The Ultimate Madrid 3 Day Itinerary For Your Family

Are you ready for a family adventure to the heart of Spain? Madrid, with its history, vibrant culture, and family-friendly attractions is the perfect destination for an unforgettable getaway. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, family favorites, and everything in between, find out what to include in your Madrid 3-day itinerary for an amazing experience for your family.

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DAY ONE

Apollo Fountain/Neptune Fountain

Both fountains are nice to see on their own, but the surrounding green spaces right in the middle of Madrid are the main reason to visit. The Neptune Fountain sits in the middle of a busy roundabout, but the green spaces to the north and south of it are quite scenic.

The northern section contains the Apollo fountain and a little playground for small children. The tree-covered walkways are a wonderful place for a stroll.

Madrid, Spain

The southern section has a tourist information center and similar tree-lined walkways. During my walk in this area to my surprise, I spotted several parrots flying in the wild. So keep your eyes and ears open and you’ll likely spot a few.

Chocolateria San Gines

There are plenty of places to try out the world-famous churros in Spain, but no place is more popular than this one. It is indeed a tourist destination so be prepared for a line, but you’ll likely find that it’s worth the wait.

Chocolateria San Gines

Dipping that soft, tasty churro into the thick chocolate was one of the highlights of my trip to Madrid. 

If the line is too long or you can’t make it here, make sure you get your churros somewhere before you leave Madrid.

Plaza Mayor

Head over to what was once called the heart of Madrid, Plaza Mayor. This unique plaza consisting of geometrically constructed buildings including the Casa de la Panaderia, is an architectural delight.

Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain

It’s a location that has a history dating back to the 17th century and is also the perfect spot for some photos.

It’s one of the best spots in Madrid to grab a coffee, relax, and watch the locals and tourists wander by.

Mercado de San Miguel

Madrid is a city of markets, and while there may be better markets for shopping than San Miguel’s, none is more popular or picturesque. There is an outstanding variety of food available and it’s a great place to sample some of what Madrid has to offer.

San Miguel Market

Try the Iberico ham, seafood paella, Spanish cheese, and croquetas. You can also grab some churros if you haven’t already. Or if you just want more.

We tried some salmon tapas and they were the best thing we tasted in Madrid. 

Royal Palace of Madrid

Once you’ve had all that you can eat at the market, take a walk to the Royal Palace of Madrid. This happens to be the largest functioning palace in Europe. Book your tickets ahead of time for a tour of the palace.

It includes the throne room and numerous rooms highlighting the intriguing history of Spain. 

Royal Palace of Madrid

There are also several other options for different types of tours including guided tours of the Palace which you can reserve here.

Spend time before you even start your tour walking around the vast open-air courtyard in front of the palace.

As you leave the Palace, check out the Plaza de Oriente. It’s a small park with nicely landscaped shrubs and trees. Of particular interest is a playground for little kids that’s in the park.

It’s a great spot for kids to play and is a nice break for little ones after spending time in the Palace.

Sabatini Gardens

This meticulously landscaped garden is right next to the palace and is a wonderful space to explore. Created with French and English styles it’s the perfect compliment to the impressive palace. Take a stroll among the pathways between the shrubs and enjoy the greenery.

DAY TWO

Cybele Palace

This building is another Spanish architectural marvel and was built by Spanish architect Antonio Palacios. It’s constructed in a neoclassical style and has an impressive photo-worthy facade.

Cibeles Palace

Take the elevator to the top of the building and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city. 

Cibeles Fountain

Just outside Cybele Palace is the fountain bearing its name. This fountain, inaugurated in 1782, has come to be a symbol of Madrid. It features a sculpture of Cybele, a Phrygian goddess on a chariot drawn by lions. This is a great place for photos with the Cybele Palace in the background.

Metropolis

Madrid, Spain

As you head down Calle Gran Via, make a stop to see the Metropolis building. Built between 1907 and 1911 in a mix of Beaux-Arts and French neoclassical styles, with a statue of Winged Victory atop it.

