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Traveling to Spain with a Baby or Toddler

Traveling to Spain with a Baby or Toddler

Traveling to Spain with a toddler or baby? Sure, it’s a great idea! Spain is a great baby-friendly destination.

Is Spain Kids Friendly?

Spain is always on top of the list of family-friendly destinations in Europe, but similar to Italy (which also often tops the list) it isn’t the easiest for babies and toddlers due to the limited infrastructure and facilities.

Baby changing facilities are close to non-existent (I swear I only saw them at the airport), so a baby changing mat is essential to pack, but the good news is that no one will care if you change a baby on a bench in the park or other public places.

On the other hand, locals adore children and go out of their way to accommodate them so as long as you’re prepared for some cultural differences, your kids will thrive in Spain!

It’s not uncommon to see kids being welcome at bars, because Spaniards rarely use babysitters. We weren’t the only ones enjoying cocktails on the rooftop bar with kiddos dancing around. We always got gifted free fruits like strawberries from the bar so kids had a snack.


When to Visit Spain with Kids

If you only have a week in Spain, try to limit yourself to two or three destinations when traveling with kids. If you’ll be visiting for two weeks, you can stretch that to four.

June to August are the busiest times of year in Spain. It’s the most expensive and boiling hot, so I wouldn’t advise going with a baby. It’s much nicer to go during the shoulder season of May or September… or even in the winter because it never gets as cold.

Cozy and lush indoor garden with a mother sitting with her baby and toddler, enjoying the tranquility of a green space in Spain.

Best Places to Visit in Spain with a Baby

Spain doesn’t include just continental Spain, there are various islands to consider as well. The main islands popular to visit are Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, La Gomera, and El Hierro.

The most family friend islands are for sure Tenerife and Mallorca.

Tenerife has warm and beautiful temperatures all year round, but it offers a great variety of activities ranging from waterparks and beaches to jungle parks.

Mallorca attracts tourists with blue-watered beaches and resorts adjusted to little kids’ needs.

For continental Spain, the top choice is usually Malaga, followed by Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville.

Malaga with a Baby or Toddler

Many budget airlines fly to Malaga, so it’s a budget-friendly choice, especially considering easy access to other destinations in Costa del Sol. There are beaches, water parks, and amusement parks, combined with castles and museums to keep the entire family happy.

Barcelona with a Baby or Toddler

Neither Barcelona nor Madrid is known as a popular destination for kids, as there are no major attractions aimed at children like you can find in Malaga for example. However, both Madrid and Barcelona have parks, restaurants, and places where kids will be welcome so I wouldn’t scrap it if you want to visit.

Plus, I do think that most kids would be at least amused when visiting Casa Batlló, plus strolling through the Mercado de La Boqueria or Parc Güell is always amazing to visit for all ages.

Seville with a Baby or Toddler

Seville is a fantastic choice for kids, especially during Feria de Seville. We visited when kids were only 3 and 1 and they loved bustling Andalusia. You can read all about it here.

A vibrant collage featuring Barcelona's iconic landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, perfect for families visiting Spain with a toddler.

Getting Around with a Baby or Toddler in Spain

There are many options for fantastic public transportation, so unless you really want to do a road trip in Spain you can rely on High-speed AVE trains that can zip you across the country.

Children under 4 can travel for free by rail, though they still require a reservation and it gets a bit tricky as I had to go to the counter to get it done. It wasn’t possible to buy my tickets in the ticket machine because of the kids so give yourself some time before the train departs – I usually waited about 10 minutes.

A young toddler focused on coloring, seated at a table on a train, a common scene when traveling through Spain with kids.

Major cities also have a metro or buses that can take you anywhere. Drivers are usually friendly, so will let you know when it’s the right stop for you.

Renting a car in Spain is also a good option for places outside of major towns. A car can provide you with comfort and flexibility even for day trips, but you need to remember that in some towns – Seville for example, streets are even more narrow than in Italy so it’s challenging to drive.

In Spain, children need to be over 135 cm tall and over 12 years old before they can travel without a car seat, but as you might suspect, car seats aren’t required in taxis and drivers don’t have them.

Two toddlers sharing a moment in a carriage ride in a Spanish square, enjoying the sights and sounds of a family-friendly city.

Is Spain Stroller Friendly?

For the most part, Spain is stroller-friendly and I’d even say essential if you’re out and about exploring all day in the heat. In fact, we purchased a second travel stroller for our son who was 3 at the time because we knew that he won’t be able to walk all day long.

While you might be used to using a carrier, keep in mind that it gets hot in Spain, so you and your baby might easily overheat in it. We never used a carrier in Spain for this exact reason.

The only exceptions would be Park Guell in Barcelona where strollers simply can’t pass and Alhambra in Grenada where it’s prohibited. Anywhere else it’s fine… I cannot imagine not having a stroller when we were strolling through Royal Alcazar and both kids were peacefully napping.

