Despite being a big city, Madrid is home to many beautiful green spaces worth boasting about. To enjoy the beautiful weather, good company, or to get workout in, a visit to one of the Madrid parks is the perfect idea. Best of all, they cost you nothing! Some of our favorite parks are below, but don’t forget about the Madrid amusement parks either!
Take a stroll through el Buen Retiro, or just el Retiro for short. This is the most well-known park in Madrid. The park doubles both as a cultural and leisure spot, as it was once was the property of the Spanish monarchy. Today, it is for public use. You’ll see locals and visitors alike renting a rowboat on the lake, walking through the luscious gardens, or laying down in the grass with a good book.
Some sites to see are the Rosaleda, the rose garden, or the Parterre Francés, Madrid’s oldest tree. Admire the architecture of the Palacio de Cristal, built in 1887 for the Philippines Exhibition that year (Metro Retiro).
Hours: Winter: Mon-Sun, 6:00-22:00 / Summer: Mon-Sun, 6:00-24:00)
El Cerro del Tío Pío
Admire the panoramic views of el Cerro del Tío Pío. Also known as el Parque de las 7 Tetas, this park is situated in Puente de Vallecas. It is one of the best places in the city to enjoy the sunset. A great panoramic photo-op! From the hills, you will be able to see Plaza Mayor, the domes of the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, Almudena Cathedral, the Telefónica building and more recognizable sights. (Metro Portzago)
This southern park also offers sports equipment, a cycling path, and a dog park. The great thing about it is that it’s open 24 hours a day!
La Quinta de Molinos
La Quinta de Molinos used to be a private estate, but is now a popular park. It is the perfect place to de-stress and unwind. This park is most well known for its blooming almond blossoms in the spring. The community recently built a cultural center as well. Don’t miss it! (Metro Suzanes)
Casa de Campo
Literally meaning, “Country House” this park was once the home of Felipe II. Now Casa de Campo is one of Madrid’s most expansive parks! The park includes a lake where you can rent paddle boats. Take a run or go for a bike ride on one of the many trails. In the summer, enjoy the pool. There are also attractions inside the park, which include an amusement park, the Zoo-Aquarium of Madrid, and fairgrounds.
You can take the metro to Casa de Campo, but we recommend that you get a bird’s eye view of the city and take the Teleférico, cable cars that stretch from Argüelles to Casa de Campo (Metro Batán, Casa de Campo, Lago).
Hours: Open to pedestrians all year round, 24 hours a day. Access to the Zoo, Amusement Park, Paseo de Extremadura and the area of the lake close from 1:00 to 6:00).
Templo de Debod/Parque del Oeste
Believe it or not, Madrid has an ancient Egyptian temple dating back to the 2nd century BC. Templo de Debod was gifted to Spain in the 20th century by the Egyptian government to save it from floods. While maybe not one of the “true” Madrid parks, it opened to the public in 1972 and is one of Madrid’s top points-of-interests. The best time to visit the park is during sunset, where the sun’s colors shine through the temple making the perfect photo-op. The view from the park is also one of Madrid’s prettiest.
While the temple is currently closed for construction, you can still walk around it or sit in a shady spot in the grass and admire it from the outside. Templo de Debod is really close to (and has part of) Parque del Oeste. Make sure to walk underneath the pines and visit the rose garden. (Metro Plaza de España, Ventura Rodríguez).
Hours: Tue-sun/festivals from 10:00-20:00. Closed Mondays, January 1st, January 6th, May 1st, December 24th-25th, and December 31st.
One of the most beautiful, but least known, parks in Madrid is el Capricho. The Duke and Duchess of Osuna were patrons of the arts, which is why many artists and intellectuals frequently visited this park. Find many botanical and artistic treasures here, like shrines, fountains, and plazas. Make sure to check out the labyrinth, but don’t get lost! For those history buffs, you can find the Bunker of the Jaca Position, the only example of this type of structures from the Spanish Civil War that you can find in Europe.
The Bunker is open to the public on the weekends, and if you would like a guided tour they are offered at 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30 for one hour and a half each, for 20 people. If you’re just looking to relax, a leisurely walk to marvel at the gardens and landscapes isn’t a bad idea either. (Metro El Capricho)
Hours: Oct-Mar: Sat-Sun & festivals: 9:00am – 6:30pm / Apr-Sep: Sat-Sun & festivals: 9:00am – 9:00pm