A Guide to Gaudí’s Barcelona for Kids
If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, chances are you’ve got a least a few of Gaudí’s most famous architectural works are on your must-see list.
Because let’s face it: Antoni Gaudí = Barcelona. The landscape of the city is dominated by his work.
And with an almost whimsical style, inspired by motifs of animals and nature, Gaudí’s creations are a natural opportunity to connect travel with history, art and architecture for kids.
Read on for how to best experience Gaudí’s Barcelona with kids:
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Books about Gaudí’s Barcelona for Kids
We love to get our daughter excited about a new places through books.
For toddlers, this Gaudí coloring book or “create your own city” sticker book are two good choices that you can purchase ahead of your trip to get your little ones familiar with the famous architect’s work.
For a bit older children, A Stroll with Mr. Gaudí or A Dragon on the Roof are two children’s books that add a little fun and whimsy into Gaudí’s life and work.
La Sagrada Família with Kids
Barcelona is vast, but the good news is even if you only have one day in Barcelona, you can still experience many of Gaudí’s best works.
The first stop on any visit to Barcelona has to be La Sagrada Família. Once complete, the massive Neo-Gothic cathedral will stand 560 feet tall with 18 spires.
It is unquestionably Gaudí’s greatest architectural achievement, though it’s still not completely finished. At the time of Gaudí’s death, the cathedral was a mere 15-25% complete, and because the project is financed though private donations, the project stalled for many years due to lack of funding as well as the Spanish Civil War.
Construction has picked up in recent years though, and the cathedral is set to be fully complete in 2026, just in time for the 100 year anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
Getting to La Sagrada Família is quite easy, as the L2 and L5 metro lines both take you quite literally to the cathedral’s doorstep.
Inside, expect jaw-dropping, wide-open spaces (which actually makes bringing kids inside more manageable). Just be sure to prep little ones on respectful behavior – we bribed ours with a trip to the playground and cafe across the street afterwards. 😉
If you want to visit La Sagrada Família with kids, be sure to buy your tickets well in advance. Ticket sales open up 2 months in advance, and to get the best entrance times you’ll want to book at least a couple weeks in advance during peak season.
Ticket options include everything from entry, to entry with an audio guide or guided tour, as well as an option to visit one of the towers (for children 11+ only). You can book your tickets through the official website here.
Park Güell with Kids
Another must-see stop in Gaudí’s Barcelona is Park Güell. The park was originally built as part of a housing development, but the project stalled due to lack of funding. What remains is Gaudí’s former home (and now museum), as well as elements completely unique to Gaudi’s modernist style.
Trencadís, mosaics created with use of broken tiles, abound in Park Güell. The stairway walls, curved benches that line the overlook, and even the large salamander that’s become synonymous with Gaudí, all adorn this artistic style.
Tickets for Park Güell can be purchased in advance here. Entry is timed (though once you can enter, you can stay as long as you like), and arriving first thing in the morning will give you the best experience while the park is still relatively quiet.
While Park Güell is a bit of a trek from the busier, tourist-center of Barcelona, it’s quite easy to reach by metro: either make the long walk uphill from the Lesseps metro station, or better yet, take a free shuttle bus from the Alfons X metro stop.
Casa Mila with Kids
One of Gaudí’s later works, Casa Mila (or La Pedrera), is another famous Gaudí building located on the well-travelled Passeig de Gracia.
The building’s facade follows a wavy, stone appearance, and if you look closer you’ll find intricate details like the twisted wrought iron balconies.
If you want to tour the building, the central courtyard and terraces are the real highlight. You can purchase tickets in advance here. Though most people opt to view the building from the outside, and save time for a tour of Casa Batlló instead.
Casa Batlló with Kids
Considered one of Gaudi’s greatest works, Casa Batlló sits just down the street from Casa Mila. It’s impossible to miss with it’s almost skeletal façade covered in broken mosaics (that same trencadís technique we see at Park Güell). On the roof, you see what appears to be the arched back of a dragon.
The house was owned by Josep Batlló, who commissioned Gaudí to hold nothing back in his renovation of the home. Inside, you’ll find a dizzying display of winding staircases, arches, and stained glass mosaics.
Since Casa Batlló is so popular, it’s best to purchase tickets well in advance. You can secure your tickets online here.
FYI: The building’s exterior is currently covered while it undergoes renovation, but is set to be compeleted this month (May 2019)!
Other Popular Gaudí Buildings
There are lots of other notable Gaudí buildings in Barcelona that are worth seeking out, even if simply walking by.
Palau Güell, for example, is located just off La Rambla in the El Raval neighorhood and is notable for it’s arched carriage doors and colorful roofline.
Further north in the Gracia neighborhood, the unique Casa Vicens is the most popular example of Gaudí’s Orientalist architecture, inspired by art from the Middle East and Asia.
Kid-Friendly Gaudí Barcelona Tours
Planning a trip to Barcelona? First, take heart of these tips to avoid falling into the tourist traps.
And when in doubt, enlist the help of a guide! Exploring all of Gaudí’s most famous buildings in Barcelona can easily take 2 or more days. Real Barcelona Tours has some fun kid-friendly Barcelona tours, but you’ll have to piece together your experiences to cover all of Gaudí’s most famous works.
If you’re short on time and want to see it all, I’d recommend a small group tour like this one. It plans your entire route for you, plus includes pre-booked skip-the-line tickets to Gaudí’s most popular buildings: the perfect solution for busy families that want to see everything in one day.
Have you been to Barcelona? Which of Gaudí’s buildings is your favorite?