Fun things to do in Madrid with kids: 14 ideas!

A mum's guide to visiting Madrid with kids. What to see in Madrid with kids. where to stay, what museums and attractions in Madrid you should not miss when visiting with kids

A comprehensive guide to the top things to do in Madrid with kids from must-see sites to parks and kid-friendly attractions. 

In the last few days, I have been writing extensively about Madrid, going through my favorite itinerary, restaurants and day trip from the city.

So far, however, I haven’t covered one of the main aspects that make me go back over and over again: how family-friendly Madrid is and how easy it is to visit Madrid with kids.

There are many attractions in Madrid for kids but what I think makes it suited for a family vacation is that it is so rich of sights and easy to navigate that you don’t have to sacrifice sightseeing to make your little ones happy.

This is, to me, what makes it ideal for a city break with kids and why Madrid is one of my favorite places to visit in Spain with kids!

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Practical tips for visiting Madrid with kids

Getting around. The easiest way to enjoy Madrid is by public transport.

Buses and an excellent metro system serve the whole city and while not all stations are accessible to buggies, many are. Info panels are on the trains and in the stations: check before boarding to avoid bad surprises.

Tickets are sold in all metro stations and you have several options including single journey and the tourist card, handy for multiple journeys.

Children under 11 pay half price.

If you prefer, excellent hop-on hop-off bus tours are also available and are a good option especially for visitors with only a short time in the city. You can book your tickets in advance here

Where to stay in Madrid with kids. Madrid has several family friendly areas. You can find our guide to Madrid accommodation for families here.

Eating out in Madrid as a family: find top family friendly restaurants in Madrid here

Top things to do in Madrid with kids

This is our guide to the best things to do in Madrid with kids.

Take a stroll in its charming city center streets

One of the best things to do in Madrid with kids is to take a stroll in its beautiful city center.

Madrid city gets very busy and must-see squares such as Puerta del Sol or even beautiful Plaza Mayor can be a challenge if visiting Madrid with a toddler and a buggy or stroller.

However, as soon as you leave these major landmarks you find many small streets with limited traffic but loads of charm

Restaurants and cafes are everywhere and many have areas that are specifically designed for kids with books, toys and coloring supplies.

Madrid is full of colorful corners that make sightseeing fun for kids

Get a coffee and play in Plaza Santa Ana

This is a city center square buzzing with activity day and night.

It is a large, beautiful space full of restaurants and cafes and it has a small playground with climbing frames for little kids. Perfect for a coffee + play break!

Run around Plaza Mayor

This is an imposing square entirely enclosed by beautiful buildings. 

It can get busy but kids will love the fact that is close to traffic and may even get street performers to keep them entertained for a while!

One of the most fun things to do in Madrid with children is to simply roam around and stop at the many street acts!

Have a family friendly meal in Mercado De San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel is a great spot for lunch as it offers great variety and the informal atmosphere of the market.

Try to avoid the busiest lunch and evening meal times, especially if you have a buggy with you, as there is very little elbow room: the place gets packed!

See indoor trees in Atocha station

Atocha is Madrid’s biggest train station and it is always a hit with kids for two main characteristics: the speed trains that depart from here and the fact that the station is built like a greenhouse and hosts high palm trees!

Be Royalty for a day in Madrid’s Royal Palace

A beautiful building surrounded by stunning gardens, the royal palace sits on a large square with street performers, cafes and a public, manicured green space.

Running in the large esplanade in front of the castle, with live music as a companion, is one of the most pleasant things to do in Madrid for kids.

The palace is open to visitors and you can get tickets here

Visit one of Madrid’s world class museums

Madrid is full of beautiful museums and some of them can be easily visited with children.

The Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, near Atocha, offers workshops and family events and so does the Thyssen Bornemitza gallery (ask at the reception desk for the family program).

Another museum older kids might enjoy is the Naval Museum that hosts, among other memorabilia, a world map dating back to the 1500s

Admire Madrid’s imaginative street performers

While walking through Madrid’s city centre, my mind lost in wanderlust-filled thought, I was suddenly brought back down to reality by a goat screaming at me ‘MEEEEEEEEEHHHHH’!

It wasn’t, of course, a real goat, but rather a street performer who sits quietly in the street with a goat costume and makes its presence known giving a fright to distracted tourists!

He/she was only one of the many street performers we encountered (and surely the funniest one).

Explore and Egyptian temple

Madrid is a city with a long history and this is reflected in its varied architecture.

Baroque churches sit side by side with flashy skyscrapers, creating an architectural continuum that spans over the course of many centuries.

Some buildings stretch your sense of time and space: did you know that Madrid has a true ancient Egyptian temple right in the city centre?

And that from it you can reach the XVI century Royal palace with a short walk?

Things to do in madrid with kids: look at the reflection of the temple of Debod in the small pond surrounding it
The temple of Debod is an original Egyptian temple dating back to the II century B.C. and it came to the city at the time of the construction of the Aswan dam, to protect it and preserve it.

The temple of Debod is surrounded by a lovely park.

This, as well as its peculiar architecture, makes it one of the best things to do in Madrid with kids.

Eat churros and chocolate

Churros are a sweet treat made of deep fried dough sprinkled with sugar: they are served piping hot and with a cup of hot chocolate and you have to dunk the in it before taking a bit.

