We spent three nights in the Spanish capital, Madrid, when Mrs T was one year old. I have to admit, it wasn’t the easiest age to be traipsing around a city as we were very conscious of her needing to be active now and then (she was crawling at the time). But, we still had a great time and hopefully our experiences will help anybody visiting Madrid although here are some extra tips and recommendations for those travelling with a young children.

Royal Palace Of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain

Why?
An impressive looking palace from the outside, inside it is even more magnificent. Highly recommend taking a look.

Background
King Carlos III was the first royal to live in the palace in its current design in the 1760s after the former palace was destroyed in a fire in 1734. The final plans for the design were drawn up by Juan Bautista Sachetti following the unexpected death of his mentor Filippo Juvara. Although it is the official residence for the current royal family, they no longer reside there with the palace only used for state ceremonies.

Our Experience Mrs T loved looking at the shiny, luxurious decor (so did we) and we marvelled at the very extensive rooms filled with plush furniture, fine art from the likes of Caraviaggo and Goya and historical ornaments such as those found in the Royal Pharmacy room.

Downsides
Don’t go inside the palace when your child needs to sleep as there are a lot of stairs. There is a designated place where you can securely lock your buggy away. Mrs T was still light enough to go in the BabyBjorn carrier and thoroughly enjoyed having a nose around. As long as you don’t get a guided tour you can view the palace as quickly (or slowly) as you wish. It is fine to take the buggy around the grounds.

Price 10 euros

Buen Retiro Park

Buen Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain

Why?
This park is HUGE (320 acres in fact). It is a beautiful, quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of Madrid and has some stunning monuments, landscaped gardens and a huge artificial lake overlooked by a giant monument to Alfonso XII.

Background
The park was envisaged by Felipe IV in the 17th century as a recreational area for the royal family but opened to the public in 1868. It still has a very regal feel to it. This park is home to the Palacio de Cristal which was  built in 1887 and used to exhibit plants from the Philippines. As the name suggests it was influenced by London’s Crystal Palace. It is now used as an art exhibition space.

Buen Retiro Park, Madrid

Our Experience
We loved it there and after a morning of sightseeing, it was a welcome refuge for Mrs T to have a crawl and for us to rest our feet and chill out. There are several playgrounds for children to enjoy. If you have older children you can hire boats on the lake.

Downside
It gets busy at the weekends as locals flock there. Depending on which gate you go in through (we went through the one by the Museo De Prado), some of the paths in the park are gravel so can be a tricky with a buggy and there were some stairs too.

Price FREE!

Mrs T in Madrid park, Spain

San Miguel Food Market

San Miguel Food Market, Madrid, Spain
Why?
This isn’t just any food market. It has 33 stalls with everything from baby eels to macaroons to local wines. Go there to buy some local produce, try some delicious tapas, drink the local wine and experience a huge variety of high quality Spanish cuisine under one roof.

Background
Located next to the Plaza Mayor, this traditional market, built in 1917,  has been given a modern revamp and has a buzzing atmosphere to while away your time.

Our Experience
We went when Mrs T was having her afternoon nap so were able to relax and soak up the atmosphere and sample a wide range of food. It is casual dining at its best and if you are into your food then this is a must.

Downside
It can get crowded and seating is very limited with no highchairs or provisions for younger children.

Price Spend as much or little as you wish

San Miguel Food Market, Madrid, SpainMuseo Del Prado

Why?
Huge plethora of European artwork – particularly Spanish artist Goya.

Background
Building was designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785 and opened to the public in 1819. Today it houses masterpieces such as The Nobleman with his hand on his chest bu El Greco, The Family of Carlos IV by Goya and The Pearl by Raphael.

Our Experience
We went when Mrs T was asleep which was a wise move otherwise she may have got a bit bored. We were incredibly impressed with the calibre of art work and the layout was spacious, airy and well signposted. You need a lot of time to get through the huge amount of artwork under one roof. We spent about an hour and a half there, and only got onto the second floor – still worth it though!

Price 14 euros for adults, free for under 18s

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain

Background
This is the central and most popular plaza in Madrid. It has  a statue of King Philip III in the middle of the square. The current design was, once again the work of Villanueva (see above). Over the centuries it has been used for bullfights, soccer games and even public executions. It is now the home of many street artists/living statues, restaurants and shops.

