11 Best Places to Visit in Spain with Family

Spain is a popular destination for vacationers seeking winter sun and warm azure waters lapping upon white sandy beaches in the Balearic or Canary Islands. Let’s not forget about the delicious pintxos dishes in the Basque region or the narrow streets of the white villages in Andalucía. If you’re planning a family trip to Spain, there are many great destinations to choose from. This guide covers all of the best places to visit in Spain with family including the best cities and islands. We cover all the best things to do there so you can plan a fun trip the whole family will enjoy!

11 Best Places to Visit in Spain for Families

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

Where to Go for the Best Family Holidays in Spain

1. Barcelona

It might be the country’s second city, but Barcelona is the most popular city for visitors jetting to Spain. It’s probably something to do with it resting on Spain’s Costa Dorada, the ‘Golden Coast’. This area is known for its beautiful beaches which Spain’s inland capital of Madrid doesn’t have.

The Catalan capital city’s unique, vibrant culture with eclectic 20th-century architecture, the world-famous Camp Nou soccer stadium, and the incredible markets like Mercado de La Boqueria off La Rambla are also factors!

Casa Mila Barcelona girls trip rooftop views

Pre-teens and young children will enjoy visiting the CosmoCaixa Science Museum, one of the best in Europe. A great place for a day trip from Barcelona is PortAventura World in Tarragona. This highly-rated theme park is just a 90-minute drive down the coast. Or visit Tibidabo Amusement Park on top of the mountain just outside the city.

One of the best things to do in Barcelona with older children is to check out the buildings designed by local Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. He’s responsible for the famous unfinished church La Sagrada Familia, the Park Güell UNESCO World Heritage Site, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and others. Book a family-focused private Barcelona walking tour with LivTours so the entire family can learn more about the city’s history as well as Gaudi and his impact.

2. Granada

Granada’s pièce de résistance is the Alhambra, a sprawling hilltop castle complex built by the Moors in the 13th century. Visiting the royal Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife ornamental gardens is a must-do for anyone visiting the city! There are also plenty of other things for families to do in this compact city in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

As the region that invented tapas, any Andalucían city is a good place to book family food tours. Although traditional tapas are usually served as a bar snack alongside a glass of beer or wine, children aged eight and older are welcome on this three-hour Granada Local Life food tour. Visit local businesses and enjoy classic tapas dishes such as patatas bravas, cheese, jamón, tortillas, and croquetas. Then you will finish the tour with fresh churros dipped in warm chocolate.

Don’t forget to check out the Sacromonte Caves, 16th-century homes dug into the side of a hill by Spanish Romany people in the Albaicín quarter. There’s a museum recreated to resemble how one of these homes would have looked during this unique era of Spanish history. Take family photos at Mirador San Nicolas while you’re in the neighborhood for the best views of the Alhambra!

3. Sevilla

One of the best places to visit in Spain for families is Sevilla, but it can be quite warm in the summer months! It’s a big city (the largest in Southern Spain) with average temperatures of 62.6°F/17°C during the winter and 93.2°F/34°C during the summer. It’s the perfect place for a winter family vacation or if you are traveling in the shoulder season.

Real Alcazar Sevilla Spain

Everyone’s favorite places to go in Sevilla are Plaza de España and Parque de María Luisa. This 20th-century Spanish Revival square looks incredibly regal with mosaic details and water features. The park next door is a great place to let your kids run off steam under the shade of palm trees. Older kids will enjoy exploring the 11th-century Real Alcázar of Sevilla fortress and seeing Christopher Columbus’s grave in Sevilla Cathedral.

Children of all ages are welcome to watch an hour-long traditional flamenco dance show at Casa de la Guitarra. It’s located in the 18th-century home of José Luis Postigo, an artist with an impressive guitar collection. Leave a day in your itinerary to visit the dual theme parks of Isla Mágica and Agua Mágica. They have a New World theme and plenty of fast rollercoasters thrill seekers will love!

4. Valencia

Another of Spain’s major cities is Valencia, the third-largest in the country and the biggest on the Costa Blanca. It’s famous for its charming Old Town, thriving arts scene, and the invention of paella, a popular seafood and rice dish.