The establishment of choice to taste them is the legendary Chocolateria San Gines, in Madrid city centre.

Go to the park

Madrid is a very green city.

Its wide boulevards are often lined by tall trees and manicured lawns and parks such as Casa de Campo or El Retiro are great for picnics and a for letting the kids run around.

They are the perfect oasis to take a break while visiting Madrid with children and one of the best things to do in Madrid with kids in spring and summer.

Casa de Campo is my latest discovery in Madrid: a beautiful park with amazing views over the city and the Royal palace full of things to do with for kids
Casa de campo is one of the largest parks in Madrid and has many attractions for adults and kids including a rose garden and a cable car

One of the most popular spots for families visiting Madrid with kids is the park El Retiro, located just beside the Prado  museum and within easy reach from many of Madrid’s landmarks.

The park was originally the property of the Royal family and its beautiful architecture bears witness of the experienced hands of architects and landscapers that shaped it, but it is now a public space and one families love.

Top tip for families visiting Madrid with kids: as well as the big parks, I have found many smaller spaces that are equipped for kids. Many larger plazas have either green patches or full on play equipment for little ones and often have street performers to keep adults and kids entertained. This makes for easy frequent stops without bringing you away from your sightseeing itinerary

Parque de attractiones

Located in Casa de Campo, the large green space at the back of the Royal palace, el Parque de Attractiones is an amusement park with rollercoasters and rides for all ages.

Little children will meet characters like tv heroes Dora and Diego and can have lunch at the Nickelodeon cafe, while older kids  (8+) are likely to get excited by the many rides.

The park is very popular especially in summer when many attractions include splashing about in the water.

Parque Warner

Located outside Madrid city centre, Parque Warner, like the name suggests is a theme park devoted to the Looney Toons and the super heroes of the Warner Bros family.

This park competes with main European attractions such as Disneyland Paris and covers over 150 acres of land.

Plan ahead to make sure the kids have the time to meet the characters of their dreams!

Visit the home of Real Madrid

Kids who love soccer cannot miss a visit to the legendary Real Madrid Stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu.

With a tour of the stadium you can see the pitch and even the dressing rooms and the players tunnel!

This is a great family friendly attraction in Madrid for sporty kids!

Top things to do in Madrid with kids
Discover all you can do in Madrid with kids! Kid friendly attractions and neighborhoods, parks, museum and best areas for a stroll and a rest. A family guide to visit Madrid with kids.

I hope you found the answer to the question: what are the best things to do with kids in Madrid. Safe Travels!

This post was originally published in 2016 and has now been fully updated – October 2019

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23 thoughts on “Fun things to do in Madrid with kids: 14 ideas!

  1. Marge Gavan says:

    Madrid is definitely on my list of places I want to travel. I am taken by that photo of the temple of Debod, what a unique structure. I don’t have kids yet but it’s okay, I can enjoy Madrid by myself haha…

  2. Cynthia says:

    This is a great post that I’ll share with my friends who have kids. Madrid is such a gorgeous city! I’ll join Shelly with the I spy game 🙂

  3. Carlie says:

    Ha! My partner is in Madrid as I type this. Now I’m even more jealous! I love that you captured the street performers. They are often overlooked.

  4. Johna says:

    Wowwww, Madrid is beautiful! It’s always been on my bucket list! So many things to do here, sounds like such an amazing time 😀

  5. Angela says:

    We don’t have kids ourselves, but my nephews would be mesmerized by the street performers and the architecture especially. We usually try to find parks when traveling with them since it’s a way for them to run wild and release some energy!

  6. cathy says:

    Oh yes, I’m coming to Madrid next year!
    This! Xx
    I don’t have kids yet but I know I will enjoy it with my partner! ha ha

  7. Voyager says:

    If I were a kid and was strolling along the streets of Madrid, I would definitely be enthralled by the colourful street performers.

  8. Darlene says:

    Glad to know that Madrid is family friendly! My surname is actually Madrid that’s why I’ve always wanted to go to Spain and visit Madrid. Still thinking if it’s worth living there. hehe

  9. Kate Barbosa says:

    I don’t have kids yet but I know I’ll love Madrid. I want to have a photo walk there soon! I would love to take photos of those creative performers

  10. shobha says:

    Madrid is such a great walkable city! When I was in Madrid pre-kids, we were at the Retiro Park and saw a Japanese wedding party fall in the water. so funny, my kids would have killed themselves with that scene. Street performers, parks, architecture – plenty to keep the kids entertained wile they are walking.

  11. Rob Taylor says:

    You speak my language. I learned a few travel trips ago that we need to have small parks close by or knowledge of where to find them to keep the kids happy on longer days in cities. Glad to hear that Madrid will be good for this.

    • Marta - Learningescapes says:

      I have a bot of a city-crush on Madrid and I’ve been lucky to go many times: I never tire of it! I hope you can go back, it is always such a special place, with all its art and amazing food

  12. Sian says:

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and as a fellow lover of city breaks with my kids, I am so happy to have found it! We’re off to Madrid later this week with our 3 year old twins. They’ve just got into to playing I Spy and I really agree it makes me slow down and really look at what’s around me.

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