Barcelona was one of the first places we went with our baby. In fact it was at the end of her first holiday having previously been to Rome and on a cruise around the med. We had such good experiences in Rome with a baby and cruising with a baby that Barcelona had a lot to live up too and I am pleased to report it did not disappoint. In this guide we cover everything you need to know about visiting Barcelona with a baby from how to get around, where to stay in Barcelona with toddler, family friendly restaurants and of course the best things to do in Barcelona with a baby and a couple of things to avoid when visiting Barcelona .
How easy is it to get around Barcelona with baby?
Barcelona is a relatively easy to get around but depending on which part of town you are staying in will dictate the best methods of transport for you.
The Barcelona Metro is a great way to get around the city because it is both fast and relatively cheap. The T10 Ticket offers 10 rides for a little more than 10 Euros which is definitely useful for the tourist if you are only going to use the Metro a couple of time a day. If you plan on using the Metro more extensively then I would definitely recommend buying a day or multi day ticket.
The Metro has pretty extensive operating house which will be perfect for those travelling with to Barcelona with a toddler or a baby.
Buses in Barcelona
Barcelona is served by a network of local buses. We didn’t use this when we were in Barcelona as we saw bad traffic and decided it would be quicker to walk.
Hop on Hop Off Bus
As we were travelling off peak we decided to give the hop on hop off bus a try. This is a great way to see the city especially when travelling with a little one as it will drop you off at all the major tourist spots and there is commentary onboard in multiple languages.
If you are travelling with a baby or toddler and have a stroller with you, you may be asked to fold down your stroller if the bus is busy.
My favourite way to see any city is to walk and Barcelona is quite a walkable city. However if you are staying outside of the centre I would recommend using transport to take you to your destination.
Should I Use a Stroller In Barcelona? Is Barcelona stroller Friendly?
When I travel with a baby I always like to take a stroller with me. I had been to Barcelona before becoming a parent I was worried about using a stroller in Barcelona because of the business of the city, cobbled streets, crowds and steps and hills the city is famed for. So is Barcelona stroller friendly?
The truth is some parts of Barcelona are and some aren’t. Some sites are so busy that is is impossible to navigate with a stroller – the bocquieria springs immediately to mind as falling into these categories. And if you are going to Montjuic and taking the stairs rather than the cable car then you will definitely need a carrier over a stroller. If you do take a carrier and are travelling during summer especially I would advise taking a carrier that is designed with hot weather in mind. Barcelona can get unbearably hot in the summer and a hot weather baby carrier will definitely stop both you and you baby from sweating too much.
Also if you plan on using the hop on and hop off bus you might want to consider that when it is crowded you had to fold your stroller down. However I would definitely recommend the bus as it was a great way to get around the city and get to all the major sites without hassle. You can book your tickets in advance HERE
Looking for things to make baby travel easier? Then check out this post!
What is the Best Time of Year to Travel to Barcelona with a Baby?
Barcelona is a great city whatever the seasons but for traveling with a baby some times are obviously better than others.
Visiting Barcelona in Winter
If you choose to travel in the Winter the main tourist sites will be emptier than in peak season however you won’t be able to enjoy the beach or the pools like you can in summer months.
Visiting Barcelona in Summer
Conversely, if traveling in summer you will be able to enjoy the hot weather and take your little one to the beach and if you hotel has an outdoor swimming pool it will sure to be open. However the downside to this is if you and the baby aren’t used to being in the heat you might find it uncomfortable and worry about the sun effects. Having lived in the Middle East we are prepared for hot days and have plenty of clothes with UV protection, have a baby that doesn’t fuss with sun cream application and our toddler drinks water. These are all tips that will help your baby survive summer in Barcelona or alternatively on a very hot day you can do as the Spanish do and take a siesta during the worst of the heat and alter your tourist days around the weather.
The only other drawback to visiting Barcelona in Summer is the crowds. There are crowds pretty much everywhere whenever you visit Barcelona in Summer but places like La Rambla and the Sagrada Familia will be absolutely packed. Be sure to book any Barcelona attractions you want to visit with skip the line entrance to cut down on the amount of queuing you will be doing and to make sure you get in. For more information on Barcelona Skip the Line Tickets CLICK HERE!
Visiting Barcelona in Spring and Autumn
To try and get the best out of both worlds, try traveling in a shoulder season. But be sure yo have a look at the weather and check when hotel outdoor pools are open if you are traveling at beginning of Spring/end of Autumn.
Further reading: Why not consider doing a road trip around Spain including Barcelona?
Eating out in Barcelona with toddler, babies and young kids.
Family Friendly Tapas in Barcelona:
One of my favourite things about Spanish cuisine is tapas! I love Tapas and in my opinion Tapas actually lends itself quite well to families traveling with a baby. It is quick and easy perfect for those with time constraints. It is also easy to grab a quick bite while baby is napping in a stroller or carrier.
However while I found tapas easy when travelling to Barcelona with tapas to easy with a small baby I don’t think it would be as easy with a toddler as tapas bars can be crowded.
Family Friendly Restaurants in Barcelona
We found the Catalan house on the la rambla a great spot. The cuisine was local and authentic and well priced. It was also in the perfect location for families exploring the city who need some respite for the business of La Rambla.
However our favourite meal that we were in Barcelona was on top of Montjuic, a bit more of a Barcelona hidden gem that isn’t as rammed with tourists, at the paella restaurant Martinez! It was a fabulous meal and even at lunch time had a fabulous atmosphere.
