Is Spain near the top of your list of places to see during a family vacation? If it is, you will have plenty of options when it comes to where you should visit and what you can do. So many people choose to visit Barcelona during their first family vacation in Spain. This city seems to check off all the boxes when it comes to history, attractions, and culture. Add in the culinary delights and your family will love every minute of your visit. Today, I am going to share the best things to do in Barcelona with you.
La Sagrada Familia is a cathedral that was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Despite his unique design, this church has yet to be finished. Some people think is will never be completed. However, many people are saying 2026 is the magic year.
No matter what this church’s shape is when you vacation in Barcelona, you must visit. You will need to secure tickets in advance. I recommend adding the audio guide to your tour, as well as the option to climb up one of the towers.
Park Güell is another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona. This grand park has quite a few unique features. There is the mosaic lizard, as well as spiral towers. This is another attraction in Barcelona that you need to purchase tickets in advance for. I recommend adding the Casa Museu Gaudi to your ticket. It was Gaudi’s home for nineteen years. Therefore, it is packed with history.
There are quite a few churches in Spain. Visiting a few of them is one of the best things to do in Barcelona. Santa Maria del Mar is one of the favorite churches amongst the locals. This Gothic church has quite the history. And honestly, it probably shouldn’t even be standing. In 1428, a massive earthquake tried to destroy it. Then in July of 1936, a fire burned inside for eleven days. The black marks from that fire can still be seen on the ceiling.
The Parc del Laberint d’Horta is the oldest park in Barcelona. Within this park, you will discover temples, mythological figure sculptures, and a cypress maze. It is that labyrinth that most people want to see during their visit. Try to conquer this maze during your time at this park. I guarantee it is more difficult than it appears.
Tibidabo is a mountain plus a fairground in Barcelona. One of the best things to do in Barcelona is heading up to the summit of Tibidabo to see the temple. The Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, or Sacred Heart Church, has a bronze statue of Jesus. Take the elevator to the statue to see it up close.
Then venture over to the Ferris wheel to take a ride and see the sights of the city from above.
This is a massive tower that appears to glow at night. It is one of the few amazing attractions in Barcelona that Antoni Gaudi didn’t have anything to do with. Head up to the 30th floor. An observation deck is there. It is the perfect place to see unobstructed views of the city at any time. Afterwards, check out some of the mind-boggling exhibits.
It is unknown, but many people think La Boqueria is the oldest market in Barcelona. The first mentions of this market were in 1217. Today, there are more than two hundreds stalls full of food at La Boqueria. You can easily spend hours walking around this market, as you purchase way more than you can possibly eat during your vacation in Spain.
If you don’t get your fill of shopping at La Boqueria, head over to La Rambla. This one-mile-long shopping street is full of small cafes and stores. You may find exactly what you want during your visit. And if you don’t, well, at least you can get some tasty gelato.
Els Encants is a flea market. The ceiling at this market is more than eighty feet high. The stalls in the market reflect in that ceiling, making it a must-see destination.
This flea market first opened somewhere near 1300. Since that time, numerous odds and ends have been purchased. It wasn’t until recently though that Els Encants had a permanent home. The locals are quite happy with their new flea market location.
There isn’t one straight line in the design, or construction, of Casa Batlló. Gaudi designed this home for Josep Batlló. Since Gaudi’s designs always include elements from nature, you may understand why there aren’t any straight lines. Pay close attention to the wavy stone pillars and the blue stairs. They are two features you probably won’t see designed the same anywhere else.
The area of Montjuïc is quite the sight to see. Start by looking at it from below. Then climb the stairs that lead directly to the Magic Fountain. This fountain is in front of the stunning Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Once you have explored that museum, there are others waiting for you on Montjuïc. You will also discover lush gardens and spectacular views.
You cannot take a family vacation in Spain and not check out the Picasso Museum. However, be prepared because this museum is located in five different palaces. Did you expect anything different from an eccentric artist?
In this museum in Barcelona, you will see a few of his works of art. Just not the most popular of them all. The highlights though include how he progressed to the painter he became, as well as a ceramic artist.
Gaudi was younger when he helped create Parc de la Ciutadella. That shows in the golden waterfall known as Cascada Monumental. Sit near the waterfall, and the serene lake nearby, and simply relax. Or walk around until you find the Palm House and Winter Garden.
Over at Camp Nou, you can watch the FC Barcelona soccer team play a game. This is the largest home stadium in Europe. And there are hopes it can be expanded to be even larger. You usually can’t get tickets until two or three days before a game. So, this may be a last-minute thing to add to your itinerary.
Casa Vicens was the very first house Gaudi designed. It is a mismatch of tiles with maximalist designs. Think birds, flowers, and oriental palms. Add in some terracotta and domes and you have this masterpiece from the 1880s.
Out of all the museums in Barcelona, this may be a favorite of many. It is off the beaten path in La Sagrera. You must walk through a residential area for approximately ten minutes before you reach this beautiful mural. It was created by Elian Chali, who is an Argentinian street artist.
These are the best things to do in Barcelona during a family vacation. As I am planning your vacation in Spain, I can include other fascinating things to do. This way everyone in your family will enjoy everything on your list.
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