A Toddler-Friendly Weekend in Barcelona

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  • Spain

  • Barcelona

  • City Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Slow Travel

  • Architecture

  • Sightseeing

  • Toddler-Friendly

Antoni Gaudi's building in Barcelona at lit up at night.
Fora’s Take

Whether you're seasoned travelers looking to take your first trip as a family or are just starting out on your travel journey, Barcelona is the perfect destination to travel with young kids. The late night culture helps ease the time change and children are warmly welcomed in most restaurants and cafes.

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Where to stay

Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

This grand hotel on the Passeig de Gràcia combines global luxury with authentic Catalan sophistication.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

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Hotel Majestic

A five-star grande dame located on Barcelona's famed Paseo de Gracia.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

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El Palace Hotel Barcelona

This luxurious urban stay beautifully blends classic elegance and tasteful modernism, all with a well-honed appreciation for fabulous food and art.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit & €50 spa credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Day 1: Slow day in Barcelona

Close up of colorful mosaic and organic shapes of Antoni Gaudi's work at Park Guell in Barcelona.

You'll likely arrive bright and early if taking an overnight flight to Spain. Head to your hotel to check in, freshen up and grab a bite to eat.

Since jet lag can be tough to deal with even for adults, you'll spend the day outside in the sun to help with the time change and where meltdowns are less stressful to deal with!

Take the train or a cab to Park Guell, where you'll spend the day wandering the park and exploring the work of Antoni Gaudi. Make sure to book tickets in advance as they often sell out.

After you're done at the park, stop at one of the local cafes for a bite before heading back to your hotel so everyone can rest before dinner. For your first night, we suggest an easy dinner at your hotel. This way, you don't have to venture far and can default to room service if needed.

Day 2: Wander the streets of Barcelona and sightsee

Iconic cathedral of La Sagrada Familia nestled behind green trees in Barcelona.

After grabbing breakfast at your hotel, today you head out to see the famous La Sagrada Familia. We suggest making the leisurely stroll there on foot, wandering through the Eixample neighborhood. There are number of local coffee roasters located right off of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes to help fuel the adults for the day.

When you arrive at the church stop at one of the playgrounds located in the parks on either side so your kid(s) can run around and get out some energy before heading into the church.

After taking in the gorgeous architecture of the church, head back towards Passeig de Gracia stopping for lunch at one of the many cafes or stop in for some empanades (we loved Criollo). Wander the streets or jump into some shops before heading back to your hotel to rest.

Before dinner, pull up your map and find your closest parc enfantil, perfect for getting out some post-nap/pre-dinner energy. Another option is to stop at Placa de Catalunya where you'll find local musicians playing in the plaza and kids running around after the pigeons.

Tonight for dinner, if you're feeling fancy, head to Restaurant L'Olive for some classic Catalonian cuisine. We recommend getting a reservation when they first open at 8 pm, so you can get settled before the dinner crowd. Don't be intimidated by the white table cloths; the staff was very welcoming to us and our toddler and had a high chair ready for us.

If you're looking for something more casual, head to El Nacional which contains 4 restaurants in one large open space ranging from tapas to seafood.

Day 3: Culinary adventure and local shopping

Biker and tourists hanging out in front of corner cafe in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.

Your third day in Barcelona is all about food and exploring. After getting breakfast at your hotel, head out on foot to explore the Gothic quarter. Spend your morning walking along La Rambla and exploring the shop filled alleys.

For lunch head to Bar Canete when they open for some authentic tapas and wine. Order some croquettes for your little one to enjoy as you explore the many options on the menu. The lively atmosphere kept our little one entertained as waiters whisked by holding tiny plates and we all left happy and full.

After lunch continue exploring and walking off lunch before heading back to the hotel to rest.

For dinner you'll head back to Gothic quarter to Arcano Restaurant for catalonian tapas and Mediterranean cuisine.

Before you head to the restaurant stop to watch the performers at the Cathedral or stop at one of our favorite playgrounds in the city at Placa de Sant Miquel.

After be sure to stop at one of the gelato shops to enjoy on your walk back to your hotel.

Need to Know

Love our family-friendly guide to Barcelona? Check out the guides to Bavarian Road Trip in Germany and Family-Friendly Guide to Boston.

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