Visiting Barcelona with a baby was our very first family trip with kids. Not only was it our first time traveling with a baby, it was our first international flight with an infant. There are so many “firsts” associated with our trip to Barcelona with a baby, that it was the inspiration for this entire website and the years that followed traveling as a family with a baby, toddlers and children.
Barcelona with a Baby or Toddler – Table of Contents
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Choosing Your First International Trip with a Baby
We made a list of criteria before we chose to visit Barcelona with a baby for our first international trip as a family. It had to be somewhere new, have mild weather and we wanted to avoid bringing as much baby equipment as possible. We wanted to keep our first trip with baby simple and stress-free.
Flying with an infant of 3 months old turned out to be one of our easiest flights. We had booked the bulkhead seats so we could get a bassinet if one was available on the flight. It worked out so well for us and our daughter slept most of our overnight flight to Barcelona.
If dealing with jet lag has you worried, follow all these tips for dealing with jet lag in babies when traveling internationally with a baby or toddler.
We were pleasantly surprised to find Barcelona was a very baby-friendly destination. They may not have high chairs at the restaurants and the locals eat much later than we are accustomed to, but to us baby-friendly means that we felt comfortable bringing our baby everywhere we went.
Our baby was welcomed everywhere in Barcelona and attracted a lot of positive attention from the locals.
Though our baby daughter was only 3 months old at the time of our trip, it was obvious to us that Barcelona is a very family-friendly destination in Europe. For all the same reasons, it would be equally as good to visit Barcelona with a toddler.
We also have a comprehensive list of tips on getting your baby to sleep on holidays and our top 10 must have baby travel items to help your baby sleep on vacation.
Getting from the Airport to your Barcelona Hotel
Part of why we chose to visit Barcelona with a baby was because we knew it would be very easy to get around. We wanted to avoid renting a car so we didn’t need to worry about car seats. Thankfully, it’s easy to get around Barcelona by walking or public transportation, including getting from the Barcelona-El Prat airport to your hotel.
For our trip to Barcelona with a baby, we got from the El-Prat Airport to Placa de Catalunya by the Barcelona Aerobus. From Placa de Catalunya, we easily walked a few blocks to our Barcelona hotel.
Although the Aerobus was cheap and easy, now that we’ve traveled with a baby more extensively, we now know that the best way to get from the Barcelona airport to city centre with a baby is via a Welcome Pickups private transfer. For the same cost as a taxi, your personal driver will meet you at the arrival gate and take you to your Barcelona hotel in a private car. Complimentary baby seats are available upon request.
Where to Stay in Barcelona With a Baby or Toddler
Since we were traveling to Barcelona with a 3 month old, we were content to stay in a hotel. We wanted to have evening meals out on the patio and not worry about cooking. All we needed was a Barcelona hotel on a quiet street that provided a baby crib. We also wanted a balcony where we could relax while our baby daughter napped.
We decided to stay at the Hotel Constanza, near Placa de Catalunya in the Gothic Quarter. Our baby-friendly Barcelona hotel was central to all the Barcelona attractions we wanted to visit and allowed us to get around by walking. In addition, Hotel Constanza is only a few blocks from Placa de Catalunya, making it very convenient to take the Barcelona Aerobus from the BCN airport.
Not knowing anything different, we booked a baby-friendly hotel in Barcelona and for several subsequent trips with our baby. Eventually we discovered that vacation home rentals (like VRBO or Airbnb) are often a better option for traveling with a baby. With a VRBO or Airbnb, you will appreciate having a separate room for your baby, laundry facilities and a kitchen.
Check out our best tips for finding a baby-friendly Airbnb or VRBO, then browse the selection of family-friendly vacation home rentals in Barcelona.
Getting Around Barcelona with a Baby
One reason we chose to travel to Barcelona with our baby was that we could get around without needing to travel with a car seat. We could get everywhere we wanted in Barcelona by walking or via public transit. This is one thing that makes traveling in Europe with a baby so amazing.
Walking in Barcelona with a Baby
Barcelona is a very walkable and stroller-friendly city. Even the cobblestone streets in Barri Gotic (the Gothic Quarter), were not a major issue with our rented stroller. A few of the sidewalks are narrow and are only wide enough for one person, but you will find the locals and tourists alike will always move aside to make room for you and your stroller.
Note, that while Barcelona itself is very walkable, there are some Barcelona attractions which are not stroller-friendly, which we give more details on below.
Taking a Barcelona Uber or Taxi
Uber is a great app for travel, but can you Uber with a baby? We have found it difficult to find definitive information on car seats laws in taxis in Barcelona, however this website claims that car seats are not required for Uber or taxi trips within the city of Barcelona. But, why would you risk taking your baby in a Barcelona taxi without a car seat when there are safer options?
