Here we share all the best things to do in Madrid with kids, from museums and attractions, to parks, gardens, restaurants and more so that the whole family can have a great time in the Spanish capital.
Madrid is a wonderful city for a city break with children. Spanish people love kids, do everything for them and in all they do, they try to put children first.
Maybe this is why the capital of Spain has a record number of children’s cafes with playrooms (called ludoteca).
Almost all restaurants and cafes and even gas stations have chairs for feeding, sidewalks have ramps for prams, and buses have child seats with safety belts.
Besides these small but important details, this vibrant city also offers a lot of different activities for young travellers and their parents. No matter if you are visiting Madrid in winter, spring or summer, there will be always a lot of things to do.
Here we have a guest post from Anya at the travel blog Road is Calling, who has lived in Spain as a digital nomad to tell us all about what to do in Madrid with kids.
If you are thinking of visiting Madrid with family, but not sure if this is a good city to go to, I will definitely encourage you to go. Even if you don’t plan to rent a car in Spain to explore around, I promise Madrid is the perfect place to keep you busy for a few weeks.
So let’s go through the most fun things to do in Madrid Spain with kids, during any season.
Best Museums and Attractions in Madrid for Kids
Visit The Prado Boulevard & Golden Triangle of Madrid
The Prado Boulevard is also known as the Boulevard of Arts (or Paseo del Arte) because it houses three important art museums:
- The Prado Museum & Gallery
- The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- The Reina Sofia Art Museum
The National Prado Museum is renowned as one of the best places to visit in Madrid. Art lovers will be in awe of its impressive collection of classical European art.
While older kids may get somewhat bored in any of these places if spending a lot of time in them, it will be easier to visit if you have smaller kids.
Admiring the canvases of El Greco, Velazquez, Rubens, and other artists is convenient since the museum has rooms for feeding and changing and rents strollers for small children.
Top Tip: In the evenings, two hours before closing time, the entrance to the Prado Museum becomes free.
In the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, creative workshops (mainly in Spanish) open on weekends for children from 3 to 12 years old. However, there are also family interactive tours in English every two weeks for adults with children from 6 to 12 years of age.
The collection of the Reina Sofia Art Museum is dedicated to painting and sculpture of the twentieth century. Here you can see the works of Dali, Miro and Picasso.
Seeing Picasso’s Guernica painting in real life often tops people’s lists of the top things to see in Madrid.
On Sundays in particular, the museum hosts family programs, creative workshops and puppet shows for children. In the museum’s locker room you can take a stroller for a small child, and the museum’s terrace offers a fantastic view of the city.
Learn in the National Museum of Science and Technology
This museum is one of the best technical museums in Spain. It stores many useful inventions of mankind. Some of them are various mechanisms, tools and measuring instruments.
It will be interesting for the kids to take a look at old gramophones and TVs or try typing on an old typewriter. The retro car collection is truly noteworthy. And it used to belong to the royal family.
Entrance to the museum is free.
Visit Historical Templo de Debod
If your children love history, be sure to bring them to the Templo de Debod, a real Egyptian temple in the city center of Madrid. It really is.
The government of Egypt presented the temple of Spain in gratitude for the help in saving the Nubian antiquities that fell into the flood zone of the Aswan Hydroelectric Power Station.
The temple, which is around 2000 years old, was carefully dismantled, transported to Madrid and reassembled on an island in the center of a specially made reservoir. It looks like it hovers above the island, pleasing the eye and striking the imagination.
The Temple of Debod is especially beautiful in the evening when the backlight is on, making it one of our favourite things to do in Madrid at night. It seems that you really are in ancient Egypt, and the bustle of modern life is somewhere far, far away.
Good to know: You can get to the park by metro; the nearest station is Plaza de España. If going by bus, look for a bus numbers #33, 39, 46, 74, 75 and 148.
Opening hours vary depending on the day of the week and time of the year. So it is better to check the details before the visit. This is also one of our favourite free things to do in Madrid.
Get Amazed at the Royal Palace (Palacio Real de Madrid)
Walking around the real Royal Palace of Madrid will appeal to girls and boys who like to play princes and princesses. The tour leads guests through 50 rooms of the palace and introduces you to the features of royal life.
Keep in mind that there are often long lines and you need to wait to get in. However, at the entrance, there is an excellent playground that will keep your kids busy while waiting.
Go On a Safari or to a Local Circus
Visitors to Madrid can go on a real safari with that difference that you don’t need to pack anything extra for it!
The theme park Safari de Madrid is located outside the center of the city and it takes one hour to get there. But the experience is worth your time as it is always a fun day out in Madrid for kids.
During the trip, right from the car, you can feed the llamas and camels, see hippos, zebras, ostriches, and giraffes. Lynxes, cougars, and monkeys live in big enclosures in the mini-zoo but birds fly right above the cars (and heads) of visitors.
In one of the corners of the safari park, there is a petting zoo where children are allowed to pet the goats, ponies and Vietnamese pigs.
