Madrid is one of the most visited European cities. Its touristic centre is mainly located in the Centre, Chamberí, Arganzuela, Retiro and Salamanca neighbourhoods. From the famous Puerta del Sol emerge ten streets, and from there, the numbering of all the streets of Madrid and the main routes of Spain.
Art and Walks in Madrid are one
The "Art Walk", which is the Paseo del Prado, brings together the most emblematic three museums of Madrid: Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofía. There you will find the Neptuno fountain, where the Atlético de Madrid celebrates its triumphs.
Being the Plaza Cibeles the starting point, you can walk through the Paseo de Recoletos until Plaza de Colón, where you will find the National Library, the Colón Towers and a monument to the America´s discoverer.
At this point the name of the street changes to Paseo de la Castellana, one of the most important streets of the capital that reaches the northern part of the city.
It should be also highlighted the gardens of the Lázaro Galiano Museum, Sorolla Museum and Cerralbo Museum.
Casa de Campo
Nos encontramos ante el mayor parque público de Madrid gracias a sus más de 1720 hectáreas, ubicado en el distrito de Moncloa- Aravaca.
El recinto de la Casa de Campo surgió debido a su proximidad con la capital, y especialmente al Palacio Real. Felipe II, antes de iniciar el definitivo traslado de la Corte a la ciudad, trató de conseguir intimidad aislando del resto de Madrid su futura residencia, para ello compró y expropió terrenos cercanos al Alcázar.
El Rey, que era un gran aficionado a la caza, se propuso también la adquisición de terrenos que le permitieran crear un gran bosque hasta El Pardo con la intención de convertirlo en reserva de caza para uso exclusivo de la familia real. Fernando VI declaró la a Casa de Campo ‘Bosque Real’ y la acondicionó para su uso cinegético.
La Casa de Campo fue de uso y disfrute exclusivo de la realeza, hasta la instauración de la Segunda República. Durante la Guerra Civil fue frente de guerra, y hoy día aún son visibles restos de trincheras y fortines, así como construcciones militares.
Su vegetación es el encinar, pero a lo largo de su historia se ha ido repoblando especialmente de pinos, aunque también podemos encontrar álamos, castaños, chopos, plátanos de sombra, fresnos, robles o sauces, algunos sobre todo cerca de los arroyos. Existían diversos estanques para el regadío, pero es el lago el que tiene mayor afluencia de público. Dispone de un embarcadero, lo que hace las delicias de sus visitantes cuando el tiempo acompaña.
Pero en el interior también encontraremos diversas instalaciones como son el Parque de Atracciones, el Parque Zoológico, parte de los recintos feriales de IFEMA, la Venta del Batán (lugar dónde se localizan los toros de lidia antes de los festejos en la Plaza de La Ventas), el Teleférico, y otras instalaciones deportivas.
A Royal Walk
During your tour around the Habsburg Madrid, when you visit the Royal Palace, you should stop a few minutes in the gardens and have a deserved break.
The Sabatini Gardens are an ideal place to make a stop on the tour. It has a neoclassical style, and it constitutes one of the most beautiful green places in Madrid.
On the back side of the Royal Palace you will find El Campo del Moro (the field of the Moor), so-called because it was the old Mozarabic settlement. It is located between the Manzanares River and the Royal Palace, and it has witnessed haunting, jousts and knights' tournaments, as well as it was the passageway to the Casa de Campo. It did not become a garden until the reign of Isabel II. It was during this time that the park was designed as it is today and many Tritons fountains were placed. The gardens support 70 tree species, some of them of 170 years old. From the garden you have one of the best perspectives of the Royal Palace thanks to its altitude.
The Parque del Buen Retiro has evolved for almost 500 years together with Madrid. It is one of the most emblematic parks of the city, and it is a mandatory visit for tourists and people of Madrid that want to enjoy the pure air in the centre of the city. It is so-called because during the reign of Felipe II this area was selected as a retirement place with religious recognition.
Surrounded by a majestic fence with twelve big doors, the park has many sculptures and buildings as well as various gardens. You can rent a boat on the big pond and practice rowing while you enjoy the calmness. Also, in the different pavilions you can attend to expositions, like the one in the Crystal Palace that was built in 1887 together with its artificial lake due to the Philippine Islands exposition.
Close to the Retiro you will find the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, with more than 5,000 different species.
A whim in Madrid
At the end of the eighteenth century, Madrid pursued a series of suburban villages that formed a 10 kilometer belt. Nowadays, these areas have been absorbed by the city, most of them have disappeared. Only remains "El Capricho" (The Whim) in Alameda de Osuna.
The garden was designed by one of the Versailles inspired landscape gardeners and it is one of the most beautiful parks in Madrid. It was created in 1784 by the Osuna dukes, more specifically by the Duchess María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, who created a real natural paradise that was visited by the most illustrious figures of her time and where the most prestigious artists, gardeners and set designers worked. After the death of the duchess the park began to decline until 1999, when the City Council acquired it. It offers three different styles: the parterre or French garden, the English landscape and the Italian giardino.
The gardens of El Prado, a spot on the outskirts
The gardens that surround El Prado are a natural corner very close to the capital, where you will be able to take a break in surrounding declared Historical Artistic Garden.
Take a walk around the gardens of the palace, commissioned by Felipe II and extended by the best major of Madrid (Carlos III). You can also take a walk around the little house of the Prince and the Gardens of la Quinta del Duque de Arco.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial: gardens, a privileged environment
Having a walk in the Royal Place of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the most wonderful feelings that you can have in the Region of Madrid. It has been declared World Heritage by the UNESCO thanks to its gardens.
This environment brings together the natural spaces of the Forge, the Pine Grove of Abantos and the chair of Felipe II. This allows the visitor to enjoy the heritage and nature in a relaxed way.
We recommend you to take a walk around the Monastery gardens, the Little Infant gardens and the Little Prince House Gardens, in order to whet the appetite and discover the gastronomy of El Escorial.
Aranjuez, the gardens of the spring palace
The cultural landscape of Aranjuez, which is the spring residence of the Bourbons, was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO thanks to the Palace and the gardens.
The gardens that surround the Palace were considered the most beautiful of their time, being inspiration for later artists like Joaquín Rodrigo or Santiago Rusiñol. Take a walk around the Parterre Garden, the Island Garden, the Prince Garden and the King Garden.
An opportunity to enjoy the gardens in a different way is to take advantage of the classical music concerts that are hosted in the gardens during the Ancient music festival. There is even a possibility to take a guided tour by botanical experts while you listen to classical music. Don't you find this interesting?