Are you planning a trip to Spain with the kids? Spain is an excellent destination for families with children, toddlers, and teenagers. I recently returned from a five-day trip to Spain with my teenagers, and I have to say, it was an amazing experience.
We chose to visit Spain during spring break and were delighted by the beautiful weather and long daylight hours. We took our three children, ages 16, 18, and 20, and they had a great time.
Spain is an exceptional family destination, offering a wealth of culture, history, and adventure. Spain has something for every type of traveler, from the bustling cities of Madrid and Barcelona to the picturesque coastal towns and breathtaking landscapes.
In this blog post, I’ll share our experiences traveling to Spain with teenagers, as well as tips and recommendations for families planning a trip to this lovely country.
Getting to Spain
We began our trip to Spain by driving from Lisbon to Seville, stopping for lunch in the picturesque coastal town of Carvoeiro. Upon arriving in Seville, we parked our car at a parking garage, which costs $67 Euros for 4 nights.
Then we settled into our home for the next few days at Living in Seville Apartments. The location was perfect, just a short walk to all the main attractions, yet tucked away from the noise of the bustling city.
The hotel was spacious and comfortable, and we loved being so close to local bars and restaurants. Overall, it was the perfect base for exploring Seville and experiencing the vibrant culture of Spain. Check out the Seville listing.
Where in Spain with kids?
I honestly feel like any city in Spain would be fantastic, but here is my personal opinion. First, decide if you want a smaller or larger city.
I would probably not take smaller kids to Barcelona because it is a bigger city; I would do southern Spain. I also would not go in June, July, or August to places like Seville, Grenada, or Madrid because it will be scorching hot.
My favorite Spanish cities so far have been: Seville, Madrid, and Valencia. Most travelers visit Madrid and/or Barcelona. A Madrid and Valencia itinerary is nice for kids, or Seville and a beach town like Marbella.
Is Barcelona or Madrid better for Kids?
Both Barcelona and Madrid have plenty of activities for children, but they provide different types of experiences. Barcelona has a more outdoorsy and beach-oriented vibe, making it an ideal destination for families who enjoy being active and going on outdoor adventures.
Max and I prefer Madrid, but we have yet to take our teenagers to Barcelona yet, and we think they will like it. Children can have fun playing on the beaches, visiting the Barcelona Zoo, exploring the Aquarium, and riding the funicular to the top of Tibidabo Mountain for panoramic views of the city.
Additionally, kids who love soccer will enjoy touring the Camp Nou stadium and watching the FC Barcelona team play.
Madrid, on the other hand, has a more cultural and artistic vibe, making it an excellent choice for families interested in history and art. Among other things, children can visit the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, and the Naval Museum.
Furthermore, Madrid has numerous parks, gardens, and open spaces where children can run and play, including Retiro Park, Casa de Campo Park, and Madrid Ro Park.
Overall, both Barcelona and Madrid have plenty of things to do for kids, but the types of experiences they offer are different.
The choice between them will depend on your family’s interests and preferences.
What is the most child friendly city in Spain?
Spain is home to a number of fantastic urban areas for families, but a select few truly shine when it comes to accommodating young children.
Valencia is a top pick for Spanish vacations with the kids. The city of Valencia is full of life and offers a wide variety of fun things to do for people of all ages.
There are many museums and historical sites to visit in the city, including the impressive City of Arts and Sciences complex with its aquarium, science museum, and IMAX theater.
Malvarrosa Beach, located in Valencia, is a popular destination for families looking to unwind and enjoy the sun. I love the mix of the city and beach vibe.
San Sebastian, in the Basque Country, is another wonderful Spanish city for families with young children. This coastal city is famous for its stunning scenery, breathtaking beaches, and delicious cuisine. The promenade, the beaches, and the nearby hills are all great places for families to get some fresh air and exercise. San Sebastian is a wonderful city for families with young children because of its abundance of parks and playgrounds.
Valencia and San Sebastian are two of the most visited cities in Spain by families with children because of their abundance of educational and entertaining options for the whole family.
When to Visit Spain with Kids
May and October are great months to take children on a vacation to Spain. Your preference for warmer or cooler temperatures may also influence your response. If I could, I wouldn’t go when it’s extremely hot or when it’s likely to rain a lot.
During our spring break trip to Spain, we were fortunate enough to avoid any unwelcome showers. The best time to take the kids to Spain is whenever we can get there, but that isn’t always possible.
March also had longer periods of daylight, which was a nice bonus. March, April, May, and October are, therefore, the months I enjoy most.
How Many Days Do You Need to Visit Spain With Kids?
Three weeks ago, if you had asked me this question, I would have said 10 days. If you are traveling with older kids, I recommend a maximum of 7 days with teens.
At the end of day five, even though we were in a new city, our children seemed bored. More than two cities as home bases is too much, in my opinion. Our itinerary included visits to Lisbon and Seville, as well as a day trip to Cordoba.
Checking in and out of hotels makes things stressful due to the times you are allowed to check-in. You don’t want to be stranded with luggage and kids.
Accommodations in Spain With Kids?