Your best bet is to find baby-friendly accommodation in central Barcelona and walk or take public transportation everywhere you want to go. If this isn’t possible, phone a Barcelona taxi company and request a taxi with an infant car seat.
Public Transportation in Barcelona
Barcelona has an extensive public transportation system with a metro system (subway), buses and trains.
To ride the public transportation system in Barcelona with a baby you have several choices:
Single ride Zone 1 TMB tickets cost €2.40 and can be bought at all the stations, plus directly from the driver if you are taking the bus. Zone 1 tickets cover the majority of top things to do in Barcelona and also includes the El-Prat Airport. Once your ticket is validated, you can freely change metro lines and even change from metro to bus (but not the other way around) within a 75 minute time period.
Another great option is to purchase a Barcelona City Pass. This popular discount card includes free admission to over 30 top Barcelona attractions as well as unlimited access to the public transportation system around Barcelona.
Or purchase a Hola BCN! Card to get unlimited free rides on the Barcelona metro, buses and trains. Cards are valid for 2-5 days can be purchased at a cost of $18 – $42 USD.
Tips for Public Transportation in Barcelona with Kids
Children under 4 can ride free on the public transit network.
Use one of these baby carriers or a lightweight travel stroller in Barcelona when taking the Metro. Despite claims from the Metro website that the Catalunya station had elevators, they were out of service which meant one of us had to carry the stroller down the stairs with the other parent carrying our baby.
Hop-On Hop-Off Buses in Barcelona
Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing buses are a fun, easy and interesting way to get around Barcelona.
The advantages of Hop-On Hop-Off buses are that they will take you to many of the top sights in Barcelona. Riding in the top deck is a lot of fun and it gives an excellent vantage point to view the top sights of Barcelona while en route.
The disadvantage of Barcelona sightseeing buses are the number of stops they make. If you complete full Barcelona sightseeing loop, it will take roughly two hours to complete (time will vary). If you are visiting Barcelona with little kids, this may be too long for them to manage.
You may bring a stroller on the sightseeing bus and there is a special section on the bottom deck for you. The stairs to the top deck are steep and winding and as a result, you cannot bring your stroller up.
If sitting on the upper deck of the Barcelona Ho-Ho bus is attractive to you, bring a baby or toddler carrier instead of (or along with) your stroller and be sure to bring along some sun protection for your baby.
11 Things to do in Barcelona with a Baby or Toddler
Since we were traveling to Barcelona with a baby, we really weren’t concerned about finding playgrounds or anything else that was specific to traveling with a toddler. That being said, many of the baby-friendly things to do in Barcelona are toddler-friendly.
Still planning your trip? Read about Spain with a baby (includes, Barcelona, Cordoba, Madrid & Seville)
1. La Catedral
Barcelona’s main Catholic cathedral was originally built between 1298 and 1460 and renovated in the 1800’s. La Catedral is centrally located within the Gothic Quarter and walking through this part of town is an attraction in and of itself.
Given this was our first stop on our first time traveling with a baby, we went to La Catedral without considering if we would be able to bring our stroller in.
Upon our arrival we quickly noticed the large set of stairs at the entrance and elected not to carry the stroller to the top. Thankfully, La Catedral was beautiful from the outside so we spent a while taking pictures before we went on to explore more of the neighborhood.
A few days later we came back to La Catedral with our baby in a baby carrier. While inside we discovered that there is a side entrance to the cathedral for wheelchairs which would have worked for our stroller. This alternate entrance is on Plaça de Sant Lu (facing the Marès Museum), but you must contact security before being allowed to use this entrance.
In hindsight, it wouldn’t have been that hard just to carry the stroller up the stairs.
If your baby’s sleeping schedule allows it, be sure to visit La Catedral after dark. It looks very beautiful at night all lit up with flood lamps, highlighting the many interesting features of the church.
2. The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic)
The Gothic Quarter is Barcelona’s most charming neighborhood and is a top attraction in and of itself. Walking the endless winding streets leads to many wonderful discoveries.
We walked through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter virtually every day of our visit. Notwithstanding the fact many of the things to do in Barcelona are in this part of town, this district is truly wonderful to explore. Sometimes we followed a focused, predetermined route to an attraction, while other times we simply allowed ourselves to get lost.
3. Sagrada Família
Designed by Antoni Gaudi, this Roman Catholic Basilica and UNESCO World Heritage site is Barcelona’s top tourist attraction. It is well worth the visit!
The huge lineup for this famous Antoni Gaudi basilica was wrapped around the corner when we arrived. Thankfully, we had already bought our tickets online.