Head to the historic town center and explore the city on a private family bike e-bike tour. Learn about Valencia Cathedral (the alleged home of the Holy Grail!), the main square of Plaça de la Verge, and the 15th-century Quart Towers which were built along Valencia’s City Walls. Enjoy a relaxing ride through Turia Gardens, one of the largest urban parks in the region of Valencia. As long as your kids are old enough to ride a bike, this tour is the best way to see more in less time!

The main reason Valencia is one of the best family destinations in Spain is its City of Arts and Sciences Museum. This state-of-the-art complex is split into separate sections. The Oceanogràfic Aquarium houses over 500 species of sealife and Hemisfèric has an IMAX movie theater and planetarium. Located near Valencia Marina, the entire structure has an ocean theme with buildings shaped like fishbones and bubbles. 

5. Madrid

The Spanish city of Madrid is, of course, one of the best family-friendly destinations in the country! Sure, the capital also attracts couples and partiers, but most of the nightlife is confined to certain neighborhoods. Madrid has some of the best palaces, churches, museums, and parks in the country which make it a good idea for a family city break in Spain.

Hire boats and sail on the Great Pond of El Retiro Park, Madrid’s main green space. Book skip-the-line tickets for the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid. This gorgeous complex was modeled on the Palace of Versailles in France. Be sure to visit Catedral de la Almudena nearby if you have time.

Madrid fountain sunrise

Art lovers will want to book tickets for the Prado Museum, showcasing 12th – 18th-century art, or the Reina Sofía Museum which displays 20th-century Spanish art. Don’t visit both or you risk overwhelming your kids with far too much art!

Balance out the cultural and historic sites with a fun family activity. This half-day family cooking class will show you how to make Spanish staples like paella or tapas. These classes will allow you to enjoy these delicious delicacies once you’re back home. Thankfully you will dine with your cooking group straight after class.

6. Marbella

Granada and Sevilla are both great places for families to visit in Southern Spain, but they’re not coastal cities. Marbella, on the other hand, stretches right across the Costa del Sol. It is the perfect destination for families looking forward to beach days playing water sports, building castles on clean beaches, and staying in a comfortable seaside resort.

There are no less than eight Blue Flag beaches near Marbella. This is an award only handed out to the best beaches with the highest environmental standards. Playa de la Fontanilla is a great choice for families looking for jet ski and paddleboard rentals. Puerto Banús is known for its calm, shallow waters perfect for little ones. Playa del Alicate is small but beautiful with lots of amenities and El Cable is even quieter still. 

There is plenty more for families in Marbella beyond beach clubs, kids’ clubs, and all-inclusive resorts. Visit Marbella’s medieval town center with Renaissance white-washed buildings and orange trees lining narrow cobblestone streets. Stop for a drink or ice cream in the 15th-century main square, Plaza de los Naranjos, and see the ruins of Marbella Castle and City Walls.

7. Girona

Looking for the best places to visit in Spain for families that are a little more off the beaten track? Head to Girona, a compact Catalan city 90 minutes north of Barcelona. This beautiful city on the River Onyar is famous for its medieval architecture and Roman ruins. 

Because you may not know much about Girona before visiting, it’s the perfect place for a walking tour so the entire family can get acquainted! Book a small group walking tour so you can explore all the top spots in the city center such as Girona Cathedral, the City Walls, the Archaeological Garden, the Jewish Quarter, Independencia Square, and much more. 

Girona isn’t in a coastal area (a beach is the only thing it doesn’t have!) so take a day trip to one of the many beautiful seaside towns on the Costa Brava. Lloret de Mar is an easy, direct 40-minute bus ride from Girona. Some of the best things for families to do there are to climb up to the 11th-century Saint Joan’s Castle and swim off the coast of Playa de Fenals.

8. Mallorca

All three major Balearic islands – Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza – are great places for a family vacation. If you want to avoid nightlife hotspots and visit somewhere with plenty to do, the largest island of Mallorca is the clear winner. There is no shortage of family-friendly hotels and resorts, idyllic swimming coves, nature reserves, archaeological ruins, and traditional white-washed villages to ensure the whole family has a great time.

There are more than 300 coves in Mallorca. Some are difficult to find and explore without a guide and a small boat! Book a private kayak excursion with Mónd’Aventura with a knowledgeable guide if you’re not comfortable swimming in unfamiliar open waters. You can snorkel in some of the coves too!

