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Spain, Portugal, Morocco Part 1

Last month we went on a two week trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. We were even able to do it on a pretty respectable budget. We rented out our flat while we were gone to offset the hotel costs and we were able to get cheap plane tickets from EasyJet. The last part of our trip we rented a car and we got a really cheap rate from Europcar since we are members. We only took a little work off and spent evenings working on the computer. The cost of food was much cheaper than in Paris so after all was said and done our main expenses were museums and transportation costs.  Traveling with kids was fun but of course was slower and a different kind of trip than if we went by ourselves. Even though it is harder I’m a big believer in not waiting until your kids are grown to travel. There will always be excuses so it’s one of those things you just have to do or you’ll never go.

I split the photos up into three posts since there were so many, the first one below is of Barcelona and Madrid. We flew from Paris to Barcelona and then took a train from Barcelona to Madrid. A map of our itinerary and my recommendations are at the bottom.

Click through for more pictures and recommendations.

These aren’t a complete list of recommendations, they are my favorites that are lesser known.

Barcelona Favorites
-La Boqueria Market – we went there everyday and tried tons of fresh juices.
-Picnics on the Waterfront

Madrid Favorites
-Hotel Europa – Highly Recommended-ask for a room with a view. It was amazing.
-Valor – Churros con Chocolat at Valor
-La Gloria de Montera – Excellent restaurant, really affordable.
-La Finca de Susana – Delicious Mediterranean food, affordable.
-Museo Sollora – I loved all the museums in Madrid but this little one was a favorite

  1. Kellie G

    March 23, 2012

    Yes! The SF rental market is crazy! I would l-o-v-e it if you did a post on the actual costs of living in Paris for a year/per month. I know you’ve inspired so many people to try it out, it would be awesome if you would share some of the things you’ve learned and things you wish you knew and had to learn while there.

    Thank you – and welcome home [soon]

  2. Laetitia

    March 23, 2012

    Oh my God!! We were in Madrid at the same time!!! I was there for carnaval as well!!!

    Beautiful photos as always. We are back in Madrid in June, I’m going to check your hotel recommendations right now :)) Thanks for the tip.

  3. Carina

    March 23, 2012

    It was so fun following your trip along with you. I can’t wait to take my kids to Spain, and I’m so glad you had a great trip!

  4. The New Diplomats Wife

    March 23, 2012

    fun fun fun! and i’m with you on the traveling with kids. actually i find it much easier in europe than here, but likely because changing destinations on teh east coast often requires much more plane travel than in europe. But people usually look at us like we’re nuts. But I say if you don’t start early, it only gets harder later – the longer you wait for it too as parents, I think the more “afraid” you become. I say go for it – too much to see and do in the world to sit at home waiting ;).

  5. kira mead

    March 23, 2012

    You are super inspiring. And you have great hair.

  6. Truly Smitten

    March 23, 2012

    This is super awesome as we are also planning a trip to Spain and Morocco! Really enjoyed the photos!!

  7. Rita

    March 23, 2012

    the picture with your son and the huge baby head is amazing!

  8. Erin

    March 23, 2012

    I’m curious how difficult it would be to travel to Spain without knowing any Spanish. I’m heading to France and Belgium in a few weeks, and thankfully I can get by in French. I’m looking at going to Barcelona next year, but am worried about the language barrier. I know a lot of countries speak English in addition to their own native language, but I’d hate to rely on that and then either be the ugly American who refuses to speak anything but English, or find out English isn’t widely spoken. What were your experiences with this? I know you said you speak Portuguese (I think you did, anyway!) so maybe you didn’t have any trouble!

  9. Marie

    March 23, 2012

    Wow, what an inspiration you and your family are! Great journey!

  10. Amanda | Little Door On The Sound

    March 23, 2012

    Wow – dream trip once again!!! Morocco is on my bucket list… Looks like an incredible trip. Love the sweet photo of the man with the accordion….

  11. The slow pace

    March 23, 2012

    Wow! Nice trip! Did you know that those restaurants in Madrid have the same owner?

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • March 23, 2012

      I didn’t! I thought it was funny that they had similar style of names.

  12. Kacie

    March 23, 2012

    This trip looks like it was fantastic. We were planning to go to Spain this summer but I think we will be heading to Sweden to visit my brother instead. I would love to go to Barcelona… and Madrid! Thanks for sharing…

    Kacie
    http://acollectionofpassions.com/

  13. Soyoung

    March 23, 2012

    Gorgeous photos and map of a beautiful trip. My husband and I went to Spain for our honeymoon and visited many of the same cities (Madrid, Toledo, Seville, and Barcelona – we also went to Granada). It was such an idyllic two weeks, and although I loved every place, I think Seville (The Alcazar is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.) and Barcelona were my two favorites. We loved La Boqueria as well. We had an amazing and fun (no menu, just pointing at dishes our bar neighbors were eating) meal at Bar Pinotxo there.

  14. Belen

    March 23, 2012

    I’m from Spain, I’m glad you have a good time, but I have to say those Places are wellknown and very turistic!

