Barcelona is one of the most partying European cities for adults, but the city has a whole other side that is often under the radar. Check out these awesome spots you can visit with your kids.

1. Hit up the parks

Barcelona has over 60 parks. Hike up to  Montjuïc  with the kids. Stop at the  Parc de la Primavera  or  Mirador Montjuic  to snap some family photos you’ll later print, frame and hang in your living room.

Make your way up to the  Montjuïc Castle , for a great and somewhat challenging hike. Head in to soak up some history. Have a picnic at the tables outside or get a fresh orange juice at the cafe with the sitting Buddha statue. The castle is open mostly on the weekend, and there’s anything from salsa to pop music and bachata sounding in the air.

2. Discover the best views

Photo: Rob

Park Güell  by Antoni Gaudí is a fascinating place for kids. Covered in colorful mosaics, this area was once meant to be a private living complex for the wealthy elite, but was turned into a public space. Buy your tickets online and get here early to beat the crowd. Snap a photo with the iconic lizard and look out at the park from the intricately designed and crafted balcony.

The bunkers are the under-the-radar version of Parc Güell. Free, this area is a bit tougher to hike up, but you can easily take a bus or the metro to it. The bunkers give you a 360-degree view of Barcelona and the surrounding mountains, as well as  Tibidabo  in the background and sunsets. You’ll run mostly into locals here with their families and dogs.

3. Make dining a learning experience

Make dinner fun for your kids by taking them on a tapas tour. Go to either  Euskal Etxea (Restaurant)Sagardi BCN Gotic  or  Carrer de Blai . Give your kid a plate and the freedom to sample whichever toothpick-impaled pintxos look appealing. You pay based on the number of toothpicks collected and prices of each bite vary between €1-3. This is a great way to introduce your children to the typical Spanish flavors of tortilla, spicy chorizo, and manchego cheese.

4. Go to a flamenco show

Want to inspire your child’s inner dancer? Take them to a flamenco show. I would recommend  Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona , in the center. This passionate dance will keep you at the edge of your seat at all times, and will make you want to buy flamenco shoes for your kids — and yourself.

5. Visit the museums

Check out the  Museu de Cera , with sculptures depicting scenes from “Star Wars” and other films. The museum’s cave-like restaurant feels like being in a fairytale, with plants and forest sounds inside. Grab one of the small tables and have lunch here.

The  Picasso Museum  is a treat for adult art-lovers, as well as interesting for kids, since some of Picasso’s later paintings have child-like elements. The courtyard is shady and tranquil, perfect for winding down.

The  Museu de les Il·lusions  is a great spot for you and your kids to challenge your perceptions and learn new tricks. If you’re hungry after your visit, eat lunch at the quirky, Frida Kahlo-inspired  restaurant around the corner — they also have great brunches.

6. Stay in these neighborhoods

While it may be tempting to stay in the center in order to be close to everything, I recommend staying with your family in Gracia, a clean and peaceful neighborhood, with small boutiques and cute cafes around.

Eixample is another great place to stay. Head over to  Brunch & Cake  or  Cup & Cake  for delicious, healthy breakfast options. You can enjoy a cup of classic café con leche, while the kids can gulp down fresh orange juice.

7. Climb the big cat

El Gat  is the most famous symbol of El Raval. This Botticelli-style sculpture always fascinates kids. Though it may look easy, climbing this bronze beast is quite the challenge, but you all should give it a try.

8. Have a picnic at the park

Photo: DDohler

Ciutadella Park  is a great place to check out for the little ones. You can let the kids loose for a few hour in this ample space, while you relax in the shade. Go up the steps to the golden statue and watch the  Cascada Monumental . The carousel is definitely a winner here, as well as the zoo.

9. Get some vitamin D

Barcelona has great sandy beaches.  Platja Nova Icaria  is a great option for families. Start at Barceloneta to check out the big fish sculpture from the 1992 Olympics, then make your way to the next beach over. At Nova Icaria, you can play volleyball and swim. This beach is considerably less busy than Barceloneta and more kid-friendly. The little bar upstairs serves paella and good lunches.

10. Go on a bike tour

Barcelona has made a huge effort to support bikers, so you can walk and bike anywhere, while having a metro stop nearby at all times.  Book a tour with Bicilona where locals, Kat and Nico, organize culture-focused bike rides around town and in the nearby Catalan villages. This is a great way to cover lots of ground and get your exercise on even on a short vacation.

11. Witness this holiday

The 11th of September is Catalonia’s most important holiday. In honor of it, every year locals will gather and form tall human pyramids known as castellers. You can watch at  Plaça Sant Jaume . There is also a music and dance performance at  Arc de Triomf . Many pop-up restaurants will serve traditional food and drinks.

12. Churros and chocolate

Take the kids for churros on Petritxol, then drop by  La Pallaresa - Churreria . Chocolate here is thick and delicious, while churros are perfectly crispy. Since this place is located in the Gothic Neighborhood, you can easily go walk off the sweets on the tiny streets of this charming area.

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