You want to visit Barcelona, but you don’t want to leave one special member of the family behind: your pet. Don’t worry, because you don’t have to! You can easily bring your pet with you to Barcelona, and when you’re here, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy the city with your furry friend. Let’s get right to it.
Coming and going – How to travel to Barcelona with your pet
Many countries will have certain rules about coming and going with pets, they fit into either the EU or non-EU category. You will always need a micro-chipped pet (tattoos not accepted on animals born after July 2011) and have them vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days ago with proof by a recognised veterinarian – usually an official health certificate or pet passport. You must fly to Barcelona Airport as it is an authorised point of entry for pets. Landing in Girona airport for instance will not be allowed. Alternatively, all airports in France are pet entry points, so you could land there and then drive in.
Travelling with pets from outside EU
If you’re travelling from outside the EU you may want to only consider travelling with your pets if you’re going to be away for a long period of time and plan in advance, as the paperwork required can take a while to process and needs to follow a tight schedule. In the U.S, much depends on the airline policy your pet is travelling with, which will usually require a certificate from a vet within 10 days of the flight.
Owners will also need to write a declaration that the movement of the pet is non-commercial and that the pet will travel within 5 days of the owner leaving. The most important documentation to have for non-EU visitors is the Annex IV form approved by your vet for each country being visited. US travellers, for instance, will also need an APHIS 7001 form from a USDA vet, so additional forms will be dependent on your country of origin.
Most non-EU countries fall into these requirements and nothing else. Certain countries though, will need a rabies antibody test to really check if your pet is free from the disease. For instance, Brazil, China, Colombia, and Nigeria to name a few.
Travelling with pets from inside the EU
If you’re a European citizen and travelling between European countries however, then you’re covered by the “Pets Travel Scheme“, which simplifies the process a bit more. Your vet can issue you with a EU Pet Passport after giving your pet a checkup.
If your pet is from the UK it must use an approved pet travel route, which you can consult here. Many owners find it is much more convenient to take the Eurotunnel train to France and from there either fly with their pet on a plane (small pets), travel by train with them (your pets tickets will be half price of a standard ticket), or hire a car to drive the rest of the way.
Note: UK dogs need to have tapeworm treatments between 1 – 5 days before returning, with details of the treatment recorded in the ‘Echinococcus treatment’ section of the pet passport, name and manufacturer of the treatment product, date and time of the treatment, and the vet’s official stamp/signature. Praziquantel or an equivalent treatment must be used. Failure to do so will end up with your dog in quarantine. English speaking vets can be found all over Barcelona, like Bonavet.
Once you’re here – Where to stay with your pet in Barcelona and what to do
Barcelona is a very pet-friendly city, so you can usually find a number of hotels that accept them. Keep in mind most will charge extra for pets and many will have a no-noise policy with the right to remove guests from the hotel. You should always check with your hotel of choice before booking for their specific pet policy as some will not allow pets over 20kg (medium-large dogs for example). You can see a selection of hotels that allow pets in Barcelona here.
Another option is to book an apartment, an environment that will be much more familiar to your animal companion and with less risk of disturbing others as pets are commonly found in apartment blocks all around Barcelona already. Some apartments also have large terraces that make a nice space for dogs to be able to play. Although some apartment owners might as for a bit extra to bring a pet, it’s less commonly practised compared to hotels. You can find a list of pet-friendly holiday apartments in Barcelona here.
Getting around Barcelona with a pet is easy. If you have a small pet like a cat or a rabbit, as long as they are within a hard case container you can take them around the city on public transport. Dogs are also allowed on the Metro during off-peak hours provided they are on a lead with a muzzle, it would also be a good idea to bring their pet passport.
You can take your dog to many open-space places, for example Park Guell’s non-touristic area, Parc de la Ciutadella, the square in front of Sagrada Familia, Montjuic (and the Magic fountains), and many more locations. You cannot take your dog to the beach during bathing season (which is from April to October), but outside of these months it is allowed if the dog is on a lead or clearly under control. For a full list of spaces specifically for dogs, take a look at the Barcelona city council page.
You can also visit various restaurants with your dog too. A Spanish website called SrPerro.com (Mr. Dog), compiled a list of dog-friendly bars, cafes, and restaurants in the city. Although the website is in Spanish, from the linked page you only need to click on a bar name from the list to get the full address and opening hours.
That’s all there is to it… Well, not quite, just one more thing. 30 minutes from Barcelona is a canine resort that you can visit to spoil your 4-legged friend! Can Jane Resort is a hotel for dogs that also features a canine water-park, obstacle courses, park, and more, where your pet can meet others and make new friends. Now you can really make the most of your holiday adventures together!
Now, go enjoy Barcelona without leaving your pet behind at home!