Madrid is a stunning city, and its parks provide visitors with access to lush greenery without leaving the city. A fast escape from the city’s bustle is never far away, whether you’re looking for a large park or a smaller one.
The parks vary in the number of tall trees present, with some having only one or two, but all of them having something worthwhile to offer. Explore some of Madrid’s finest green spaces and learn what surprises nature has in store for you there.
Green spaces may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of major metropolitan areas like Madrid. However, one of the nicest things about Madrid is its parks.
Top 10 Parks in Madrid, Spain
Whether you’re a die-hard environmentalist or you just need a break from the city, Madrid has a green spot suited for you. Here’s a rundown of Madrid’s top parks to visit whenever you are in the city.
- Retiro Park
- Casa de Campo
- Parque del Oeste
- Parque Juan Carlos I
- Royal Botanical Gardens
- Parque Quinta de los Molinos
- Jardines de Sabatini
- Dehesa de la Villa
- Parque del Capricho
- Campo del Moro
1. Retiro Park
The Parque del Buen Retiro was originally intended to be a private retreat for King Felipe IV of Spain, but it was opened to the public in 1868. Since then, it has become one of the best parks in Madrid for locals and tourists, who come here to relax under the shade of the trees, take a row boat out on the lake, participate in public yoga sessions, and have refreshments at one of the many outdoor cafes.
The grounds are immaculately kept, and there are opulent marble structures strewn about in addition to the glass Palacio de Cristal, which frequently plays host to rotating modern art exhibitions. The rose garden along the park’s eastern side is a popular hangout for the park’s peacocks.
El Retiro Park is well-known for its spaciousness, broad pathways, and glistening Crystal Palace. Visitors may even rent rowboats and paddle around the park’s artificial lake.
In addition to the regular programming, the park also hosts several interesting special events throughout the year, such as concerts and art shows. There is no cost to enter, making it convenient for those on a tight budget.
2. Casa de Campo
The Casa de Campo is the largest green space in the city, covering around 21 square kilometers (eight square miles), and was once used as a hunting estate by the royal family. Traveling around 40 meters (130 feet) in the air, the Teleférico (Madrid’s cable car) is a popular way for visitors visiting the park to arrive.
Passengers are picked up at the Rosales station on the eastern bank of the Manzanares River and dropped off at the park, where they may enjoy the playgrounds, hiking trails, and restaurants with breathtaking views of the city. There is a zoo, an aquarium, and a theme park in the Casa de Campo, making it one of Madrid’s best parks.
3. Parque del Oeste
One of the most unusual and popular parks in Madrid and a real hidden treasure, with its abundance of evergreen trees more typical of northern Europe, is named Parque del Oeste. However, it is also well-known for its stunning rose garden, which hosts a vibrant rose exhibit every spring. A fantastic way to spend an afternoon is taking a leisurely stroll in the park while the roses are in full bloom.
Located on the park’s southern border, the ancient Egyptian Temple of Debod is a fascinating find. If you’re taking a stroll around the rose garden, make sure to stop here to take in the sunset!
4. Parque Juan Carlos I
The miniature train that makes a half-hour loop around the park is a sure sign that you’ve arrived at Parque de Juan Carlos I, which is one of Madrid’s best parks. Since its opening in 1992, this park has provided a fun environment for families with its theatre, skating rink, fishing pond, and bicycle rentals. Contemporary sculptures by artists like Mario Irarrázabal and Toshimitsu Imai can be found here and there.
Recreative opportunities and a sleek design that highlights Spain’s three historical cultures come together at Juan Carlos I Park (Parque Juan Carlos I), one of the city’s most contemporary parks. Renting bicycles is a common activity, but picnicking and rollerblading are other fun options.
Due to the park’s size, limited free rail service is provided. It has a three-pronged garden that celebrates the three historical civilizations of Spain: Jewish, Christian, and Arab. Near Barajas, a distance northeast of the city center, is where you’ll find everything.
5. Royal Botanical Gardens
The well-maintained and varied Real Botanical Garden Alfonso XIII (Real Jardin Botánico Alfonso XIII) is home to a wide range of Mediterranean plant species, making it one of the best parks in all of Madrid. Olive trees, Kermes oaks, vines, arbutuses, and fig trees are just a few of the other flora that thrive here.