One of the things that we struggled with in Barcelona while traveling with a little one is the lateness that the Spanish eat and our little one has always loved here early bedtime which meant finding places we could eat at the right time was a challenge. The thing we normal do to combat this is to eat our main meal at lunchtime.
Where to stay in Barcelona
Finding somewhere good to stay is I think the most important part of having a successful city break with a baby. When we travelled to Barcelona we stayed in Montjuic. I really liked this area as it was a bit quieter however we did not like our hotel! We liked Montjuic for the slower pace of life and also the large open green spaces however getting into central Barcelona might be an issue if traveling in peak season with a stroller but if travelling with a child to Barcelona then I would definitely recommend finding a quieter neighbourhood as Barcelona nightlight can be noisy.
If you are traveling in summer we definitely recommend looking for a Barcelona hotel with a pool and preferable somewhere near a beach to counter the heat of the city. It is also great to have some relax time in your itinerary.
Some highly rated Barcelona hotels with a pool include:
- Eurostars Grand Marina – a hotel with rooftop pool
- W Hotel Barcelona – A beautiful seafront property
- Casa Fuster – a hotel at the top of Las Rambla with small pool.
For more information on general Barcelona Travel Planning click here!
Best things to do in Barcelona with toddlers, baby or young kids.
Let’s face it, travelling with babies is pretty easy but toddlers can be harder to entertain. Therefore in this section of our guide we explore the best things to do in Barcelona with toddlers or young kids with Barcelona activities for kids. And we’ll also tell you some things to avoid so you don’t make the same mistakes we did.
Visit a Barcelona Beach
One of the things we love about Barcelona is its proximity to the beach. It is a great way to get some downtime from city sightseeing. The closest beach to Barcelona city centre is the Barceloneta Beach. It’s a great spot for toddlers to enjoy and there is also a playground on the beach front making this one of the best things to do in Barcelona with a toddler.
The Beachfront is also lined with cafes, bars and restaurants so you don’t need to worry about lunch. You could spend a whole day here if you wanted to.
As always we recommend packing UV swimwear for your little ones, hats and for really small children we love a Koodi Sun Shade where they can take a nap while you relax on the beach.
Parc Güell with a baby
A great example of Gaudi architecture. There are two areas with the park a free and a ticketed area. Both are worth visiting but if you would like to go in the ticketed area be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment as this can get sold out quickly. You can check availability and book your tickets ONLINE HERE!
Top Family Tip: The park is not easy with a stroller so this is definitely a carrier job.
Sagrada Familia with a baby
No visit to the city is complete with a visit to the in progress Sagarda Familia. Littles are bound to enjoy the light through the stained glass window and parents will definitely want to tick this off their Barcelona Bucket List.
If you want to do a tour of the Sagrada Familia I would advise getting one with fast track access – click here for details!
Not on everybody’s list but in my opinion Montjuic is a hidden gem that you should explore as there are loads of things to do.
To get up to Montjuic I recommend taking the cable car as this gives you great views across the city. I would definitely recommend getting this not the way up otherwise you’ll have to get wither local transport or take the stairs – and there is a lot. If you do decide to take the stairs you will definitely want the carrier instead of a stroller. You can buy cable car tickets online in advance HERE!
Also on the top of Montjuic is one of our fave Barcelona restaurants, Montuic, the Olympic park and the famous Montjuic Fountain a light and water spectacular which children will love.
Another great attraction that we enjoyed at the top of Montjuic is Poble Espanyol. This is basically a recreation village open air museum that showcases all the different architectural styles of Spain. It was but for the 1929 Barcelona Exhibition but it is a great tourist attraction today and an easy one to do with toddlers or baby. You can buy your skip the line ticket HERE!
The Barcelona Aquarium
In my experience all babies and toddlers love aquariums and the Barcelona aquarium is a great one. If you do get a rare rainy day in Barcelona or a super hot one this is a very good indoor activity for kids in Barcelona.
I recommend booking these tickets in advance especially if you are travelling in Peak Season. To book your tickets online in advance with skip the queue access CLICK HERE!
Hop on hop off bus
We did this and we found it was a great way of seeing different parts of the city but depending on how busy the time of year they can refuse strollers so either do this off peak season or take the baby in a carrier.
Parc De La Ciutadella
Whenever we travel with our toddler we always look for green spaces that toddlers can blow off steam. The Parc De La Ciutdella in Barcelona is a great place to do this.
What Not to Do with Babies or Toddlers in Barcelona
I hate writing about what not to with kids as I love to prove that you can travel with a baby. However we really struggle with La Boqueria. Before we had kids we loved the food market in Barcelona, and probably one of the reasons we didn’t love it was because we had a stroller rather than a carrier but the difficulty of navigating with the stroller and the crowds coupled with crazy heat we really struggled here.
So what I probably should say is rather than don’t go to La Boqueria with baby but maybe just prepare for it better than we did.
Overall view on travelling to Barcelona with a baby
Barcelona is a great place anytime but with a baby takes some thinking about. You will miss out on some of th culinary delights the city has to offer but that is the same for any trip with a baby! For Barcelona I would recommend travelling out of peak season to avoid the crowds and some of the worst heat to enjoy outdoor activities with the baby more.
For more info on Spain with kids check out this post!
Looking for more baby friendly city breaks in Spain? Check out this guide to Madrid!
Have you been to Barcelona with a baby? What are your tips?