In this post, you’ll read about some of the best parks in Madrid. Discover some green areas to take a break from city life and enjoy some time out with friends, or get some exercise surrounded by nature.
In my opinion, there are different parks for different seasons. Depending on the time of year, you can get some sun, see the trees blooming or work out outside.
Retiro is the most famous park in Madrid. Its location right in Barrio Salamanca makes it a very touristic place. It’s one of the biggest parks in the city center and there are tons of things to do.
First of all, I would suggest getting a map of Retiro or some interesting places might go unnoticed. It took me a few months to discover that there’s a crystal palace with some exhibits and a colorful rose garden inside the park.
Retiro has a public library with wide windows. Spaniards go there to read or get some work done and enjoy the views. There is also a lake with rowboats where you can spend some time rowing around. Renting a boat is around 6€.
Retiro gets very busy on the weekends. You’ll find people running, rollerblading, doing yoga, taking dancing classes, etc. If you want to know more about the activities that take place in Retiro, and maybe join, go on Facebook and search the different groups.
Some days, you might find a bunch of kids sitting on the ground watching some of the puppet shows that take place on the weekends.
2. Templo de Debod
This is one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset in Madrid. If you happen to come to this park around sunset time, you’ll see some people having picnics and enjoying some wine.
Apart from the sunset, you’ll get amazing views of El Palacio de Oriente, one of the most distinctive pieces of architecture in Madrid.
The park has an Egyptian temple that was brought to Madrid in the ’70s. Visits to the interior of the Temple are free, in case you want to feel like a little explorer in downtown Madrid.
The best way to get to Templo de Debod is walking from Plaza de España.
3. Parque de Moncloa
Moncloa park, just like Retiro, is a hotspot for runners. I tried jogging around the park, although, I wouldn’t do it again because the park is on a hill. All the ups and downs make it a park only for experienced runners.
Across the road, you’ll find Faro de Moncloa, one of the highest viewpoints in Madrid.
4. Paseo de Rosales
This park is just a few minutes away from Moncloa.
In my opinion, the best part of Rosales is the rose garden inside the park. They take care of the roses all year round with astonishing results. I would recommend going to this park in spring so you can see the roses at its peak.
In order to get to Rosales, take the metro to Moncloa or Argüelles and then walk downhill for a few minutes.
In this park, you can take the cable car that goes to Casa de Campo.
5. Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is the biggest park in Madrid. It’s a 20 minute metro ride from Sol.
This park has a lake with rowboats similar to the one in Retiro. However, this lake is usually less busy and less touristic.
Casa de Campo is different from most parks in Madrid because there isn’t a main gate or a fence that surrounds the area. On top of that, sometimes the paths are unclear.
On the other hand, it’s one of those places in Madrid where you can get the feeling of being surrounded by nature. It’s a good way to escape the city for a while.
Besides the cable car, Casa de Campo has one of Madrid’s few public pools. It opens at 11:00 and the ticket is 4.50€. It’s a great place to chill out during those hot days in summer.
6. Parque el Capricho
El Capricho holds proudly the title of the most beautiful park in Madrid. If you want to see it with your own eyes, take the green line to Capricho station.
This park is closed at night and they are stricter than most other parks in Madrid.
Food, animals and bikes aren’t allowed inside. In addition, there’s only one entrance to the park, so they make sure everybody follows these rules.
Fun fact – during the Spanish Civil War, this park became the headquarters for the chiefs of the Army and some political figures. That’s the reason why there’s a hidden bunker inside the park. You can visit it for free on the weekends, but make sure you get the tickets in advance. The waiting list is long.
7. Palacio Real
Within a mile, there are three of the most touristic parks in Madrid: Campo del Moro, Jardines de Sabatini and Plaza de Oriente.
I love walking around these parks and enjoy the marvelous views and nature.
You can visit the interiors of the Royal Palace. It’s open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
8. Parque Quinta de los Molinos
This park is known for its almond trees. The best time of year to visit this park would be when the trees are blossoming, around February or March. The park changes its color to a gorgeous pinkish-white.
Spaniards make the most out of this time and go to this park during these months to take stunning pictures of the trees.
It’s a great place to have a picnic. There are some convenience stores around the area where you can get something to eat.
You can take the metro to Suanzes station to get to the park.
9. Parque Madrid Río
This park is located where it once was the M-30 (the highway that surrounds Madrid). A few years ago, they decided to transform the area, and as a result, we have Madrid Río—a nice park along the river.
This park connects Principe Pío and Plaza Río, the two malls in Madrid closest to the city center.
Along this park, you’ll see Matadero, which is one of the cultural hotspots of the city, with a great variety of exhibits, concerts and workshops.
You can get to this park by taking the metro to Principe Pío, Legazpi or Pirámides.
10. Real Jardín Botánico
Even though the botanical garden of Madrid is not a public park, it’s a nice green area next to the Prado Museum.
I would recommend going to the botanical garden over Christmas. Every year they set up some Christmas lights all over the garden and put together a fantastic show.
The park opens at 10 a.m. and you’ll need to get a ticket to go inside. It cost about 6€.
Extra: Another kind of park that didn’t make it into this list is an amusement park. There are a few in Madrid, you can read more about them here.
This is my list of the best parks in Madrid. I hope you find a nice place to go whenever you need a break from the craziness of the city. Let me know in the comments what your favorite parks in Madrid are.