona with a baby and a toddler, again, it is a nice idea to walk while letting your little ones rest in a buggy, potentially taking a nap.
Park Güell is an extremely relaxing place. It is a huge park which you must visit when traveling to Barcelona with kids. If you go from Sagrada Familia, you will be entering from the other side.
This enormous park is totally free of charge. We took at least three hours walking around. First, we climbed up all the way to La Casa Trias and Mirador de Joan Sales/ Mirador del Virolai viewpoints. It is not that far, but probably in this case, you will need a carrier instead of a buggy. By the way, all buggies can be left in the storage room when entering the park. These viewpoints have amazing views of Barcelona.
There are various Gaudi’s houses, columns, gardens, and street musicians. It is also a great place to have a picnic.
If you go around you will see the entrance to Güell’s Park, probably with a massive queue to it. But did you know that this is not the only entrance?
Check this article on how to avoid queues and enjoy secret entrances.
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
One of the best things to do with kids in Barcelona, and also make the perfect end of the day is to visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc.
What is the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc?
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is one of the biggest singing fountains in Europe and Barcelona’s largest ornamental fountain. It was built in 1929 for the International exhibitions, now it invites a lot of tourists from all around the globe.
You will enjoy the spectacular fully lighted water acrobatics show with different types of modern music. These lights generate over 50 types of shades and hues.
I am more than convinced that your child will adore you for this night event, so do not miss this free opportunity in Barcelona with kids.
How to get to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc?
To get there we took the metro green line L3, Zona Universitaria, from Vallcarca stop to Placa Espanya. It takes 15 minutes by metro and 10 minutes to walk.
What is the best time to arrive for the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc show?
We arrived at 7:15 pm and in one hour it looked overly crowded. We were lucky to get the best spot and stock ourselves with beer and sandwiches in the nearest kiosk. Starting from 8 pm, you will have to wait at least half an hour in a queue to get a snack, drink or enter the bathroom, so come early. Time flies!
Many people who came after 8:30 pm tried to sit on the top of cement rails filled with plants and flowers, totally ruining the environment. There are police and guards walking around but the most effective way was when many little fountains sprinkled out. It was so amusing to watch people fly off the rails and get soaked in water. Lesson learnt: don’t break the rules!
What time does Magic Fountain of Montjuïc start?
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc normally operates on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In summer, they include Sundays too. It always lasts for an hour, but the show time depends on the season, so for example,
- November to March: 8 pm – 9 pm;
- April to May + October: 9 pm – 10 pm;
- June to September: 9:30 pm – 10:30 pm;
Be careful: time schedule changes due to maintenance, holidays, and other reasons. Be sure to check the official page for the updated version.
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) And The Palau Nacional
For the art fans, return to MNAC the next day or visit it before the fountain show. It works from 10 am to 6 pm excluding Sundays and holidays, where it works until 3 pm.
It is a truly impressive neo-baroque structure. It is located on the hill, so the view to Barcelona is spectacular. You may find a musician or two performing on the top. There is also a café where you can spend the whole day admiring the view. It’s not hard to see why a lot of locals spend most Sundays chilling out at the MNAC, taking in the Barcelona views.
MNAC is one of the most important centres for Romanesque Art in the world and is the biggest art museum in Barcelona. Art fans will find exciting pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries, the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods.
If you stopped at the museum MNAC and would love to see the night magic fountain show, but there is still a lot of time left before it starts, there is a perfect solution for you.
Apart from enjoying a hot cup of coffee on the top of the hill, you must visit Poble Espanyol. It is only 8-10 minutes away from the Montjüic Fountain and is totally worth the visit.
Poble Espanyol is an open-air architectural museum in Barcelona that will let you dive in authentic Spanish cuisines, architecture and crafts from all over Spain.
Read about Gaudi’s architecture here.
It is very quiet with lots of space and no traffic, so it is perfect for family vacation in Barcelona. If you are short of time to know Spain, Poble Espanyol is the right shortcut for you.
Also, your kids can enjoy various craft workshops and learn the history of it. Tickets are a couple of Euro more expensive at the entrance, but you can save purchasing your tickets below.
