Barcelona summer activities for the whole family

With colourful mosaic dragons, forested hills and long stretches of sand, there’s never a dull moment in Barcelona. Ideal for an adventure with the whole family, the city …

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With colourful mosaic dragons, forested hills and long stretches of sand, there’s never a dull moment in Barcelona. Ideal for an adventure with the whole family, the city offers a host of activities that are bound to make your trip one for the scrapbooks. From learning about local culture and history aboard a bike to blasting across the Mediterranean on a jet ski, here are our top picks of activities that kids of all ages can get behind this summer.

WALKING & BIKING

After landing in Barcelona, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the Catalan capital, from its sun-soaked pedestrian streets and imposing spires to its Modernista gems. A great option for getting your bearings while keeping everyone together and happy is to do a Gaudí treasure hunt. Within Park Güell, one of the most famous spots in the city, you’ll discover the secrets and curiosities behind Antoni Gaudí’s designs. You’ll be provided with all the necessary equipment, then it’s up to you to work as a team to unearth the truth about the Catalan architect’s life, track down the most iconic details of the area and locate the hidden gems of this fascinating piece of functional art.

If your family prefers to be more active while you sightsee, you can’t go wrong with a guided bike tour. Start off with a brief introduction to Barcelona’s history before picking up your bikes. Breeze from landmark to landmark while you get a smattering of fun facts about the places you come across. Again, a friendly, informed guide will plan your itinerary, so all you have to do is pedal, relax and snap as many photos as you’d like. After you’ve worked up a sweat, you’ll have the chance to stop at a chiringuito (beach bar) for an ice-cold drink to quench your thirst.

WATER ACTIVITIES

In Barcelona there’s no need to even get off the couch to have fun. Not for the faint of heart, the Crazy Sofa is a high-speed, inflatable sofa that fits up to six daredevils. The experience starts off slow, with a speedboat pulling the riders out to sea. You can take this moment to enjoy the skyline—see if you can spot the Sagrada Família and the Torre Glories first. Then it’s full speed ahead as your driver maneuvers the sofa this way and that. Don’t worry, if you’re travelling with younger children, the ride can be as smooth or as wild as they’d like.

Banana boating at Barceloneta Beach leads to a different sort of family bonding. See who has the best balance and endurance as you navigate the sea on a rather unusual vessel. This activity might bring out your family’s competitive side as well, as everyone tries to be the last to crash into the waves.

If you have some self-confessed adrenaline junkies in your family, you might want to amp up the speed and join a jet ski experience. Starting with safety tips from a qualified instructor, your family can head out into open water, two per jet ski. Feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair and, inevitably, taste salty seawater when whoever is driving makes a hard right and knocks you off the jet ski (accidentally, of course!).

To explore deeper depths, spend a day scuba diving on the Costa Brava. Suitable for all ages, no experience necessary, you’ll receive a PADI scuba diving certification. Then, with safety instructions out of the way, the real fun can begin! Relax as you drift through the current, but stay alert—you never know what marine life you’ll encounter. Scuba diving is not only enjoyable, it’s good for your personal well-being, and it’s a skill that you can use for the rest of your lives, in whatever exotic locations you find yourself next.

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