21 Best Things to do in Madrid with Teens
Madrid is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty of things to do with teens. I don’t think a family trip to Spain is complete without at least a few days in Madrid! The Spanish capital is a bustling metropolis with a rich history and culture, offering a unique blend of old-world charm and modern-day excitement. You can explore world-renowned museums, sample Madrid’s famous cuisine, enjoy the city’s beautiful green spaces, and so much more. Scroll down to check out my list of fun things to do in Madrid with teens.
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Where to Stay in Madrid
- Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via – central location on the Gran Via, offers triples and family rooms that sleep up to 4. Teens will love the rooftop pool and wellness center.
- Petit Palace Plaza Mayor – close to both Plaza Mayor and Palacio Real, this boutique property has several quadruple rooms for families and some rooms sleep up to 6.
- The Four Seasons – families looking for a luxury property should look no further. Housed in seven historical buildings with a four level wellness center and rooftop pool. Central to Puerta del Sol and the Prado Museum.
- The Madrid EDITION– beautifully designed hotel with a rooftop pool. Centrally located to Plaza Mayor .
Top Things to Do with Teens in Madrid, Spain
I spent time in Madrid during college, and it’s always been a favorite place to come back to with my whole family! It’s great for even a quick trip because you can easily plan to visit a variety of places with so many sites located inside or close to the city center. So, keep reading below for the best things to do in Madrid with teenagers.
1. El Palacio Real (Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace of Madrid, also known as the Palacio Real, was once the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. Today, it’s open to the public. You can explore the palace’s stunning, gilded interiors, with ornate furnishings, frescoes, and tapestries. There are beautiful gardens and courtyards surrounding the palace that you can visit, as well.
General admission tickets give you access to the Palace, kitchens, and gardens. You can also add on guided or audio tours for a small fee. There’s a discounted rate for kids 5 to 16 years old, and kids under 5 are free.
Highlights of the palace include the Throne Room, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Royal Armory. The 18th-century palace is also home to an impressive collection of Spanish art, including works by Velázquez and Goya.
2. El Retiro Park and Crystal Palace
If you’re looking for a great place to relax and unwind, or if you want to explore some of Madrid’s most beautiful natural spaces, check out El Retiro Park.
Located in the heart of Madrid, this sprawling urban oasis spans over 125 hectares and was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s breathtaking, with a wide variety of trees, gardens, sculptures, fountains, and ponds.
One of the highlights of the park is the stunning Palacio de Cristal, or Crystal Palace. It’s a stunning glass and steel structure that was originally built in the 19th century as a greenhouse. Today, the palace is used as a venue for contemporary art exhibitions.
Other popular attractions in El Retiro include the lake, where you can rent rowboats and the Rose Garden, which is home to over 4,000 rose bushes.
3. Take a Tapas Tour of Madrid
If you’re looking for things to do in Madrid with teens, you can’t go wrong with a food tour. Tapas are a type of small savory dish or a snack that was originally served alongside wine or beer. A tapas tasting tour is a great way to experience authentic local culture and see the city!
You can book this small group tapas walking tour of historic Madrid with a local guide. You’ll start out in the historic San Miguel Market and explore the old city from there. Each booking comes with your choice of wine, beer, or another beverage. Kids of all ages are welcome.
4. Eat at Mercado de San Miguel
If your family prefers exploring local markets on your own, the San Miguel Market is a must-visit destination. Located in the heart of Madrid, this historic indoor market has been in operation since 1916. It’s home to dozens of vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to artisanal cheeses and Iberian ham.
You can pick up items to take back to your vacation rental or enjoy the outdoor seating in the Plaza de San Miguel next door. The market is always bustling with activity, and visitors can sample a wide variety of delicious Spanish specialties while soaking up the lively atmosphere. Plus, the San Miguel Market is also home to several bars and restaurants. You can visit every day from 10 AM to midnight.
5. Chocolatería de San Ginés
No trip to Madrid is complete without having churros and hot chocolate at the historic Chocolatería San Ginés. If you’re looking for unique experiences in Spain, this is a must. This iconic café has been serving up its famous churros con chocolate since 1894, and it remains a beloved institution in the city to this day.
The café’s churros are made fresh to order and served with a thick, rich chocolate dipping sauce that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. They’re open 24 hours, so you can stop by for a quick snack while you’re sightseeing or come in for a leisurely breakfast.
6. Day Trip to Segovia
Segovia makes the perfect day trip for those interested in history and architecture. Just an hour from Madrid, Segovia is known for its impressive Roman aqueduct, which dates back to the 1st century AD, as well as its beautiful Gothic cathedral. And if the city’s stunning Alcázar fortress feels familiar, that’s because it was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s enchanted castle!
You can easily explore this stunning mountain city on your own or book a full-day tour of Segovia with transportation. Spend the day exploring the city’s charming streets and learning about the history of this ancient city from an expert. You’ll also get to sample the local cuisine, like Segovia’s famous roast suckling pig. And your tour also includes admission to local museums and sites like the historic aqueduct.
