fun things to do with kids in madrid spain - family travel   Travel for Kids
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Madrid

Madrid - Plaza Mayor
Madrid, founded in the 9th century as "Magerit," became capital of the Spanish empire by the order of Philip II in 1561, and remains the capital of Spain today. Exploring Madrid with your kids, will it be the glories of the Museo del Prado, boating in the park, collections of armor in the Palacio Real, Spanish pastries from a local bakery, or walking along the wide promenades at twilight?
Madrid Photo Album
    Prado Museum and Retiro Park
    Old City
    Around the Palacio Real (Royal Palace)
    Plaza de España and Parks West
    More Museums
    Madrid Day Trips
Madrid street tiles
 

Tiled street plaques – In the old quarter of Madrid, look for tiled street plaques, the street names are beautifully illustrated, e.g. Calle de la Sal (Salt Street), Calle del Leon (Lion Street), Calle de las Jardines (Gardens Street), Plaza de la Villa (coat of arms of Madrid), Calle de Calderon de la Barca (famous author). Kids will have fun taking snapshots of their favorite streets.

    Equestrian statues – Spanish horses are legendary, and you’ll find statues around Madrid with famous figures on horseback. Here’s a few of our favorites – King Felipe III at the Plaza Mayor, Felipe IV at the Plaza de Oriente, statue of Don Quixote on his nag and Sancho Panza on his donkey at the Plaza de Espana, Alfonso XII in the Retiro Park, Carlos III in Puerta del Sol.
    Ride the Metro – The Metro system here is great so you can discover neighborhoods on foot, knowing the subway is usually nearby. Buy the Abono Turistico (Tourist Travel Pass), unlimited rides day pass, at the tourist office located at the Plaza Mayor.
     

Tip: If you have a toddler and stroller, be aware many stops do not have elevators, or escalators.

   

Fun food

chocolate and churros
   

A delicious snack is “chocolate con churros,” thick rich hot chocolate accompanied by churros (a doughnut-like pastry). Kids can dip their churros into the hot chocolate for the full effect. Two of our favorite places are Valor Chocolateria and Chocolateria San Gines.

   

Madrilenos have a sweet tooth, and kids will want to sample the wide variety of pastries in the bakeries and sweets such as violet candies. Also, fresh squeezed orange juice (zumo de naranja) is a great snack.

     

For a special dinner treat, have a meal at the Restaurant Sobrino de Botin, the oldest restaurant in Madrid, in business since 1725. The restaurant serves traditional Spanish meat and fish dishes. In the window is a super little model of the restaurant itself, and the interior is atmospheric dining.

   

Shopping

     

Fun things to buy in Madrid are Spanish style hair combs, shawls (manton de manila), fans, small swords, miniature bulls, Real Madrid soccer shirts, and replicas of the street tiles (pick your favorite street).

family hotels madrid

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Madrid, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels and apartment rentals for Madrid, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Madrid family hotels
Madrid family apartment rentals
family tours madrid
 

The Prado museum has the best collection of Spanish artists, such as Velazquez and Goya, but how to make the masterpieces come alive for children? On this 2+ hour family tour, kids will discover monsters and heroes, animals, knights and princesses in Prado artworks:

    Prado for Children
 

The Bear and Strawberry Tree are the symbol of Madrid. Take a family walking tour through the old city center streets looking for the Bear and Tree, discovering Spanish kings and queens, traditions and history, and tasting delicious Madrid sweets and snacks:

Bear Discovery
 

National Archaeology Museum is a treasure trove of ancient gold and silver jewelry, fabulous Roman mosaics, Visigoth crowns, medieval artifacts from Al-Andalus. On a museum family walking tour, discover panoramic history and peoples of the past in Spain:

Archaeology for Children
kids books madrid spain
     
Treasures of the Prado madrid kids books  
Treasures of the Prado
Felipe Vicente Garin Llombart

Fat little book, perfect for small hands, full of artworks from the Prado – Goya's luminous paintings, portraits by Velazquez, homey family scenes by Murillo, Dutch painters Hieronymous Bosch and Rembrandt.
(Picture book)

 

     
Diego Velazquez
Mike Venezia

Mini-biography of Diego Velazquez, master portrait painter. Velazquez came to Madrid to paint the royal family, and spent 37 years in the Spanish court. He painted princes on horseback, princesses in glittering gowns, royal pets, and his most famous painting, Las Meninas, which you'll see in the Prado. (Picture book)

 

 
madrid childrens books Diego Velazquez
     
I, Juan de Pareja kids books madrid  
I, Juan de Pareja
Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

"I, Juan de Pareja was born into slavery early in the seventeenth century." Absorbing fictional story of the boy Juan, who is sent to the home of Maestro Velazquez, the great Spanish court painter. (Chapter book)

 

     
El Greco
Mike Venezia

Before you see the paintings of El Greco in the Prado, find out this artist – real name Domenikos Theotokopoulos. He was born in Greece, but painted his most famous paintings in Spain, where he was known by his nickname "El Greco," The Greek. (Picture book)

 

 
El Greco
     
Katie and the Spanish Princess kids books velasquez spain  

Little Katie gets in the picture, when she climbs into a painting by of the princess Margarita, and swaps clothes with her. They meet other boys in paintings by Goya, as well as Velazquez, including Margarita's father, Philip IV, king of Spain. Fun for younger kids. (Picture book)

 

(More children's books on other Spain pages)
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