Poble Espanyol works every day but has various opening times. Activities and workshop schedule changes too depending on seasonality. Check the official website before you plan a visit.
During Tuesdays to Thursdays and on Sundays the museum area works until midnight. But on Fridays it works until 3 AM, and on Saturdays it closes at 4 AM. Can you believe it?! This means that you have an opportunity to visit it after the fountain show from Friday to Sunday. You can also skip the line and save €2.50 with the link below.
Again, make sure you check the schedule of both activities, because they constantly change. Here’s the schedule of Montjüic Fountain.
Note: Visiting Poble Espanyol in the evening is a fantastic experience too because the whole village is nicely illuminated. And you save 50% of the price of the ticket!
Cable cars in Barcelona
The city is flanked by two mountains, and Montjüic is the one looking over the sea. There are two cable car rides from Montjüic – one which crosses the sea over to Barceloneta and the beach, and the second which transports you up to the old castle. Both offer great views of the city sprawling below and are a sure-fire hit with the kids.
If you come in the morning, you have a great chance to enjoy the entire cable car for yourself. It is a great place to go to when visiting Barcelona with kids because there is a lot of space for your kids to run around the Montjüic Hill. It contains an enormous garden with loads of panoramic views. Just take your time and relax! This is definitely one of the most relaxing Barcelona youngster’s activities that you can try!
Note: It is an 18-minute walk to Montjüic Fountain, so plan your itinerary well.
There is also an option to visit Montjüic Castle (Castell de Montjuïc) which works every day from 10 am to 8 pm.
Tip: After 3 pm on Sundays the entrance for you is absolutely free.
Late dinner with friends, who unexpectedly showed up at the end of the show coming all the way from Argentina, and my birthday was officially the best ever!
The next day was featured with the sightseeing near Las Ramblas, La Barceloneta Beach, Flamenco Night show and some shopping. I would recommend adding Montserrat Mountain in the morning if you are short of time. Unless otherwise, leave it for the third day of your journey.
Las Ramblas is an area in Barcelona that is full of authentic narrow streets, shops and fantastic places to explore. You can reach the majority of destinations at a walking distance from here and avoid paying for public transport or taxi.
Learn more about family holidays to Barcelona, Las Ramblas below.
La Boqueria Food market (Mercat De La Boqueria)
Ok, so two extremely important tips you must know:
- This is a must-to-visit.
- La Boqueria is closed on Sundays.
Now, guess what day we visited it? Sunday…
It is a well-known fact that Barcelona is more expensive than anywhere else in Spain, including Madrid, thanks to all the tourists. Food in Barcelona is quite expensive too. Las Ramblas is full of nice restaurants, but many people would tell you that eating out at the touristy restaurants is not a good option as they serve pre-fabricated meals, such as on the square of Las Ramblas where you can see street vendors during the day and go to night clubs and pubs during the night.
By the way, there are loads of private street vendors that sell authentic beer lids. Locals love collecting beer lids and actually sell it for a lot of money. It was very interesting to observe all that negotiation process and fights behind the scenes.
So, La Boqueria Food Market is the one absolutely gorgeous-looking market where you can choose fresh ingredients and food will be cooked right away for you.
The city beaches
Barcelona has a fairly long stretch of coastline, so if you are short of time to visit Costa Brava or other famous beaches of Spain, don’t worry. Barcelona has a lot to offer.
La Barceloneta is the easiest one to reach. It is located right near Las Ramblas and only a half-an-hour walk from the Boqueria Food Market. You will be walking on the promenade that is full of souvenir shops and street vendors promoting Spanish art and craft. You will be passing Guell Palace and eventually face the Mirador de Colom statue. When you cross it, there is an amazing view to the coast full of yachts.
Keep walking and you will pass a lot of more interesting places, such as food markets and international art & craft kiosks. We were very excited to know that the majority originated from Argentina.
Tip: Walk! You will discover amazing places on your way to Barceloneta Beach.
Tip when you visit Barcelona with kids: Right after the Mirador de Colom, you will find the Aquarium.
Con: La Barceloneta beach may be a bit crowded.
