The best areas in Barcelona for families


Choosing where to stay in Barcelona can feel a little daunting, given that each neighbourhood is vastly different to each other in terms of transport, general safety, and access to facilities: some of the most important factors when looking for a family holiday home.

After taking all things into account, below are four of the neighbourhoods that are the best places to stay when coming to Barcelona with family, due to their close proximity to the city centre, you are likely to find many more available properties than in the suburbs further away mostly filled with long term residents.

Gràcia

The neighbourhood of Gràcia used to be an independent village separate from the old town of Barcelona. Living as a self-sufficient neighbourhood for hundreds of years until the industrial revolution saw it connected to the rest of Barcelona through building the previously mentioned Eixample neighbourhood. Locals say that once you’re in Gràcia, you’ll never have to leave, which makes it perfect for families that want to experience the more local life that Barcelona can offer.

Virreina, Gracia

Gràcia is slightly further out than the other neighbourhoods on this list, but its community pride is second to none, and is generally a lot safer than the other barrios in the centre. It is also well-connected by public transport routes and houses a few gems like Gaudi’s first architectural creation, Casa Vicens, and his later work, Park Güell.

Eixample

Eixample’s wide streets and grid like system make it a great neighbourhood for families. Unlike the Old Town neighbourhoods like the Gothic Quarter, Raval, and El Born, it’s almost impossible to get lost in Eixample, thanks to its well-known grid pattern layout.

Sagrada Familia

The neighbourhood is one of the newer areas in Barcelona, constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which means it’s littered with public transport routes like metro stations, bus stops, and even tram routes further out. There are also wide cycle lanes for active families who want to see the city using pedal power.

Plenty of important Barcelona landmarks are also situated in Eixample, namely The Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, and the famous Passeig de Gràcia avenue filled with shops and restaurants.

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi

Sant Gervasi is the best neighbourhood for those staying in Barcelona for a longer period of time. It is largely residential and remains both peaceful and authentic to Catalan life. As well as plenty of parks and green spaces, there are great cafes and patisseries. It is also home to Tibidabo mountain, an iconic Barcelona landmark, and the interactive science museum CosmoCaixa. Like Gràcia, the Sarriá neighbourhood is close-knit, but also welcomes newbies into the community with open arms.

Tibidabo

Poble Nou

For families that want to stay close to the beach during their time in Barcelona, we recommend staying in the neighbourhood of Poble Nou. This barrio has previously been referred to as the Catalan Manchester, due to the huge part it played in Barcelona’s Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

Els Encants

It is a peaceful yet vibrant neighbourhood and its commercial centre, La Rambla de Poblenou, is full of cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as artisan markets on weekends. For shopaholics, there are two large shopping centres in the area, Les Glòries and Diagonal Mar, as well as the second-hand and vintage Encants Market, and the infamous Palo Alto Market held the first weekend of the month.

Hotel or apartment?

We highly recommend staying in an apartment during your stay in Barcelona as the extra space and extra facilities will make your experience a lot more comfortable, and mean that you can explore the city on your own terms instead of relying on a hotel. You can also be in charge of your meals, by having your own kitchen to make the most of. Adventure always awaits for families in Barcelona, we think you should find out why.

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.


Comments (12)

  1. Alex says:

    For my kids there’s no doubt that the greatest attraction in the city is the Barcelona football shop. It’s so big that it’s like a supermarket. They’d been saving up for weeks to there.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your comment we appreciate it!

      Absolutely right – the Barça store at Camp Nou is over 2,000m². It’s enough to get the big kids among us excited to visit too.

      With all the news surrounding Messi and his possible departure from the club, I imagine a tour of the stadium would be exciting to tie in with your next trip with the kids to Camp Nou!

      Best wishes,
      Emily
      On behalf of Sandra and the rest of the team at AB Apartment Barcelona

  2. Grace says:

    For me Eixample really does mean Barcelona. I know that it can get really busy with tourists and some of the stalls sell tourist tat but the buildings are very grand and it all sums up Barcelona for me.

    It’s the sort of place where you drift from coffee at a cafe to a leisurely lunch then tapas and a drink or two.

    Probably not for kids but I love it.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Grace,

      Thank you so much for your contribution!

      Yes, the emblematic nature of Eixample, with its iconic grid-layout which makes for stunning aerial views, truly does serve as an icon for Barcelona.

      As you rightly said, Eixample is perfect for a leisurely day of ambling from cafe to bar, with so many fantastic establishments to choose between.

      Something I have always found endearing about the culture of both Barcelona and Spain as a whole, is the normality of bringing your kids along to sit out and play with one another in the large Plazas, whilst the adults can sit and chat over wine and tapas late into the evening. Eixample is fortunate enough to house the biggest and arguably most recognisable plaza of all – the Plaça Catalunya – and whilst at times it can be quite busy, is an experience to behold as I’m sure you know!