The artificial geyser in this garden helps create a moist environment ideal for marshland vegetation. It may be found on the campus of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, which lies just north of the city center past the Vallehermoso neighborhood.
6. Parque Quinta de los Molinos
In a city best renowned for its almond trees, you’ll find a park that’s a bit of a hidden gem: Quinta de Los Molinos Park (Parque de la Quinta de Los Molinos), considered to be one of Madrid’s best parks. If you happen to be in the area between the months of February and March, you should definitely check out the blossoming almond trees.
Don’t miss out on your chance for a picture-perfect photo op while the flower buds are at their peak. The park is home to over a thousand almond trees, so you’ll have plenty of options. It’s entirely to the northeast of the city, which is a little way from the center compared to other parks in El Salvador.
Parque Quinta de los Molinos, which is further from the city, is not as well-known as some of the other parks here. That makes it a hidden gem in the city!
7. Jardines de Sabatini
Until the 20th century, the public had no access to the Jardines de Sabatini, which had formerly been a part of the Royal Palace of Madrid. Neoclassical in design, they included trimmed hedges, symmetrically placed trees, a tiny reflecting pool, sandy pathways, and marble sculptures and fountains. The gardens were planned in the 18th century, but it wasn’t until 1978 that King Juan Carlos I made them publicly accessible.
Historically the site of the royal stables, the park now known as the Sabatini Garden (Jardines de Sabatini), is officially part of the grounds of the Royal Palace. This park is named after the renowned architect Sabatini, yet he had nothing to do with its planning or design.
The park’s layout is a geometric composition of shrubs, hedges, and trees pruned in a classically French manner making it one of Madrid’s best parks. Just west of Malasana and a short distance from the city center, you may witness it all for yourself.
8. Dehesa de la Villa
Visiting the old and heavily forested Dehesa de la Villa Park (Dehesa de la Villa) in town might make you forget that you’re even in the middle of the city. Originally utilized as hunting grounds in the mid-12th century, the property is now kept as a pleasant park.
Visitors wishing to get away from the rush and bustle of the city will find this dense forest to be a welcome refuge. The city’s central location, however, makes getting to and from the many sights and sounds of the city a breeze. It is located in Valdezarza, just a few kilometers north of the city center.
9. Parque del Capricho
Located on the island of Alameda de Osuna, El Capricho Park (Jardn El Capricho de la Alameda de Osuna) is a park unlike any other. The first part is a park designed in the French style, similar to the gardens of Versailles. This park is surely one of the best parks in all of Madrid.
The remaining parts are designed differently from a typical Spanish park. The middle area is a giardino in the Italian style, while the final one is an English garden. Each one is spotless and well-kept, making it an ideal park for tourists in search of uniqueness. Barajas, which is a few kilometers northeast of the city center, is where you’ll find it.
10. Campo del Moro
Queen Maria Cristina, who in the 19th century found tremendous inspiration in romance and nature, proposed transforming this space into an English-style garden. Located on the western side of Royal Gardens, this area is home to lush green grass, two massive fountains (the Fountain of the Tritons and the Palace of the Shells), and several shade trees and walkways.
Campo del Moro, or “The Field of the Moor” in English, alludes to the Moors’ failed 12th-century effort to retake Madrid. When compared to Madrid’s other parks, this one has arguably the most intriguing history.
The name “Campo del Moro” comes from the legend that a Moorish leader and his forces slept here while attacking the Royal Alcazar of Madrid (the current location of the Royal Palace). It is now a beautiful tourist attraction on the western side of the palace and one of Madrid’s top parks.
The park’s classical layout was modeled by the English royal gardens. Despite its proximity to some of Madrid’s most popular attractions, the park is a serene haven of nature, making it an ideal setting for a romantic stroll.
Many of Madrid’s parks and gardens were created for the Spanish royalty. Some of these spots have only lately opened to the public, giving Madrileos and visitors a taste of the green, leafy good life. You may get some fresh air, have a picnic, or just get away from the busy city life at one of these parks.
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