These are Stephanie’s tips for her two week trip to Madrid and Barcelona with her husband and two boys, ages 8 and 10.  The trip was focused on good food/wine, cultural activities (museums), and spending time outside.

Where do you live when you’re not traveling? Boston.

Who went on the trip? Our family of four (2 boys, ages 8 and 10 years old). Return trips for my husband and I.  We each had been to Spain every year for past 8 years.

What was the Trip? Two weeks in Spain. Madrid (one week) and Barcelona (one week).

What were your interests/goals on the trip? The core “excuse” for our December visit was for a board meeting in Madrid, which took up a couple of days. Around that however we were fully focused on good food/wine, cultural activities (museums), and just spending time outside as weather in Spain was much more pleasant in December than weather in Boston.

Anything especially awesome?

Some outstanding adventures that we’d fully recommend. In Madrid: 1) private, curated family tour of the Prado through MadridExpert (we also did a walking tour through this company of Madrid which was great), 2) guitar & flamenco experience through AirBnB and 3) row boats in Retiro Park.

In Barcelona: 1) Runner Beans Gothic (private) tour of Barcelona. The best part was the Museum of “Giants”!  They also have public tours for Gaudi and La Sagrada that we did as well. Interior of La Sagrada is most amazing. 2) AirBnB experience making paella. And 3) Bar Brutal!

And I didn’t think it was especially awesome, but my youngest son was obsessed with the Duck Store of Barcelona.

Also, be sure to squeeze in a day trip to Toledo (short train ride) from Madrid if you can. Wonderful walled medieval city.

Anything you wished you’d done differently?

We probably would’ve shortened Madrid visit at this time of year and stayed in Barcelona longer. Madrid was very, very hectic with holiday season (streets were PACKED); Barcelona was a breath of fresh air. In Barcelona, the visit to Gaudi park was disappointing. Too many people (and that didn’t seem to be b/c of the time of year).

Any other tips?  Be sure to check out the restaurant TriCiclo (and others by same owners) in Huertas neighborhood in Madrid. Also, sunset at the National Palace in Madrid. In Barcelona, we spent a lot of time strolling the oceanfront with our kids on their scooters.

What would you do if you had one more day? If you had one less day? We didn’t have a chance to do the funicular over Barcelona, so that’s for next time!

Average cost per night of one hotel room and cost of an average entree?  We rented AirBnB apartments in each city so maybe $150 Euros per night. Cost of entree probably around $20 Euro. Wine was cheap!!!