      Best wishes,
      Emily
      On behalf of Sandra and the rest of the team at AB Apartment Barcelona

  3. Steven Ham says:

    Barcelona offers something for the whole family so I’ve always thought it’s a great place for a family holiday or a long weekend. Plenty of cultural treats too, as well as brilliant food and wine, for Mum and Dad to take a break from the kids’ programme.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Yes, I couldn’t agree more! Barcelona truly has everything to offer no matter if you’re after a longer family holiday, or a whistle-stop tour for just the weekend. Similarly, the contrast of both old and new in Barcelona means no matter what experience you are after when coming here, the city can satisfy all.

      As I mentioned in my reply to Grace, something that is so great about the culture in both Barcelona and Spain in its entirety, is the ability to be able to sit out until late into the evening enjoying fabulous wine and food without needing to worry about coming back early with the kids. The reliably warm and clear skies means all the children can stay out playing together, while the adults can have their own fun too!

      Best wishes,
      Emily
      On behalf of Sandra and the rest of the AB Apartment Barcelona team.

  4. Judy says:

    We took our daughter to Barcelona for an Easter holiday when by chance she had to do some sketches for her GCSE art course. It couldn’t have worked out better. She loved sitting in the sun at a cafe with a coffee or ice cream and happily sketching away. If only all school homework had been so pleasurable.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      What a wonderful idea. I took my art GCSE too in school and would have loved to have had the experience to use such a beautiful city like Barcelona as inspiration for my work.

      I’m sure her teachers loved seeing the stunning mix of the Catalan gothic, medieval style, contrasted with the modernisme. A* material for sure!

      Best wishes,
      Emily
      On behalf of Sandra and the rest of the AB Apartment Barcelona team.

  5. Romeo R. says:

    I agree, most places in the list are great attractions for families. It is especially helpful for tourists who are new to Barcelona to have such an accessible list of amazing places that will make the most out of their stay in the country. It is also a big check in the list if you are a football fan because a lot of football enthusiasts wind up in these cities. The country is also very proud of the sport and there are even football shops in the city that would bring the kid out of every football fan. I particularly like Sarrià-Sant Gervasi as an adult. It looks very peaceful with lots of architecture to admire. However, I’m not sure what the younger kids would think of the area, but the science museum would probably get them to go. La Rambla is possibly among the most popular places to visit in Barcelona apart from Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces, which are a must. Of course you can’t forget about their cuisine. Spanish food mostly uses olive oil and garlic as its base with stews and paellas. And what about churros? I love those.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Romeo,

      Thank you so much for your comment!

      Yes, Barcelona is truly such a unique place in that it can satisfy so many different peoples’ needs, because there is simply just so much on offer!

      Like Alex commented previously, the Barcelona Football Shop superstore is a must visit for kids and adults alike. Football is sacred in Spain, and there’s a reason Barça’s slogan is ‘Mes que un Club’!

      Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is a fantastic neighbourhood of Barcelona, full of beautiful, green spaces such as the Jardins de Vil·la Amèlia, and stunning views from the Carretera de les Aigües and Mirador Sarrià. Kids can still love this area too, with the Parc del Castell de l’Oreneta having a huge park with climbing frames, and even a small train track.

      Spanish food is simply to die for isn’t it! My personal favourites are tortilla Española and spicy patatas bravas.

      Best wishes,
      Emily
      On behalf of Sandra and the rest of the AB Apartment Barcelona team

  6. Vincenzo K. says:

    I really love long walks especially in cities that I do not usually visit. I guess walking is more fun if you are a tourist since you are able to appreciate the scenery and observe how the locals go about their day. I find doing that fascinating and kind of relaxing. Aside from that, walking gives you the opportunity to visit local stores that might not normally be seen by tourists. I think my family will enjoy visiting the places featured in the article, especially Poble Nou, since there are a lot of establishments that we can visit. Though, it looks too crowded for the “new normal” but hopefully, when we do get to go, travel would be safer. I would be reading suggestions and recommendations on restaurants and museums next.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Vincenzo,

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Yes, I totally agree that walking is an excellent way to go “off the beaten track” so to speak, and find some hidden gems that only locals seem to know about! Especially in a city as culturally diverse as Barcelona, where a new treasure can be found on every corner.

      Poble Nou is a fascinating neighbourhood of Barcelona, and as you rightfully said, there are loads of places to visit here that often are left off the itinerary for visits to the city. Good spot with the Els Encants photo! The photo was taken pre-covid of the market, as new measures are in place currently all across Barcelona to ensure that safety is of the utmost importance.

      Barcelona can’t wait to welcome you back!

      Best wishes,
      Emily
      On behalf of Sandra and the rest of the AB Apartment Barcelona team.

Leave a reply



Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published





Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Comments such as "Nice post. Thanks for sharing." do NOT add value to the discussion! Homepage links (not deep links) are allowed in the 'Website' field only - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details and we will be happy to help.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…