BARCELONA

Barcelona with your dog

Barcelona offers humans who are travelling with dogs some interesting plans, such as entering the Casa Batlló, one of the most emblematic works by Gaudí, heading for the Poble Espanyol and contemplating works of art by Picasso, Miró, Dalí and Chillida at the Fran Daurel Contemporary Art Foundation. Of course, you also have to stroll around the Olympic Port, the Ramblas and Montjuic, etc., and if it’s summertime, a visit to the Perros al Agua Canine Water Park is a must.  

DOG-FRIENDLY SUGGESTIONS IN BARCELONA

WHERE TO EAT:

XIRINGUITO ESCRIBÀ (AV. DEL LITORAL, 62 –PLAYA DE BOGATELL-)

DOCKET BARCELONA (CARRER DE LA MERCÈ, 23)

L'ESTACIÓ ESPAI GASTRONÒMIC (ESTACIÓN DE FRANCIA)

ENTRE DOGS CAFÉ (CARRER D'ALFONS XII, 94)

LA CERVESERIA CLANDESTINA (CALLE CÒRSEGA, 611)

BONICA BRUNCHERIE (CARRER D'ARAGÓ, 388)

SWEETALY (RONDA DE SANT PAU, 39)

WHERE TO GO FOR A COFFEE, DESSERTS AND ICE-CREAM:

COSTA COFFEE (VARIOUS STORES)

DELACREM HELADOS Y PASTELES (ENRIC GRANADOS, 15)

OLD SCHOOL BAKERY & CAFÉ (CARRER DE BILBAO, 216)  

WHERE TO SLEEP:

ACCOMMODATION ENDORSED BY DOG VIVANT

I was in Barcelona in September 2018 as part of my tour around Spain. I stayed at the house of some friends and from there headed off to explore the city. The first thing I did was climb up to Montjuic to see the Olympic Ring – that large open area that houses the Olympic Stadium, the Palau Sant Jordi and the Telecommunications Tower designed by the architect, Calatrava – . I hadn’t been born by 1992, but I can imagine what hosting the Olympic Games must have meant for Catalonia and Spain. 

The Olympic Ring retains all its charm and is worth a visit – in fact, you’ll find lots of pooches going for walks there. There are many gardens in Montjuic, but always check whether we dogs are allowed to enter, because it’s not possible in some of them. By the way, during our visit a lot of Barcelona locals expressed their concern to us about the new regulations being prepared by the City Hall, which is going to mean major restrictions on the presence of dogs in public parks. Protests against this have compelled it to reconsider things, although everyone fears the worst.

Returning to our walk around Montjuic, give minutes away from the Olympic Ring you’ll find the National Museum of Catalan Visual Art (MNAC), from where you can get a great view over the city, with Plaza de España in the foreground. You’ll find other interesting views, which are also worth checking out, from the gardens in front of the Hotel Miramar (Plaza de la Armada). You’ll also see the access points around this area for the Montjuic cable cars, but the bad news is that we dogs are not welcome. The good news, however, is that we are welcome on the funicular. I’ll tell you about public transport in the city later. 

Another emblematic mountain is Tibidabo, on whose summit the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located (seen illuminated at night from anywhere in the city), although Tibidabo is particularly famous for its funfair. We were greatly surprised to learn that we dogs are not allowed to enter, bearing in mind the rules applying in similar places like Mt. Igeldo in San Sebastián , which are open to families with dogs. All we can do here is encourage this Barcelona park to integrate everyone, like they do in Donostia.

THE MOST DOG-FRIENDLY GAUDÍ

But Barcelona is synonymous with Gaudi. This architect – the foremost exponent of Catalan modernism – is present in many corners of the city such as the beautiful Casa Batlló, which is dog friendly, a UNESCO World heritage Site and reference point worldwide in terms of both its architecture and design. We well-behaved pooches are allowed to enter: they allow “one dog per person, irrespective of size, on a leash and under their owner’s constant supervision”. Many thanks to all the staff at this delightful place for the warm welcome they gave us! 

