Madrid is a popular travel destination for international travelers. It’s high standard of living, and thriving economy attracts many visitors year round and the culture that is prevalent throughout the city keeps them coming back for more. There are dozens of attractions throughout the city that attract all ages. Here are our favorite spots in Madrid for families who have children with autism.
Warner Brothers Movie World (Parque Warner)
Parque Warner, just south of Madrid, is a booming amusement park full of well-known and beloved movie characters. From Superman and Batman to Yogi Bear and Scooby Doo, visitors can find the park littered with rides and shows that feature all Warner cartoon characters.
There are many different rollercoaster rides perfect for all visitors, from children to thrill seekers. The park also features water rides for hot summer days. For those who are not interested in rides, the live shows, performances, and food attractions are the best in the area.
The Teleferico cable car runs a fifteen-minute track from Paseo del Pintor Rosales to Casa de Campo. Here, travelers can get a fantastic view of the Parque del Oeste, the Egyptian Deborde temple, the Manzanares River, and the Royal Palace.The cable car runs noon to nine PM, and rides are free for Madrid card holders.
Parque de Atracciones
Parque de Atracciones is Madrid’s main amusement park. This park is open every day May to mid-September and weekends for the rest of the year. Young children can enjoy a special area of the park, and there’s plenty of thrilling rides for older kids. Families can enjoy the park’s bars, restaurants, and outdoor shows.
Faunia is a zoo theme park that features miniature versions of different ecosystems in several domes. Travelers can see the Amazon jungle filled with exotic birds and a recreated tropical storm as well as a Penguin World with an artificial Antarctic in the same park.
El Retiro is a must-visit spot for anyone visiting Madrid. This beautiful park is home to over 15,000 trees. The lush landscape makes El Retiro the best location to lounge around, take a break, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Kids can enjoy activities like biking and roller blades or take a boat ride over the pond.
Guests here can find several gardens with classical themes, a lake where visitors can go for a boat ride, and monuments and fountains dedicated to historical figures. Located in the center of Madrid, El Retiro is easy to get to, so there is no excuse to pass up stopping by this beautiful park.
Burrolandia Donkey Refuge
This Donkey Refuge is only a fifteen-minute drive outside of Madrid. Kids can pet or feed the over twenty-six donkey residents. While entry is free, any donations will go to the center’s upkeep. The center is open Sundays from 11 AM to 1:30 PM.
Real Madrid Stadium
The Real Madrid Stadium hold over 85,000 spectators and is home to numerous football games throughout the year. Even the FIFA World Cup has taken place at the Real Madrid Stadium. The stadium was first constructed during the 1940’s and has since become an even larger venue. Tours offered throughout the stadium. This place gives sports fans a chance to see some behind the scenes action right up until the game begins.
Located in the center of Madrid, the Prado is the national art museum. It is home to many historical art pieces from throughout Europe. There are pieces dated from the twelfth to nineteenth centuries. The beautiful old building holds 7,600 paintings and thousands of sculptures, drawings, and historical documents. The entire collection at the Prado is based on the former Spanish Royal Collection. Within the Prado, one can find numerous pieces from famous artists such as Francisco de Goya, Diego Velazquez, El Greco, Titian, and Peter Paul Rubens.
Museo del Arte de Reina Sofia
The Reina Sofia is one of the world’s largest contemporary art museums. The museum used to be a hospital. Today, it houses the works of several famous artists such as Dali and Picasso as well as more modern artists in temporary exhibits. Parents can let kids enjoy various workshops and tours, and children will likely find the exterior glass lifts fun to travel inside.
The Caixa Forum in Madrid features numerous exhibitions on history, art, political debates, and social events. Here, families can observe Spain’s first vertical garden, boasting 15,000 plants. They often host great workshops for parents and kids.The Forum is open daily from ten AM to eight PM, and admission is free, though some events may charge.
Palacio Real de Madrid
This palace originally held the local royalty, though now it is mainly used for ceremonies. Today, visitors can see the Palacio Real de Madrid’s beautiful gardens and architecture. For free, guests can explore the King and Queen’s quarters as well as the palace’s pharmacy with hundreds of bottles for herbal remedies. Art from different famous Spanish artists decorate the walls throughout the palace.Travelers should check out the Changing of the Guard, a popular event every Wednesday from eleven AM to two PM.
The El Rastro flea market happens every Sunday morning all along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores. Here, visitors can find many interesting artistic items that one can’t find anywhere else. It is certainly the best place for a unique souvenir.
El Corte Ingles
The El Corte Ingles is a famous shopping center on Gran Via. This center is made up of several buildings and features a vast collection of Spanish designer clothing. Brands here include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Hugo Bos, and Bulgari. Those looking for some high-end fashion directly from Spain should come here.
At the Fuencarral Market, one can find interesting and offbeat items. This market was originally made as an alternative to department stores and has grown to feature the art of some of Madrid’s most skilled artisans and designers. Family members into alternative items like piercings, tattoos, and extreme hairdressing will love this market, though it is certainly for older kids. At the market, travelers can also listen to the on-site DJs playing music.
Autism Travel Tips:
- Faunia is not a cheap day out. Guests are not allowed to bring in food from outside, and queues can be long.
- In Palacio Real de Madrid, one can rent a locker for coats and cameras since photos are not allowed inside the buildings.
- Caixa Forum’s workshops are great to bring flighty kids to since the admission is free and one can leave at any time without wasting money.
- Some artwork in Reina Sofia is extreme in their content, which is either violent or sexual. Parents should make sure to avoid particular areas that might be too much for younger kids.
- Those with the seventy-two-hour version of the Madrid card gets free entry to the Parque de Atracciones. There are no accommodations in the parks.
- There might be long queues to enter the Prado in the summer so parents should consider purchasing tickets online.