15 Sep 5 Memorable Things in Barcelona for Kids
Barcelona is one of the top travel destinations in Europe right now. When we were heading to Spain this summer with our kids, we started checking around to see what would be the most fun way to spend our time. We heard about the beach, and the zoo, and the theme parks. With a dad who isn’t one for crowds and amusement parks, we looked for the out of the ordinary instead: things that adults and kids alike would enjoy, things that would build memories for a lifetime. Here are five things that stuck out in our kids’ minds . . .
1. Sagrada Família
Yes, everyone goes here. Yes, it is the top tourist destination. And yes, we thought our kids would be bored, but we went anyway. It is, in fact, the number one thing our kids reminisce about from their trip to Spain. Because it is memorable. And fantastic. And amazing. And cool. After taking in the stunning architecture on the outside and inside, the icing on the cake for the kids was the tower tour. We chose the Nativity tower. After a quick elevator ride up, you can take in the amazing views of Barcelona, walk across a small bridge from one tower to another at a dizzying height, and then step all the way down a spiral staircase. A time-saving tip: Buy your tickets online before you go so you don’t have to wait in line.
2. Bike Tour of Barcelona
We have to thank Messar of Fat Tire Bike Tour for an amazing tour of Barcelona. Rather than dragging the kids on a long walking tour of Gaudy architecture, we opted for a bike ride. That way, we could get a little exercise mixed in with a little architecture, a little history, and a little adrenaline rush (dodging tourists and traffic through the streets of Barcelona). We rode through the narrow streets of the Barri Gòtic. We rode through the green parks. We rode in scary bike lanes in the middle of the road. We road all the way up to Sagrada Família. And the kids still remember the stories at each stop (which were history in disguise) and the wind in their faces as we rode all the way down to the beach front.
3. Happy Pills
I still can’t believe we do not have this franchised over here in the States yet. Incredible concept. My niece who studied abroad in Barcelona recommended we take the kids here. It’s a candy store. You choose a flat rate prescription bottle and get some plastic gloves. Then the kids stuff as much candy as they can into the bottle from the wall full of bins. Then you carefully pick out the right label to put on your bottle. Their unique labels offered sayings like Para Que Seas Happy! and To Ward Off Werewolves! This was a great afternoon energizer for the kids. And we got some unique souvenirs to take home to their friends!
4. Dining in Dungeons (or Tapas on the Sidewalk)
Okay, this was super fun, but not that easy to accomplish. We were, at first, unsuccessful in getting a table at the popular Cafe De L’Academia in Barri Gòtic. Aunt Marilyn saved the day (literally, since the kids were tired and hungry) and spoke to the maître d’ who kindly seated us through the back alley entrance behind bars at the only table down in their wine cellar. You could certainly inquire about this unique dining experience, although I think you might get quite the quizzical look. However, if you are hungry and cannot find a dungeon to dine in, there are plenty of street-side cafes with tapas. Tapas dining is an easy way for kids to sample a variety of Spanish food.
5. Churros con Chocolate
Who doesn’t like pastries and chocolate? Churros con chocolate was a chance to relax and, at the same time, get energized (from all the chocolate) for the next activity. Thanks to an interesting Afar magazine article, we dined at the Granja M. Viader. We roamed the back alleys off La Rambla until we found the place. Then we indulged in churros dipped in pure heavenly chocolate. A lot of rich chocolate. The portions were very generous, but my kids didn’t seem to have a problem finishing. With chocolate all over our children’s faces, we departed full, happy, and ready to take on the world. Or at least see a little more of it.