9 Jun 2022

Family-Friendly Barcelona Travel Guide | Baby Under 1 Years Old



We recently went to beautiful Barcelona for a 5-day stay with our baby, who is 11 months old, and I thought I'd share the full details of our trip in case you are planning to do the same! I've updated this blog post from my last trip in 2017 so I've kept some bits in from then too but included family-friendly things to do, new restaurant recommendations (including halal options!), details of the hotel we stayed at as well as flight and packing tips with a baby.


PACKING TIPS
First things first, the packing! We took 1 suitcase between us (two adults, 1 baby), which was a first for us! We never travel light!! This time around, I bought packing cubes to separate all of our clothes and keep it organised and compact - it was a lifesaver!

We also took nappies, baby milk and food pouches as we did a bit of research and figured it won't be easy to find Cow & Gate formula and vegetarian baby food in Barcelona. We decided to take the nappies too as it didn't take up much weight, but just made it easier knowing we already had them and didn't have to faff around once we got to our hotel. 

If your baby is on bottles, don't forget to pack washing up liquid and a bottle cleaning brush (this silicone one is easiest for travel, I find). We also took a bowl and spoons for breakfast at the hotel, disposable bibs for eating on-the-go and a suction food mat in case we wanted to feed her in a restaurant with us. 


FLIGHTS

We booked our Barcelona holiday because the flights were only £45 from East Midlands Airport! So we had the bonus of flying from an airport that was a 30 minute journey from home, which I would highly recommend with a baby as it makes the journey to and from a lot shorter & easier.

We paid for 1 checked-in suitcase which fit all of our clothes plus baby's food + milk. In terms of bags, we were each allowed one small bag (that can fit under the seat in front of you on the plane), including baby so in total we had 3 between us.

We decided to take our Doona as it is airline approved, but Ryanair didn't like it on the plane, which was fine, we just checked it in at the gate. We also took our baby carrier (this is the one we use as it goes from newborn-toddler) so we weren't too worried about only taking the carseat/stroller, instead of an actual stroller. However, when baby is over the age of 1 we would probably travel with the YoYo stroller. 

guitart grand passage


WHERE TO STAY

On my last trip to Barcelona we stayed in the Poblenou area in this self-service apartment, however, this time we found that apartments and Airbnb's just weren't ticking all the boxes. We were struggling to find places with cots available, which was of course really important to us.

In terms of hotels, the cot requirement was also a struggle as loads of hotels welcomed families, but just couldn't provide cots (yes, it doesn't make sense to me either). So we compromised at looked a bit further out of central Barcelona and found a gem of a hotel at a very decent rate (and it had cots!) It was called Guitart Grand Passage and we are so glad that we booked here. The area was a lot calmer, yet close to amenities like supermarkets, restaurants and shopping, as well as public transport. Plus the room size was a huge bonus! We had a suite and it was perfect for a crawling baby. I would highly recommend if you are looking for somewhere to stay on a budget.



HOW TO GET AROUND

I knew from the last time I visited Barcelona that public transport was pretty easy to use as well as being accessible. So we purchased 5-day travel passes which gave us unlimited use of the metro's, buses and funicular. Children are free too!

This app was very helpful for getting around and to help you plan your journey and gives you metro options as well as bus options. 

Sometimes we found that there were too many stops to get on and off the metro so we used the buses. Don't be afraid to use buses because they can actually be less crowded sometimes! Both the buses and metro's were well air conditioned. The metro stations also had lifts or escalators on most occasions.


SIGHTSEEING


Gaudi's architecture

Many of the sights are architecture based as the city's buildings are built or inspired by several individuals. Antoni Gaudí is the most popular amongst the lot as he was involved in the building and designing of the Sagrada FamiliaParc GüellCasa Batlló and Casa Milà.

