Where to Stay - Hotels and Vacation Apartment Rentals
When booking your hotel room, take special note of regulations regarding the number of people allowed in the room. The local government can be quite strict, and you don't want to find out upon arrival that you will require an upgrade or second room.
We recommend staying near La Rambla or in the old city for best access to attractions and transportation. If those areas are not available, a location in the Eiaxmple will also work well.
We recommend staying near the Sol metro station for best access to attractions and transportation. In this area you'll also have easy access to either of two Cortes Ingles grocery stores (a great place to stock up on snacks and other food for your day out).
We recommend staying in the Barrio, or as a second choice, near the Cathedral. Either location will put you within easy walking distance of everything you want to see (though the Barrio is more charming).
Getting Around Town
Subways tend not to have elevators (Madrid is a little better in this respect than Barcelona), so expect to trek up and down a lot of stairs with stroller in tow. Locals are happy to help with the stroller if asked.
In contrast, busses are fantastic with strollers, not only are they easy to board, but there is a special area on each bus where your stroller can be belted in while your child is still in it, giving them a safe place to ride. Note that busses don't stop automatically at every stop and you will be expected to flag down passing busses.
Barcelona is mostly flat, making it a very walkable city. The Eixample and Waterfront areas have nice wide sidewalks while the old city is largely closed to traffic. We really appreciated both of these features as they meant that our toddler would walk a little more freely than he would in a more crowded city.
We recommend investing in a good map as there's nothing worse than being lost with kids in tow. Our favorites are the Michelin Spiral Bound Maps
References:Bus and Metro maps
Madrid, like Barcelona is mostly flat and walkable, however distances between attractions can be long, so you'll amost certainly need to use public transportation at some point. If you have a choice, stations along the green line tend to have elevators.
Distances in Seville are short, but expect that cobblestone streets will shake your stroller and commit yourself to the idea of getting lost in the Barrio.
The free map from tourist information is serviceable (though it omits streets in the Barrio). We also like Streetwise Seville
Lunch and Dinner are fairly late in Spain, which can be difficult for young eaters. While most restaurants close between lunch and dinner, some are open straight through and serve tapas during the lull.
Children are welcome in all but the fanciest restaurants, and staff are often happy to serve up special requests for the kids. You'll rarely find high chairs though, unless you are dining in a chain restaurant. If your kids are desperate for American favorites like chicken fingers, hamburgers, and spaghetti, the café at Cortes Ingles is a good choice.
Fresh milk is not as commonly available as UHT (shelf stable) milk, but can be purchased at some small markets, Cortes Ingles, and McDonalds. Check the expiration date carefully, especially in hot weather.
Sippy cups are not widely used in Europe, so be sure to bring whatever you need from home. If you need a replacement, you can find sippy cups in El Cortes Ingles.
Getting To and From the Airport
We're fans of packing light and taking public transportation to and from the airport so that we don't have to worry about car seats or traffic safety. If you do arrange for car service, ask them to provide car seats and double check the installation yourself to make sure that the seat is secured properly.
In Barcelona, Costa Blanca Transfers provides a shuttle service with child safety seats (must be reserved in advance). There is also an easy metro connection from the airport to the city center.
Where possible, book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in lines. If you have very small children, many attractions will let you skip the lines if you ask nicely.
Most attractions are handicapped (and stroller) accessible, but ask in advance if you are concerned.
For 20 Euros, an ArtTicket Card (purchase at any participating art centre or Tel-entrada will get you into seven of Barcelona's top museums. In most cases, showing the card will enable you to skip the ticket line.
For a listing of playgrounds, current events and more, check out KidsInBarcelona
Shopping for Babies / Children's Clothes & Accessories
Disposable diapers and childrens food can be found in most supermarkets & pharmacies. Huggies are widely available as are Spanish brand diapers, but we never saw Pampers. Diapers tend to be sold in large quantities, so if you are visiting for only a few days, consider bringing what you need from home.
Spain is a very conservative country, and it is respectful to be discreet about breastfeeding. Most Spanish mothers stop breasfeeding their children when they are quite young, but once you've covered up nobody seems to take special notice of what you're doing.
Diaper Changes and Toilets
Diaper changing areas are few and far between. Major shopping centers, department stores, museums, and some Mc Donalds have changing areas. It is acceptable to change babies in public or outdoors.
Similarly, public restrooms can be difficult to find, but it's normal practice for small children to pee discreetly on a bush or tree.
Baby Gear Rentals
Tiny Tots Away will ship whatever baby gear you need directly to your destination in time for your arrival. Tel: +44 125 742 4241
Baby Travelling rents larger items like cribs, hi-chairs and strollers and includes free delivery and pickup.
Tender Loving Canguros provides referenced & screened babysitters & nannies. For more information: call Julia & Julie on 647 605 989 or email email@example.com. Please note that deliciousbaby cannot recommend specific agencies and provides this information only as a reference.