  15. latrelle

    March 23, 2012

    Amazing pics! This looks like a a wonderful trip.

  16. Carol

    March 23, 2012

    Just so cool with child also i thinks not bad with your child ……

  17. Libby B.

    March 23, 2012

    Oh this post takes me back! I studied abroad in Madrid during college…your pictures are in my “hometown”! Thanks for reminding me how special Spain is!

    Did you guys ever have any problems with a language barrier?

  18. Gina

    March 23, 2012

    Thank you for another post! I think raising thr kids with travel is such a fantastic way to make citizens of the world! Our 3 were more adept at flying by plane than traveling by car at that age, too. I traveled with all 3 (born with 3 years!) alone endlessly. People would be terrified hearing about this but, not when they saw us: if you plan ahead, accept a go with the flow attitude and are open, traveling with little kids is beautiful. People are generally very helpful when they see children and I love that your posts are so encouraging — wonderful! We’re traveling to Barcelona in April and have been gleaning your pictures for signs of what were your highlights from Barcelona?! … Any quick and easy specific tips? ( will bookmark all posts though for the future!) lovely to see how you are all enjoying this year abroad.

  19. Frinny

    March 24, 2012

    hello! I´m from Lisbon, PORTUGAL, and i´m excited to see what you´re going to publish about my city!!……

  20. Viet

    March 24, 2012

    beautiful pictures :) i have that polka dot dress (from zara?) too. do the buttons also pop really easily on you?

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • March 24, 2012

      yes! I use lots of safety pins :)

  21. simplemittens

    March 24, 2012

    My husband and I (and 3yr old and 8 month old boys) just moved to a small town in PA from TX for work and we are determined to do as much traveling if the northeast as possible. If the opportunity is there, take it. Traveling is a great way to bond, I think. You don’t need all the luxuries to have a good time :)

  22. Marie

    March 24, 2012

  23. Sparkle and CO

    March 24, 2012

    I missed Spain. Barcelona is so beautiful. Magnifiques photos 😉

  24. jutta

    March 25, 2012

    This trip looks like very wonderful and interesting. Actually I even like the photo called ” Babies with big heads”. In my opinion the baby means pure and beautiful things.

  25. Paz

    March 26, 2012

    Hi Jordan,
    I follow you from Spain and I always look forward to your new stylish posts, love them!

    I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Just wanted to make some comments on the “titles” of your picts: the cathedral in Barcelona is called Sagrada Familia and in Madrid (I was born and live there) we adore Chocolate con churros (although some people prefer to eat a lot of churros with some chocolate).

    Hope you come back soon!

  26. Mariela

    March 26, 2012

    I love every photo, everything looks great, my cousin lives in Barcelona and she love it, thanks for sharing, have a lovely day!.

  27. eva b.

    March 26, 2012

    After seeing the photo of the churros con chocolat, I now see why it was necessary for you to purchase a churro maker! Now I want one. Those look amazing.

  28. Natalie

    March 26, 2012

    AH! I leave for Lisbon next Wednesday!! I’m so excited to hear about that part of the trip.

  29. Clara Palacios

    March 27, 2012

    Love Barcelona, SPent 2 weeks in Spain last summer. I am bilingual (Spanish/ENglish), Sadly everyone can spot an American tourist from yards(metros) away. You can usually get by with little to no Spanish UNLESS you go to the real authentic places. Even there you may find a person who speak English if they lived/studied abroad

  30. Handmade Artists'

    March 27, 2012

    The company I work with are predominately Portuguese and I just can’t wait to visit, there are so many cool things to see there.
    Thanks for sharing.

  31. Sara B

    March 28, 2012

    LOVING these pictures, Jordan! Thanks so much for the recommendations! I’m heading to Morocco & Spain next month, and still have some planning to do for my 10 days in Spain–might even pop over to Portugal to follow your route!

    Sara

  32. Tamara

    April 1, 2012

    My husband and I are expats in the Middle East and we travel alot with our children (5 & 3). I have even started taking them by myself for 1-2 weeks in the summer (to get away from the heat) and then my husband joins us for our onward journey. (We even stayed at HIP Montmartre apartment at your recommendation, and it was FABULOUS!) For the last two years I have taken them to Nice where I have rented a home in the old town. I found it quite easy to get to parks, bus rides to neighbouring beaches, cafes etc with them. BUT I have been contemplating taking them to Barcelona or Madrid this summer solo as I LOVE these cities and its been several years since I have been. Having just got back, do you think they would be manageable with just one parent or am I being too ambitious??

  33. Nieves

    April 3, 2012

    I follow your blog for for some time and it made me excited to see your trip to Spain.I’m from Madrid! Your blog inspires me and your children remind me of mine (1 & 4). Thank you!

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  2. Spain, Portugal, Morocco Part 2

    […] Part 2Today I wanted to share the second part of our two week trip to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco (here is the first part.) After Madrid we rented a car and drove a long 7 hour car ride to Lisbon, Portugal. I speak […]

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