Our Experience
Ok so it is a bit of a tourist trap but there are amusing street artists to look at and the architecture is impressive. There are lots of traditional shops to have a nose at (although if you are squeamish then avoid the bar filled with pictures of bull fighters in action).

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, SpainDownside
DON’T be tempted to eat at the many restaurants/bars there, they are very expensive and touristy. For some great food either go to the San Miguel Food Market or head to Calle Cava Baja where there tonnes of restaurants serving excellent tapas and pinchos at reasonable prices. Alternatively if you fancy a ‘plaza experience’ try the Plaza Santa Ana. It is less touristy and there are some great restaurants there (We loved Lateral if you want something a bit upmarket). You can take your children to the plaza without worrying about them making a noise or waking up if they have managed to drop off to sleep (most Spanish kids are still up and playing past 10pm).

Have you been to Madrid? Or would you like to go? What other hot spots are good to visit with children? I’d love to hear your thoughts, just comment below.

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5 Things to do in Madrid with kids

Wander Mum

58 Comments on 5 Things To Do In Madrid (with a toddler)

    • admin
      May 3, 2015 at 8:18 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks for hosting. It is s really beautiful city. Thoroughly recommend. Amazing food too. X

      Reply
  1. Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One
    May 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm (3 years ago)

    My parents have been to Madrid a few times and raved about it, I personally love Seville, which is near to my parents, very child friendly and lots to see too #travelwithkids
    Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One recently posted…Casual Cooking cook bookMy Profile

    Reply
    • admin
      May 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh, I’ve never been to Seville but wanted to for ages, it’s just never happened for some reason but it’s one the list – thanks for reminding me!

      Reply
    • admin
      June 2, 2015 at 11:56 am (3 years ago)

      It’s a great city!! Am sure you’ll be going super soon! Xxx

      Reply
  2. Packing my Suitcase
    June 3, 2015 at 8:51 am (3 years ago)

    Madrid is one of my favourite towns in the World!!
    I found it so nice how you wrote this post, sharing your experience with Mrs. T! This is very useful for other moms too. It would be nice to have posts like these for other cities too 😀

    Can’t wait to visit Madrid again… it’s been a while!

    Thank you for another great link for #MondayEscapes
    Packing my Suitcase recently posted…A Weekend Getaway in TuscanyMy Profile

    Reply
    • admin
      June 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm (3 years ago)

      It is? Is really fab! My friend used to live there so have seen the party side too and that is pretty awesome too! I’ve a few of these posts knocking around for other cities so keep an eye out on #mondayescapes xxx

      Reply
    • admin
      June 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Laura x

      Reply
  3. Joanne John
    May 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks a mil. I’m taking my 4.5month old there on Sat for a week and appreciate the advice.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 20, 2016 at 7:57 pm (2 years ago)

      You’re welcome. Glad to help – have a fantastic time!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm (1 year ago)

      This one is particularly good!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh no, that’s a shame. I’m sure we’ve been in Spain when a dustbin strike has been on too…must happen a fair bit.

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth
    November 9, 2016 at 1:45 pm (1 year ago)

    I was in Madrid many years ago and this reminded me of all the fun stuff we did while we were there. I had not thought to revisit it with the kids now that we are in Europe but we really should.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh, definitely! Glad I brought back some memories!

      Reply
  5. Natalie
    November 9, 2016 at 3:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Great tips for parents thinking of travelling to Madrid with a toddler! There’s definitely so much more to consider but it’s not impossible. #Citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 10, 2016 at 8:09 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you. No, it’s not – just important to get a balance for everyone’s needs.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm (1 year ago)

      For sure. It’s a great city!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm (1 year ago)

      The palace was really impressive.

      Reply
  6. Tracy McConnachie Collins
    November 9, 2016 at 5:25 pm (1 year ago)

    My baby daughter grew up and recently went to Madrid with some friends from Uni! I recognise some of the places from your pictures! She really enjoyed her trip – somewhere I will have to get to I think! #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm (1 year ago)

      For sure! One day that will be my grown up daughter…eek! Time flies.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Definitely get it added Jo – worth a visit.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 10, 2016 at 8:06 am (1 year ago)

      Great – hope you do too – wonderful city!

      Reply
  7. beatravelling
    November 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm (1 year ago)

    I enjoyed Madrid a lot! Actually liked it better than Barcelona… #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm (1 year ago)

      I know what you mean Bea.