For families with a slower travel pace, I can see how they can do a longer trip, but again, don’t check in and out of a bunch of cities. I think it’s so bad when parents stay only two nights in one place.
That just adds unnecessary stress.
Accommodations in Spain With Kids
When traveling to Spain with kids, it’s important to find a family-friendly accommodation that is located close to the city’s main attractions. It is also a great idea to book an apartment vs a hotel.
Hotels will be smaller and cost you more because you will need more than one room. We always look for apartments when traveling to Europe with kids. We love using Booking.Com, Expedia or VRBO.
Next I look for a location that will be within walking distance of main attractions. This makes it easy to go back to the apartment if needed.
Where to stay in Madrid with Kids?
Salamanca is a great place to stay in Madrid with kids thanks to its tranquil streets and abundance of high-end restaurants and shops.
The area around Madrid’s Retiro Park, called Retiro, is another fantastic choice for families. Families who value proximity to green space and recreational opportunities will find this location to be a good fit. Shopping, dining, and entertainment options abound in the neighborhood.
For families on a budget, the Malasana and Chueca neighborhoods are good options. These areas are well-known for their affordable lodging, hip cafes, and colorful street art.
The best hotel for families in Madrid is one that caters to the individual needs of each member of the group.
Where to stay in Barcelona with Kids?
The Eixample district is great for families because of its kid-friendly atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and proximity to public transportation in Barcelona.
Eixample Hotels & Apartments
Gothic Quarter Hotels & Apartments
The Gothic Quarter in the heart of Barcelona is another great pick with kids because it’s where you’ll find the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum, two of the city’s most famous attractions. Barceloneta is a coastal neighborhood in Barcelona that offers access to some of the city’s most popular beaches. This area is also known for its seafood restaurants and bustling nightlife.
For families on a budget, the Gracia neighborhood is a good option. This area is located a bit further away from the city center but is known for its bohemian vibe, colorful streets, and budget-friendly accommodation options.
Where to stay in Seville with kids?
When visiting Seville with young children, the historic Santa Cruz neighborhood is a great option due to its proximity to the city’s most famous attractions, such as the Alcazar and the Cathedral.
The apartments we stayed in, Living in Seville, were not far away. It was perfect! The street was peaceful, yet conveniently located near the city’s top sights and eateries. All of us found it to be fantastic. Our apartment was roomy, and we had no trouble coordinating with one another.
Book your stay at Living in Seville.
Over the Guadalquivir River, in the neighborhood of Triana, you’ll find a lively atmosphere, traditional taverns, and artisan shops—all of which make it a great choice for families. The Isabel II Bridge and the Triana Market, both popular with families, can be found in this area as well.
Between the old town and the Guadalquivir River is the Arenal neighborhood, perfect for families who want to be close to the action of the city while still being far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet. The Torre del Oro and the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza can both be found in this neighborhood, as can a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and theaters.
For families on a budget, the Macarena neighborhood is a good option. This area is located north of the historic center and is known for its local atmosphere, parks, and budget-friendly accommodation options.
Where to stay in Valencia with Kids?
The Ciutat Vella (Old Town) district is a great place to stay in Valencia with kids because of its central location, historic buildings, and proximity to major tourist destinations like the Central Market and the Cathedral.
When I was on a trip with my husband, we stayed in this area, and it was great. The beach is easily accessible by bus and on foot.
We stayed at the hotel Casual del Cine, but if you’re visiting Valencia with kids, these apartments are a great alternative.
The beachside neighborhood of Cabanyal-Canyamelar is another excellent choice for families due to its casual vibe, abundance of seafood restaurants, and preservation of traditional fishermen’s homes.
The City of Arts and Sciences is located here as well, and it is filled with fun things to do with kids, such as the Oceanographic Aquarium and the Science Museum.
Eixample, a neighborhood west of the Old Town known for its modernist architecture, high-end shops, and trendy restaurants, is a great option for families looking to be close to the city center and shopping areas.
This area is also home to the Turia Gardens, a large park that features playgrounds, bike paths, and sports fields.
For families on a budget, the Ruzafa neighborhood is a good option. This area is located south of the city center and is known for its bohemian vibe, street art, and budget-friendly accommodation options.
Safety tips for traveling with children in Spain
Spain is an overall safe country but when traveling with children extra caution is important. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when traveling with children in Spain:
- Keep an eye on your belongings and be on the lookout in busy areas like train stations, markets, and popular attractions; this is especially important because pickpocketing and theft are common in these places.
- Cross the street at designated crosswalks and obey all traffic signals; pedestrian accidents are all too common in Spain.
- Keep kids close: In busy areas, it’s especially important to keep kids on your person and in sight.
- Stay away from political protests and demonstrations taking place on the streets, as they have the potential to turn violent. It’s best to keep the kids away from places like that.
- Take precautions: the summers in Spain can be scorching, so remember to drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen liberally, and seek out shade whenever possible. In the winter, it’s best to be prepared for a range of temperatures and the possibility of rain by packing layers.
Tap water in Spain is generally safe to drink, but it’s always a good idea to check with locals or hotel staff to make sure it’s safe to drink where you’re staying.
