There are playgrounds, the zoo, museums, royal palaces, plazas, markets, churro and jamon. Madrid with kids offers plenty of things to see and do. My list for our two days was again too long. In the end we skipped a lot, but what we did experience makes us convinced that Madrid is a great family destination.
Madrid city center
We started exploring Madrid with a visit to the city center. I still remembered bits and pieces from when I visited it with my parents and my kids were equally impressed. The architecture, the busy avenues, the rivers of people going back and forth, the smell of the food on every corner – the city is vibrant and beautiful.
Our walk included a stop at: goofing around at Plaza Mayor, admiring shops on Gran Via, walking down Puerta del Sol and getting lost by turning into small streets.
Moving on to the place our kids and us as well loved so much. We visited twice and skipped the zoo, aquarium and many interesting museums. The weather was perfect and our kids wanted to spend the time we had, playing at the many playgrounds on offer at Madrid Rio.
This is a huge recreational and cultural area with 17 play areas. Each area has different characteristics according to age. It’s so much fun to walk along the banks of river Manzanares and stop to try out new set of toys.
You can already guess the pattern, even in the big cities we like to stick to nature. That’s why we loved the huge Retiro Park. We were there on an early Sunday morning, but not early enough. We wanted to rent a boat and paddle around the small man made pond, but it was so crowded we changed our minds.
But just walking the many paths and admiring the locals taking time off, was fun enough. (Not in my kids opinion.)
Mercado San Miguel
Now, this is our pick, as our kids to tell you the truth were rather unimpressed. But who cares, they go their playgrounds and we got our food. Everyone was happy.
This impressive wrought iron and glass building houses a covered market with many stalls selling delicious food and drinks. It’s our playground and the best ride in my opinion were the many different olives.
You have to just go and visit, no kind of description will do it justice. There are delicious smells, constant chit chatter of people, bottles uncorked, plates pushed, food that you are desperate to try…
Stadio Santiago Bernabeu
The home stadium of the football team Real Madrid was my husbands (but of course) idea to see. If I had to chose we’d be in the Prado Museum or admiring the Royal Palace. But even if you aren’t a football fan, I’ll admit it’s impressive. Real Madrid would gain two new fans, if our girls had the chance to explore the inside of the stadium, but by the time we arrived, it was closed.
There you have it these are our top five. But to tell you the truth I’d love to spend a couple of leisurely days in the center of the city. Hand in hand with hubby, have coffee, walk the small alleyways, eat jamon and churro – we forgot, spend evenings drinking good wine and laughing… I am day dreaming again, sorry….