Madrid is a wonderful place for kids and their parents. There is so much culture and history embedded in every corner of this royal city but that doesn’t mean that the kids can’t enjoy it as well. Like many European cities, Madrid is full of wonderful spots for kids to run around and great playgrounds almost everywhere. Of course, Spanish tapas are not only delectable and usually quite affordable, but also perfect for tiny hands and small mouths.
Madrid reminded me a lot of Mexico City in terms of architecture and Infrastructure and it was a great place to visit with 2-year-old Evan and 9 month old Joshua. Whew,time just flies!
As we have done in many previous vacations, we decided to ride the hop-on-hop-off bus. It was just perfect, and very cheap compared to other cities. The boys just loved riding the big red bus and it was great for us to be able to sit down, relax and enjoy the view.
Madrid has amazing green spaces and the Parque Buen Retiro is one of the best ones I’ve seen in Europe. On our second day exploring Madrid we decided to head to the Palacio Real but were delayed by a pit stop in a cute little playground just by the palace. The boys had a wonderful time playing and Mommy and Daddy were able to enjoy a Tinto de Verano in a restaurant nearby.
So we finally made it to the Palacio Real de Madrid and were greeted by gorgeous weather and majestic architecture. The royal palace is only used for official functions and the rest of us are lucky to be able to visit it on every other day. I had visited the Palacio Real years ago when I was an exchange student in France and really loved the museum section, this time I was willing to sacrifice my museum time for the sake of the kids. To my surprise, the kids were actually really keen on visiting the museum, but then again, the museum had cannons, guns, and military gear so I shouldn’t have been so surprised.
The boys had a fantastic time playing guards at the entrance of the Palace. It was so funny to watch Evan pretend to be on call. It was really hot and sunny so the kids got cranky quite fast but luckily enough there is a great shaded area with benches in one of the buildings. A big bummer was that the elevator wasn’t really working so we had to carry the stroller up and down the stairs. We needed the exercise anyway, after all those sangrias and tapas.
After a morning at the Palacio Real we headed over to the Plaza Mayor where the best restaurants and traditional stores are located. After goggling the amazing turron shops and beautiful lace and ceramic stores we sat down in one of the many restaurants and enjoyed a good serving of tapas.
Madrid is a great place to visit with kids. The architecture will leave you staring in awe and the metro is very accessible and easy to use. Spain is such a relaxing place to visit, so don’t hesitate to include this fabulous country in your travel plans.
Tips for Families traveling to Madrid
- If the kids are old enough, try to visit a Flamenco show. They are just fantastic.
- The metro is great, be aware that not all stations have elevators so be prepared to haul the stroller up and down the stairs once in a while.
- Tapas. No need to say anything else… Tapas for lunch, tapas for dinner, tapas for snacktime. So many varieties and so many of them kid-friendly.
- You can, and will probably, go overboard shopping for turron, lace and chorizo. If you don’t, don’t fret, the airport has great stores where you will be able to buy everything you think you were missing.
- The streets are very stroller friendly. Be aware that there are a few hills but nothing you can’t do without the help of your core muscles, or even better your hubby.
- If you are in Madrid for a few days, plan on making a day trip to Toledo, totally worth it.