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Family travelers – Things to do in Spain with children

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10 Top things to do in Spain with children

Travelling to Spain with your family? In this section we share the best things to do in Spain with children.   We have included ideas specially adapted for those travelling to Spain as a “Family traveler”. We aim at including things the children will love, but also the rest of the family!

There is no doubt that most regions of Spain offer a family-friendly destination. There are clear and objective reasons for this: both accommodation and transport facilities are excellent and very convenient, local Spanish gastronomy offers good bites for even the most difficult eaters. Add reasonable prices and an enormous amount of activities and things to do with children, and you will for sure agree that Spain is a top family vacation destination.

Travelling with children in Spain. Important things to bear in mind

 

Spaniards love children and in Spanish culture, children play a very special role. Grandmothers are known for stopping in the street to ruffle children´s hair more often than the “average grandmother” in Europe. Fair hair is a favorite!

Tapas (in small portions) offer a great opportunity for children´s lunches and dinners and Spain is actually a great destination to get children to try small portions of fish or food in general parents would otherwise not dare to ask for at restaurants.

Bear in mind that smoking is not permitted at bars and restaurants (unless you are on a terrace) so your children will always be able to enjoy a clean atmosphere at restaurants in Spain.

Spaniards eat late. Make sure you brief your children about the need to be flexible with their daily routine.

Spanish restaurants are very flexible and will normally be ready to serve half portions

Despite an increasing number of restaurants provide paper and crayons, bringing yours is not a bad idea

Most restaurants have special chairs for babies

If you travel with teenagers you may want to learn about the drinking age in Spain and details about alcohol consumption at restaurants with parents.

Table of Contents

Our favorite theme parks for children in Spain

Forgotten are the days in which the only options to enjoy with children were the Parque de Atrraciones in Madrid and the Tibidabo in Barcelona. Many parents do not want to consider theme parks whilst others love them.  If you are part of the first group we recommend you turn your eyes to the next section in which we cover some great cultural, yet fun activities to enjoy with children in Spain. If you are on the second group, have a look at our guide with the best theme parks in Spain, or have a look at our top recommendations below. Enjoy the rides! 

siam park

Siam Park

Siam Park is one of the best water parks in the world, and definitely the best in Spain. This giant water-slide-heaven is located on the Island of Tenerife, which is part of the Canary Island archipelago, located off the coast of Morocco. The park is located in the city of Adeje, which is located on the southern portion of the island and is considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful spots of Tenerife.  The Canary Islands enjoy tropical weather patterns which make it the perfect location for a water park. Few activities are more enjoyable than hitting up

Dragon Khan roller coaster at Port Aventura

Port Aventura

Portaventura theme park Port Aventura is one of Spain’s most impressive amusement parks, located within the PortAventura World entertainment resort in Salou and Vila-Seca, Tarragona, on the Costa Daurada in Cataluña, Spain. One of the best things to enjoy in Spain with children!  Port Aventura attracts around 3.5 million visitors per year, which means that it is the most visited theme park in Spain and the 6th most visited in all of Europe. making it the most visited theme park in Spain and the sixth most visited theme park in Europe. The full Port Aventura World complex features a resort,

Our favorite zoos and aquariums for children in Spain

Though we understand that the subject of keeping animals in zoos and aquariums is a controversial one, most zoos in Spain offer an overall high-quality experience, animals are healthy, well treated and zoos have a clear commitment to contribute to animal conservation both with programs and also through education. In some of these zoos you will be able to enjoy some of Spain´s animals that are autochtonous of Spain. 

san sebastian aquarium

San Sebastian Aquarium

San Sebastián Aquarium The Donosti Aquarium or San Sebastián Aquarium is located in one of the most emblematic areas of in the city of San sebastian: the harbor, right next to San Sebastián’s old quarter, and just a few minutes from the city center. The Aquarium is one of the cities most popular attractions, attracting over 300,000 visitors annually. There are other larger and more famous aquariums in Spain, wether it be L’Oceanogràfic of Valencia or the Barcelona Aquarium, but it is wel worth a visit. The aquarium is housed within a beautiful and emblematic building that dates back to

Killer whale jumping at Loro Park in Tenerife

Loro park Tenerife

Loro Park Tenerife Loro park or the parrot park in English is a private zoo on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands (off the coast of Morocco). It features an extensive collection of animals and tropical plants. Loro park is one of the top things to enjoy with children in Spain. The Loro park was created in 1970 by two German immigrants, Wolfgang Kiessling y and his father. The zoo opened to the public on December 17th, 1972. The original park spanned over 13.000 m² and looked to mimic the animal’s natural habitats. The park was home to

