Summer is well and truly upon us in Madrid. Once again, the skies are blue, the sun is hot, and the birds are singing their merry tunes. Summer is just about the best time to feel the warm breath of new life here in the nation’s capital city. And now that COVID restrictions have been eased, the inhabitants of the city and the students at AIL Madrid are finally able to get out and about once again and enjoy the many natural splendours the city has to offer.
When people think of Madrid, the first thing that leaps to mind probably isn’t the areas of natural beauty within the city. However, Madrid has some of the very best parks of any capital city in the world. The perfect places to go for a picnic or a relaxing stroll, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. During this article, I’ll give you a taste of some of the very best parks in Madrid that will whet your appetite for the joy that nature offers city dwellers.
Retiro Park is the best-known park in Madrid. Created as a royal retreat during the reign of King Philip IV in the 17th century, nowadays the park is fully open to the public and has become a hugely popular attraction. Wide paved paths, meticulously cared for lawns, the dazzling Crystal Palace that frequently houses art exhibitions, canopies of trees under which revellers can seek sanctuary from the heat of the sun, and rentable rowboats on the huge manmade lake make a visit to Retiro a truly unforgettable experience.
Casa de Campo is the capital’s largest green space, at 21 square kilometres. One of the best parks in Madrid for taking long, leisurely cycle rides or short hikes. Magnificent views above Casa de Campo can be seen from the cable cars that carry passengers 40 metres above the ground on route to the playgrounds, trails and restaurant, which boasts the best panoramic view across the city.The Royal Botanical Gardens is one of the best parks in Madrid. A hidden gem, containing five vast greenhouses, each with its own individual climate, homing over 30,000 different species of plants. Situated conveniently near the Prado museum, the Gardens are best seen in Spring when a rainbow of colours meets visitors to the park.
Campo del Moro is a park with a classical design inspired by English royal gardens. The Royal Palace looms above expansive, decorative, beautifully manicured verdant gardens to provide a peaceful oasis of nature.
Parque de Juan Carlos I. Since its opening in 1992, Parque de Juan Carlos I has been an ever-popular green leaf destination for families, friends, and gatherings of all sorts. It is one of the best parks in Madrid for pure ‘get away from it all’ entertainment value, as the park contains a large auditorium and numerous different features such as modern sculptures, playgrounds, sports activities, a lake on which you can go kayaking, and free bike rentals for touring the park on cycle paths.
Parque Europa in the suburbs, just outside the city, is filled with scaled down replicas of 17 emblematic European monuments such as The Eiffel Tower, Tower Bridge, the Trevi Fountain, the Brandenberg Gate and even a Greek amphitheatre! It is a great place to pass some free time and see Europe in a day!
Madrid Rio is one of the newest and best parks in Madrid. Stretching nearly 10 kilometres, it includes running paths, landscaped walking areas and even a makeshift beach. Immaculately maintained, the park features a broad range of cultural activities including music festivals, theatres, plays, and exhibitions. Running alongside the Manzanares river, Madrid Rio has many cafes and bars where you can relax and pass the time with friends in one of the most picturesque parks that’s just perfect for anyone needing to chillax on a lovely walk.
Jardines de Las Vistillas, on the western side of Madrid are the perfect place from which to capture Madrid’s spectacular sunsets. With wonderful views across of Manzanares river and Casa de Campo, this relatively small, tree lined park hosts many festivals and fiestas.
We have barely scratched the surface of the best parks in Madrid. There are over 40 parks within Madrid’s city limits that, combined, constitute 33 million square metres of glorious green space! Now that summer is here, and that the weather is getting better by the day, students attending face-to-face lessons at AIL Madrid will enjoy many opportunities to enjoy life to the full once again. And in a forthcoming post, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the great outdoor after school activities that AIL Madrid provides for its students.