Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Spain, thanks to its beaches, vibrant culture and nightlife scene. It’s also a great destination to visit in Spain with a dog. Find out more about visiting dog-friendly Barcelona, from what to do to where to stay.
Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Barcelona
There’s plenty to see and do in Barcelona, including with your dog by your side.
#1 Visit Parc Güell
One of my favourite dog-friendly spots in Barcelona is Parc Güell. The work of the architect Antoni Gaudí, the park is situated on the hillside above the Gràcia district. Its home to colourful, whimsical mosaics, not to mention beautiful views of the city and coastline.
Leashed pets are allowed to join you inside the park, although the rules for pets have become more restrictive since my visit. Pets are no longer allowed in some of the most stunning spots, including the Nature Square, Hipostyle Room, the Dragon Stairway, the Austria Gardens and the Laundry Room Portico.
No ticket is required for pets, but it’s recommended that you book your own tickets in advance. No ticket is required for the upper Forest Zone section of the park, but it’s the lower Monument Zone that is the highlight.
#2 Wonder at Other Gaudi Masterpieces
Parc Güell isn’t the only creation of Gaudí that you can view on your visit to Barcelona. Gaudí is also the architect of the imposing La Sagrada Família Church, which is still under construction but due to be completed soon (hopefully!)
Other works of Gaudí that you can see in the city include Casa Milà, Casa Battló, Palau Güell and Casa Vicens, each in the Eixample or Gràcia districts.
Each of these buildings is accessible to the public, with a paid ticket. Naturally, you can’t enter with your dog. However, it’s still possible to view the exteriors of the buildings.
In particular, I loved the exteriors of Casa Milà and Casa Battló. Although at the time of my visit Casa Vicens was covered in scaffolding for restoration, which has since been removed.
I’ve put together a self-guided cycling route to visit Gaudí’s works. If visiting with a dog, I recommend walking part of the route with your pup, or else you might be able to hire a pet trailer to use with your bike.
#3 Stroll Along La Rambla
The most well-known street in Barcelona is La Rambla. This pedestrianised street stretches for 1.2km, connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre of the city with the Christopher Columbus Monument and the old port area.
While La Rambla is often considered a tourist trap, and is certainly often crowded, it’s still an interesting street to walk along with your dog, partially because cars are restricted. Along the way, keep an eye out for the Joan Miró mosiac and the facade of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house.
On the eastern side of La Rambla is the Gothic Quarter, the heart of the Old City of Barcelona, with its maze of narrow streets and small squares.
#4 Visit La Boqueria market
One place you should visit along La Rambla is the famous food market, La Boqueria. Dating back to 1836, this fresh food market claims on its website to be the “best market in the world!”
It’s a great spot to sample some of the local food products, with everything from butcher stalls to fruit and vegetables to groceries. We experienced no issues with taking Schnitzel instead – double check there are no new signs. Schnitzel even charmed a butcher into some free tidbits!
The markets are closed on Sundays, but are open from 8am to 8:30pm from Monday to Saturday.
#5 Head to the Beach
What’s a visit to Barcelona without a visit to the beach? And luckily, even if you visit Barcelona during the summer months, you can visit a beach with your dog.
The closest year round dog beach to the centre of Barcelona is Playa de Llevant (Spanish only). Dogs are allowed on a northern section of Platja de Llevant, near the Diagonal Mar shopping centre at the northern end of the Barcelona coast.
The excellent sandy beach is open from 10:30am to 7pm daily between June and September, with a capacity of 100 dogs, that need to be registered (although I’m not sure if this is enforced for visiting dogs). Make sure you also carry the vaccination card of your dog. A shower is provided.
Outside of the summer season, which lasts from the 1st June to the last Sunday in September, plus the weekends either side, dogs are allowed to join you on any beach in Barcelona.
For more information on other dog-friendly beaches in Spain, check out this map.
#6 Check out the Street Art
Barcelona is home to many excellent art museums. While your dog won’t be able to join you on a visit, you can instead appreciate the colourful street art scene on the city’s street.
While Valencia is better known for its street art, I also found that there was plenty of street art in Barcelona, particularly around the Gràcia neighbourhood. Take a wander and see what you discover, with roller shutters a popular canvas.
Dog-Friendly Parks in Barcelona
The rules are changing for dogs in Barcelona. Previously, there were no restrictions on dogs being off-leash. However, dogs are now restricted to being off-leash in designated parks, with the number being increased.
Off-leash dog parks in Barcelona can be divided into three categories:
- Small off-leash enclosures known as “pipicans” for dogs to do their business
- Larger off-leash parks
- Shared parks, where dogs are are only allowed off-leash at designated hours
For more information and to view a map, check out this webpage. One particularly popular dog park is Parque Joan Miró, near Plaza de España.
Dogs on Public Transport in Barcelona
The rules for dogs on public transport in Barcelona are mixed, depending on the mode of transport and the size of your dog.
On the metro, small dogs in a carrier can ride at any time. Larger dogs though are only permitted outside of peak hour, from 7-9:30am and 5-7pm on weekdays, plus all day long on weekends and during the summer period, from late June to early September.
Larger dogs also need to be on a short leash and muzzled, with a maximum of one dog per person. Dogs are also meant to be registered, but I assume this isn’t enforced for visitors. No ticket is required for small or large dogs.
On buses, only small pets including dogs in a carrier bag are permitted, with no larger dogs allowed except for assistance animals.
On trains in Spain, the rules for pets vary depending on the type of train. On Con Cercanías (commuter) trains, pets of all sizes are permitted, with larger dogs not in a carrier needing to be muzzled and leashed. No pet ticket is required.
On other trains, including AVE, AVE International, Large Distancia, Avant and Media Distance trains, larger dogs are not permitted, except for on selected AVE trains, including some services between Barcelona and Madrid.
Generally only smaller dogs up to 10kg in a carrier are permitted, and pet tickets are required. The rules are long and detailed – I recommend reading the full details by following the link.
Dog-Friendly Dining in Barcelona
When dining out with a dog in Spain, generally dogs are not allowed inside restaurants. So during my travels, we were generally restricted to dining on the outdoor terrace, which wasn’t a problem on warmer days.
However, Barcelona tends to be more pet-friendly. I’ve heard reports from someone who spent a long time in Barcelona that many local restaurants allow dogs inside. It’s certainly worthwhile asking. Otherwise find somewhere with a terrace.
Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Barcelona
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Make sure you book your dog-friendly accommodation in Barcelona well in advance. When I stayed in the city, I discovered there’s not many cheaper options available in the city, plus Airbnbs were long ago virtually banned.
An excellent dog-friendly spot to stay in the centre of the city is the Petit Palace Boqueria Garden. It’s located just metres from La Rambla and La Boqueria Market, plus a metro station. Set in an historic building, the hotel has its own bar set in a private courtyard and garden, perfect for relaxing with your pup. Best of all, pets stay for free if you book directly, otherwise a €25 charge per stay applies.
For a splurge, check out the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza. Sleek and modern, this hotel with a rooftop-pool and terrace is highly rated. It’s located outside the touristic centre of Barcelona, but there’s a metro close by and it’s just metres from the dog-friendly Joan Miró Park.
One pet is allowed per room, up to 20kg (44lb), with an additional charge of €25 per night. You should request their stay in advance (take advantage of the free cancellation period to message the hotel and confirm). A €200 deposit is also required at check-in, which will be fully refunded upon inspection of the room at check- out.
You May Also Like
- Dog-Friendly Spain
- How to Travel to Spain with a Dog from the UK
- Gaudi by Bike: A Self-Guided Bike Tour in Barcelona
About the Author
Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.