Sail the seas: Barcelona waterfront


The sea is the heart of Barcelona.

Over the centuries, all kinds of ships docked in the harbor – Catalan fishing boats bringing in a fresh catch, sailing ships with exotic cargoes, giant war galleys preparing for an armada, and today fishing boats still come and go, as well as sightseeing boats, cruise ships, and container ships. Kids will have a great time exploring the Barcelona waterfront.


Mirador de Colom (Columbus monument) – In 1493 When Columbus returned from the new world, he dropped anchor in Barcelona and was received with ceremony by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. A lofty statue was erected in 1888 to commemorate his voyage. Columbus stands at the top of a column high in the sky, pointing west to the New World.

Las Golondrinas – Take cruise around the harbor in “Las Golondrinas” sightseeing boats. On a 35 min. ride, kids will have great views of the Montjuic castle on the hill, huge ships loading and unloading, and boats going in and out of the harbor. The dock for the boats is across from the Columbus monument.

Maritime Museum (Museu Maritim) – The Maritime Museum is a treasure trove of ships, both models and the real thing. The building itself is very atmospheric, it was once the royal shipyards, going back to the 13th century. Check out the super collection of model ships, including models of Columbus’ three ships and a scale model of the 15th century port, as well as actual cannons and figureheads from ships.

Moll d’Espanya is a harborside area with lots of restaurants, an aquarium, walkways and promenades, grassy areas, and is a great spot to just relax in the sun.

At L’ Aquarium kids will learn about the marine life of the Mediterranean. The big Oceanarium has sharks, dolphins, stingrays, tuna and sunfish, and small jewel-like exhibits that feature tiny creatures such as the weedy sea dragons or shimmering sea horses.