Barcelona aquarium

Barcelona Aquarium

Overview  The Barcelona Aquarium, or as it is known in Catalonian, L’Aquàrium de Barcelona, is located on the cities old commercial port. It is the Barcelona’s only Aquarium and one of the most impressive in all of Spain and a top family attraction. It is also the top aquarium in the world when it comes to the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea. In 2015 alone the Aquarium was visited by over 1.5 million people! Making it the 4th most visited attraction in Barcelona behind the Sagrada Familia, El Park Güel, and the FC Barcelona Museum. Table of Contents About the

FAUNIA MADRID

Faunia Madrid

Faunia Madrid is the cities second zoo. The park opened its doors back in 2001. Back then it was known as the Parque biológico de Madrid, but it was renamed Faunia by philologist and writer, Fernando Beltrán. Faunia describes itself as a theme and nature park. Faunia looks to provide a more immersive experience to its guests, putting them right in the animal’s natural habitat. The park doesn’t feature as many animals as the Madrid Zoo, but offers a complete sensory experience that is hard to beat as one of Madrid best attractions for children and families.  Table of Contents

zoo madrid

Madrid Zoo

Overview The city of Madrid has had a long relationship and interest in exotic animals. The first Madrid zoo that was ever opened in Madrid did so in 1770, under King Charles III. It was known as the Casa de Fieras and it was located in Retiro Park. The old Zoo in the Retiro is now a public library, but can still be visited. Today´s Zoo is a children´s favorite in Madrid and with no doubt a must-do attraction for families visiting Madrid. Panda bears are the Zoo´s top highlight. The current Madrid zoo is located in the “Casa de Campo”.

LOceanogràfic

L’Oceanogràfic : Valencias amazing oceanographic

L’Oceanogràfic or El Oceanográfico in Spanish is part of the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia but deserves special mention on its own. The giant and spectacular oceanarium of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) of Valencia, Spain. It is home to a great number of different habitats and marine animals including mammals, reptiles, and birds as well as fish. The Oceanographic is the largest oceanarium in Europe, spanning over 110,000 square meters (1,200,000 sq feet) and holding a capacity of 42,000,000 liters (11,000,000 gallons) of water, including a 26,000,000-litre (6,900,000 gallons) dolphin enclosure

Soccer stadiums with children

Spain´s top sport is soccer and the country has some of the best clubs in the world (if not the best ones!) Real Madrid is the country with more championships in the world , and FC Barcelona follows. But there are other fantastic clubs like Atletico de Madrid, Atletic de Bilbao. Betis or Seville CF in Seville, Valencia, and the list goes on and on. To illustrate the importance of soccer in Spain, we will highlight that Madrid´s stadiums are the top-visited attraction in the city after the Prado Museum.

san mames stadium

San Mamés stadium

San Mames – Athletic Bilbao stadium   San Mamés stadium is located in Bilbao, the capital city of the Basque Country. The stadium opened its doors to the public on September 16, 2013. The stadium serves primarily as Athletic Club de Bilbao soccer team’s home pitch but is also home to the Bilbao center for sports innovation and a sports medicine center, an underground running track, and a municipal sports center. The stadium also hoasts a great number of concerts and other spectacles. The stadium sits 53.331 fans making it the 8th largest in Spain. The stadium was also awarded

Camp Nou

Camp Nou- Barcelona

Camp Nou: Overview The Camp Nou stadium is located in the center of Barcelona in Les Corts district and is the official stadium of FC Barcelona, commonly known as Barça. The stadium was built between 1955 and 1957, replacing FC Barcelona’s old stadium. The soccer pitch is integrated into a massive sports complex which also features the club’s pro basketball stadium and hockey rink. The Camp Nou stadium is the largest football stadium in Spain and Europe as well, seating an astonishing 99.354 fans. It also one of the city’s most popular attractions. The Camp Nou Experience, where guests can

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu- Madrid

Overview The Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium in Madrid is the home of one of the top sports teams in the world: Real Madrid. This imposing coliseum is located in the modern heart of the city, right on the Castellana, Madrid’s main artery. The Stadium is named after Real Madrid’s first great super star and is one of the most visited attractions in Madrid.  Mr. Santiago Bernabéu de Yeste was born in Albacete in 1895. He began his career as a goal keeper but transitioned to the forward position. He joined Real Madrid’s first team in 1914 (which was then named

Cultural sites and activities in Spain with children

Culture was once boring and maybe not the best option to enjoy with children. Those days were over long ago and today you can find in Spain museums, exhibitions and art-galleries that include interactive elements and which propose games and activities for children.

