Madrid, the capital and the largest city in Spain, has the highest number of trees than any other European city. Green areas in Madrid are constantly growing. Since 1997, green areas have increased by 16%. Currently, 8.2% of Madrid’s territory is green areas, meaning that there are 16 quadrat meters of green area per inhabitant, far exceeding the 10 quadrat meters recommended by the World Health Organization.
Visiting Madrid, experience it like locals during their free time:
- Rent a bike at JUAN CARLOS PARK
Juan Carlos Park is a public park located northeast of the city covering an area of 160 ha. It is designed especially for the cycling sport, which allows visitors to ride past all the areas in the gardens. Bikes can be rented for a maximum of one hour to ride around the area. After this period the bike must be returned to the same point where it was taken. There are no excuses for not doing some sport outdoors considering the fact that bikes are provided free of charge. All you have to do is to sign up at the rental desk next to the main car park where they will give you an electronic card, which is nontransferable, and gives you access to the bikes, without paying any costs.
- Go jogging, swimming, cycling or canoeing at CASA CAMPO
At over 1,722 hectares, Casa de Campo is the largest urban park in Spain. It’s an ideal place for nature, culture and sports lovers. There are historical remains as well as animal and plant species there. The park offers various leisure options, as it provides sports, restaurant and cultural facilities. It is an ideal place for jogging, tennis, swimming, cycling, canoeing or triathlon. All this combined makes Casa de Campo an ideal leisure location, with a wide range of activities all in one area.
- Go boating at RETIRO PARK
Situated behind the Prado museum, Retiro park is the most visited park in Madrid. It is a meeting point for people of all ages, for roller skating lovers, football players and joggers. The central focus of the park is the large lake where you can go boating or simply relax in the shade of trees. In the park you may also watch a puppet show or listen to live music. Among the park's numerous statues, there is one to the 'Angel Caido' - said to be the only statue in the world dedicated to a fallen angel.
Other nearby attractions: Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo del Prado and Puerta de Alcalá
- Enjoy the landscape in PARQUE DEL OESTE
Except for the magnificent landscape, the park is the location of several attractions. One of them is La Rosaleda, a 17,000-square-metre rose garden where annually in May a rose festival is held, a fountain by Juan Villanueva in Paseo de Camoens and the teleférico running to Casa de Campo. The southerly corner of the park, near Plaza de España, is home to the 4th-century Egyptian Templo de Debod. The temple, in dedication of the Egyptian god Amon, was dismantled in Egypt before it was relocated to Spain to be reassembled piece by piece amongst palm trees and other exotic flora. During summer months outdoor cafés and bars are established along Ernest Hemingway's favorite street, the Paseo de Pintor Rosales.
Other nearby attractions: Ermita de San Antonio
- Enjoy the nature in ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
Designed 250 years ago, Madrid´s Botanical Garden invites visitors to enjoy a pleasant stroll surrounded by thousands of live plant species. It is a great place to spend at least a couple of hours. There are lots of trees and plants from all over the world that nature lovers will like. It is an extremely quiet place, probably the best one to relax from the noise and crowd. The entrance to the Botanical Gardens is the Glorieta de Murillo right beside the Prado Museum.
Other nearby attractions: tropical garden inside Atocha station
- Admire the sculptures in JARDINS DEL DESCUBRIMIENTO (Discovery Gardens)
The Jardines del Descubrimiento was created in the 1970s to commemorate the contribution of Spain in the discovery of the New World. One of the main features of the gardens is the 1885 statue of Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) by Jerónimo Suñol; this 17-metres / 56-feet-high monument was a wedding gift to Alfonso XII from the Spanish nobility. The gardens are also the site of four sculptures by Joaquín Vaquero Turcios, which were erected in 1977; three of the statues symbolize the Pinta, the Niña and the Santa María, the ships used in Columbus's journey across the Atlantic in 1492. The last monument represents the New World. Below the Jardines del Descubrimiento, the Centro Cultural de la Ville (City Cultural Centre) is found. Opened in 1977 it is the site of concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances.
Other nearby attractions: Archaeological Museum
- Enjoy the fountains in GARDENS OF EL CAMPO DEL MORO
When in 1734 the Fortress was destroyed because of a fire, the Royal Palace rose in its place. When Maria Cristina was in goverment, the garden was designed inspirated by Versalles. It has some 70 arboreal species, some up to 170 years, two famous fountains: the Newts and the Shells that establish the axis of the gardens.
- Lie under the Sun in THE GARDENS OF SABATINI
The Sabatini Gardens are part of the Royal Palace. Sabatini did not design them; he designed the former royal stables of the palace that were replaced by the gardens. The Sabatini Gardens are a perfect spot for a restful break during the exhausting sightseeing tours. They offer spectacular views of the North façade of the Royal Palace.
- Feel the romance in El CAPRICHO
The Capricho was created in the 18th Century in the French baroque style, with a number of squares and fountains and green parades. It was designed by J. B. Mulot (Marie Antoinette's gardener) for the duchess of Osuna there is an artificial lake with islands in the middle and a proper maze. Found at the southern end of Parque Juan Carlos I, it's a romantic place with lots of unexpected delights and is one of Madrid's hidden treasures.
- Experience the wilderness of MONTE DEL PARDO
This natural park, situated just outside Madrid, is home to many indigenous animal species and was used from the Middle Ages as a royal poaching ground due to the high density of woods and the abundance of wild animals.