The Hotel Arts exterior
W Hotel, Barcelona
Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel and Spa beach
Hotel Miramar Barcelona pool
Barcelona is loaded with luxury family hotels. It doesn't have many restaurants or hotels that don’t bear children in mind, and the Spanish themselves take their little ones everywhere with them. So whether you head out for an early breakfast or a late, post-Flamenco supper, you’ll see people travelling en famille, no matter what the time of day or night. Chances are, you’ve experienced Barcelona before. It’s eclectic mix of all-night bars, delectable tapas, one-off architectural gems and general hedonistic personality have drawn many for long weekends of late nights and little sleep. But there’s no reason not to enjoy it with your little ones too.
The Hotel Claris Barcelona
A classic but very up-to-date Barcelona great, The Hotel Claris has lots of family-friendly considerations and a central, yet peaceful, address.
Located a short walk north from Barcelona's official central hub, The Place de Catalunya, The Hotel Claris Barcelona resides on on Pau Claris (a gorgeous tree-lined avenue that runs parallel to the retail haven that is Passeig de Gracia). The hotel has existed for years but, thanks to a refurbishment just a few years...Baby-friendly / Pre-Teen friendly / Summer Sun / See this Hotel & Book »
Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel and Spa
Located 40 minutes from Barcelona, this gives you the city without the 24 hour buzz
If you’re up for exploring Barcelona without being in the center of the hedonism, Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel and Spa is perfectly located just a short drive between both Barcelona and Tarragona. Located on the white sands of San Salvador, this 1920's beauty combines beach and gardens, swimming pools and a...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
W Hotel Barcelona
A sail-shaped luxury hotel in the hip Barceloneta quarter
If you want to spoil yourself, W Hotel Barcelona is the newest kid on the Barcelona luxury hotel block and it’s fabulous. A little like Dubai’s Burj-al-arab in exterior design, the W’s prominent Barceloneta address will place you at the base of the Ramblas on the sea, so you can sip Cava by the water’s edge or...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Le Meridien Hotel Barcelona
Le Meridien is a cosy, central Barcelona hotel that offers personal touches for families
If you’re taking your children to the Catalan capital to show them the sights, Le Meridien Hotel Barcelona is perfectly located so everything from the zoo to the aquarium, the world-famous Boqueria market and first-class museums are all within walking distance. The bedroom keys are designed by local artists (so they...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Hotel Miramar Barcelona
A palace-turned-hotel with a relaxing hillside Montjuic location
A 1920's gem, on the edge of Montjuic mountain, Hotel Miramar Barcelona is a stone’s throw from Las Ramblas where street performers, flower stalls and musicians line the walkways, yet it is distanced enough to offer some respite from the city’s non-stop personality. It has a Preferred Family Certification so...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
The Hotel Arts
The Hotel Arts is a leading, luxurious hotel with a world-class Six Senses spa
The Hotel Arts is a spoiling treat but highly recommended. The giant Frank Gehry fish sculpture on the beachfront of this Barcelona favourite has marked its prominence for years. The Sergi Arola restaurant is Michelin-Starred and well worth a visit, even if you don’t book a hotel room and stay the night. Overly...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Avinguda Parallel, 16
So El Bulli is no longer and the disciples of Ferran Adria who have opened restaurants across Barcelona have generally opened quite formal places with multiple courses on their surreal gastronomic menus. However, with Tickets now open, you can dine on Adria’s food and bring your children with you. The restaurant itself is dotted with colour, (it’s a real mish-mash of multicoloured chairs and fun dangly lighting), so it has a relaxed atmosphere perfect for families. The menu even has a symbol next to child-friendly dishes so you can order with ease. You can massage your philanthropic side when ordering the olives, from which a percentage of each sale is given to the ‘Els Casa del Infants” Association, which helps children at risk.
Cuines Santa Caterina
Mercat Santa Caterina, Gothic Barrio
Adjacent to one of the most heavenly food markets in the city sits Cuines Santa Caterina. A hip hangout of high seats and slick lighting, the menu is a culmination of Asian and sushi, Mediterranean and tapas, all created using produce from under the markets multicolored roof. This is a great way to introduce the kids to Spanish food after wandering through the aisles of flapping fish, enormous fruit and local delights like suckling pig. Take away is available too if the kids aren’t in the mood to sit through lunch in a restaurant.
Rambla de Catalunya 100, Eixample
To describe La Bodegueta’s appearance as rustic is being generous. It’s the Spanish equivalent, to look at, of a greasy spoon. But that should not stop it being your first port of call for food. Perfect tapas is served on the wooden tables displayed haphazardly throughout this very well-established local favourite. Outdoor tables are heavenly when weather permits and because it isn’t styled and groomed, your children won’t raise eyebrows if they drop a blob of aioli on the lino flooring.
Gaudi's Parc Guell
Older children will love Gaudi’s Parc Guell a mosaicked wonderland that will teach them all about the great architect’s work without dragging them around museums. It’s open air and wonderful for picnics.
Dali, Picasso and Miro
The permanent Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro exhibits are renound the world over, and with good reason. If you’re a family of art-lovers already, these will definitely please; if you want to introduce your children to some of the Spanish Masters from an early age, these small and very well-curated exhibitions are a perfect way to do so. If you visit in summer months, be prepared for a bit of a wait to get tickets.
The Magic Fountain at Montjuic
The Ciutadella Park isn’t far from Barcelona zoo, both being fantastic options for high-energy children, and parents who can handle heights should definitely take the family up on the Barcelona cable car which offers spectacular views across the city all the way to Montjuic. Once there, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic will delight. Built in the late 1920s, it’s a fantastical display of music, light, and water acrobatics.
Dial 112 for emergencies. The Hospital de Nens do Barcelona is a pediatric hospital with 24 hour emergency care for anyone up to 18 years of age (+34 932 310 512). Otherwise, there are excellent hospitals across the city including the Hospital de Quiron (+34 902 444 446) and the Hospital de Sabadell (+34 937 231 010) both of which have excellent A&E departments with pediatric doctors on site.
When to go
December is a wonderful option as the squares of Barcelona are rammed with Christmas markets, decorations and the largest nativity scenes in Spain, if not the world. Spring and autumn are perfect, weather-wise, but if you have to go in the summer around school holidays expect high temperatures and be warned: Barcelona beach isn’t the cleanest or most beautiful. Head approximately 35 kilometres south to Sitges instead (and just make sure you don’t drop your towel on one of the nudist beaches).