Moving pets to Barcelona?
What you need to know

So, you and your pets are moving to sunny Barcelona, are you?

Congratulations, that’s awesome news! I’m pretty sure you’ll find it great here. Not only do we have the sun, the beach and abundant fresh ingredients for food.

We’re also surrounded by charming mountain villages and nature escapes, so you can all get away from the hustle and bustle of the city whenever you please.

Having said that, before you can enjoy those wonders, you’re going to need to arrive and settle in first.

This article may just help you with that!

Pet cat sleeping near bag

How to move your pets to Barcelona

Depending on where you are moving from, you will have 4 main options to move your pets to Barcelona. Via plane, train, car or ferry.

If you are moving your pet long-distance, keep in mind that you may need to choose an indirect route for your pet to travel. This is due to regional or company restrictions, which don’t always permit pet travel on every single route.

Below we’ve compiled a list of companies for you, that do travel directly into Barcelona, and do have a pet travel policy in place.

However, you will need to do your own research to find out whether you can transport your pets directly from your originating country or state.

(And if you’re travelling a super long way – please remember to stop for a break along the way!)


Airlines that fly pets and land in Barcelona

The following airlines have flights landing directly into Barcelona and a pet policy in place, allowing animals to be transported in the cabin and/or as cargo.

Barcelona Airport is also one of the official ports of entry for animals arriving from outside the EU, so they are also well versed with checking animals into the country.


(Author’s Tip: Personally, I have flown my own cat twice in a cabin. Once with KLM (indirect) and once with Vueling (direct) and had great experiences with them.)



Ferry companies that ship pets and dock in Barcelona

The following ferries land directly in Barcelona and accept pets on board.


Train companies that accept pets and stop in Barcelona

The following trains stop in Barcelona and have a pet policy in place too.


Puppy being held by a vet

Barcelona pet import requirements

As Barcelona is a part of the European Union (EU), EU law applies for the transportation of pets.

The entry requirements for pets moving to Barcelona differ, depending on whether they are being moved within the EU, or coming from outside.

Age restrictions apply for young animals in all cases.


Moving pets to Barcelona from within the EU

At the time of writing this article, the requirements for pet imports within the EU were:

  • A registered microchip
  • Vaccination against rabies
  • Treatment against tapeworm – Echinococcus multilocularis (dogs only)
  • A pet passport
  • Written declaration (in case pet is moved by someone other than the owner)

You can view the most up-to-date requirements by visiting the EU pet regulations page (English) and the Spanish government page on travelling with pets (Spanish only).


Moving pets to Barcelona from outside the EU

At the time of writing this article, the requirements for pet imports from outside the EU were:

  • A registered microchip
  • Vaccination against rabies
  • Rabies antibody test
  • Treatment against tapeworm – Echinococcus multilocularis (dogs only)
  • An animal health certificate
  • Written declaration (in case pet is moved by someone other than the owner)
  • Must pass through a specific ‘traveller’s point of entry

In the case that a pet is returning to the EU, it may be able to travel on its original passport in lieu of the health certificate and written declaration.

Again, you can view the most up-to-date requirements by visiting the EU pet regulations page (English) and the Spanish government page on travelling with pets (Spanish only).


Pet hamster in a toilet paper roll

Renting accommodation with pets in Barcelona

Honestly speaking, Barcelona is not the most pet-friendly city in the world. It can, at times, be quite challenging to find a landlord that accepts pets. However, this can often depend on your budget.

Personally, I have found that cheaper rental places tend not to like taking pets on. However, more expensive apartments have usually been more flexible in this respect.

In some cases, a landlord may ask for additional one-off, or monthly, payments for your pets. In other cases, they may simply accept the pets as they come.


Negotiating pets with your landlord

When looking for accommodation, advertisements will often openly state whether they accept pets in the apartment or not.

If nothing is stated on the advertisement, however, it is always advisable to get in touch with the landlord and see what their preferences are. Mainly to avoid any misunderstandings.

Some people choose not to mention their pets. This is because, legally speaking, unless pets are specifically prohibited in the rental contract, they should be allowed.

However, my personal recommendation would be to try and negotiate with the landlord to come to agreeable terms. They will appreciate your transparency, and it is more likely to set you up on good terms to start with.

In my case, for example, I agreed with my landlady that I would personally repair and/or pay for any damage that my cat might do to the apartment.

This assured the landlady that she wouldn’t need to incur any extra costs. Likewise on my side, I didn’t have to pay any extra and I knew my cat was unlikely to leave any damage. She is very well behaved.


Dog playing on the beach

Rules for pets in Barcelona

When bringing your pet to a new place, it is always good to know the basic rules that apply. Outlined below are the most important rules for pets in Barcelona, that you should be aware of.


Using public transport with your pets in Barcelona

In Barcelona there are strictly speaking, very stringent rules related to animals using public transport.

Pets are, officially speaking, prohibited from travelling with you on the bus, metro and railway. The main exception being guide dogs for the blind.

However, there is a clause for the metro, which permits dogs to travel via personnel discretion. This generally means they will be allowed to travel on the metro outside of busy periods.

In case they do ride the metro with you, you will also need to make sure they are on the leash and muzzled at all times. Expect a fine, if you do not comply.

Small pets will usually be allowed on buses, metros, trams and trains, as long as they remain in a small pet carrier that stops them disturbing other passengers.

To check the latest regulations, you can visit the TMB site. (Catalan only)


Visiting the beach with your pets in Barcelona

Barcelona is famous for its beaches and they really are great places to enjoy with your pets. However, some restrictions do apply, which is worth keeping in mind.

The general rule on Barcelona beaches is that dogs are allowed on the beach anytime throughout the winter (November until March). However, during the bathing season (April to October), they are only allowed on the beach in the early morning and late at night, after sunset.

There are a couple of dog-friendly beaches in and around Barcelona, which allow dogs to run loose anytime and all year around. See below for details.

In Barcelona:

  • Playa de Llevant (Diagonal Mar)

Near Barcelona:

  • Calla Vallcaca (Sitges)
  • Port Ginesta (Castelldefels)
  • Les Filipines (Viladecans)

Further out:

  • Playa de Les Salines (Cubelles)
  • Playa la Picòrdia (Arenys de Mar)
  • Parque para perros (Pineda de Mar)


Visiting parks and gardens with your pets in Barcelona

There are a number of parks and gardens in Barcelona which accept dogs freely. However, it is important to clean up after them in case they make a mess.

In case you do not clean up after your pet immediately, the city of Barcelona has legislation in place to allow an on-the-spot fine of 1,500€.


And there you have it! The most important points you need to know when moving your pets to Barcelona.

If you have made it this far, at this point, I would like to wish you all the best for your relocation. With so much to see, do, learn and explore in Barcelona, you (and your pets) are sure to learn to love it in absolutely no time!

Claudia is a Barcelona based writer, traveller, entrepreneur and project manager. She has lived in 8 countries, travelled 5 continents, and learned 6+ languages in the process. You could say, she's a bit of a relocation whizz!

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