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Traveling to Spain with 3 Small Kids in May (and Panicking!)

Traveling to Spain with 3 Small Kids in May (and Panicking!)

Old Apr 16th, 2010, 05:57 AM
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Traveling to Spain with 3 Small Kids in May (and Panicking!)

Okay, my wife and I are doing what some people might label "insane" and visiting Spain for 4 weeks with a our two boys, 5 and 3 years old and a two month old baby! Knowing that you can't talk me out of it, can you please provide some guidance on what is a good itinerary and where to stay in Madrid and Barcelona?

The only thing I have planned right now are roundtrip tickets in and out of Madrid. My thought was 2-3 weeks in Madrid in some kind of a apt /extended stay facility and 1-2 weeks in Barcelona at the end of the trip as it gets warmer (We'll be gone from May 10-June10).

I am grateful for any help you can provide! Thanks in advance.
gmathew95 is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2010, 06:35 AM
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I'd spend more time in Barcelona. It has the beach which I would think would be a plus for the kids. Madrid does have a really nice park, Parque Del Retiro.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 06:38 AM
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I think both cities have good apartment rental options - I used Friendly Rentals when I statyed in Barcelona. Usually I would opt for an apartment in the main tourist zones but with your children a more residential area might be a better choice. Both cities have wonderful parks where it would be nice to take the kids on daily outings. And my opinion would be splitting the time with more time in Barcelona - besides the park, there is the beach / waterfront area - another very child friendly venue. I just like Barcleona better! Have a great trip - your children are lucky to have parents that love to travel but be careful - you are infecting them with the travel bug at an early age!
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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I too would spend more time in BCN. For all of the above reasons.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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How exciting!!!

My husband and I were in Spain a couple of years ago without the kids(they were 6 & 4 and stayed back with g'parents) and the whole time we kept thinking how much better it would have been if we brought them.We are taking them this December for 2 weeks.

Spain we thought is incredibly child friendly, especially Barcelona. It had the beach and wide open spaces and a very good paved roads to push strollers on. The only places I can think of where it might be a little hard for you with 3 young kids is a hilltop town like Toledo or Segovia where its got a lot of up and downhills and cobbled streets.

As you're staying there for 1 month I would suggest you quickly get your family into the Spanish way of living - long siestas so they can stay up later in the night.
Anyway, Iam sure you're all going to have lots of fun!!!!!
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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I would stay in madrid 7-10 days. then go down to valencia for a week.. fun zoo, acquarium and warmer beach than further north.. then up to barcelona. there plenty of nice areas to visit.. maybe staying away from heavy traffic in the big cities and vying for smaller, coastal slower moving towns?


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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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With 2.5 kids, you need apartment, not hotel.

Check vrbo.com -- go look for apartments to rent. I would guess Madrid has more places available than Barca because it's a larger city and is actually less desirable to tourists. Madrid is a large capital city that lacks the charm and beauty of Paris, Rome, Prague, Budapest . . .

Also check oakwood.com. This is a corporate housing type of hotel that offers places for 30 days but you can often get shorter rentals when you're nearer to your trip time. Oakwood tends to rent for < 30 days less often in Europe than in Asia, but inquire directly and you can find out. About a 4-6 weeks before our trip to the UK last year they wrote me back and said they had availability for less than 30 days' stay, and you're in or near that window now. The apartments are fully furnished and equipped (kitchen, laundry) and the one we had in Tokyo was both completely spotless and well-located.

Oakwood has properties in the Barca and Madrid areas (I checked that they exist) but I don't know the locations well enough to guide you.

Also, check out Tripadvisor.com because they list reviews of rental apartments.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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www.friendlyrentals.com is a good website.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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IMHO you have too much time in Madrid - and it can be VERY hot then. (We were there i early May and it was n the high 90s.)

With 3 small kids you might be better with less time in Madrid and Barcelona and some in a seaside resort.
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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actually, I think that high 90s in early May is kind of unusual. the average temp in May for Madrid is 70s. I think you just caught a heat wave of some sort.

I like the Madrid zoo and there is a fun ride on the way to it, the teleferico I believe.

I think 4 weeks in Spain with your kids sounds like great fun, enjoy!!
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Old Apr 16th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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I agree with anitavuyyuru that S[pain is child friendly. My Practice Wife and I once wintered in Spain with four little ones. The kids opened up all sorts of doors to us that might have otherwise been closed to us. The kids had no language issues, and just went up to people and their kids and started talking. The families just opened their arms and hearts.

Our advice to friends after that winter was, "If you are going to Spain and don't have kids, rent some!"

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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 02:31 AM
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Sounds like an excellent plan. Might allow you to get somewhat under the surface. Two fascinating and quite different cities. I wouldn't cut down on time in Madrid, full of local almost village atmosphere in the midst of a big city.

I believe there are many recommendations on apartments in both Madrid and Barcelona on other Fodors threads, but my suggestions would be the Latina area in Madrid and El Born in Barcelona. Both are vibrant and central areas and fairly close to great parks (Retiro and Casa del Campo in Madrid and Ciutadella in Barcelona (as well as the Barceloneta beach).

The Guardian's Spain correspondent Giles Tremlett is living with his wife and children in Madrid and used to live in Barcelona. His "Ghosts of Spain" (2006) both reflects upon the Spaniards "obsession" with children as well as the differences between these two largest Spanish cities. First and foremost his book is a good and highly informative read about how the country's dramatic history influences on the current cultural, social and political scene.

These might be useful links for staying with kids in Madrid:

If it gets too hot in Madrid, the swimming pool at Instalacion Deportiva Municipal Casa de Campo might be a good idea: http://www.world66.com/europe/spain/...alacion_deport
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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I would spend 2 weeks in Seville and 2 weeks in San Sebastian.
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