Accommodation when on a family holiday in Madrid
Chose an apartment over hotels
When you are traveling to Madrid as a family, stay in a short term vacation rental rather than in a hotel. Vacation rentals are apartments on short term hire, so you have the benefit of having large rooms and a kitchen.
Booking short stay apartments in Madrid
Madrid has many apartments available on rent for even one or two nights. You can search on Airbnb or go with a local apartment rental agency. This post has recommendations on vacation rental agencies in Madrid.
You can also book aparthotels from traditional hotel booking sites like booking.com. These Aparthotels combine the best of hotels and vacation apartments. Except for room service, you get most of the facilities associated with a hotel.
Personally, I have found it to be easier and less risky to book from booking.com than from vacation rental websites as the house rules are well laid out in booking.com. Also, Unlike Airbnb, all the listings are from commercially run enterprises.
Best area to stay with family
Say no to Gran Via
Madrid central area is centro and more specifically, Gran Via. When you are traveling to Madrid as family, avoid hotels close to Gran Via as it can be too busy at night.
Salamanca or Colon neighborhood is recommended
If you are looking for an apartment, try to find an apartment in Salamanca or Colon neighborhood. These areas are largely residential and perfect for families. As a bonus, rentals are little cheaper when compared to those in city center.
NOTE: As long as you are close to a metro station, you are only a short hop away from all the Madrid’s main attractions.
A specific advice for those traveling with small children
Look for a hotel or an apartment which is at walking distance to Retiro Park. The Retiro Park is Madrid's large green space with many attractions. Children will love to relax at the park after a tiring day of sightseeing.
Shortlist of family accommodation options in Madrid
- Any Aparthotel with good review and Metro Access listed in booking.com. In an aparthotel, look for those with family rooms.
- If budget is not a constraint, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques. This traditional hotel is housed in a lavishly redone old palace. Amenities include with many child-friendly items like family room, kids goody bag and babysitting facility. Normally the hotel offers discounts or special benefits to customers booking directly.
- For those looking for mid-budget options, I have no hesitation in recommending Sercotel Suites Viena. Rooms are spacious and very child friendly. Location is advantageous, close to Plaza de España and only a 5-minute walk from the Royal Palace, Gran Vía Street and the historic center of Madrid.
- For those on a tight budget, family room in the centrally located Hostal Abril.
Madrid is a large and family friendly city with many neighbourhoods, and each of them is quite different than the other. But once you decide what you are looking for as a family, there are some places that can be more kid friendly than others. And for transport you don’t need to worry wherever you choose to stay, because Madrid is very well served by public transport that is also child friendly.
Central and convenient - Paseo del Prado
Residential and Safe - Salamanca
Affordable - Colon
Avoid El Centro tourist areas
With families you are better off avoiding areas like Sol, Gran Via, and Plaza Santa Ana. These locations are a must visit during the day, but they do not have a residential feel at all. I would not recommend these areas to stay with children when you are visiting Madrid as a family. Parts of El Centro can get very noisy (and seedy) especially at night and are packed with tourist traffic.
When traveling with youngsters in tow you’ll want to aim for a safe, convenient neighborhood with plenty of surrounding green space. Look no further than the Passeo del Prado, the sliver of a barrio immediately outside the El Retiro park. Nothing is far from here which means little time walking or navigating public transport with kids. You have the massive El Retiro park at your fingertips for plenty of outings to make sure everyone is sleepy by bedtime.
In the area Hotel Ville Real is a great choice for families as they offer five-star facilities and service at a mid-range price. Family rooms, which can accommodate up to 4 people, cover two levels and go for under €350/night.