Barcelona, Spain


From Columbus to Gaudi to Picasso –

Barcelona is a Great City for Families with Plenty of Educational Opportunities

Points of Interest:

  • Wandering through the Gothic Quarter
  • La Sagrada Familia
  • Picasso Museum

My Favorite Literature Pick for Barcelona:

by Peter Sis
Journal Idea:
Perspective Journal - take along a special stuffed animal to share the experience.



Where to Stay: – We stayed at the Casa Camper Hotel Barcelona and liked it quite a bit.  Although on the pricey side, we found it to be an excellent family option for a few reasons: close proximity to Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, spacious rooms complete with hammocks, and plentiful breakfast buffet and a 24/7 snack bar in the downstairs lounge area.  This is such an unusual feature for a hotel, but just wonderful for travelers and especially travelers with kids.

Locate the following sights on a map and decide what interests you and your kids most.  Also consider the number of days you have t

o explore Barcelona.  We thoroughly enjoyed all of the following sights:


Within Walking Distance of Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter:


Las Ramblas – This is a long pedestrian zone that goes from Placa de Catalunya to Mirador de Colom (Christopher Columbus Monument).  From one end to the other is approximately one mile What makes this fun for families are all the many street performers and bird sellers that line the street.   Some of the street performers can be a bit scary, especially for younger kids.  It might be a good idea to view google pictures of what you could see ahead of time and prepare your kids for the possibilities. 


Elijah notices the statue of Columbus matches the one in his book.

Mirador de Colom, Marina & Aquarium – The monument to Columbus is just a quick view, but the book about Columbus we had brought along with us brought the monument to life for my son.  (More on Columbus below).  The Marina area is a beautiful area to take a walk, have a snack and relax.  The Aquarium here is also very nice.  Typically, I’m not a big fan of visiting this type of place (we do live in San Diego, CA after all), while in Europe, but if your family needs a historical break this just might be the ticket. 

Wandering through the Gothic Quarter – this is such a lovely place for anyone to walk around.  I love the many places to sit down for a sidewalk café coffee or an ice cream, seeing the many cathedrals or museums, or browsing the shops.  Runner Bean Tours offers a Kids & Family Walking Tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Picasso Museum – Located in the Gothic Quarter, this is a great little gem for an hour or so.  With all museums, it’s possible to over-do it and attempt to see everything and read everything.  Depending on the age and interest of your kids, I suggest planning accordingly. 


Placa De Rei (steps where Columbus asked Ferdinand and Isabella for funds to finance with voyage) – this is a popular stop in the Gothic Quarter and a fun spot for families to rest their feet, people watch, chase pigeons, and ponder the important request made at this exact spot.  This is also a perfect spot to pull out a book and read a little about Columbus.


A Little Further Away – Take a Taxi, Uber or use the Hop On/Hop Off Bus:

La Sagrada Familia – This is an amazing historical and architectural masterpiece (that is still being built) and no trip to Barcelona is complete without it.  The best way for young families to enjoy this masterpieces is in its shadows at the park and playground across the street.  Our boys had a wonderful time there playing with children and getting their wiggles out.  We were able to marvel at this structure and read about its history.  If you decide to go inside, check for opening hours and guided tours.  Children under 10 are free.


Casa Batllo – Creative and thoughtful inside and out, this is a fun museum to visit highlighting Gaudi’s architectural genius.

Museu Egipci de Barcelona – (Just a 3 minute walk from Casa Bastilo) – this has got to be one of the best ancient Egyptian displays apart from Egypt or the British Museum.  Your little historians will enjoy seeing the collection of mummies and other Egyptian artifacts.

Hop On/Hop Off Bus – Many cities offer this option and while we have rarely utilized its services, we did so in Barcelona and were not disappointed.  We felt like there was a lot of ground to cover and that while we did hop on and hop off at a few locations, we were also just happy to drive through town seeing the outside of many attractions all from the comfort of our seat and audio tour (many of which are Gaudi’s creations that can be appreciated from an outside view).



Favorite books for learning... before, during or after your trip to Barcelona:



Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus

by Peter Sis


Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail 
by Laurence Anholt


Who Was Pablo Picasso? 
by True Kelley


Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi 
by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez


Mission Barcelona: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure 
by Catherine Aragon



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