Also, they can ride a slide and drive go-karts. If visiting in summer, there is an outdoor pool where kids can swim.
Teatro Circo Price is a famous Madrid circus, where you won’t see any lions or other animals. Accompanied by the orchestra, jugglers and acrobats, clowns and balancers, dancers and illusionists – artists of all genres, except animal trainers, perform in its arena.
The circus program has performances for children and adults, and kids from 5 to 14 years old can visit master classes in the circus studio.
Go For a Walk in One of Madrid’s Parks or Gardens
El Retiro Park
In El Retiro Park you can relax after exploring the Madrid art museums. Children will love the playgrounds with slides and swings. The park has a large artificial lake, where you can go out on a rowing boat or just walk around it.
On weekends, the park comes alive with live music, street performers and puppet shows. You can also see the local rose garden or visit the very beautiful Crystal Palace.
Visit Madrid’s Zoo & Aquarium
The Casa de Campo Park in Madrid is located in the western part of the city and covers an area of 1,722 hectares. There are plenty of leisure options here. You can just sit in the shade of trees, have a picnic or lots of ice cream.
Casa de Campo has one of the largest zoos in the world. In total, here you can see more than 2,000 different species of animal. Your kids can see a family of friendly pandas, visit a mini-farm, and see a show with tropical birds or parrots. The zoo also includes an aquarium and dolphinarium.
One of the most fun activities that many kids love is feeding the flamingos – you just need to buy their feed at the entrance.
All cafes in the territory open after 13:00 (tickets: adult – €23, for children from 3 to 7 years old – €19. Entrance for kids up to 3 years of age is free.
For more details, click here to visit Madrid Zoo’s website.
Another thing that young visitors to the park will love is the amusement park. Dozens of attractions are located in six thematic zones offering roller coasters, labyrinths, carousels, paintball fields and the opportunity to ride a pony.
Since Madrid’s cable car goes through the park too, you are able to admire the city from a forty-meter height.
Another park-zoo, the Faunia Park, is a wonderful place for those who seek unity with nature. Here, your kids will be able to see more than 1,500 animals from around the world and can experience unusual activities.
For example, you can get under a tropical rainfall, admire the inhabitants of the depths from a large plastic bubble or watch an interactive film about nature. There is also a small zoo for very little kids, where they can pet and feed the animals.
Go to One of the Best Kid-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants
2022 update: Sadly Mama Framboise closed its doors in June 2020 🙁
Confectionery Mamá Framboise (“Mama Raspberry”) is a favorite place for breakfast for many families who come with children and friends. Alejandro Montes, the best chocolatier and candy master in Spain, is responsible for baking and chocolate making. Therefore, your little ones will want to try everything.
Famed for its typical Spanish cuisine, kids will love tucking into a selection of tortillas, croquetas, tostas and patatas bravas at this casual and fun restaurant. Visit during the weekend and the kids can play in the indoor soft play area while mum and dad enjoy an extra glass of Rioja.
Chocolateria San Gines
What kid doesn’t love chocolate con churros? Eating this decadent delight is one of our favourite Madrid things to do and this chocolateria is a Madrid institution and not be missed if you are visiting Spain with kids.
When you look at the map, it seems that the restaurant is far and almost out of town when in reality it is still within the boundaries of Madrid. Filandon restaurant has its own playground, room for games, child seats and children’s menu.
Adults will like the food (grill and fish from La Coruña) and the atmosphere. The place is open from 13:00 to midnight every day besides Sundays. On Sundays from 13:00 to 16:00 and Mondays are off.
Good to Know: Baby food in Spain is sold not only in supermarkets but also in every pharmacy. In any cafe workers will warm it up for you if needed, so feel free to ask.
The Hero brand of baby food is the most popular among Spanish mothers. Tap water in Madrid is safe to drink for everyone, including children.
Best Madrid Hotels For Families With Kids
Petit Palace Posada del Peine
The Petit Palace Posada del Peine combines a beautiful historic building with comfortable rooms and contemporary design. This kid friendly Madrid hotel boasts a great location, right next to the Plaza Mayor and a few steps from Mercado San Miguel.
Family rooms are available to sleep 4-6 people, with bunk beds for the kids. Families will also love the buffet breakfast, free WiFi, free bicycles rental for exploring and free iPads available for guests.
See also sister hotel Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza.
Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid
If you are looking for an upscale experience, then this luxury family hotel in Madrid is a great choice. The Hesperia rooms are elegantly appointed with all mod cons, with the spacious family suites sleeping up to 4 people, with separate living areas. Adjoining rooms are also available.
The famous onsite restaurant, Santceloni boasts 2 Michelin stars, while families may prefer the more casual courtyard restaurant La Manzana. This family friendly hotel in Madrid also offers babysitting, and has amenities for babies on offer, such as baby monitors and baby baths.
You may also like to read: Things to do in Ibiza with Kids.