Attention: Do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach (anywhere in Barcelona). There are lots of professional pickpockets in Barcelona.
The Olympic Village beaches are a little more child-friendly, with a spider’s web climbing structure and a playground. Barceloneta is the old fisherman’s quarters and has a great beach too.
The Olympic Village Beach (La Vila Olímpica)
It is also one of the best family beaches in Barcelona because it has a “spider web” of structures that the little ones can climb and even a playground!
The Olympic Village is located next to Barceloneta Beach. So, if you have got the entire day devoted to the beach area, I highly suggest taking a walk there too.
Nova Icaria Beach
It is one of the quietest and family-friendly beaches in Barcelona.
It has a fun little playground for the little ones, as well as table tennis, basketball and beach football!
Note: All of these beaches are located next to each other, so it is easy to try all of them in one day or pick the one you enjoy the most.
Right opposite the Barceloneta Beach you will find a fantastic Ciutadella Park with the Fountain Monument that was designed by Gaudi.
Check all the masterpieces of master Gaudi here.
It also has Barcelona Zoo inside, so the best time for your kids is promised.
See all the activities for kids in Barcelona.
Ten minutes’ walk and you have reached Picasso Museum. It is rather a small house, but this museum owns over 4,250 works presented by Pablo Picasso and is considered to be one of the most complete permanent collections of artworks.
When I was in Barcelona fifteen years ago, one of my highlights from the trip was visiting the Flamenco show. This time I was dying to repeat my experience and share it with my husband as it was his first time in Barcelona.
One hour show of passionate flamenco dancers, singers, and musicians. Their tunes and motives, indeed, will make you emotional. There is a whole team playing gypsy guitars, dancers perform flamenco with castanets and wear incredibly gorgeous dresses.
It is a great opportunity for your family and kids to dive in the Flamenco atmosphere.
Check our special blog about Flamenco Shows in Barcelona and choose one of the tens shows specially for you.
We picked Palacio del Flamenco, due to its location and truly fascinating show. It lasts one hour and offers an amazingly delicious dinner with starters, mains and dessert complemented, of course, by Sangria.
Tip: Come at least 15 minutes earlier, and you will be able to participate in free open flamenco class.
Check all options before you choose the right Flamenco show for you due to the location, price, meal selection and more.
On our way from the Las Ramblas area to Palacio del Flamenco, we had a chance to pass by two important houses of Antoni Gaudí: Casa Battló and Casa Mila.
They are located 5 to 6 minutes away from each other.
Check the guide of all houses of Antoni Gaudí below.
Casa Battló is considered one of the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi. It was first redesigned in 1904 and then refurbished several times. It is located on the Passeig de Gràcia, which is one of Barcelona’s most famous streets because of its vibrant shopping scene and outstanding Modernist buildings.
It works every day from 9 am to 8 pm with last admission at 7 pm. You will need an hour to visit the house.
Save up to €2 booking your ticket online. Kids under 7 years old enter for free.
Locals call this building House of Bones (Casa dels Ossos) because it has a visceral and skeletal organic quality. You will absolutely admire the ground floor with its irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stonework. The loft is considered to be one of the mystical constructions too. It contains a series of sixty white catenary arches that creates a space which represents the ribcage of an animal. But many people believe that this design represents a ribcage for the dragon’s spine, just as on the roof.
The facade of the building is breath-taking. It is decorated with a colourful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles. And the roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur.
At present, Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an icon in Barcelona, a must see for those who want to discover Gaudí’s work and modernism at its finest. It is also one of the most highly rated cultural and tourist attractions, welcoming one million visitors every year.
You can check their official site here.
Casa Mila is Gaudi’s property to rent and last civil work. It was named after the homeowner, but it is widely known as La Pedrera which means stone quarry because it resembles an open quarry in appearance.
At the moment, the writer Ana Viladomiu is the only resident living in La Pedrera. The rest of the house is open to million tourists. House hosts numerous activities and workshops. It works every day from 9 am to 8:30 pm and starts its night tours from 9 pm to 11 pm.
Enjoy the family vacation in Barcelona with kids!
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