Getting around in Spain with Children
It can be an adventure in itself just to get around Spain with kids. Here are some modes of transportation and travel advice to make your trip more pleasant:
- Spain’s major cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, are serviced by extensive public transportation networks that feature bus, train, and metro systems. Many cities also have affordable public transportation passes that allow for unlimited travel during a certain period.
- Taxis: Taxis are easy to come by in Spain, and they can be a great help to those who are traveling with a large group or who have a lot of luggage. Get an estimate from the driver before getting in to avoid any unpleasant surprises. So when you used the Uber app, a taxi came, and the prices were great.
- Renting a car is convenient for families who wish to visit Spain’s outlying regions. However, if you’re not used to city driving, it’s best to stick to driving in smaller towns and rural areas.
- Exploring Spanish cities and towns on foot with kids can be a lot of fun. Walking is a great way to see the sights and get to know the local culture in most Spanish cities because of the abundance of pedestrian-friendly zones.
- Biking is a great way to get around with kids and is also good for the environment in many Spanish cities that offer bike rentals. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and adhere to all local traffic regulations.
Bringing food, water, and activities like books or games to keep kids occupied on public transportation in Spain is essential.
Transport routes and schedules should be planned ahead of time to avoid getting lost or stranded; a stroller or carrier should be brought for younger children.
There have been a lot of strikes in Spain recently so make sure that the mode of transportation for the day is indeed working.
What to pack for a trip to Spain with kids
It’s important to take the weather and your itinerary into account when packing for a family vacation in Spain. Some general considerations for your suitcase are as follows:
- Comfortable walking shoes: Spain is a country best explored on foot, so make sure everyone has comfortable shoes for walking and sightseeing. This is an absolute must for the whole family.
- Pack light layers; the climate varies greatly throughout the year. Pack thin layers that can be quickly shed or thrown on again.
- Sunscreen is a must in Spain, especially during the hotter summer months. Bring sun protection for everyone in the family, including sunscreen, hats, and glasses.
- Swimsuits: If you plan to visit the beach or a pool, don’t forget to pack swimsuits and towels.
- The Europlug is widely used in Spain, so make sure you bring the appropriate adapters and converters for your electronic devices. Invest in a watt converter if you use hair tools, or risk damaging them.
- If you or a family member takes medication or has other special medical requirements, be sure to bring enough of that medication and any other necessary medical supplies.
- Pack some snacks and something for the kids to do, like books, games, or electronic devices, because long car rides or plane rides can be boring for them.
- A backpack or daypack is convenient for toting around necessities like food, water, and sunscreen while out and about in urban or rural areas.
- If you plan on being on the go for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to pack a portable charger for your electronics.
Keep in mind that it can be difficult to lug heavy luggage around Spain’s narrow streets and public transportation systems, so only bring what is absolutely necessary.
Helpful Tips for Taking Your Kids to Spain
- Because of the high volume of visitors, it’s best to book tours and hotels well in advance if you want to experience all that Spain has to offer.
- Keep in mind that the temperature in Spain can range from very hot to very cold, depending on the time of year. Plan accordingly and make sure to pack appropriate clothing and accessories.
- Stay in family-friendly accommodations: Look for accommodations that are specifically designed for families, such as hotels with family rooms or vacation rentals with multiple bedrooms and a kitchen.
- Embrace the culture: Spain has a rich culture with unique customs and traditions. Encourage your family to try new foods, participate in cultural events, and learn about the history and art of the country.
- Be flexible: Traveling with kids can be unpredictable, so be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary. Take breaks as needed, and allow for some downtime in your itinerary.
- Practice basic safety precautions: Be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, and teach your kids basic safety rules such as staying close to you in crowded areas.
- Have fun: Spain is a wonderful destination for families, with plenty of activities and attractions for all ages. Enjoy the experience and make lasting memories with your loved ones.
What to in Spain with Kids
Spain is a great destination for families with kids of all ages, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained. Here are some top things to do in Spain with kids:
- Visit the beach: Spain has a long coastline with beautiful beaches that are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and sandcastle building.
- Explore theme parks: There are several theme parks in Spain, including PortAventura World and Terra Mtica, that offer rides, shows, and attractions for people of all ages.
- Visit cultural attractions: Spain is rich in history and culture, with museums, castles, and cathedrals providing insight into the country’s past.
- Try the food: Spanish cuisine is well-known for its bold flavors and use of fresh ingredients. Encourage your children to try new foods such as paella, tapas, and chocolate churros.
- Attend festivals and events: Throughout the year, Spain has a vibrant calendar of festivals and events, such as the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, La Tomatina in Valencia, and Carnival in Tenerife.
- Take a family-friendly walking tour: Many cities offer family-friendly walking tours, such as “Gaudi’s Barcelona” and “Madrid for Kids,” that are designed to keep children engaged and entertained.
- Explore nature: Spain has many beautiful natural parks and outdoor spaces, such as the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Picos de Europa National Park, that offer hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Attend a soccer match: Spain is home to some of the best soccer teams in the world, including FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Take your children to a game to experience the thrills of Spanish football.
Overall, Spain offers a wide range of activities and attractions for families with kids, making it a great destination for a fun and memorable family vacation.