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7 days in Spain with 2 kids (4,8) - flying into Madrid

Hello! I am traveling into Madrid with my family and We have 7 days to enjoy Spain before our flight out of Madrid.

One of our kids would like to visit Barcelona but we aren't sure if Barcelona, Sevilla & Granada then fly out of Madrid on the 8th day is too ambitious. Originally we were looking into a train to Sevilla on day of arrival to Madrid and then renting a car on the way out of Sevilla heading to Granada and then driving to Toledo to end back in Madrid. Is it doable to do Barcelona, Sevilla and Granada only?

All itinerary suggestions are welcome. First international trip with the kiddos. Really EXCITED!


Posted by
19170 posts

When is your trip?

I think trying to include Barcelona is pushing it too far. This is what you would have:

Day 1: Arrive sleep-deprived and jetlagged. Train to Seville (3)
Day 2: Seville
Day 3: Seville or possible side-trip to Cordoba. Or you could spend the first night in Cordoba, but that adds a hotel change.
Day 4: Pick up rental car and drive to Granada (2). Or you could take the train/bus.
Day 5: Alhambra. Requires very early booking; it sells out.
Day 6: Fly to Barcelona. Probably won't get settled in hotel till noonish at best.
Day 7: See a bit of Barcelona in the morning and perhaps early afternoon. Train back to Madrid.
Day 8: Fly home.

See what I mean? Barcelona is a wonderful, wonderful city, but you'd just have part of two days there. It's the sort of place where four full days is sort of minimal for most of us. Ten days wasn't enough time for me.

Toledo is also one of my favorite destinations in Spain, and it makes more geographical sense with the time you have. As you may already know, if you should decide not to rent a car, you'll need to go to Madrid and change trains in order to get from Granada to Toledo.

I'll leave it to others to comment on what tweaks might be advisable due to your children's ages.

Posted by
7124 posts

With 2 kids in tow, I wouldn’t attempt too much. Limit yourself to a couple of places only.

  1. ARRIVE Madrid. Train to Seville (3N)
  2. Seville
  3. Seville
  4. Early train to Cordoba for Mezquita. Late train to Madrid (4N)
  5. Madrid
  6. Day to Toledo
  7. More Madrid / Day to Segovia
  8. DEPART Madrid
Posted by
2834 posts

Apparently something is wrong with me-I just wasn't that into Sevilla. If it were me, I'd skip Sevilla and stay in Granada long enough to see the Alhambra. And I think the children might enjoy the Royal Palace in Madrid. Segovia is a nice day trip from Madrid-the Aqueduct is impressive and the Alcazar is interesting.

Posted by
14404 posts

David's itinerary is what I was also thinking. With 2 young ones and a short trip, you don't want to change locations too often. Packing and getting everyone moving would just eat up too much time. 2 stays is perfect. Use the trains. They are much faster than driving and everyone can sit comfortably and move around. Driving times are longer (cars can't go 100-140 mph). Take taxis (not expensive) to/from hotel/station. Young kids strapped into the back seat of a car for long drives . . . . do you really want that to be your week?

When are you going? That might change my advice.

Posted by
4620 posts

I agree with David, two locations is doable especially for your 7 day trip.

If you really want to visit Barcelona, then you could split your time between Madrid (with day trip to Toledo) and Barcelona.
Since you'll be flying out of Madrid, I'd suggest taking the train to Barcelona on day of arrival, then leaving Madrid to the end of your trip.

Granada is beautiful but it's too far from Madrid or Barcelona and you'll end up wasting precious time traveling back and forth.

When is your trip?

Enjoy your time in Spain!

Posted by
7124 posts

Haha. There you have it, with similar advice from Chani and Priscilla, my two amigos (oops, edit, amigas). Together I guess that makes us the ‘Three Amigos’.
Spain is wonderful, wherever you choose, but flying in/out of Madrid does make Sevilla an easy choice for your 2nd location.

Posted by
21243 posts

You didn't indicated the time frame for the trip. Second, you are doing a fair amount of backtracking and assuming you haven't purchased your plane tickets, I would recommend you consider flying into Madrid and home from Malaga or Barcelona - probably cheaper in the long run. Why does the eight year old want to visit Barcelona?

Third, get a map of Spain and put some pins in it. You are covering a lot of distance for a seven day trip with too many location changes. And a car is of little value for the cities that you have mentioned.

Posted by
14404 posts

David - you need a return to Spain to brush up on your Spanish. Priscilla and I are your amigas. Together we three are amigos . . .

so much for sex equality