Smiling toddler and baby in two travel strollers at Plaza de España in Seville, Spain, surrounded by the site's famed architecture and tiles, a great place to visit in Spain with a baby

Baby Products and Gear in Spain

Pharmacies and supermarkets in Spain sell essentials like diapers, formula, and baby food. We didn’t bring any from home and had absolutely no issues finding everything we needed.

I specifically picked a hotel that offered a crib (the majority do), so that was one less thing to carry. But if yours doesn’t, there are plenty of places to find baby gear in Spain. Take a look at Backpack Baby and Strollaround. For Barcelona specifically Wallyboo, and for Madrid My Little Rider and Bebe Away.


Bringing Babies to Restaurants in Spain

Every restaurant in Spain is very baby, toddler, or kids-friendly and you’ll always see some kids eating out. It’s not weird or unusual to take small children even to a fancy restaurant – especially considering the fact that most restaurants have outdoor seating.

Family mealtime in a traditional Spanish restaurant with a father, toddler, and baby, exemplifying how you can easily travel with a toddler in Spain

One thing that caught us off guard is the rampant smoking still prevalent in Spain. Various times I wanted to switch seats because so many people were smoking in restaurants.

The only exception we encountered was in Andalusia where kids under 8 were banned from dinner dance shows.

There are a few things you need to be aware of. The siesta is very much a part of daily life and most shops and businesses shut down from around 2/3 pm to usually 7:30-8 pm. It means… you cannot find food earlier than a late dinner and you gotta roll with it!

Spanish kids eat later and go to bed later, especially in the summer when it’s super hot outside during the day. Some places might serve selected tapas after 3 pm or before 7:30, but it’s not a common occurrence.

Toddlers run around and play at 10 pm in front of restaurants quite often… it’s just like in Italy or Greece.

Not once did we find high chairs, even in big cities. We tucked the stroller next to the table for our barely 1-year-old and fed him in the stroller (another reason why I said strollers are almost essential in Spain). You might want to bring a portable high chair.

Ash

Tuesday 9th of April 2024

Hi I’m want to travel to Madrid with my 4 year old will I need a car seat for a taxi from airport to city centre? Or is there any other options thanks

AnnaEverywhere

Tuesday 9th of April 2024

Taxi should take you without any issues without a car seat, but you can also take a bus or train (it will only take you about 5 minutes longer).

Prashmi

Monday 4th of March 2024

hey, did you take your kids to Valencia? Do you recommend that? I am contemplating taking my 16m old to Barcelona & seville. Not sure if Valencia, granada, cordoba, madrid are good options? please advise!

Joanna

Wednesday 6th of March 2024

@AnnaEverywhere,

Hi Anna :)

I am planning to come with a 2 year old toddler to Malaga and I will not have a car. Do you happen to know if a taxi can offer child safety seat if needed?

AnnaEverywhere

Monday 4th of March 2024

Valencia is fantastic with kids, because it's not too busy and plenty of things to do. I can't speak for Madrid and Granada, but Cordoba and Valencia yes :)

Ruchi

Wednesday 7th of February 2024

Hi Anna,

Would you know if strollers are allowed as carry-on baggage in low cost airlines like EasyJet to get from Barcelona to Seville? Also, does one need to buy extra cabin bag for a 1 yr old for carrying the diaper bag in the flight? Thanks.

AnnaEverywhere

Thursday 8th of February 2024

Your infant is entitled to a diaper bag that will fit under the seat :) In regards to strollers it's a tricky question honestly, because officially there's no rule for it and the airline claims you can bring two baby items to the gate or check it at the counter. I flew easyjet a few times and one time we brought our Yoyo on board without issues, then another time I tried to check my carseat at the counter and was told I need to bring it to the gate to check it there, only to find out that they don't gate check anything and had to bring it on board. That said, if you ask me you can bring it on board even though technically you can't.

Sonia

Thursday 25th of January 2024

We are traveling with our granddaughter to Seville in a few weeks and she uses Huggies diapers and is on Horizon organic milk is this something we will be able to find there as she has allergy and stomach issues so we don't want to change anything while on vacation but also don't want to carry extra stuff if we don't need to since we will be traveling by train

AnnaEverywhere

Friday 26th of January 2024

There aren't any huggies, but you can find many fine diapers don't worry. Horizon organic milk is basically a regular milk. There is no problem with finding milk, because it's basically a normal milk in Spain :)

Sun

Wednesday 6th of September 2023

Hi Anna, did you find that the airlines required your kids to have car seats? Our daughter will be 18months when we fly in a couple months and we didn't want to bring a car seat, since well be taking the train everywhere and not needing it. I can't find a clear answer anywhere! Thanks :)

Anna Karsten

Thursday 7th of September 2023

Of course not. Car seats on airplanes is a pure American craziness and you won't see it much anywhere else in the world (and if you do, they're most likely Americans and they get annoyed looks all the time). You don't need it at all :)

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