Whether you like your animals fluffy or ferocious, they’ll be something that fits the bill at the Barcelona Zoo, one of the city’s most family friendly attractions, spread over 14 hectares within the Parc de la Ciutadella. Over 7,000 animals and 400 different species call the zoo home, with everything from dolphins to rhinoceros living in quarters that mimic their natural habitats.
Since opening its gates in 1892 to showcase the private fauna collection of Lluís Martí, the zoo has expanded its scope to include dedicated breeding programs and preservation work with species under threat of extinction. The zoo’s most famous resident, Snowflake – the world’s only known albino gorilla – sadly died in 2003, but there are plenty of other creatures large and small to entertain the crowds. Bornean organutans, a Sumatran tiger, a giant anteater, hippopotamuses, giraffes, elephants, flamingos and even miniature Shetland ponies all call the zoo home. Highlights include the Gallery of the Titis, where you can watch the world’s smallest monkeys at play; the tropical Aviary, home to brightly colored birds from all over the world; and the Aquarama where you’ll get an underwater view of the dolphins. Keep an eye out for the non-animal sights too – the zoo’s spectacular 19th-century fountain ‘The Cascade’, topped with Joan Roig i Solé’s sculpture, ‘La Dama del Paraigües’ is one of the city’s most beloved landmarks.
The zoo also features a number of interactive elements and children can watch a dolphin show, get up close with a range of farm animals in the petting zoo, enjoy a pony ride or take part in an animal education workshop where they’ll learn how the animals are trained and handled by the zookeepers.