- Learning about local underwater life at the Barcelona acquarium
- Tapas for dinner
- Playing on a real sail boat
- Watching shipping containers being loaded
- Underwater tunnel at the Barcelona aquarium
- Kids area at the the Barcelona aquarium
Prepare in advance
Buy tickets for the Barcelona aquarium in advance to skip the line.
About This Day
Barcelona has so much to offer for kids. This aquatic-themed itinerary combines some of the kid-friendly Barcelona attractions with delicious food for mom and dad. It’s also an excellent itinerary for a rainy day. Start your day at The Museu Marítim and learn about the Barcelona’s shipping history in a stunning historic setting. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious brunch at the family-friendly restaurant Tropico. Continue the nautical adventure with a visit of the Schooner Santa Eulalia, one of the oldest sailing vessels in the Mediterranean. Then, walk across the Rambla del Mar and in search of the floating art installation: Miraestels. Children will also love to watch all the boat action in the harbor. Finally, visit one of Barcelona’s top activities for kids, the Barcelona aquarium, which showcases many species home to the local seas. After a fun day out take the kids to a traditional tapas restaurant and talk about your highlights from the day.
The Museu Marítim de Barcelona is a beautiful attraction for families and perfect for a rainy day or when it’s too hot outside. Children and parents alike will marvel at the life-size reconstruction of the galley of Juan de Austria. The building itself is also beautiful. Built in the 13th century, it used to be the royal shipyard where Catalonia created and launched its impressive fleet. Today the building houses dozens of different vessels, ship models, and a few interactive installations explaining the history of the Spanish shipping industry. There’s also a small cafe and a gift shop. Our son was particularly fond of the video installation of a container ship being loaded which is projected onto actually stacked shipping containers. We spent about an hour in the museum.
TIP The changing table is in the handicapped bathroom. You will need to ask for the key at the cafe. There are lockers available to store your jackets and extra bags. You are not allowed to carry any large backpacks while visiting the Museu Marítim de Barcelona.
If you are wondering where to eat in Barcelona with kids, look no further. Trópico is a hidden gem tucked away on a quiet side street of Barcelona’s famous La Rambla. It’s the perfect brunch place for a hungry family. When you enter, you are greeted by a fun tropical decor and fruit crates full of oranges. Our son loved exploring the entrance area with all its quirky decor. The main dining room is a quiet sun-filled room in the back that seemed popular with local families and young, international tourists. The menu offers a creative tour around the globe but will also please little eaters. My son loved the berry pancakes. My favorite was the lamb burger.
DIRECTIONS Trópico is a short 5-minute walk from the Museu Marítim de Barcelona.
TIP There’s a little courtyard off the main dining room, which was perfect for my fancy toddler to run around while we waited for our food.
Built in 1918, the Schooner Santa Eulalia is one of the oldest sailing ships which still cruises the Mediterranean. You can walk around the boat and climb under deck. My son loved playing captain on the deck. On Saturday’s the schooner will leave its anchor spot and take visitors on a short trip around the harbor. We didn’t do this but we watched the boat leave the dock which was quite the spectacle because they have to lift one of the pedestrian drawbridges for the ship to leave. If you are interested in joining a sailing trip you will have to make reservations ahead of time on the website of the Museu Marítim de Barcelona.
DIRECTIONS From the restaurant walk back to the Museu Marítim de Barcelona and continue towards the harbor. The Schooner Santa Eulalia is anchored to your left, passed the Admiral Historic Authority.
TIP The Entrance fee for the Schooner Santa Eulalia is included in the tickets for the Museu Marítim de Barcelona.
Miraestels is a floating art installation in the port of Barcelona created by local artist Robert Llimós. You will pass it on your way to the Barcelona aquarium as you walk across Rambla del Mar. Take a moment and see if you and your children can find the star that Miraestels holds in its hands.
DIRECTIONS From the Schooner Santa Eulalia walk across the Rambla del Mar towards the Barcelona aquarium. Enjoy the beautiful views of the port.
s/n Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, Barcelona
The Barcelona aquarium is a highlight for children visiting the Spanish city. While this was not on the top of my list, it turned out to be lovely family activity on a rainy day. So, when you think about things to do in Barcelona with kids when it rains, visit the aquarium. We all loved the underwater tunnel, where a little conveyor belt takes you through a Mediterranean underwater landscape. My son also enjoyed the sperm whale that you could walk into and the interactive kid's area. It’s not the biggest aquarium, but it has a nice exhibit of local animals, and it kept us busy for a little over an hour.
DIRECTIONS Once you walked across Rambla del Mar, follow the signs towards the aquarium. From the Schooner Santa Eulalia, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Barcelona aquarium.
TIP Order your tickets in advance to skip the line. There are lockers to store your stroller, jackets, and large backpacks. You will need coins to use them, but you won’t get the money back, so make sure you have everything you need on you before closing the door. Otherwise, you end up paying every time you open and close the locker.
After a long day out, Palonsanto will feel like going over to a friends place for dinner. It’s a tiny tapas place with a lovely wait staff and delicious, homemade food. If you are looking for a restaurant in Barcelona where the locals eat, this is it. My son loved the crockets and meatballs. I thought the traditional potatoes with spicy sauce were divine.
DIRECTIONS It’s a 20-minute walk from the Barcelona aquarium to the restaurant Palosanto. From the aquarium head back over the Rambla del Mar. Then follow Avinguda de les Drassanes until you get to a large square (Rambla del Raval). The restaurant is right by the fox statue.
TIP They don’t have highchairs and there is no space inside for a stroller, but they are very welcoming to families with kids.
WE LOVEDThe apartment is beautifully designed and puts a lot of emphasis on sustainability. Mari and Petz serve breakfast for guest on the roof terrace off their office on the top floor of the building. Enjoy fresh bread, jam, and fabulous coffee while you watch the city below come to life. There are a number of grocery stores near by and the subway is only a few minutes away. We also enjoyed the proximity to Parc de la Ciutadella.
WE DIDN'T LIKEThe living space has only two larger chairs and a dining table but no sofa to launch on. The restored tile floor, while beautiful to look at, was very cold.
TIPThe elevator is tiny. If you have a large stroller it may not fit.