Do you long to visit a destination steeped in centuries of history, iconic architecture, and groundbreaking artwork? Are you a fan of mouthwatering chocolate and world-famous cuisine? If so, look no further than Spain. Located on the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, Spain has it all, from sunny weather to towering cathedrals and expansive town squares. Locals adore children, which makes visiting Spain with kids the ideal family getaway.
What can you look forward to on a family vacation to Spain? From things to do in Barcelona with kids to things to do in Madrid with kids, here’s your go-to guide to family holidays Spain.
There’s no better place to explore Barcelona’s rich history than the Ciutat Vella (Old City). Marvel at its ancient Roman foundations and sky-scraping Gothic Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. In La Ribera, wander the exhibits of the Picasso Museum’s colorful Cubist collections. And get inspired by the soaring spirals of the Gothic church of Santa María del Mar.
Of course, the tastiest spot in Barcelona remains the Museum of Chocolate. It provides an excellent entrée into the history of chocolate-making in Spain. On a tour of the Old Quarter, indulge in cocoa-inspired eats while learning about the city’s vibrant confectionary traditions. You’ll also gain an insider’s view of three of the most renowned chocolatiers in Spain.
No family vacation to Spain would be complete without a visit to La Sagrada Família and Park Güell. Both are classed among Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s (1852-1926) finest modernist masterpieces. Start at the cutting-edge 4D Space dedicated to the famed artist. There, you’ll learn about how nature inspired Gaudí’s creations through active stereoscopic vision, surround sound, and moving seats with special effects.
Then, head to La Sagrada Família Cathedral to explore its intricate façade and interior. Next, hoof it to the Park Güell to see distinctive candy-cane spires and colorful dragons. Built between 1900 and 1914, the garden contains countless whimsical shapes perfect for selfies. Enjoy people watching among the stunning mosaic works and cast-iron benches and porticoes while your kids let off some steam.
An open-air architectural museum, the Poble Espanyol (“Spanish Town”), is a remnant of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The museum contains 117 full-scale buildings, recreating the urban vibe of Spain. Architects and artists, including Puig Cadafalch, Francesc Folguera, Ramon Reventós, Miquel Utrillo, and Xavier Nogués, spearheaded the unique exhibit.
To realize the project, they visited more than 600,000 Spanish sites. There, they gathered examples of the nation’s regional architecture. Their goal? Synthesizing characteristics attributed to the Iberian Peninsula into one settlement. Housed within the diverse collection of architecture, you’ll find restaurants, artisan workshops, the Museum Fran Daurel (featuring contemporary art), and a theater known for its children’s entertainment.
One of the chief pleasures of travel remains immersion in local culture. There’s no better place to do this than Madrid, famed for its museums and palaces. In recent years, massive urban-improvement projects have rendered the city pedestrian-friendly. You’ll enjoy an orderly and upbeat experience walking the city’s quaint streets.
Start your day at Plaza Mayor, where you’ll find Europe’s largest stamp and coin market. Then, head to Retiro Park, for people watching, picnicking, and priceless glimpses of Madrileño culture. At Puerto del Sol—a hub for revelers, commuter trains, and performers—experience the pulse of the modern city. Close to Puerto del Sol, check out three of Madrid’s chief attractions. They include the luxurious Royal Palace, the expansive Plaza Mayor town square, and the Prado Museum, showcasing one of Europe’s finest art collections.
In Sierra de Guadarrama’s foothills, explore one of the best-preserved relics of the Renaissance past, the Castle Manzanares El Real. Built in 1475, this military-fortress-turned-residential-palace housed the Mendozas. Traditional architectural tours can prove tricky with kids. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the interactive nature of the Castle Manzanares El Real’s tour.
Your family will “meet” two of the 17th-century characters that once inhabited the site, Mr. Pedro de Zuñiga y Salcedo and Ms. Isabel Asensio. Actors play both parts dressed in Renaissance costumes. They provide an entertaining admixture of history and fiction. On the weekend, take advantage of additional daily performances designed for children.
The activities above are just the beginning when it comes to traveling family-friendly Spain. Other options include a private Beyond Tapas foodie tour. Or explore the Montserrat Monastery and Winery while your kids enjoy age-appropriate activities (e.g., a citywide scavenger hunt or Barcelona Beach segway tour). And that’s just the beginning. Check out our full Spain family vacation itinerary.
From the jaw-dropping architecture of Barcelona’s Old City to Madrid’s fast-paced Puerto del Sol, soak in Spanish culture while enjoying one-of-a-kind cultural experiences. Traveling Spain with kids comes with activities steeped in Iberia’s vibrant traditions. Along the way, you’ll savor delectable cuisine, iconic artwork, and the nation’s rich cultural heritage.
Global CommUnity offers luxury family vacations to 25 global destinations. Each customized itinerary comes in both 4- and 5-star price points. Your family will enjoy opportunities to interact with a destination’s culture and people in profound ways. Explore Global CommUnity’s itineraries now and open the door to a compelling world of luxury family travel possibilities.