Madrid is a immense city but that’s just it, it is a city. For all its greatness there will come a point when the traffic, pollution and noise will finally get to you. But do not despair we have seven perfect spots where you can find that moment of tranquility and relief from the urban jungle.
El Buen Retiro or more commonly El Retiro is the Central Park of Madrid. Elegant and grand, this was once the park frequented by the royals. With excellent connections to Sol and the neighbouring affluent suburbs, you will find a mix of both tourists and locals alike. A whole afternoon can easily be spent here due to its splendour and sheer size. For the more active amongst us feel free to join the crowds of runners, dog walkers and skateboarders while for those seeking more leisurely pursuits a peaceful stroll, picnic or row on the pristine lake are not bad choices either.
Madrid Rio Park
Not strictly a park per se but a great spot nonetheless. The actual river itself may disappoint but the extensive trails and beautiful landscaping make it a worthwhile attraction. Renovated in 2005 the city council didn’t go lightly on recreational facilities. You will find football pitches, open aired bars, skate parks among many others. The ambiance is still quite urban and you definitely feel connected to the city which makes for some pleasant sights, including the home of Atletico Madrid (The Vincent Calderon stadium) and the excellent Matadero. For cyclists the main trail of the park forms a part of the greater Madrid cycle path.
Parque de Oeste
Located around the corner from the Royal Palace this park is home to the impressive ‘Templo de Boud‘. Originally constructed in the 2nd century, the temple was gifted to the Spanish state in 1968 in order to avoid its destruction. The park itself is a great hangout spot and is popular with younger crowds. It is also a romantics favourite as the westerly direction and higher elevation allow for some amazing sunsets.
Casa Del Campo
Not so much a park but more an expansive piece of green separating the centre from the affluent western suburbs. Casa del Campo unfortunately has earned itself a bit of seedy reputation and is still best avoided at night. That said there is plenty to offer during daylight hours. Whether it’s mountain biking or walking, you will not be disappointed. Some of the greater attractions include the Madrid cable car and enjoyable ‘Parque de Attraciones‘ theme park.
Related article: 3 Of The Best Parks In Madrid
Campo Del Moro
Located just behind the Royal Palace this elegant spot is a perfect place to take a rest from all the nearby sightseeing. More of an oversized garden than a park, it is well manicured with perfect lawns, hedges and an abundance statues. Originally designed to mimic the gardens of Versailles the park was first conceived during the 18th century. It might be best to leave your Frisbee at home as this park is better suited for impressing your visitors with rather than chilling out in.
Parque Lineal Del Manzanares
At one end of the Madrid Rio you have the entrance to Casa del Campo and at the other you have Parque Lineal del Manzanares. Located deep in the southern suburbs it is a great spot to witness the ‘real‘ Madrid. The landscaping is contemporary but the most unique aspect is the large head sculpture that towers above the park. It may lack the splendour of some of its grander neighbours but the higher elevation allows for some great views of the city and distant mountains. Expect them to be snow capped in winter.
Parque Juan Carlos I
This sprawling park can be found in the north-eastern suburbs not too far away from the airport. Developed in 1992 it is one of the newbies amongst Madrid’s recreational spaces. This huge park is very popular with locals and families. It is a testament to modern landscape architecture and its modern flair is worth appreciating.
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