Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Madrid with kids
Kids visiting Madrid shouldn't end up getting bored, with plenty of parks and zoos and amusement parks on offer. Spanish people are very friendly towards kids and unlike in other countries, most cafés and restaurants will accept them with open arms. We've put together a list of ideas to take kids in Madrid:
Kids always love parks and Retiro has plenty of space for them to run around in, being one of the largest parks in the city. There's also a lake where boats can be hired. On weekends, there's a carnival atmosphere and plenty of entertainers to keep the kids amused. Metro: Atocha (L1) or Retiro (L2).
Madrid Zoo and Aquarium
Located in Casa del Campo, a huge wilderness to the south-west of the city, Madrid zoo is considered one of the best in Europe. The zoo was first founded in 1770 in what is now Retiro Park, but today it houses over 6000 animals and 500 species. There is a petting area, dolphin exhibition and avary as well as boats and mini-train.
Tickets cost 19,40€ for adults and 15,70€ for kids. special combined tickets are also available for the Parque Warner. You can get there from Casa de Campo metro (lines 5 and 10).
Website: http://www.zoomadrid.com/es (Spanish only).
Note the zoo closes from the end of September until 1st January and opening times vary throughout the year and depending on the day of the week. Check website first.
The Bernabéu Stadium (Real Madrid Stadium)
Kids can come and imagine they're Ronaldo! Home to the Real Madrid football team, visitors can enjoy a tour of the stadium, museum and trophy cabinets.
Where: Paseo de Castellana, Metro: Santiago de Bernabeu (L10).
Address: Paseo de Castellana, Metro: Santiago de Bernabeu (L10).
Open: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 – 19:30, Sundays and holidays: 10:30 - 18:30. Opening times may vary on match days- check website.
Closed: Christmas and New Year's Day
Entrance: Children 11€, adults 16€. Can be bought online.
Casa del Campo
Located in the south west of Madrid and away from the centre, Casa de Campo is a massive open space, much bigger than Central Park or Hyde Park. For kids, there are sports facilities, a large lake with hire boats, an amusement park, aquarium and the zoo- said to be one of the best in Europe. The Teleférico (cable car) connects the park with Parque del Oeste in the centre of Madrid and the journey is 11 minutes. There is also an outdoor swimming pool very popular with madrileños in the summer. Metro: Batán or Lago (both L10). The Teleferico leaves from near Moncloa metro (Lines 3, and 6).
Not quite on the same scale as Disneyland, but still a lot of fun. Parque Warner is a theme park based around the Warner Brothers films and cartoons, located to the south of the city. There are plenty of rides (loved by kids and adults), shows, street parades and cartoon characters to meet. Makes a great day out for all the family!
Tickets cost 39€ for adults and 30€ for kids. You can also buy a combined pass for the zoo and aquarium. You can reach the park by taking the 412 bus from Villaverdo Bajo interchange (Metro: Villaverde Bajo Line3); the C3 Cercanías train from Atocha to Pinto and change there to go to the Parque del Ocio stop, or by car by taking the A4 and exiting at J22. You can see more details about the park by visiting parquewarner.com
A huge wildlife park containing hundreds of animals from all continents. The idea is to teach visitors about the different animal habitats and ecosystems across the world in 8 different zones.
The park is quite a way from Madrid, but is still accessible by taking metro line 9 to Valdebernardo. Alternatively you can take the Cercanías C2 line (local train) from Atocha railway station to Vicálvaro. Tickets cost 25,50€ for adults and 19,50 for kids. Combined passes for Faunia and Madrid Zoo are available.
Note the park closes from the end of September until 1st January and opening times vary throughout the year and depending on the day of the week. Check website first. Website: http://www.faunia.es/en
Shopping with kids
For kids clothes we highly recommend Neck &Neck (Serrano 61 and Ayala 17) and Pasito a Pasito , which is of excellent quality and can be found in many select shops. On the whole, it is all quality and good design. Kids will love Los Caprichos de Goya (Goya, 50), which sells all kinds of crazy things and a visit will keep them and the grown ups amused. Other toy shops include the Imaginarium (Carmen 15, near Sol) and the toy section of El Corte Inglés. FNAC and Casa de Libro have a section for kids and books in English.