Madrid, Spain :
Thing to do in Madrid with Kids – The Ultimate Guide
There are many things to do in Madrid with Kids. Read our guide and let our MomAboard Mombassador help you plan the perfect trip to this historical and fun city.
Getting to Madrid Spain
The city is easily accessed by plane or train. For more details on how to get to Madrid, click here.
The Prado Museum: Totally Doable with Kids
The Prado houses one of the most important collections of European art in the world and probably the largest collections of works by Spanish masters Goya and Velasquez. Therefore, it is truly a must-do in Madrid. And while the lifts could be better designated, they do exist, and the noise levels match a railway station rather than a museum with thousands of tourists teeming through the halls, so you won't feel embarrassed about your little one going berserk and screaming amidst the great masters!
When you are done, have a bocadillo or coffee or fresh fruit at the cafe or let bubby loose in the extensive museum grounds. The bookshop has cute and clever toys, books and nick-knacks but it is extremely crowded, so make sure bub is in his/her pram.
Worst (best?) case, the art might bore them to sleep.
Other Kid-Friendly Hangouts
The following squares are particularly great to take the kids:
Plaza Mayor: Sure the square is dotted with cheesy restaurants serving overpriced tapas but the wide open space in the center is the best place for kids to run off a little post-flight steam. In the evening the square comes alive with performers and even Mickey made it out (presumably from EuroDisney) when we were visiting and for one euro we got a photo and a balloon off him. While you are there, check out the cool artwork on the Casa de la Panadería.
Plaza Santa Ana: Slightly less touristy than the Plaza Mayor and apparently a party hot-spot at night, Plaza Santa Ana is a pretty square in one of the older districts in Madrid Spain. Restaurants line the square offering the usual fare but the real highlight is two little play areas for the bubs. Note: the metal structures are probably best used in the morning or in the evening to avoid getting scalded.
Mercado de San Miguel: Fabulous Yet Casual Dining
Just off the Plaza Mayor is the Mercado de San Miguel which is more a gourmet food court than a mercado and another one of Madrid's highlights that is doable with a child. Bubbies can feast on croquettes and patties while you sample the best of Madrid's seafood, olives, jamon and wine. While there is no real seating (tables are interspersed throughout the market and are meant for snacking rather than full-on lunching), you can stroll with your pram from one stall to another and sample one delight at a time, therefore never ladening yourself with too much at any given time.
Spain - General Travel Tips:
1. Food/groceries: Minimarts all over the country sell basics like cheese, cereals, pastas and supplies like toilet paper. For diapers and other productsits best to hit up Carrefours or other larger supermarkets. Finally, Farmacias which are a dime a dozen sell extensive ranges of baby toiletries by Mustela and other brands.
2. Cobblestone: Expect to find much of your walking done on cobblestone streets, even in the big cities. Therefore expect wear and tear on your pram and for heaven’s sake don’t wear heals!
3. Transportation: Taxis are reasonable and trains are easy to use. Buses less so.
4. Weather in summer: Check the weather because summer temperatures can go into the 40s c (over 100 f) and there is no bigger downer than sun-struck baby.
5. English ok: English can be a struggle so brush up on your Spanish or stick to the tourist places.
6. High chairs/kids menus tough to find: I find tapas a hard cuisine to make baby- friendly. Karam ended up eating Spanish omelets and bread for the length of his trip. Similarly, restaurants are small and not very pram- friendly and very few have high chairs. That being said, children are very welcome in most places, even late into the night as the Spanish don’t really dine till after dinner.
7. Tax refund is a pain at Barcelona airport. Leave plenty of time if you plan to get your money back.
8. Inter-city train: if you are traveling between cities, consider taking the train. It may not be cheaper but it’s a heck of a lot more convenient. We took the train one way from Madrid to Barcelona and it was one of the best travel experiences I have ever had. First off all travel times are not unreasonable if you factor in having to get to the airport early etc. Secondly the train in Spain is clean and well maintained, showing a movie, and equipped with a bar/cafe and the largest change table I have ever seen. Thirdly, there is space to run around and the baby doesn’t have to be strapped in, which is a relief with a baby as active as Karam who throws a fit at every take-off and landing. Finally, most train stations are in the city and therefore shave hours off your commute time. Plus trains are not delayed as often as flights.
9. Shopping: check out the trendy kid sections at Spanish staples Zara and Desigual.
10. Spain is a difficult country to be vegetarian in. If you or your kids are vegetarian, considering staying in an apartment so you can cook your meals.
11. Useful words in Spanish:
* doctor – el medico
* bathroom – el baño
* taxi – taxi
* emergency – la emergencia
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