Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain with Kids
Our Trip Costs for Spain with Kids
Our trip to Spain was kids was their first time in Europe. Flight prices were a lot more than. You could likely travel for half that if you look for deals around September or October.
- Flights: $3832 NYC to Barcelona direct, $317 rt Palma de Playa de Palma, Mallorca
- Hotels: Rui Bravo AI Playa de Palma, Mallorca 3nts $1268
- 2nts Barcelona Hotel Peninsular $291.45
Tips for Visiting Spain with Kids
- T10 ticket gives you 10 trips on the subway for a reduced price and you can share the pass among your party if traveling to the same destination.
- All children under the age of 4 travel for free on the Barcelona metro (this means for one T10 ticket we were able to take 3 trips on the metro because Olivia was free.
- Rui Bravo Mallorca is just a block from the beach and promenade it’s a relaxing break from the city and just a short 45min flight from Barcelona.
- We did not find restrooms easily in Barcelona especially in the subway stations so make sure to stop whenever you can if you have young ones with small bladders
- To get to Park Guell from the subway you must walk a steep city hill so be prepared.
- Flamenco is very entertaining but can be frightening for small kids as the men wail.
Our Stay in Spain prior to a DCL Mediterranean Cruise
We had booked a DCL Mediterranean cruise and wanted some time in Spain with kids, prior. It was our first European trip with kids and we also wanted to take it slow. This review is of our 5nt Stay in Spain pre-cruise. We have always intended to go back to Italy for our 10-year wedding anniversary. Our kids would be 2 and 3.5 at the time. As time got closer we realized we weren’t ready to be quite so adventurous, especially with our strong-willed 2-year-old daughter. We postponed the trip one more year and I am glad we did.
Challenges we faced our first Europe Trip with Kids
We faced some challenges we had while visiting Spain with kids. One was that our 3-year-old who had been potty trained and out of diapers for about a full year at this point, waited last minute to have to go. As a result, we had 2 experiences where she had to go in not so private places and she had a couple of accidents at night while on the cruise.
Thankfully DCL is wonderful and changed the bed each time without issue. We tried to get pull-ups on the ship but they didn’t have any and being out of a diaper for so long she refused saying they were for babies. She also denied having accidents and said it was sweat. Someone once mentioned to me this happened to their child when they took melatonin, but I can say that she has not had this issue since and has taken melatonin a handful of times for travel and for daylight savings.
Our flight departed around 6pm from JFK airport. By the time they reached flying altitude and served dinner it was at least 8pm. We thought this would be perfect but that mean we only had 6 hours remaining in the flight and by the time we got to sleep it was about 5 hours left. Usually an hour before landing the lights turn on in the plane and they announce they will be starting initial decent.
Everyone races to the bathroom (seriously grab you kids and go because once your descending you are not supposed to get up). So really, we may have gotten 4 hours of sleep. Therefore, we now try to book 9pm or later lights to Europe. We can give melatonin right before we board, and the kids are a sleep before we take off and will sleep almost the entire flight. This works very well for us. You can read about these and other challenges we overcame traveling with children here.
Our Trip to Spain with kids Itinerary
we arrived in Barcelona at about 8am. We had booked a separate flight on Air Europia to Palma de Playa de Palma, Mallorca for 11:40am. So after going through customs we sat and enjoyed a meal in the food court and relaxed. This was before the days of travel hacking so we didn’t have lounge access but thankfully we had no idea what we were missing. Our flight landed at 12:35 pm in Palma de Playa de Palma, Mallorca and we had a shuttle reserved to bring us to our resort.
We were pleased with the room size and the resort was everything we expected from a RUI but not quite as nice or new as the ones we had been in the Caribbean. While none of us had much sleep we were all wide awake till at least 11pm because of the time change. We enjoyed a later dinner and the live music they offered each night.
we woke up at 11am. Well a little before because I remember arriving at the breakfast buffet and they told us its close. I told them we need to eat, we haven’t eaten today yet and they simply directed us over to the pool buffet that has snacks available between breakfast and lunch and it was heavier then snacks included cold cuts and salads. We made it to the beach that afternoon. Heads up there are a topless woman on the beach, but we didn’t see that many and the kids didn’t notice them at all. As the kids are getting older and more aware now I’m now quite sure how we would handle their reactions. The water was calm, and the sand was nice. We ate at the buffet for dinner and everyone found food they enjoy.