Sagrada Familia

We decided to pass on the tour as we knew there would be a lot of steps and we thought this wouldn't be that much fun with a little one this time around. Yet it was definitely possible to admire the beauty and immense detail of the buildings from the exterior. I was in awe of the attention detail in the design of the buildings. The Sagrada Familia is obviously still under construction but it was nice to see the difference between the old and the new sections.





 Casa Batlló 


Casa Milà



Parc Güell

We unfortunately didn't get a chance to do this park on this trip, but I did visit the last time I went to Barcelona!

It gets quite busy so I'd recommend going in the morning (plus the heat would be more tolerable if you are visiting in the peak of the summer). The last time I visited, it was free to access most of the park, however I think that may have changed. The additonal paid entry at the time included an opportunitiy to go inside Gaudí's house, which has been changed into a museum. It also included more work by him and it is recommended that you buy tickets online prior to visiting as they often sell out.





Arc de Triomf

I also recommend going to see the Arc de Triomf. It was built as a main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition (the first International World's Fair in Spain). It leads onto a promenade which connects it to Parc de la Ciutadella (more on this shortly) so it is surrounded by even more beauty! You can easily spend an hour or two in this particular area.



Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a hill that has stunning views of the city as well as the harbour. There is a castle on the top of the hill (Ed Sheeran vibes, I know) called the Castell de Montjuïc. Tickets to enter the castle are just a few euros (or free for under 16s). The castle was used as a defence area for the city as some of the cannons and equipment are still there (not in use anymore, obviously). I definitely recommend visiting this location as you get to see the city from such a great angle! The castle flooring is a bit rocky so I'd recommend taking a baby carrier on this day to avoid a bumpy ride!

The hill also has a palace, fountain (with an evening fountain show), park and a few cafes to stop at and grab a refreshing drink.





Camp Nou

If you are a fan of football, you can also visit Camp Nou stadium. I'm not a big fan so we didn't pay to go in and have the tour but it was still a nice area to walk around. Although I would say that it is rather far out so make sure to plan your time wisely!




WHERE TO GO

There are plenty of places that contain more amazing architecture, Instagram opportunities and generally more breathtaking views. Here are a few highlights that we really enjoyed.




Parc de la Ciutadella

This park is probably the prettiest park I've ever been to. There was an abundance of things to see and look at. There are quite a few buildings and statues that are pretty to admire whilst having a nice stroll through. The park also has an area which is just a beautiful oasis with fountains, palm trees, a bandstand, a magnificent structure and a gigantic mammoth statue. It was so lovely to walk around this area especially. There's also a lake where you can row boats and lots of room for little ones to let loose whilst you can enjoy a picnic.















The Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic, is one of the most popular areas of the city as it is the old town of Barcelona. The buildings and general vibe of the area is very medieval and gothic inspired, as the name suggests. I found that this was the area of the city that you can easily get lost in but enjoy!

There are several landmarks in this area including the Barcelona Cathedral, City Hall, Picasso Museum and many more. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area too so if you are after some food or shopping, head here!








 
Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya or Catalonia Square is an area towards the edge of The Gothic Quarter. As you would expect, it is a square that features very nice fountains and statues but is also a popular destination for pigeons. There were literally hundreds of pigeons being fed here - it was crazy!

It's a nice area to sit and enjoy people watching. It also connects The Gothic Quarter to more busier parts of the city as well as the main shopping streets.





Shopping

There is plenty of shopping to do in Barcelona... you can spend your money very easily when you are surrounded by designer shops or even just the usual highstreet shops. La Rambla, Avinguda Diagonal (which was literally around the corner from Guitart Grand Passage hotel) and Passeig de Gracia are the main shopping streets, so head there if you are feeling spendy!

We also spent one day at the mall, as the weather was miserable, that was a 5 minute bus journey from the hotel, called L'illa Diagonal.


