I was so excited about visiting Gibraltar with kids, a place that always sounded so mysterious and elusive. ‘I thought I’d never see it,’ I told my husband when I first caught the glimpse of the majestic rock protruding out of the water and touching the sky. My kids unaware of its history or significance were in the back seat, trying to pronounce its name correctly – Gibraltar. Here are the tips from me – the Mum and the kids on visiting Gibraltar with kids.
When I leaned closer to the windshield, to get a better look of the magnificent rock proudly protruding out of the water as if it was something alien, I sighed in awe and said: ‘I never thought I’d see it. I’d never imagined visiting. But I am so excited now.’ Then I turned around and with the excitement of a four year old I pointed it out to the kids: “Look, look, look! That’s Gibraltar!’ And they stared in the direction and had fun trying to pronounce a name.
6 things to know about gibraltar
- Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory.
- It is small, measuring just over six square kilometers in total.
- This is the only place in Europe where monkeys roam freely in a semi-wild state.
- Gibraltar is situated at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It is recognised historically as one of the southernmost points of Europe.
- The Rock of Gibraltar – the first thing you notice from a distance is a great slab of jagged Jurassic Limestone.
- In 2016 Gorham’s Cave Complex has been inscribed onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Mum’s Tips for parents on Visiting Gibraltar with Kids
Should you go to Gibraltar?
If you are wondering should you include the visit to Gibraltar if you are holidaying in the South of Spain – the answer is simple – definitely, yes. It is such a great destination and there are many sights to see.
How do you get from Costa del Sol to Gibraltar?
If you have a car it’s simple – just drive there. Remeber there is a border between Spain and Gibraltar, so there might be some queuing involved. Otherwise, I have checked and the best option for visiting Gibraltar would be to take an organised tour, because it involves little or almost no waiting at the border. You have different options to chose from.
An option is also to catch the bus to La Linea – the Spanish town bordering on Gibraltar and then walk over.
Where to park?
My advice is to leave the car at the huge parking lot in Spain, just before the border then walk over to Gibraltar. Since it’s really small, it get crowded fast and I don’t know how easily parking can be found. But then again, goods in Gibraltar are sold VAT free, so the price of gas is cheaper compared to Spain. It might be a good idea to fill your tank here.
If you decide to go on foot, there is a bus station and you can catch a bus that will take you into the city. You pay on bus and you can either pay in Euros or Gibraltar Government Sterling notes and coinage, or UK sterling.
How much time do you need?
Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring and don’t rush. Even if you skip all the sights – but don’t and just roam the streets, it’s a special experience.
You can’t compare it to any place else. Gibraltar is a combination of eclectic influences from its rich history. The architecture reflects that perfectly, so look up as you pass the buildings.
They use Gibraltar Government Sterling notes and coinage but in most of the places, we’ve noticed you could pay in Euros – though be beware of the exchange rates. We mostly paid with our Credit Card.
Where to sleep in Gibraltar?
Since we were in Gibraltar for only a day trip, we didn’t need to look for accommodation. But while doing my research I’ve stumbled upon the unusual hotel called Sunborn Gibraltar, it’s actually a static cruise ship. A very luxuries five star yacht.
Kids’ tips on visiting Gibraltar with kids
We got the logistics out of the way and here are my kids to share the cooler tips – what to see and where to eat.
If you are going to Gibraltar you must visit the top of the Rock – it feels as if you are at the top of the world.
You get there by riding the fun Cable Car. The best part is how the views slowly open up as you climb higher.
And of course the wild apes await you as soon as you reach the top. They are funny when you watch them from afar, but a bit scary up close. Be really careful with your belongings because they might try and relieve you of them.
Don’t miss walking around the downtown – it’s fun.
And last but not least – the airport and the runway. The runway is used as a road when there are no flights. When there’s a flight coming, they close the road and everyone waits, for the plane to land. Just like we do here for a train. It’s really exciting to see.
If you want more sights and have more time and energy, you can find more to explore in Gibraltar here.
Where to eat in Gibraltar with kids?
There are plenty of places, especially in the downtown. We used the chance to enjoy British cuisine and we went to a place serving Shepard’s pie and Fish and Chips. And everyone was happy. The restaurant is called the Horseshoe and it’s located on the Main Street.