7. Temple of Debod
The Temple of Debod is one of Madrid’s most unique and fascinating attractions, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s layered history and cultural heritage. This ancient Egyptian temple dates back to the 2nd century BC and was originally located in Upper Egypt, but it was gifted to Spain by the Egyptian government in the 1960s!
Today, you can visit the Temple of Debod inside the beautiful Parque del Oeste. The temple is free to visit and features beautiful carvings and hieroglyphics, as well as historical markers where you can learn about the temple. The park itself is lovely to walk through with beautiful gardens and unbeatable views of Madrid (especially at sunset).
8. Parque de Attraciones
inside the massive Parque Casa de Campo near Madrid’s city center is the seasonal Parque de Attraciones de Madrid. It’s a great time if your crew is a fan of visiting theme parks on family holidays!
If you’re looking to fill a whole day and have both older and younger kids, this is also a great option. There are a variety of rides for children, teens, and adults alike, including thrilling roller coasters!
You can attend live shows or visit the water park (though there aren’t many thrill rides here), and younger kids will love the new Nickelodeon Land section of the park. When you’re hungry, you have a variety of options. There are cafes, kiosks, and restaurants throughout the park, or you can bring in your own food.
9. Watch a Real Madrid Soccer Game
For families, attending a Madrid soccer (or futbol) game is a fun way to bond over a shared love of sports. Even if you’re not a die-hard soccer game, attending a game is a memorable way to experience a unique aspect of Spanish culture! Madrid is home to two of the world’s most popular football clubs: Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.
These teams have a fierce rivalry that spans decades. This means that attending a game at either of their stadiums is highly entertaining. Even if the teams aren’t playing during your visit, a tour of their respective stadiums is worth it. Real Madrid plays in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and Atlético Madrid plays in the Metropolitano Stadium.
10. Museum of Illusions
For more things to do in Madrid with teens, check out the Museum of Illusions, located in the city center. The museum is an immersive, interactive museum featuring exhibits around different optical illusions. If your young people love being silly, taking pictures and videos for social media, and learning about science in a cool way, this place is perfect for them!
You can explore different exhibits and installations, like the Ames room that makes people appear to change size. Or there’s the Infinity Room that creates the illusion of infinite space. There’s also a game room with different mentally challenging puzzles, but it’s probably geared more toward younger kids. The Museum of Illusions is open every day, from 11 AM during the week and 9:30 AM on the weekends.
IKONO is another interactive art museum located in the heart of Madrid, Spain that you don’t want to miss! The museum is designed to provide visitors with unique and immersive experiences that show how art and technology work together.
Each room features different interactive installations and exhibits that involve many of the senses, including smell and touch. The installations at IKONO are designed to be visually striking, with bright colors, bold patterns, and creative use of lighting and sound.
You’re encouraged to engage with the exhibits, touching and interacting with the art to create your own unique experience. Many of the exhibits are designed specifically for social media, with photo-friendly backdrops and installations that are perfect for taking selfies! If you’re interested in skip-the-line tickets to IKONO, click here.
12. Take a Guided Tour of Madrid
A quality way to see Madrid’s most popular landmarks is on a guided tour. Consider this 2-hour walking tour through the heart of Madrid. Your guide will entertain you with fascinating tales of the city’s long history and point out interesting architectural details.
First, you’ll explore the historic Puerta del Sol in the very center of Madrid. Then, you begin your walk toward the Royal Palace. At the palace, you’ll skip the lines and go right inside for a private tour through the city’s most famous historical site.
For a tour that your teens won’t soon forget, take a Tuk Tuk tour of Madrid! Zipping around on this electric, open-air vehicle is a great way to get in a lot of sightseeing in a short time.
You’ll wind through the city center and around the El Retiro neighborhood, taking in the city’s beautiful palaces, churches, and museums. This tour is also great because you can choose between 1-4 hours, depending on how much time you have.
13. Visit a Museum
Madrid is known for having some of the best art museums in the world. Some good options for exploring with teens include the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum.
Art lovers can’t miss the Prado Museum, one of the most famous art museums in the world. It houses an extensive collection of European art from the 12th century to the early 20th century.
Nearby, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum boasts a collection of art that spans eight centuries, including works by some of the most famous artists in history. A little further down the road, the Reina Sofia Museum is home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of modern and contemporary art.
14. Day Trip to Toledo
Like Segovia, Toledo is another good option for a day trip from Madrid. Only an hour south of the city, you can easily drive there and explore the cobblestone streets of the old town.
Many of the stunning structures in Toledo date back to the 13th century. It’s fascinating to see the mix of Arab, Christian, and Jewish influences throughout! Toledo was also home to the famed painter, El Greco. You can experience his work at the El Greco Museum or at the church of St. Tome.
