by Fatima (@fatimawrites_)
Having a baby shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you love, including travelling! And it’s no different for blogger and mum, Fatima. She recently took her 11 month old, Safiyyah, on a city break to Barcelona and, having also travelled with her when she was just 5 months to the UAE, she has accumulated some handy travel tips and tricks for travelling with a little one in tow! Read on for what to do in Barcelona with a baby – a great guide to Barcelona for families!
Holidays are always so exciting aren’t they? But add a baby into the mix and stress levels rise. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, travelling with a baby is different but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. We first took our daughter on holiday when she was 5 months old to the UAE and recently visited Barcelona when she was 11 months old. Both very different holidays, both times she was at very different stages and both experiences were really enjoyable! I wanted to share all the things we did in Barcelona with a baby and a few handy tips and tricks for packing and the plane journey.
Travel Guide: Barcelona for Families
First things first, the flights. Barcelona is only a 2 hour flight away from the UK, making it perfect for families! I wanted to fly out from my local airport, which was East Midlands Airport. I knew if we had a shorter journey home at the end of the trip, it would be much appreciated (and it was!) so try and do the same if you are planning a trip abroad.
Our travel system of choice: The Doona. We invested in a Doona because the 2-in-1 car seat / stroller combination is genius and we knew it would come in handy for future children too. The Doona is actually airline approved and fits in the overhead compartment of a plane, meaning you can wheel your baby all the way to your seat on the flight. It worked for our previous holiday but since we flew with Ryanair, the airline was funny about us having it in the cabin. So we checked it in right at the gate, which was fine. We also packed our baby carrier in case we would need it at the airport and we knew we’d use it for sure whilst we were out and about in the city.
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Where to Stay in Barcelona with a Baby
For accommodation, there are plenty of Airbnb’s that would be great for families! We decided to book a hotel called the Guitart Grand Passage as the rooms were spacious enough for a crawling little one and they happily accommodate babies. The location isn’t central but it’s in a nice calm area (the city can be quite hustle and bustle), and is close to many supermarkets, shops and restaurants.
Getting Around Barcelona with a Baby
The next thing, the itinerary. I’ve been to Barcelona pre-children so I knew what to expect and the ins and outs of getting around. We decided to use public transport because I remembered it to be super accessible and easy, and it definitely was. We purchased a 5-day unlimited travel pass which gave us access to the buses and Metro’s, all air conditioned too. Most of the Metro stations are accessible with lifts, which is amazing. Children under the age of 4 are free.
5 Things To Do in Barcelona With a Baby
- Take a trip up Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill that is closeby to the city but has plenty to offer. There’s a cable car you can get to go right to the top (or take the bus using your unlimited pass, however the cable car views are something else!) where this is a gorgeous castle (children under the age of 4 are free) with a breathtaking skyline. Castell de Montjuïc is free on certain days, so definitely check that out on the website, but anyone under the age of 16 is free anyway. The castle has great baby changing facilities too! I would recommend having the baby in a carrier as the terrain of an old castle can be a bit of a bumpy ride!
There’s a park where kids can play on the way back down the hill, near Montjuïc National Palace, another beautiful building to see. There’s a spectacular fountain show that takes place in the evening too, that children would love!
- Stroll through Parc de la Ciutadella
This park was probably my favourite. It’s beautifully maintained and closeby to the main city too, so you don’t have to travel far. There’s a few different areas of the park including the Arc de Triomf, a lake where you can row boats, Umbracle (greenhouse), a gorgeous fountain, a zoo and much more. So there’s plenty to see and get up to whilst you can let your toddler loose.
- See the Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is of course the main attraction of the city. Queues to view inside are quite long and I’m aware of the many stairs, so we decided to give the tour a miss. However, there’s plenty of entertainment around the site so you can admire the architecture. There’s usually a man blowing gigantic bubbles that entertains the kids for a good 10 minutes. There’s also several cafes nearby where you can sit and enjoy the view whilst filling the little one’s tummies.
- Admire the beauty of Parc Güell
If you are up for taking a bit of a longer journey, I’d highly recommend going to Parc Güell. It’s Gaudi’s park that the city prides itself on. If you have older children or toddlers, it’s probably a great place for them to burn their energy by running around, whilst you take in all of the architecture and beauty. It’s a big park and there’s a lot to cover, so make sure to pack a picnic, snacks or plan a pitstop right before or after. I’d also recommend visiting in the morning or late afternoon as there isn’t a lot of shade and in the summer months it gets really hot!
- Feel the sand in your toes at the beach
Barcelona is known for having the best of both worlds: sights and sea! Pack a bucket and spade and enjoy an afternoon at the beach. Playa de Bogatell is a great family friendly beach and it’s near a lot of restaurants (including a McDonalds if you get desperate!)
Fatima’s Travel Tips for Going to Barcelona With a Baby
Everyone does this bit slightly differently. Some swear by packing light (afterall, you’ve got a baby to carry!) whilst others feel comforted by having everything they might need firmly stowed in the case.
- Packing cubes will be your best friend. If you have a younger baby, it’s hard enough keeping on top of all the babygrows, vests, leggings and tops at home. Separate all baby’s clothes into smaller packing cubes to make navigating your suitcase easier whilst you are away!
- For me, always pack extras. Don’t ever pack ‘just enough’ because a holiday can throw off everything. Feeding, nappies, clothes – everything! So pack extra pouches of food, extra formula, spare clothes, an extra pack of nappies… you get the gist.
- Toy rotation is key! Make sure to pack enough toys so you can rotate them throughout the day without the baby getting bored. We packed quite a few for the plane and a few in our suitcase for when we got to our hotel.
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