After taking some pictures of the incredible exterior of the basilica, we stopped to feed our baby across the street in a small, treed plaza. Refreshed, we made our way to the ‘online ticket’ line. We were thrilled to see it was only 10-15 people deep, compared to the huge lineup for those who hadn’t purchased their tickets in advance.
The interior of the basilica was grand and spectacular. Though busy, our baby daughter enjoyed people watching while we toured the famous Antoni Gaudi church.
If you visit Sagrada Familia with a baby or toddler, note that not all areas of the church are stroller-friendly. In addition, it is so busy inside this top Barcelona attraction that it can be difficult to maneuver a stroller at times.
We left our stroller near the entrance of La Sagrada Familia, which was pretty risky considering it was a rented stroller. However, this allowed us to easily explore the interior of the famous Barcelona Antoni Gaudi landmark, and our stroller was waiting for us when we came back out.
The official website states: “To enter the building visitors will be required to dress with decorum“. This means no bare shoulders, knees or feet.
La Sagrada Familia skip the line tickets are included with the Barcelona City Pass.
4. La Pedrera (Casa Milà)
Another of Antoni Gaudi’s famous creations, La Pedrera was the last private residence that he ever built and is famous for the chimneys on the rooftop terrace. Officially known as Casa Milà, this is another one of Barcelona’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Enjoying the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudi is an integral part of any trip to Barcelona, even if you are visiting Barcelona with a toddler or baby.
Our research had shown that it is difficult to navigate the inside of Casa Mila with a stroller, so we elected to bring our daughter in a baby carrier. The rooftop chimneys, which was our favorite part, is filled with small stairways which would be impossible to navigate with a stroller.
If you do bring a stroller, you can park it on a small viewing platform on the rooftop just outside the elevator. We recommend visiting this attraction with a baby carrier instead of a stroller so you can enjoy the entire Antoni Gaudi creation without restrictions.
We were happy we visited this top Barcelona attraction late in the late afternoon. We avoided the longer lineups from earlier in the day and it wasn’t very busy. This allowed us to enjoy Casa Milà with our baby at a leisurely pace.
As with all the top Antoni Gaudi Barcelona attractions, we recommend buying skip the line tickets for La Pedrera. Alternately, you can also save 20% on admission to Casa Mila with the Barcelona City Pass.
5. Mercat de la Boqueria
We love visiting food markets when we travel, and Barcelona’s Mercat de la Boqueria did not disappoint – it was an explosion of colors and smells! This popular Barcelona food market is typically quite busy so it wasn’t the easiest place to navigate with a large stroller. A umbrella stroller for travel would have been easier, but generally people were very courteous.
If you are looking for a delicious take-away lunch, the Mercat de la Boqueria is a great place to buy your food.
6. Museu d’Història de Barcelona – Plaça del Rie Location
The name “Museu D’Història de Barcelona” is actually used for a collection of ten different Barcelona museums, all at different locations. The one discussed here is the Plaça del Rie location near La Catedral.
The ruins of an ancient Roman settlement dating back from 10BC were found at this location. The archeological site was preserved by erecting a building around it.
As we had planned quite a bit of walking around Barcelona on this day, we had our daughter in our rented stroller. While we enjoyed visiting the Museu d’Història de Barcelona Plaça del Rie location, it was hard to navigate our way through the narrow walkways with a stroller.
Visitors tour the archeological dig site by walking on elevated pathways. These pathways are very tight and it is not very easy to maneuver a stroller through them. The corners are tight and there is not enough space to let another visitor pass you if they are coming the opposite direction. Some exhibits are only accessible via stairs.
Learn from our mistakes! You will be much better off carrying your baby in a wrap or carrier when you visit this top Barcelona museum.
Get free admission to Museu d’Història de Barcelona – Plaça del Rie with the Barcelona City Pass.
7. La Rambla
La Rambla is the most popular pedestrian street in all of Barcelona. It’s 1.2km (0.8 mile) long and divides the Gothic Quarter (to the east) and El Ravel (to the west).
Our baby-friendly Barcelona hotel was not far from Plaça de Catalunya, which is where you find the north end of La Rambla. With this convenient location we were able to easily walk to the start of this popular pedestrian street. You instantly get a feel for why it is so popular; it is a wide, tree-lined pedestrian street with beautiful historic buildings on each side.
Look down when you are just north of the Liceu subway station – there is a tiled mosaic on the street by renowned Barcelona artist Joan Miró.
8. Barcelona Aquarium (L’Aquàrium)
Touted as the largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world, we knew a visit to the Barcelona Aquarium would be a hit with our baby. It worked perfectly to visit our visit to the aquarium after our walk down La Rambla. L’Aquàrium is found on the waterfront in Port Vell, which you can get to by walking south on La Rambla until you reach the water.
