Looking for an ideal place to travel with your toddler? One of our current favorites is Spain, along the Costa Brava and Barcelona region! Here’s why…
When traveling abroad with your lil ones, it can sometimes be a challenge to find the best places to take toddlers. Well, let me give you a suggestion now… Spain Rocks for Toddlers! My lil guy and I recently spent a month on the Costa Brava coast and in Barcelona and we loved it! Not only are Spanish people extremely welcoming and affectionate with children, we also found the Costa Brava area of Spain to be exceptionally kid-friendly. My son has learned tons about boats, oceans, history, art, castles, the Spanish language, and more! Because of this, we’d like to share some of our favorite Barcelona travel ideas for toddlers with you! And luckily, most are picks that toddlers and parents will both appreciate.
- The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus around Barcelona
Does your toddler love busses? Mine does! Because of this, he absolutely loves the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off bus that went around Barcelona, Spain. The types of views and neighborhoods change so often, he went around a whole circuit without getting restless. We got to see the waterfront boats, the Olympic tower and grounds, Gaudi creations and more. And the best part is that until you lil one is 4-years old, this bus is free!
- Costa Brava Beaches
One of the only things my son loves more than buses and trains is SAND! Because of this, Spain and its Costa Brava beaches were another great (and free) activity that both my lil man and I loved. We stayed for a month in a rented flat on Fenals Beach in Lloret de Mar. This was a great area for kids as it was quieter than the craziness of Barcelona and perfect for daily walks to the beach. We just picked up some sand toys at a local vendor and made use of inexpensive fun days full of sand and sun. A note about the Costa Brava beaches… the sand is a bit course so it takes a bit to get used to. It’s not the best for building castles but is incredibly easy to brush off your feet. I like course sand but many prefer fine sand. Either way, the Fenals and Tossa de Mar beaches were our favorite. Blanes wasn’t bad, either. Santa Cristina was calmer for kids but harder to access. We went through Italy, France, and Monaco but found Costa Brava beaches to have the cleanest water and beaches. Head south of Valencia for hotter weather and finer sand.
- Gnomo Park
Looking for a spot that is fun for all ages? Gnomo Park is a weird little park between Blanes and Lloret de Mar, Spain that deserves an honorable mention. My 3-year old LOVED it and there are activities for older kids and adults, too. At EUR8 for kids and (mostly) free for adults, the kiddie area is a decent place to spend an afternoon with your toddlers when you’re in the Lloret de Mar area. They have bounce houses, a little splash water area, ball pits, a kids ‘disco’ club, and more. For adults, they have obstacle courses, a restaurant, and coffee, drinks, etc. Every time we drove by this place, my son wanted to go. Unfortunately, we were there just before high season so it was only open on weekends.
- Gaudi Park
Barcelona has many worthy Gaudi examples to visit but if you’re with a young child, the Gaudi Park is the way to go. You can while away an entire afternoon there with the walks, views and opportunities for picnic lunches. We definitely recommend taking public transportation as parking is non-existent. This is a park that both parents and kids love… just be aware that you know have to buy tickets for entry so check online and buy ahead of time, if possible.
- Museu Nacional D’Art De Catalynya
One of the most amazing sites in Barcelona is the Museu Nacional D’Art De Catalynya. We stayed at an AirBnB place close-by it so we probably visited it 4-5 times in a month. My son loves water fountains and escalators and this amazing area has a multitude of both. There are so many great places to explore in this area, you can easily spend a couple of days there. My recommendation is to go an hour or two before nap time. Let your toddler tire themselves out with all the stairs, fountains and escalators and then tour the museum while they’re sleeping in their stroller. Enjoy!
- The Sagrada Familia
Ok, so my son liked this area but honestly, the Sagrada Familia was my favorite site in all of Barcelona… and maybe in all of Spain. Luckily for my lil guy, there’s also a cool playground right beside it. Do not miss going inside the Sagrada Familia… it is amazing! Buy tickets online in advance and avoid the long ticket line. Arrive early and play at the park until your tour time… which you can also plan around nap time. :-)
Of course castles are a toddler favorite. We found many cool castles up and down the Costa Brava coast and some on the way to Andorra, too. On of our favorites was in Tossa de Mar, Spain. We saw the most amazing double rainbow there. That, the castle on the hill, the bubble guy there, and the beach, made our days at Tossa de Mar some of our favorite (even though we lost our keys)!
This is just a brief glimpse of all the amazing things there are to do with kids in the Costa Brava region in Spain. On top of these ideas, there are tons of parks and other kids to play with here. People are so friendly, they’ll always be touching your child on the head or even picking them up. My son has learned so much about how loving the world is… he’s way more social and comfortable in mixed situations now. We loved our month in Spain and highly recommend it for travel with children.
Do you have other ideas for Spain? We’d love to hear other recommendations and experiences in the comments below. Enjoy!