BEST PLAYGROUNDS IN BARCELONA NEAR TOURIST SITES
Traveling with kids means combining sightseeing time with play time. It wouldn’t be wise to organize your entire time in the city without letting your children unplug, run, and get wild, but expect them to behave at museums and sites. They need to spend all their energy and meet other kids. But when visiting a foreign city it’s not easy to find the right parks and play areas for them. You might have one around the corner and not even know!
That’s when a bit of planning beforehand comes handy. And if you can use some that are close to the tourist areas you are planning to visit that day, even better: it’ll be all much more time-efficient and your kids won’t have to wait a whole ride somewhere else before you allow them to have the fun they deserve after sightseeing.
These are our favorite Barcelona parks and play areas near the top sites:
Playgrounds near Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia basilica, the most visited site not just in Barcelona but the whole Spain deserves good planning. First of all, make sure to book your tickets ahead of time because they sell out (and nothing can frustrate more a kid than being promised to go somewhere and being rejected at the entrance). Then plan around one hour inside (maybe a bit longer if your kids are older, and definitely at least 30 minutes more if you have booked tickets for the elevator).
And after the visit is over, we get you covered: there are is a playground in the park in front of the Passion façade (the modern-looking one where the ticket offices are, on Sardenya street), and there’s another one in the park of the other side (on Marina street, Nativity façade), behind the lake.
Also, remember that planning lunch in the area isn’t the best idea, but if it’s getting too late and you need an emergency lunch there’s plenty of kid-friendly (but not too healthy) fast-food options in the area, and a limited number of decent restaurants.
Play areas near the Gothic Quarter and Rambla
The Gothic Quarter, the historical area of Barcelona is a tightly knitted maze of alleys with very few open spaces and plazas. You’d look around and not imagine where could you find a playground for your kid that is tired of walking around old streets? But they are there, if you know where to find. Nothing big, but good enough for a break.
There’s one just off Plaça Sant Jaume, in Plaça Sant Miquel behind the city council. It’s not great and it suffers a heavy use, but it’s an option. If you can go a bit further away, head towards Plaça Catalunya and hidden in an alley off the commercial Portal del Angel: Plaça del Vuit de Març (and there is a nice tapas bar in front of it where parents can take turns for a glass of wine while the kids play. It’s a quieter area than the other one, but it’s not too big either.
You can try also the one on Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, surrounded by some greenery – and you can visit a Roman cemetery there: kids will be intrigued about the dog skeleton displayed there. It’s also very close to La Rambla, another area where it’s hard to find playgrounds. Another alternative is the playground on Jardins del Dr. Fleming behind the Boqueria Market in the Raval district.
Playgrounds near the Picasso Museum
I purposely separate the Born district and Picasso Museum from the Gothic Quarter even if they are located within walking distance, because they limit with the largest park of Barcelona: the Ciutadella park. There’s plenty of kid-friendly things to do there, but strictly talking about playgrounds there’s two of them, one between the pond and the Verdaguer high school, and the other in the other side of the Chapel.
My favorite Parc de la Ciutadella playground is the one near the pond, because there’s free buckets, shovels and plastic toys to play with the sand and share with the other kids, a wood house, and a large fenced enclosure perfect for babies and toddlers. The other one is smaller but it offers many opportunities for gross motor activities for older kids (although active toddlers will have fun there, too).
Playgrounds near Casa Batllo and Casa Mila
This is the trickiest area where to find playgrounds in Barcelona, but it’s not an impossible quest. Very close to La Pedrera there’s a small public park located inside a block. You’ll find the entrance on 182, Pau Claris st, and there’ll you’ll find a quiet garden area with a lovely playground.
As for Casa Batlló, you’ll have to walk a few blocks away, but you’ll find two playgrounds on Plaça Letamendi, one at each side of the busy Arago street.
Quite a lot of things apply to Park Guell that were already said when we discussed Sagrada Familia: get tickets in advance because they sell out, and avoid eating there if possible (or check what we recommend – there’s no fast-food options here, BTW).
As for playgrounds, if you are arriving by subway from the Vallcarca station, there’s a small playground behind the Turó de les Tres Creus (Hill of the 3 Crosses, a very popular vantage point to the right of the access of Baixada de la Gloria). Plus there’s a basketball basket for older kids that bring their own ball.
Closer to the monumental area, there’s 3 playgrounds near the main entrance on Olot street: one for older kids with many climbing options and a high slide right behind the ticket office, a small sand area with a few things for babies and toddlers right underneath, and a nice and colorful area of toddlers and young kids further up the road from the ticket office.
AND BONUS! What about the Hill of Montjuic? Is it easy to find playgrounds there?
Hill of Montjuic
The Southern green lung of Barcelona is full of parks and gardens. Paradoxically, most of them are botanical or historical parks that don’t include play areas for kids. How can that be? But don’t panic yet, there’s plenty of kid-friendly activities in Montjuic that offer great family opportunities.
And if you still need more, right under the cable car line that takes you to the Castle you’ll find our favorite Barcelona playground: the Jardins de Joan Brossa, created in the real-state that when I was a kid used to be the second amusement park of the city (the other one still operates on the Tibidabo Mountain).
The playgrounds there are GREAT! There’s 2 giant slides in the upper part on the way to the castle, a zip-line, wooden water circuits, sand areas, musical devices… Your kid won’t want to leave!
What are the Barcelona best playgrounds according to you?
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