My husband is American, I'm French (I've been to Barcelona before but don't remember very much) and we will have our 20 months old little girl with us. We will be in Barcelona for about 24 hr with one night to spend there (we're flying back the day after we arrive.
I want a central decent hotel (about 3 starts) in the center so we can visit things but also get back to the hotel if we have to with our baby girl. I looked online but there is so many hotels, it's hard to chose: which area is the best to see Sagrada Familia amongst other things.
Hi! The formal Center is Plaça Catalunya and around. La-Rambla is going to direction of the sea and becomes cheaper while getting closer to the sea, and opposite direction becomes more expensive and “better” area as well. You don’t need to live next to Sagrada Familia, it worse visit, but it’s not the best location for your short stay.
You have extremely short time there + baby, so, I think, in this case the only way to see anything in Barcelona is to get a “city-bus” that move between all famous & interesting places in the city. You will feel comfortable there + see most of places “by the way”.
I recomend you don’t miss Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) – near La Rambla, but need go by feet! and Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi – at my taste it’s the best of Gaudi in B.
Take a look http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/
Enjoy your trip!
sorry I can't help you with hotels but if you've got a toddler and they like animals, then it has to be the zoopark and the aquarium...