Head to the hill of Montjuïc for some some greener parks, fresher air and city views at the Castle, Cactus Park and Botanical Gardens.
Parc de Montjuïc
Getting there: Furnicular from Parallel Metro Station (L4)/ Bus 55, 150, 13.
One of the easiest ways to visit Montjuïc it is to take the funicular from the Parallel Metro station L4. It is an uphill, one-stop train ride that takes you to Montjuïc in a few minutes. There is a tourist information centre opposite the station to help you find your way around. From here you can also take the Téléferica Cable Car up to the castle (170m) and enjoy some great views over Barcelona’s city and port.
Just behind the furnicular station and uphill from the cable car entrance are the lovely gardens of Jardins de Mossen Cinto Verdaguer. With its ponds, grass and shade, the park is a good pick for an afternoon picnic and play.
Across the road from the park’s entrance you can enter the neighbouring gardens of Jardins Joan Brossa. This park is popular for hosting children’s parties with its wooden playground of sand pulleys, climbing frames and water pumps. If you take a walk along the path leading out of the playground you will arrive at a rope climbing playground. Just beyond the wooden playground and slightly downhill you can also find the park’s “flying fox” or zip wire.
Montjuïc’s attractions are fairly spread out and although you can spend a day walking around you might want pick your transport accordingly. For visiting the Olympic stadium and the Olympic and Sports Museum the closest Bus routes are 55, 150 and 13, for Poble espanyol take the bus 13, 23 and 150 or walk from Plaça Espanya. For the MNAC Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya take bus 55 or a 5 minute walk from Metro Espanya L1/L3. The Joan Miró foundation is very close to the Funicular station and also on the Montjuic bus routes 55 and 150.
Parc del Mirador del Migdia
Getting there: Furnicular from Parallel Metro Station (L4)/ Bus 55 then Cable Car or Bus 150 to Castle.
Barcelona’s castle sits at the top of Montjuïc. You can visit the Castell de Montjuic and take a pleasant walk around the moat or the the port view path to arrive at the Mirador del Migdia. Along the way you will have great view of the city and port. At the weekends stop for a relaxing drink and a barbecue lunch at the outdoor café of La Caseta del Migdia (reservations advised) or bring your own to the picnic tables. Down the road from the castle’s drawbridge you will find two thrilling hill-side slides and then have some refreshments at the Chiringuito café with its children’s playground.
Getting there: Furnicular from Parallel Metro Station (L4)/ Bus 55 or 150 then short walk to Miramar. Port Cable Car from Barceloneta.
A short walk away from the Port Cable Car arrival point at the Miramar is the little-explored Cactus Gardens of Barcelona. On the side of Montjuïc facing the port and at the far end of the square in front of the Miramar hotel you will find an entrance that takes you down a few steps into the delightful gardens of Mossèn Costa i Llobera. The kids will have great fun exploring this 3 hectare wonderland of desert, sub-desert and tropical plants.
Botanical Gardens of Barcelona
Getting there: Dr. Font i Quer, 2. Bus 13, 55, 150 from Metro Pl. Espanya (L1/L3). Funicular of Montjuïc (15 min. walk)
Botanical Gardens are a great choice with kids as there is plenty of room to explore and unusual plants to see. Weave your way through the paths of Barcelona’s Jardi Botànic as you cross continents and discover the characteristic plantlife of Australia, California, South Africa, Chile and the Mediterranean. Depending on the season, different plants at the garden will be in flower. Spring and Autumn are an excellent time to visit and when the garden hosts its family open days, Planta’t als Botànics
A lesser known place to visit with kids are the Historical Botanical Gardens of the city which are located behind and to the right of the MNAC art museum. The Jardí Botànic Històric, which are the city’s original botanical gardens, offer a secluded place to take a wander and are free to enter.
Open: Daily from 10am to 5pm.
Price: 3.50€, Child 1.70€
Tel. 93 256 4160