Glorieta Sar Don Juan de Borbon y Battermberg, 5, 28042 Madrid, Spain
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!
Calle de Martín de Vargas, 40, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Over the last several years, Madrid‘s river redevelopment has really come together. What used to be sludgy is now sparkling, with walkways and bridges intertwined along the river, with kids playing, people jogging and chatting. A great place to get away from the crowds, even in the winter. Tourists don’t really know about it, which makes it even better. Go at sunset so you can watch the lights of the city come on and the moon rise. Start on the south side, by the new Matedero arts center and move your way up north to the Royal Palace. Delightful way to spend an early evening.
Paseo de Cuba, 4, 28009 Madrid, Spain
No matter what the season, it’s worthwhile to wander through the exquisite Retiro Park when you’re in Madrid. Here you can find a tranquil escape from crowded streets and museums. The unrivaled architecture of Madrid is echoed here in the wonderful monuments, statues, and buildings. Be sure to visit the gorgeous Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal), originally a greenhouse and now used for art exhibitions. Look for the beautiful black swans in the lake.
Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don’t miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It’s the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your heart’s content.
Paseo de Moret, 2, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Parque de Oueste is a shady park toward the north of the city. The park is known for its rose gardens, as well as being home to the Temple of Debod, a gift for the Egyptian state in 1968. The overlook of the park offers beautiful views of the Royal Palace and the larger Casa Del Campo. It’s an ideal spot to split a bottle of wine with friends and watch the sunset after a long day of exploring Madrid.