There are so many top cultural attractions in Spain that providing a list of our top favorite ones for children is not an easy task. Depending on your interests and those of your children we recommend you to have a look at the following articles which cover the best cathedrals in Spain and the best art galleries in the country. We include as one of our top picks flamenco. We believe a show is a must-do for families: colorful and something that will most probably be a highlight for children during their holiday…. and something to remember and talk about afterwards. 

atapuerca

Atapuerca

Atapuerca  Atapuerca is the most important prehistoric site in Europe. It is located in Northern Spain, near the City of Burgos. It is home to, among other things, the Homo Antececessor, an 800,000-year-old specimen that is the oldest hominid discovered in Europe. The site was discovered by accident in the 1800s while building a railroad.  Atapuerca is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is one of the most important archeological sites in the world.   Atapuerca History of Atapuerca   In 1895, a British company began construction on a railway line to transport iron and coal from mines in the north

Flamenco dance

Flamenco: music and dance

Spain is an amazing country filled with excellent things to see and do. But what is Spain famous for? Here is a list of the top things Spain is famous for

Caves of Altamira in Cantabria

The Altamira caves are located in Santillana del Mar, a small town in Cantabria. These caves are one of Spain´s most important tourist attractions and receive every year over 250,000 visitors.  They are a Unesco heritage site. Santillana del Mar is known for 3 things. The first one are the caves of Altamira, the second thing is its beauty and the third one is kind of a joke since its name, it is widely said, contains 3 lies: It is not saint (Santi), it is not flat (llana) and it is not next to the sea (Mar). The Altamira caves

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias – Valencia, Spain

La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a large complex dedicated, as the name indicates to the arts and sciences. This complex features several ultra-modern buildings and structures, each specializing in something different: performing arts, botany, marine biology, etc. This city is located within the spectacular city of Valencia and it is one of it’s main attractions. It was built on what was once the riverbed of the Turia River. The river was drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. After that, the area was converted into a park. Then, in 1996, two of Spain’s most

Guggenheim musem

Guggenheim musem- Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao  The Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao is the city’s most emblematic monument. A visit to Bilbao wouldn’t be complete without at least strolling by and admiring it from the outside. This spectacular shimmering building on the bank of the Nervión river is itself a piece of art. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the museum is considered one of the premier examples of contemporary architecture, and has been hailed as a “signal moment in the architectural culture”. Construction on the Museum began in 1991 when the Basque government offered to fund a Guggenheim museum with the intention of

Fundació Joan Miró

Fundació Joan Miró- Barcelona

Since 1973, the very modern building situated in the upper part of the Montjuïc Park has housed the Fundació Joan Miró. This museum is one of the most three visited of Barcelona and contains several pieces of Miró’s work, from paintings, sculptures, and drawings to ceramics and textiles. However, you can also contemplate the works of other artists as it is a very special exhibition of over 14.000 pieces. Average customer review Score for Fundació Joan Miró 9,1 What is the Fundación Joan Miró? The Joan Miró Foundation1 is a cultural institution in the city of Barcelona that houses some

Water sports and activities with children

You will be able to find a water sports activity, course or tour in most areas of Spain these days. From hiring a kayak for one hour to enjoying a short sightseeing cruise, or more “risky adventures” for teenagers, the offer is wide. Besides this, you will always be able to enjoy castle building, swimming, and waves throughout the coast. Nearly all beaches in Spain are very clean and the larger ones are properly surveilled and have services like showers and games areas to enjoy volleyball and other beach sports. 

 

Tenerife water sports

Water sports in Tenerife

Windsurfing and kitesurfing are the two main tourist attractions in Fuerteventura. . The world championship has been organised since 1985 in Fuerteventura and the island offers wide opportunities for both pros and beginners alike

Whale watching in Spain

Whale watching in Spain: complete guide

Spain may not come at the top of your head when you think of whale watching. Off the coast of Tarifa from Algeciras until the Cabo de Gracia in Tarifa, you’ll find the “Estrecho y Reserva Intercontinental de la Biosfera” (natural park), a protected shoreline area that occupies the meeting point of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, an area with exceptional biodiversity made of migratory birds and marine mammals.