Mallorca best places to visit in Spain with family

If you’d prefer a larger boat trip, book a boat trip with Excursion a Cabrera to Cabrera Archipelago National Park. It is one of 16 national parks in Spain and home to a 15th-century watchtower plus Roman and Byzantine ruins.

Enjoy some beach time on Alcudia Beach, a 4.5-mile/ 7 km stretch of soft white sand with showers and restrooms. Spend at least half a day in the island’s capital city of Palma exploring the Cathedral and the 14th-century Bellver Castle.

9. Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and one of the best places to visit in Spain for families. While many visit for its cheap bars and all-inclusive resorts, there is another side to this volcanic island that makes it perfect for adventurous families.

Be sure to visit the black sand beaches like Playa Maria Jiménez or the Garachico rock pools as well as the beloved Thai-themed water park, Siam Park! There’s so much to do in Tenerife that it makes sense to rent a car and turn your family vacation into an island road trip.

Macizo de Anaga is a large UNESCO biosphere reserve on the island’s northern tip. Its cacti and tree-covered hills provide the best scenery for hiking. Teide National Park is home to Spain’s highest mountain – Teide Volcano. This is the perfect place for stargazing and there’s even an observatory. Don’t worry about climbing the 12188-ft/3,715 m peak because you can ride the cable car to the top!

If you want to give your kids a bucket list-worthy experience and have the best time possible in Tenerife, take them on a beginner’s scuba dive in the Puerto Colón turtle area. It’s a quiet marina and they welcome children over eight even if they have no prior scuba experience. There is one instructor for every two people and they provide all the equipment and training you need to have an incredible experience. 

10. San Sebastián

The Basque Country is an overlooked region by international tourists, but not by Spanish travelers! Locals love the lush green landscapes and cooler temperatures of cities like San Sebastián. For these reasons and so many others, San Sebastian is a fantastic city to visit on a family trip during the summer months.

Located near the French border, it shouldn’t be surprising that San Sebastian has a world-renowned culinary scene! If your kids are adventurous eaters and would try foods like oysters, they would love this private culinary tour of San Sebastian run by Secret Food Tours!

San Sebastián Basque country Spain

In the Basque region, they eat pintxos instead of tapas which are similarly sized small dishes but very much their own thing. Taste jambón, croquetas, and tortillas cooked the northern Spanish way in historic pintxos pubs and traditional Basque restaurants.

As well as its culinary offerings, there are many family-friendly attractions in San Sebastian. Monte Igueldo Amusement Park is a mountainside funfair suitable for kids of all ages that you can reach via funicular. There are also beaches like La Concha and tons of green spaces like Gipuzkoa Plaza. San Sebastian couldn’t be a more family-friendly city if it tried!

11. Salamanca

The ancient city of Salamanca is approximately a one-hour and 45-minute train ride from Madrid. With a history dating back to the Celtic age between 600 BCE and 40 ACE, it’s no wonder this hilltop city on the River Tormes is so beautiful. The 12th-century University of Salamanca is one of the oldest in the world and there are even two cathedrals: the old one and the new one! Its sandstone buildings with black wrought iron balconies look like a picture in a fairytale book. This is truly one of the best places to visit in Spain for families.

City view Salamanca Spain

Speaking of fairytales, this small-group fairytale walking tour is the perfect Salamanca tour for families with young kids. Learn about the history of the city through its quirkiest and most charming details. Visit all of the landmarks in the Old Town and learn about their mysteries, legends, and eclectic facades.

Salamanca is well-located so you can take a day trip to other medieval villages and cities in the region. We like Ávila, Toledo, and Segovia. Ávila is the easiest to reach as it’s only a direct one-hour train ride away from Salamanca!

Discover the Best Places to Visit in Spain with Family

Whether you want to visit UNESCO sites like the Alhambra in Granada, watch a flamenco show in Seville, or explore the Roman ruins on the Costa Dorada, there are many great ways to experience Spanish culture and history with kids. If a relaxing vacation is more your speed, there are tons of family-friendly beaches in Tenerife, Mallorca, or the southern Spanish coast.

This list of the best places to visit in Spain for families should have hopefully given you lots of inspiration and useful information to plan your next family holiday!