Most travelers have an idea of Madrid that involves beautiful stone streets, historic buildings, and massive football stadiums. And indeed, Madrid is a thoroughly urban city bursting with all the wonderful things about modern cosmopolitan life.
However, if you’re hoping to find a little bit more nature on your trip to the Spanish capital—not excluding, of course, the Bear and the Madroño Berry Tree—then you’ll want to expand your horizons beyond the Metropolitano. We’ve pulled together a list of the top parks in Madrid for nature-lovers to explore.
Our collection of the best parks in Madrid includes:
- Parque del Buen Retiro
- Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
- Casa de Campo
- Parque Juan Carlos I
- Parque del Oeste
- Jardines de Sabatini
- El Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona
Parque del Buen Retiro
This former destination for Spanish royalty is today a top place for visitors to enjoy the Spanish sun. Here you’ll find a number of rowboats for rent—the perfect activity to do with the kids or your significant other. The architectural structures around the man-made pond at the center reflect Madrid’s impressive history, and the park itself, though modestly-sized, is very popular with locals and visitors. It’s also right near the Prado Museum
, for those of you looking to build it into a broader itinerary.
Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
In the eighteenth century when the rise of systematized botany was emerging in Europe, the Spanish monarchy established one of the most prestigious and diverse botanical gardens. There are today five different greenhouses and seven outdoor gardens spread across 20 gorgeous acres of flora. As a whole, there are approximately 90,000 plants and flowers and over 1,500 trees. They also boast an expansive herbarium—a preserved collection of plant specimens—which contains over a million samples from around the world.
Casa de Campo
The largest public park in Madrid by some significant margin, the Casa de Campo is a must-visit for nature lovers. While you certainly won’t be able to range through all 4,257 acres of park, there are dozens of trails that traverse the park. These are popular for running, biking, strolling with the kids, and more. There are also several playgrounds near the entrance for the little ones. The park is even home to the Madrid Zoo/Aquarium, which is a must-see for families and animal lovers.
Parque Juan Carlos I
The primary municipal park of Madrid, this expansive natural space is one of the most modern green spaces in the city. The park itself is filled with dozens of sculptures of famous citizens and historical figures as well as various art installations with more abstract themes. Visitors can also find two golf courses, playgrounds for kids, places to rent bikes and rollerblades, and much more. A large music festival is held here each year, too. Overall, an excellent family-friendly park.
Parque del Oeste
This distinctive park has a more English influence on its constituent plant life, and also boasts an intriguing architectural detail—an Ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt right in the heart of Madrid. And the Temple of Debod is far from the only amazing thing about this park, too! There is a remarkable statue of the famous author and nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a lookout point from which you can see excellent views of the city, and a number of lovely fountains. A gondola lift connects this park with the Casa de Campo.
Jardines de Sabatini
Named for the eighteenth-century designer of the Royal Botanical Gardens, these gardens are a part of the Royal Palace in Madrid
. The gardens are actually among the newer in the city, having been completed only in the 1970s. They are designed in a Neoclassical style, with an emphasis on a grand central pool, ornate fountains and statuary, and neatly manicured plant life. A visit here is a refreshing change of pace from the hot city streets, as well as a nice complement to a tour of the Royal Palace and its glamourous apartments.
El Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona
This comparatively modest park is a hidden gem in the middle of urban Madrid. It dates back to the eighteenth century and is linked to the adjoined palace that once hosted its namesake. While it has been renovated and updated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, it retains its original structure and layout. It’s a beautiful park with stone paths and delicate trees, enclosed in high stone walls that make many visitors walk right by. Soak up a little serenity with a few moments spent in this charming park—and don’t forget to check out the restaurant that’s there now, either!
Save Money While Exploring Madrid
While these parks all offer free admission, they fit best as part of a larger Madrid itinerary. Want to roam this beautiful Spanish city for less? Grab a Go Madrid pass
and save up to 44% on the best things to do, from the Prado to the Royal Palace and beyond. You can explore the city via tours, museums, cultural excursions, and plenty more. So pick up your Go Madrid pass today!
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