      Reply
  8. May {A Million Little Echoes}
    November 10, 2016 at 7:54 am (1 year ago)

    Happy First Linky Birthday! Oh I love travelling with little ones! I do find it very easy to travel with a stroller or just a carrier. They can nap on the go and we don’t have to waste time looking for a bed. Never been to Madrid though and won’t be able to share much of our experience. But would love to do Madrid some day! #citytripping
    May {A Million Little Echoes} recently posted…Christmas Craft: A Christmas WreathMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm (1 year ago)

      I hope you get to Madrid some day! My eldest daughter is a bit old for the pushchair now but sometimes I could really do with it to get her to nap and keep her fresh.

      Reply
  9. Katy Clarke
    November 10, 2016 at 11:07 am (1 year ago)

    I love Madrid and cant wait to take my two armed with your tips. I agree with your assessment of Mercado San Miguel vs Borough Market… no comparison!! Amazing place. I watched Spain win the World Cup Final there in 2010. It was an absolutely incredible experience and totally unsuitable for a toddler! #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm (1 year ago)

      Wow! What a fantastic experience. We were in Spain for that too – in the middle of nowhere but still found a pub to watch the match and absorb the celebrations afterwards.

      Reply
  10. Clare Thomson (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    November 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm (1 year ago)

    Some great tips for visiting Madrid with little ones in tow. Nap times in pushchairs are the perfect opportunity for long lunches and museum visits! #citytripping
    Clare Thomson (Suitcases and Sandcastles) recently posted…Faraway Files #6My Profile

    Reply
  11. Sarah Ebner
    November 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Still haven’t made it to Madrid, but would love to. We took our daughter to Barcelona when she was a baby and loved it – I think it’s a very family friendly country. #citytripping
    Sarah Ebner recently posted…The National Memorial Arboretum in StaffordshireMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:23 pm (1 year ago)

      The Spanish are really great with kids and I thoroughly recommend Madrid – great city.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 11, 2016 at 6:38 pm (1 year ago)

      I really like Madrid – has a lot going for it. You need to go!

      Reply
  12. Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    November 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm (1 year ago)

    Great tips. I think going places with a one year old was the most awkward phase we went through. Naps, feeding and crawling time are always difficult to fit in around sightseeing. But it can be done! Loving the throwback pics of Mrs T 😀 #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm (1 year ago)

      I totally agree…a really awkward age. Crawling can cause a few issues when travelling.

      Reply
  13. Kat
    November 12, 2016 at 10:59 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Liz, great post..and just as well, my cousin will be travelling to Madrid with her toddler, so am going to share this post with her 🙂 #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:19 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh, fab. Great timing!

      Reply
  14. Erin Gustafson
    November 12, 2016 at 12:21 pm (1 year ago)

    I totally agree with skip the restaurants in Plaza Mayor – we loved Calle Cava Baja and Plaza Santa Ana AND the Mercado – which can get a little stuffed on a Friday night – but off hours it is amazing. Retiro Park was a favorite of our kids as well – cheers! Erin #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:19 pm (1 year ago)

      Such a fab city!

      Reply
  15. Elizabeth
    November 13, 2016 at 5:44 am (1 year ago)

    We visited Madrid as a family last February and it was wonderful. We didn’t go to the Prado or inside the palace, but we did hit up all the parks and markets. For me, Madrid was just a wonderful city to walk around. It was gorgeous.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm (1 year ago)

      I totally agree!

      Reply
  16. Five Adventurers
    November 13, 2016 at 9:31 pm (1 year ago)

    Great suggestions. I have found loads of cheap flights to Madrid but it never really appealed to me when compared to Barcelona. You have really helped change my views!

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 17, 2016 at 11:09 am (1 year ago)

      Oh, you must go!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm (1 year ago)

      Haha – it is a great city – even without a beach!

      Reply
  17. Rosie Hill (@EcoGitesLenault)
    November 15, 2016 at 4:56 am (1 year ago)

    Barcelona is the furthest I have ever got into Spain – I reckon I need to change that sometime soon! #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 15, 2016 at 7:40 pm (1 year ago)

      For sure Rosie! So much to discover there.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 21, 2016 at 7:35 pm (1 year ago)

      Yes, good for all ages! Madrid is such a great city.

      Reply

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