Madrid Parks, Gardens and Other Green Escapes

by Julie Espinosa

Atocha station
Photo: Atocha Station’s own Amazon

Having grown up in the the green American state of Maryland, I can’t say I consider Madrid to be “green.” Still, there are a few green oases where you can escape from the stone and smoke of the city.

1. Atocha rainforest: A great place to relax, especially during cold winter months, the old Atocha train station has been converted into a humid indoor rainforest. (Metro: Atocha)

2. El Retiro/Botanical Gardens: The Retiro park is located right in the city center, making it a convenient outdoor getaway. The royal botanical gardens are next door, and cost 2€ to enter. (Metro: Retiro)

3. El Capricho: The El Capricho park features sculpture and birds—perfect for amateur photographers or bird-watchers. (Metro: El Capricho)

4. Palacio Real gardens (Jardines de Sabatini): Beside the royal palace, the royal gardens are well manicured and tend to be filled with newlyweds and wedding photographers on warm, sunny days. If you enter the adjacent Casa de Campo, be on guard and don’t go in alone or after dark. (Metro: Opera)

5. Aranjuez gardens: Nature becomes much more common outside Madrid proper, including to the south in Aranjuez. Visit the UNESCO palace, bring along your mp3 player and listen to the lush Spanish guitar suite, “Concierto de Aranjuez,” inspired by its fountains and labyrinthine gardens. (Accessible by regional Cercanías trains from Atocha station)

See the first four marked out on the map below:

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About Katie

Katie is an English teaching assistant working at a bilingual public school in the center of Madrid.
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5 Responses to Madrid Parks, Gardens and Other Green Escapes

  1. Katie says:

    I love the Campo del Moro. It has the best view in town of the Palacio Real, and there are peacocks wandering around, too! Though it’s adjacent to the Jardines de Sabatini, the only place you can enter is down the big hill on the Paseo Virgen del Puerto (south of Principe Pío) and there are limited opening hours (I believe it closes at 8 p.m., at least in summer).

  2. Graeme says:

    I think the Templo de Debod, Madrid’s very own Egyptian temple, deserves a mention. The park around it is shady and relatively cool when the rest of the city swelters in summer heat.

  3. ben says:

    @Graeme – it’s wonderful at sunset too!

  4. katie says:

    Don’t worry Graeme–my next post is all about it!

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