Its facade is probably the most famous in Madrid. To get a view of it from above, visit the Circulo de Bellas Artes building nearby.

Calle Gran Via

This is the street where many come to shop. Calle Gran Via and the side streets that branch off of it are a shopper’s paradise. National and international brands occupy the area with a variety of shops and boutiques.

There is quite a variety whether you’re looking for luxury or budget items you can find it all here.

While you’re shopping you’ll also notice the iconic architecture that Madrid is known for.

Fundacion Telefonica

This building is the home of several floors of technological and scientific displays. You’ll also find art, photography, and multimedia installations. It’s free to enter and is an interesting change of pace from the rest of the things that you’ll see on Calle Gran Via. 

There are interactive exhibits that are fun to participate in. Our family had a great time with the exhibits and looking around. It was quite an intriguing experience and a pleasant surprise.

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain

One of Madrid’s busiest squares happens to be known as “kilometer zero” since it’s the point from which all Spanish roads branch off. Keeping with the theme of the area, it’s also a popular spot to shop and eat as it’s a short walk from Calle Gran Via.

This plaza is also home to one of the biggest metro stations in Madrid and is where numerous metro lines converge. 

Plaza de Espana

If you take the metro from Puerta del Sol on the way to Templo de Debod, you’ll end up in the Plaza de Espana. There is a massive monument in the center of the plaza.

Playground near Plaza de Espana

There is also a nice playground on the far end of the plaza, it’s an excellent place for kids to play and run around. It’s worth it to take some time to relax as it’s a nice space.

Templo de Debod

When you think of Madrid you probably don’t think of Egyptian temples, but this is an authentic Egyptian temple right in the middle of Madrid.

Templo de Debod

Painstakingly taken apart and reassembled right in Madrid, this temple is an intriguing part of Egyptian and Spanish history. It’s nice to see it and walk around it, and you can even go inside. 

Only 30 people are allowed in at a time for 30 minutes, so there will likely be a line to enter.

Either before or after take the time to stroll the surrounding park. There are stunning panoramic views of the city as well as a playground.

DAY THREE

Prado Museum

Prado Museum

As a prominent member of the Golden Triangle along with the Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofia, the Prado is more than worth a visit. It holds an impressive collection of classical European art, especially Spanish artists.

There are works by Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez, and El Greco to be found in the museum.

You can purchase your tickets to the Prado here.

If you want a bit more detail with your visit, you can purchase a guided tour of the Prado here and skip the line.

The three museums are in fairly proximity to each other so if you prefer modern and contemporary art, then try the Reina Sofia. 

You can purchase your tickets to the Reina Sofia here.

Retiro Park

Just a short stroll from the Prado Museum, Madrid’s premier green space awaits exploration. Covering 350 acres, Retiro Park boasts highlights such as the Great Pond, the Crystal Palace, and numerous fountains and gardens.

Retiro Park

Grab a snack from one of the vendors and relax on the benches near the pond, or indulge in a rowboat ride—a delightful family activity. While Retiro is expansive enough for a full day of exploration, starting near the pond is an excellent beginning point.

The park offers ample space for children to freely run around, with various pathways to follow and plenty of shaded areas for relief on a sunny summer day. This makes Retiro Park one of the best activities in Madrid for the entire family.

Botanical Gardens

Just off of Retiro Park is the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid which holds over 30,000 plants including rare and endangered species. The garden’s appearance changes throughout the year providing a varying experience depending on when you visit.

The garden along with the park provides a nice peaceful relaxing break from the hectic city activities.

ENJOY YOUR 3 DAYS IN MADRID SPAIN

Madrid, Spain

A family trip to Madrid will be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. There’s a lot to fit into 3 days, but you can do it in a way that is fun and not too overwhelming. Now that you have an idea of what your itinerary could look like, it’s time to start planning your trip to Madrid. Check out the best tips on how to book flights to Madrid for your family as well as our guide on the best areas to stay in Madrid. Safe travels!

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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The Ultimate Madrid 3 Day Itinerary For Your Family
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