Family Vacation In Madrid

There is a city in Spain that has the perfect combination of things to do and places to eat. This city is beautiful, vibrant and friendly. This city has an average high temperature of 72°F from June 21 to August 31 and an average low temperature of a cool 50°F from October 1 to May 25. The water temperature is around 65-70°F year round, as it’s located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean with access to the Mediterranean Sea. Madrid is my family’s favorite city in Spain! My wife, Sarah, and I have taken our kids there on vacation several times over the past few years. We’ve been married for only two years, but have taken four trips (two each) to Madrid since we’ve been married. One was with our families, one was without them, and all were on vacation at different times during our second year of marriage.

Madrid is a great choice for families who wish to have fun and be entertained. There are a lot of places that the family can go which will keep them busy the whole vacation. Madrid has great hotels and facilities that are not just good but are also enjoyable. Madrid, Spain is a popular destination among young and old travelers; apparently, the charm of this historical city has no ageing limits. From family vacations to solo trips, Madrid has all bases covered. What’s more, the residents of Madrid are always welcoming fun-seeking tourists and travelers from around the world.

Family Vacation In Madrid

The Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of modern family travel planning, but it can be difficult to know where to look to find truly valuable, unbiased information. Preparing for a vacation requires careful decision-making that isn’t always easy.

When to Visit Madrid with Kids

The best part about visiting Madrid with kids is that no matter what time of year you go, you’re sure to have a great time! However, spring and fall are your best bets for a successful family trip. You’ll miss peak tourist high season and enjoy Madrid like a local, with lovely temperatures and plenty to do.

If you’re on a tighter budget and don’t mind a bit of cold, consider visiting in the winter. Many hotels drop their prices in the off season—perfect for a family vacation that won’t break the bank!

A little girl carrying a clipboard while walking through a busy city with a young boy and two women
Enjoying a beautiful spring day in Madrid!

Where to Stay in Madrid with Kids

Madrid has dozens of rich, vibrant neighborhoods, each unique in its own way. But when visiting Madrid with kids, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on a home base.

Consider somewhere that is close to the attractions you and your family want to see, with reliable public transportation and great food options nearby. A few of our favorite neighborhoods for families are:

  •  Barrio Salamanca: Clean, comfortable, and quiet, this neck of the woods is a favorite among local families. Its wide, smooth streets make getting around with strollers easier than in many other neighborhoods.
  •  Huertas/Literary Quarter: This historic neighborhood provides super easy access to some of Madrid’s top sights, but is quite calm and laid-back despite its central location.
  •  Chamberí: One of the city’s last few genuinely madrileño neighborhoods, the warm and welcoming local atmosphere here makes it a great family-friendly option.

Check out our complete guide to where to stay in Madrid with kids for a complete neighborhood breakdown and our top accommodation picks in each.

View of the central building of Madrid's Plaza Mayor with a statue of a man on horseback in the foreground.
Centrally located and full of charm, Plaza Mayor is always a hit!

Using Madrid’s Public Transportation with Kids

Trying to wrangle kids in a new city can be tough, especially when you barely know your way around yourself. However, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how easy getting around Madrid with kids can be. The Spanish capital boasts an extensive, efficient and easy-to-use public transportation system. Plus, if you prefer to get around on foot, it’s easy to walk between the main sights in the city center.

Cabs & Car Seats

Sometimes, the easiest option for getting around Madrid with kids is just to call a cab. Trying to juggle kids and luggage can be a hassle, so a cab is a safe and comfortable way to get your family where they need to be.

The official app for Madrid city taxis is called TXMAD and available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. If you need a car seat, a great option is the Cabify app—just be sure to choose the Cabify Kids option, which will let you select the size of seat you need.

Metro

Madrid’s excellent metro system can get you wherever you need to go in a flash. Trains come frequently, the system is easy to use, and it’s often the most comfortable choice for getting around Madrid with kids.

The metro system in Madrid is one of the oldest in the world, but updates have been made over the years to improve accessibility. Most of the major stops in and around the center now have elevators, so taking the metro with a stroller isn’t nearly as much of a hassle as it has been in the past!