You can also make things easy on yourself and book a guided tour with transportation. Just meet your guides at their offices near the Royal Palace. You’ll enjoy a scenic ride and a fully planned itinerary to the best stops in Toledo. If you prefer, you can also choose a half-day tour (AM or PM) or a full 8-hour tour.
15. Experience a Flamenco Show
Flamenco is a traditional dance and musical style that has been a part of Spanish culture for centuries. Performances combine live music, dance, and singing, making it a thrilling and unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. Flamenco shows tend to include dinner and drinks, so it’s a great way to spend an evening with the family!
There are several places to see a flamenco show just in Madrid’s city center alone. Probably the most popular option is the Corral de la Morería, one of the oldest and what is considered the best flamenco venues in the world.
For a more casual experience, Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco is a popular choice, with shows every night and a cozy atmosphere.
If your family is looking for a more upscale setting with a prix fixe dinner, go to Tablao Flamenco Torres Bermejas.
16. Walk Around Plaza Mayor
While you’re visiting Madrid with teens, take at least one morning or afternoon to walk around Plaza Mayor. It’s one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in the city. The plaza was constructed in the 17th century and has been the site of numerous cultural and historical events. This includes bullfights, royal coronations, and even public executions!
Today, the plaza is a bustling center of activity with numerous shops and restaurants at every price point. In the winter, it’s the site of a Christmas village, and during the warmer months, you’ll often see free summer concerts or interesting art installations in the square.
This is a lovely place to enjoy some tapas, watch street performers, and pick up some souvenirs, all in the most famous and historic plaza in Europe!
17. Paella Cooking Class
How exciting to learn how to cook an iconic Spanish dish like paella from a real Spanish chef? One of the best things to do in Madrid with teens is enjoy a 4-hour cooking class with dinner! Head to Cooking Point in the city center to meet up with your small group and chef guide.
From there you’ll head to a local market where you’ll learn about local ingredients and purchase what you’ll need. Then it’s back to the cooking school to create your masterpiece.
This is a great way to bond with the family and enjoy good food when you dine on the dish you’ve created at the end of the class. (If you want to make paella, make sure to book the morning class, instead of the evening tapas class).
18. Parque Warner
Parque Warner Madrid is an amusement park themed around Warner Bros. and DC Comics characters. It features a range of attractions and rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and a 4D movie theater.
The park is divided into 5 areas, with themes like Hollywood Boulevard, DC Superheroes World, and Old West Territory. There’s enough variety that it’ll be tons of fun for adults and teens, as well as younger kids!
The park also features daily shows and parades, as well as all kinds of eateries, including coffee shops and frozen treat vendors. Parque Warner is located less than an hour outside of Madrid, with easy access by public transportation or car.
19. Segway Tour of Madrid
Another great way to take in some of the most beautiful landmarks in Madrid or simply enjoy low-impact sightseeing is on a Segway tour.
Segways are tons of fun and can be driven by kids as young as 16 (age 10 with an adult onboard). This small group Segway tour of old town Madrid will take you all over the historic city center and through some of the most beautiful streets in the city.
You’ll get close looks at historical sites like Almudena Cathedral, Puerto del Sol, the Templo de Debod, and the most popular plazas in downtown Madrid. Each guest will get a helmet and Segway safety lesson before heading into the city.
Your tour guide will give you fascinating information about each place you visit, too. This is a highly customizable tour with different route options and tour lengths. You can choose routes that take you to see the massive Casa de Campo or end your tour with a visit to an amazing tapas place!
20. Casa De Campo
Casa De Campo is the largest park in Madrid, located just west of the city center. It is a sprawling green space that covers over 1,700 hectares and offers a range of things to do for visitors of all ages. Originally a royal hunting ground, Casa De Campo was transformed into a public park in the mid-20th century. Today it’s a favorite destination for both locals and tourists.
One of the highlights of Casa De Campo is the Teleférico de Madrid, a cable car that offers panoramic views of the city as it transports you across the park!
There’s also an absolutely beautiful zoo, the Madrid Zoo Aquarium. The park offers numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for boating and fishing. There are also several picnic areas scattered across Casa De Campo, making it a great place to spend a relaxing day with the family.
21. Madrid Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
One of the best activities for a multi-generational group and for anyone wanting to fit in as much sightseeing as possible should book a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Madrid! It’s a great way to get your bearings in the city center.
The tour company has 2 different routes, and you can book either 1- or 2-day tickets. So, if you want to try different routes on different days, you can!
A hop-on hop-off tour is a top-notch way to experience any new city because you can enjoy audio guides for more information on sites along the route. If you want to spend time at an attraction, hop off and go inside! You can always catch the next bus when it gets to your stop. If you were to complete an entire circuit without getting off, it only takes about an hour or 90 minutes.
As you can see, Madrid has a wealth of activities and attractions for teenagers. From exploring the vibrant neighborhoods and trying new foods to visiting world-class museums and attending sporting events, there is never a dull moment. If you’re planning a family vacation to Spain or a weekend getaway, Madrid is the perfect place to bond with your teens and create unforgettable adventures together.