Port Olímpic

I believe this area was established when Barcelona hosted a particular watersport for the Olympics in 1992. The Olympic Port is the marina area and is well known for its beautiful scenery as well as the nightlife and restaurants. There are many popular clubs and bars in this area so the atmosphere in the evening is pretty lively. If you are up for going out or eating fancy food, this is the area to be!





The Beaches

There are many beaches that you could visit in the city. Barceloneta Beach is probably the most popular as it is closest to the main area of the city, the W Hotel and Port Olympic. It also has the best view of those spots. The last time I visited we went to Mar Bella and Bogatell beach, which also had a pier (fab photo opportunities) and was closest to a McDonalds!













WHERE TO EAT

Food in Barcelona wasn't too difficult! There's plenty of different cuisines to explore on many budgets too. We ate at a couple of halal restaurants in Barcelona too, which were pretty decent!

Last visit (2017):
  • Tocca, Port Olimpic (italian, great for sea food, lovely view)
  • La Poma, La Ramblas (italian, make your own pasta/pizza, great for kids)
  • MIAN, Eixample (chinese, really inexpensive, great for families as portions are generous)

This Trip (2022):
  • Brunch & Cake (there's a few branches, lovely brunch as the name suggests, get the Spanish latte if you like coffee)
  • HiCream, Avenue Diagonal (great desserts!)
  • Le Romane, Carrer de Muntaner (delicious pizza with plenty of vegetarian options, make a reservation)
  • Europa Cafe, Avenue Diagonal (plenty of brunch options, the shakshuka was AMAZING)
  • EatMyTrip, Eixample (super instagrammable food, brunch was lovely, the chocolate latte was sooo good)
  • Tandoor, Carrer d'Arago (halal Indian tandoori, the paneer tikka was yum as was their naan!)
  • Restaurant Malaysia, Carrer d'Aribau (takeaway, order via Uber Eats, halal Malaysian food but so nice, the crispy prawns were really tasty)
  • Pizzeria da Nanni (several branches, comes highly recommend but we preferred Le Romance for pizza dishes)
  • Ikibana (several branches, apparently halal but no confirmation on website and we visited a branch that wasn't, Brazilian/Japanese fusion, interesting cuisine)

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15 comments

  1. Wow you saw so much! What great pictures too, I've been to Spain looooads but never visited Barcelona xx

    www.natalieleanne.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way!! You have got to visit - it's up there with my favourite places ever xx

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  2. Great blog post! You got some amazing pictures too! I went to Barcelona two years ago but after reading this I want to go back. Such a great city :)

    www.rebeccawarboys.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely! :) It definitely is, I've got the holiday blues already x

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  3. your photos are amazing,I've never been to Barcelona I hope to visit it someday it's such a nice sunny city

    todaysouhaila.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw hope you visit soon! and thank you :)

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  4. my parents recently went to barcelona and loved it so much. i can't wait to go myself.
    ❤︎

    www.elenaisabelle.com

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  5. Great photos and tips - they totally make me miss Barcelona! And I agree with you, it's a stunning city:)

    Curated Theory

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  6. Looks like you had an awesome trip. Barcelona is definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for all the recommendations.

    Nathalie
    www.nathalie-alexandra.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the best! No problem - I hope you visit soon :)

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  7. I have wanted to travel to Spain since as long as I can remember and ever since Ed Sheeran brought out his song Barcelona, I just want to pack my bag and fly to Barcelona and dance in the streets. Seems like you had a wonderful time and you explored so much !! How was it staying the apartment au contraire to a hotel? Also, the pictures are really amazing ! Have a nice day :) (Also, I followed you on instagram :) )
    -Pratz
    ponderingsbypratz.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely!!! I think it was nice to stay in an apartment as opposed to a hotel. Not only was it better in terms of discovering breakfast spots etc but we saved a lot of money too. Hope you get the opportunity to visit soon, it is gorgeous :) x

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  8. Awesome post Kylie! Barcelona was definately one of our most favourite cities in Europe nightclubs Barcelona

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