Some of the most transited central stations with elevators and other accessibility features are:

  • Sol
  • Atocha Renfe
  • Ópera
  • Plaza de España
  • Callao
  • Lavapiés
  • Nuevos Ministerios

A full list of accessible stations can be found on the Madrid metro website.

A white and blue train of the Madrid metro arriving at a station.
Madrid’s metro is fast, inexpensive and easy to use. Photo credit: Sharon Hahn Darlin

Buses

Madrid’s extensive bus network consists of nearly 200 lines throughout the city, making it one of the most efficient ways for navigating Madrid with kids. The large blue buses, operated by EMT, are comfortable and offer many features suitable for families. Many of the newer buses even feature special child seats for young children.

As with buses anywhere in the world, getting on board with a stroller often depends simply on how crowded the bus is. All of Madrid’s buses are equipped to hold at least one stroller or wheelchair at a time, with many having space for more. For safety, EMT requires that strollers be facing backwards (to the direction the bus is moving) with the brakes activated.

Two blue city buses on the road in Madrid.
Madrid’s blue buses can get you anywhere you need to go! Photo credit: ra_fus

Things to Do in Madrid with Kids

There’s plenty to see and do in Madrid during your family vacation! Here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly activities.

  •  Visit the park: From the cable car at Casa de Campo to boating around the lovely lake in Retiro, there are plenty of beautiful green spaces in Madrid that the whole family will love.
  •  Kid-friendly museums: Climb aboard vintage train cars at the Railway Museum or explore natural wonders at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, both of which are kid-approved!

Don’t miss our ultimate guide to things to do in Madrid for kids. It’s packed with both kid-friendly activities and tips for visiting other iconic sights with little ones.

And if you need some help narrowing down your itinerary, we’ve got you covered as well. Here’s how to spend three days in Madrid with kids!

A guide leading a family on a food tour in front of the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid
A food tour is a fun and delicious way to experience Madrid for the whole family!

Eating in Madrid with Kids

When traveling with kids, mealtimes are one of the most important yet most complicated parts of the day. You might barely understand what everything is yourself, so just imagine how foreign all of this food must seem to a child! Luckily, eating in Madrid with kids doesn’t have to be much of a hassle. 

In Spain, kids are more than welcome at bars and restaurants. It’s not unusual to see entire families of madrileños, little ones and all, eating dinner out until close to midnight (or later!).

It’s worth noting that kid’s menus aren’t a thing here in Spain; instead, children simply eat whatever the adults are eating. While this can sometimes involve some pretty surprising dishes (an entire cocido madrileño, anyone?), many typical Spanish dishes are great for kids who may not be used to them.

Here are a few great kid-friendly options you can find on many menus throughout Madrid.

  •  CroquetasCrispy and creamy croquettes are a favorite among Spanish kids. The most popular filling is cured ham (jamón), but you can also find croquettes made with chicken, mushrooms, salt cod, and more.
  •  Albóndigas: They may not come with spaghetti, but Spanish meatballs are a simple and delicious choice on their own.
  •  Tortilla de patatas: Potatoes and eggs are always a solid choice, even for the pickiest of eaters.
  •  Churros con chocolate: No explanation needed!
Family sitting around a small wooden table full of shared plates as a server places more food on the table.
Eating family style is the way to go at many Spanish meals.

Visiting Madrid with Teenagers

We all know traveling with teens comes with its own set of challenges, but it can also be incredibly rewarding when done right. After all, a trip abroad can be a life-changing experience, especially when that trip is to Madrid! Read on for a few of our favorite teen-friendly activities in Madrid.

1. Take a Boat Ride in Retiro Park

The crown jewel of Madrid’s myriad green spaces, Retiro Park is a must on any list of how to visit Madrid with teenagers. Check out the contemporary art exhibits at the Palacio de Cristal (glass palace), do some people watching, or go for a boat ride! The row boats are generally everyone’s favorite Retiro activity and perfect for teens looking to soak up some sun and snap an Instagram-worthy pic.

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