Madrid's largest park, named after King Juan Carlos I, is a short metro ride from downtown, but from the moment you leave the station you feel as though you've been transported to a faraway land of fairy tales.
Giant sculptures decorate the massive grounds, with dedications to Galileo, victims of the Holocaust, and world peace, respectively.
If the weather is fair, there is a free train which offers rides every hour on the hour around the entire park—the only way you can see the whole place in a day!
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Tranquil and artistic escape from the city
If you want a break from the city hustle and bustle and the city parks seem a bit too touristy then take the subway north to Parque Juan Carlos I. Subway stops: El Capricho on the 5 (green line) or Campo de las Naciones on the 8 (pink line).
On a sunny day it is hard to find any place more unique and beautiful. The greenery seems greener and the architecture is a wonderful modern addition. You can rent bikes or stroll at your leisure. There are gardens and fountains like you'll see in other typical parks but the real beauty is the architecture and modern art placed all around.
Pack a snack and a blanket for some down time so you can fully experience the park and people watch the locals. The best place to lay down is on the huge grassy area nearest the sculptures in my photos.