Parks in the cities

Madrid is the capital city in Europe with more trees per square kilometer. And the good news is Madrid and its parks are not just the exceptions and you will not be disappointed either with the parks to enjoy in Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Bilbao, etc. . No matter where you go, you will be able to enjoy green areas and children’s playgrounds where you will be able to picnic, breathe fresh air and relax during a day of city life.

Parque de Doña Casilda de

Parque de Doña Casilda de Iturriza in Bilbao

Parque de Doña Casilda de Iturriza Parque de Doña Casilda is Bilbao´s largest park, it has been enlarged with the transformation of Bilbao around the Guggenheim museum. Its extension of close to 10 acres is home to up to 1,500 of different botanical species. Basketball courts, children’s playground areas, and a pond make of the Doña Casilda park one of Bilbao´s favorite places to enjoy with children. It was designed following the idea of large parks in industrial cities in the United Kingdom. Average customer review Score for Parque de Doña Casilda de Iturriza 8.8 More interesting things about Parque

Park Güell

Park Güell- Barcelona

Park Güell – Review  One of the most important works designed by Antonio Gaudí was Park Güell, which belong to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This park is located in the upper part of the city, so you will be able to take some picture of Barcelona as the panoramic is absolutely beautiful. Modernist architecture and nature mix in a unique space. Park Güell was built between 1900 and 1914 however was officially opened to the public in 1926. Nowadays, Park Güell is Barcelona’s most famous park. This exceptional park has 17 hectares and it is divided into

Retiro Park

Retiro Park- Madrid

Retiro Park, the best park in Madrid The Retiro park is probably Spain´s most famous park. Enjoying a boat ride in the Retiro lake is one of the top things to enjoy in Madrid with children. Among the many interesting things you will be able to enjoy in El Retiro park you will be able to take some pictures of trees, squirrels, ducks and beautiful fountains. This will allow you to take home beautiful memories of a legendary place in the Spanish capital. This park is not to be missed in Madrid and it is one of the best things

National parks in Spain for children

A high percentage of visitors to Spain do not visit and are even unaware of the incredible network of National Parks in the country. The good news is that despite some of the most important parks are in areas far from the most commonly visited vacation destinations, others are not. The Canary Islands, with their volcanic origin, boast a good number of National parks and it is not strange that the natural reservoirs and parks in the Canary Islands are amongst the most visited national parks in Spain

Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa: the amazing national park in northern Spain

The Picos de Europa National Park The Picos de Europa are a mountain range in northern Spain, that stands out because of both the hight of the mountains and their proximity to the ocean. It is one of Spain’s 15 national parks It is currently the second most visited national park in Spain, the first being the Teide national park in Tenerife. The range spans over three regions of northern Spain: Cantabria, León, and Asturias and features several different peaks of over 2500 m and the park span over  67 455 hectares. The Urrieles cluster is the ranges tallest point

Cíes Islands

Cíes Islands: amazing, secluded islands off the coast of Galicia

Cíes Islands The Cíes Islands are a group of small islands of the coast of Vigo, Galicia in northwest Spain. The archipelago was declared a Nature Reserve in 1980 and was included in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park of Spain created in 2002, one of the 15 national parks you can find in Spain. The Cíes Islands are home to one of Spain’s most spectacular beaches, Rodas Beach however, the are no cars on the island, no hotels, and visitor numbers are strictly limited to preserve the local environment. The Spanish national park authority establishes a series of

teide national park

Teide national park

Teide national park Teide National Park is one of Spain’s 15 national parks and stands out for several different reasons. It is home to the tallest peak in Spain, Mount Teide, that stands 3,718 meters and, its considered to be one of the 12 treasures of Spain and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also Spain’s largest national park (over 19,000 hectares), it’s the most visited national park and one of the oldest national parks in Spain. Mount Teide is actually a dormant volcano. When it was active the volcano scarred the surrounding landscape as it spewed lava,

Family hotels in Spain

After a long year of hard work, many families need time to relax and enjoy the great feeling of doing as little as possible during a few days. This is exactly what most of the all-inclusive hotels in Spain provide. You will find many family hotels in Spain which include playground areas, games throughout the day, sports, and menus adapted to children. 

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