The medieval streets of El Born are filled with little shops. Spend an hour wandering through its narrow streets and soaking up the lively atmosphere. Your kids won’t complain when you stop at a children’s bookstore with English language books or pick up unique treats at Hofmann Pastisseria. When they finally do get antsy, head to Mercat de Santa Caterina, one of Barcelona’s fantastic food markets. Browse the many colorful offerings and pick up supplies for a picnic lunch. Then head to Ciutadella park, where your kids can run wild, and spend a relaxing afternoon. This itinerary is the perfect Barcelona day for kids that parents will enjoy as well.
This lovely children’s book store carries foreign language books in English, French, German and Italian, in addition to a wide selection of Spanish titles and toys. They also have a little play area for toddlers. I always like to browse local bookstores and pick up a unique story for my son.
TIP The bookstore has clean bathrooms with a changing table.
1-5 Carrer del General Álvarez de Castro, Barcelona
La Panera is an adorable little store that sells baby and children’s clothing and gifts. Many of them are handmade in Barcelona with a special focus on environmentally friendly products. We picked up an adorable fox rattle and matching pirate bibs for the boys.
DIRECTIONS As you are walking from Abracadabra Llibres towards Santa Caterina Market, La Panera Dels Tresors is only a few houses down the street from the bookstore.
This colorful Barcelona food market is smaller than the famous La Boqueria, but the offerings are equally good and there are fewer tourists. Browse the different stalls and pick up supplies for a picnic lunch.
DIRECTIONS Continue on Carrer del General Álvarez de Castro for a few minutes. Once you get to the next intersection you can already see Mercat de Santa Caterina.
Tucked away on a quiet side street, this patisserie sells amazing cream-filled croissants and little desserts that are works of art. Even if you don’t care for sweets, stop by and take a look. We loved the Petite Suisse and the cheesecake that looked like a box of Camembert. Their pralines also make a delicious gift for loved ones at home.
DIRECTIONS The shortest way from Mercat de Santa Caterina to Hofmann Pastisseria is a 5-min walk down the narrow street Caterina Carrer dels Flassaders. If you want to see more of the neighborhood you can also walk by the Picasso Museum or make a short detour to Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, the beautiful 14th-century Gothic-style church.
TIP If you buy any of the little pastries, be sure to ask about the flavors. Some of them, like the cactus one (which my son desperately wanted), are filled with liquor.
Parc de la Ciutadella
21 Passeig de Picasso, Barcelona
Barcelona’s Ciutadella Park is a welcoming green oasis after the busy, narrow streets of El Born. Pick a spot in the shade and enjoy your picnic lunch. Afterwards, spend some time exploring the park. Your kids will love the playground, wild parrots and the giant mammoth statue. For more inspiration, check out the itinerary of things to do in Ciutadella park.
DIRECTIONS It’s a 5-min walk from Hofmann Pastisseria to the entrance of Parc Ciutadella.