Wednesday was more beach and pool time. After using melatonin, the night before we all work up at a reasonable time and had a full day in the sunshine. The resort has a swim-up bar that the kids found amusing. There was a bar inside that had a dance floor they had music playing with no one around but the Sweeney’s decided to have a dance party anyway. In the evening they had musicians and we all danced some more.
The buffet was pretty good. It was the same quality we had received at other RUIs. RUI is a Spanish chain and we enjoyed a lot of Spanish food. One of the sit-down restaurants was a Spanish restaurant. This was the only sit-down we did during our stay and we enjoyed it. Michael who was 4.5 at the time was willing to try some of the different foods. Olivia tried a couple things as well. I told my son I was very impressed that he tried things and his response was “that is what you are supposed to do when you visit other countries”.
Thursday, was our departure day, so we had breakfast packed up and took a prearranged shuttle to the airport. Our flight departed 1:25pm and arrived in Barcelona at 2:15pm We checked into the Hotel Peninsular right off Le Ramble. We settled in and then walked Le Ramble before our reservations at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelon. This Flamenco show with dinner included. Staff were very friendly and couldn’t stop starring at our kids. One had to get close to see my sons’ blue eyes. Another loved my daughter’s curly hair. The food was very good and considered of various Spanish tapas. I really enjoyed the food but it was also very similar to a lot of the things we had eating while staying gat the RUI. You can find the menu here.
After dinner you are brought to a room where the flamenco show is. We got a front seat on the side.
We enjoyed the show but once them men came on Olivia (3yrs old) got scared. The wailing of the men was frightening. Flamenco as they described is supposed to be emotional. Half way in we left as we didn’t want it to effect how Olivia viewed travel and new experiences. I would recommend it for families of children 5 and older as our 4.5-year-old was fine. I should mention our daughter is sensitive to loud noises too.
Friday, was our only full day in Barcelona. Our hotel included breakfast. Afterward, we headed to the Mercado de La Boqueria market which was near our hotel with an entrance from La Rambla. We grabbed fresh fruit and look around at the interesting items. We headed to Sagrada Familia via the subway.
When we arrived, Olivia had fallen asleep and we decided not to enter the church but just looked around the outside. We then headed to Park Guell. I cannot review this park which looked very cool but we didn’t make it there. We got off the subway walked toward the park and realized there was a massive hill to walk (push the kids) up. There was no way we would make it with the strollers.. So back on the subway, we headed over to Montjuic Castle. We really enjoyed the castle; it was a fun place for the kids to explore. In the wide-open courtyard, they were free to roam safely. We joked that there were some crocodiles on the floors under the grates.
After the castle, we headed over to the zoo. The zoo was small. There were some exhibits closed. I wasn’t impressed and wouldn’t recommend it but my husband and kids enjoyed it.
There was a seafood restaurant on our walk back from the Zoo that we had planned for dinner but it didn’t open till 7pm (a lot of restaurants open late so always check times). Here’s the place on Yelp. We were hungry so we grabbed some quick noodles to hold us over while we decided what to do. We walked by an empanada shop called La Frabrica and decided it was perfect and it was. They had ham and cheese ones that were plain enough for the kids (and Mike). And I enjoyed a few other varieties. 3 was the perfect size for a meal for me.
The next day we had breakfast in our hotel and checked out to head to our DCL Cruise of the Mediterranean. You can read all about our cruise here.
Overview of Spain with Kids
Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain with kids was a great start to our Mediterranean cruise. It’s also a great trip along and there’s many day trips and more things to to in Barcelona that could extend your trip even more.
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