It was a hot day, so we were happy to spend a little time in the air conditioning of the Barcelona aquarium. We also found our daughter loved watching the colorful fish in the tanks.
L’Aquàrium is a very stroller-friendly Barcelona attraction, but our baby was happier in her carrier as she could see the fish better. The Barcelona Aquarium is a great family outing and one of the best things to do in Barcelona with kids.
9. Barceloneta Beach
We hadn’t packed any baby beach essentials for our trip, but we still wanted to visit a Barcelona beach to see the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
After the Barcelona aquarium, we walked to the Barceloneta neighborhood. We found a cluster of seafood restaurants enjoyed some Spanish cuisine at a restaurant with a nice view of the Mediterranean Sea.
After all the excitement of the aquarium, our daughter was ready for a nap. We were able to have her nap in the stroller (out of the sun) and we really enjoyed walking on the nice paved pathway which runs along the back of the beach. If we had been visiting Barcelona with a toddler, we would have loved to spend a day playing in the sand at Barceloneta Beach.
Pickpockets are very skilled in Europe. Learn these tips to avoid being pickpocketed while in Barcelona.
10. Park Guell
Park Guell is one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona and one of the best things to do with kids in Barcelona.
Our visit to Park Guell was the only time we needed to use the Barcelona subway to get anywhere. It went well, but one of the elevators was out of service, forcing us to carry our stroller up and down the stairs.
We were a bit surprised to find we couldn’t take our stroller everywhere in the park. It would have been much better to bring her in a baby carrier or wrap.
Despite these logistical challenges, we still really enjoyed our visit and getting to see the famous guardian lizard fountain. The fountain was so crowded that we didn’t want to bring our baby up to see it, so we had to take turns.
As another of Barcelona’s top Antoni Gaudi attractions, we recommend buying a skip-the-line Park Guell ticket ahead of time. Alternatively, you can save 25% on Park Guell admission with the Barcelona City Pass.
11. Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Ciutadella
Prior to our family vacation we made a list of all the best things to do in Barcelona with a baby. With great weather and a happy baby, we were able to complete that list in our first 5 days!
Walking was one of our favorite things to do in Barcelona, so we wanted to spend our last day exploring this beautiful city on foot.
The Arc de Triomf was built in 1888 for the Universal Exposition and now serves as the main entrance to the Parc de la Ciutadella, which is the largest green space near the Gothic Quarter.
Visiting a park is always a popular thing to do with a toddler, especially if they have been in a stroller or carrier a lot. There’s plenty of birds to chase and Parc de la Ciutadella is also home to the Barcelona Zoo.
After visiting the Arc de Triomf and the Parc de la Ciutadella, we stopped for a latte in Plaça de Comercial. We really enjoyed taking our time and watching the world go by as we enjoyed our lattes.
What to Pack for Barcelona with a Baby or Toddler
While you won’t find high chairs in every restaurant or change tables in public toilets, we still consider Barcelona baby and toddler-friendly. As we mentioned previously, the locals were so friendly and so welcoming everywhere we went that it was easy to forget about these small inconveniences.
We have a complete packing list for travel with a baby, but we included a few items to pack for Barcelona with a toddler or baby below. If you are looking to pack light, renting baby equipment while traveling is an excellent way to do that.
Look into renting baby gear in Barcelona.
Here are the baby travel essentials we recommend you pack for traveling to Barcelona with a baby:
- The most important things to pack for traveling to Barcelona with a baby is a good baby carrier for travel and a lightweight travel stroller. Protect your stroller in one of these stroller travel bags.
- We also recommend a CoziGo Stroller Cover to keep your baby out of the hot Mediterranean sun.
- While our baby was much too young to be sitting on her own on this trip, for future trips we had a fabric travel high chair for restaurants which meant we never had to worry about a restaurant having a high chair. This was our favorite portable travel high chair because it packed down so small and was easy to bring with us on our daily outings.
- If your Barcelona hotel doesn’t offer a baby crib, you can pack your own baby travel crib or a toddler travel bed. If you are sharing a hotel room with a baby or toddler, we recommend a SlumberPod privacy pod to create a private sleeping area for your baby.
- While we packed most of our diapers for the week, you can buy baby food and diapers in Barcelona at pharmacies, supermarket chains like Carrefour or the El Corte Ingles store in Central Barcelona.
- For the international flight with our baby, we packed her favorite toys from this list of best airplane travel toys for babies and toddlers.
- Be prepared for diapers changes anywhere with a travel wipes case and a portable change mat in your backpack diaper bag.
- Other useful baby gear to pack for Barcelona are a travel bottle warmer, a travel snack cup and a good sun hat.
Get our full packing list for travel with a baby here.
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has contributed to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.