Another of the city’s key points is the Parque Güell. We dogs are allowed to access these charming gardens, which were also designed by Gaudí. I’ll give a suggestion to anyone who wants to visit: tourists come to the place in droves every day, and so the best thing is to go during free access times before 8 am (access becomes regulated after this time and subject to payment – times vary according to season, and so it’s best to check their website for further details).

Oh, and for any of you who might be wondering: the Sagrada Familia is not accessible to dogs. 

THE POBLE ESPANYOL AND THE FRAN DAUREL MUSEUM

More dog-friendly places: the Poble Espanyol (“Spanish Town”) is one of the places most frequented by tourists and locals alike (there are even discotheques). It was built in 1920 in an attempt to recreate buildings from all over the country -  ranging from a typical neighbourhood in Andalusia to the Catalan Romanesque – and all kinds of family activity are organised there. 

What’s more, we pooches are also welcome inside the Fran Daurel Museum, where you can admire original works of art by Picasso, Dalí, Miró and Úrculo (in the photo). I visited the place and departed full of inspiration.

PERROS AL AGUAON THE BEACH AND AT A WATER PARK

The good thing about Barcelona is that there is indeed a beach here! We pooches are allowed to access beaches without any time restrictions except during peak season, which includes weekends from April to October, the period between the Saturday before Good Friday and Pascua FloridaDay after Easter inclusive, and also the period between the weekend before 1stJune and the weekend after 11thSeptember, also inclusive. In summer we can only access a small stretch of beach (Levant beach) which allows up to a maximum 100 dogs. All the information can be found on the municipal website. 

If you are not familiar with the city of Barcelona, you should know that there are many kilometres of seaside promenade where you can walk (or run), and so you can spend a great day following the coast all the way from Hotel W Barcelona (La Barceloneta area) to San Adrián del Besós, the northernmost municipality. 

A fab alternative for more sweltering summer days is the wonderful canine water park around 40 minutes’ drive from Barcelona, in La Roca del Vallés. It’s called Perros al Agua (“Dogs to the Water”) and it’s worth spending the day there (our human companions aren’t allowed to swim there, but can accompany us in the water while we have fun). We dogs have a great time in the huge artificial lakes and the spacious green areas on the premises, which is also known as Can Jane. You can see it at the end of my video about Barcelona.

In the chapter on bars, restaurants and hotels, Barcelona – being the large city that it is – offers quite a few options. This coming Saturday (28thSeptember) I’ll give you some suggestions together with this article, although there are many more. The best thing is to carry a list of places handy with you because the same can happen to you as happened to me: we arranged to meet a friend in the Ramblas area for a drink and after spending half an hour wandering around looking for somewhere where they would let us in, we couldn’t find anywhere (even those that were empty).

Oh, and if you want to have a really cool, original photo taken, in Barcelona you can find Santos Román, a fab canine portrait artist with one of the most dog-friendly studios in the country. That’s where I went, and you can see the result on my video. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND SHOPPING CENTRES

As for public transport, it must be said that things are more dog-friendly than in other cities. We are always able to travel on the Metro as long as we have a microchip to show we are registered in the municipal census, are on a leash and with muzzle.Only one dog per person is allowed and we cannot access the Metro from 7:00h to 9:30h and from 17:00h to 19:00h on weekdays between 11thSeptember and 24thJune. Further information can be found on its website.

We dogs are also allowed to travel on the Barcelona tram provided we are kept on a leash and are wearing a muzzle. The same timetable restrictions apply as on the Metro.

Dogs can also travel on Rodalies de Catalunya (local trains) and on Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya under similar regulations. You can check further details on their respective websites.

Only small dogs in a pet carrier allowed on the bus.

If you need a taxi, you can use Mascotaxi Barcelona.

And if you need to go shopping and don’t have much time, a shopping centre might be a good option. In Barcelona, dogs are allowed to enter several: L'illa DiagonalDiagonal MarLa Maquinista and Viladecans The Style Outlets. Curiously, this last-mentioned is the only one from among all the Style Outlets (there are 5 in Spain) that allows pets, according to its website.