Although it may not seem so, the city of Madrid is home to countless squares, parks, and gardens. Some are immense and insight of everyone, others are smaller and are more difficult to find. However, one thing is sure; there are countless green spaces from the center to the city’s outskirts.
These parks function as lungs for the city, and it is an absolute pleasure (and even a necessity) to enjoy their tranquility to get away from the asphalt and the significant buildings, especially during the hot summer days.
A public square is the soul of a neighborhood and its city, and luckily, Madrid has many of them and is very beautiful. The squares and parks are part of our lives, customs, and history. There are of all types and sizes, but they all have the same function, to provide a shared space to contact nature.
This article will review which are the most beautiful squares and parks you can visit in Madrid. In fact, green spaces are a big part of the charm of this city that every year is chosen by millions of people who decide to vacation there or even attend a spanish language school madrid.
Let’s see which are the most beautiful parks and squares to spend a beautiful summer afternoon in the shade of a leafy tree.
Plaza de Oriente
It is a square in the historic center of Madrid, which evokes the majesty of another time, mainly thanks to the presence of buildings as iconic as the Royal Palace or the Royal Theatre. It is one of the most charming places in Madrid, where it seems that life stops, and the sculptures narrate the history of Spain.
It has a rectangular shape and was created by order of José I, in 1809. However, it was only in 1844 that it was possible to enjoy the design by Pascual and Colomer, as described in the inscription on the square.
Today, the square has several gardens that we can enjoy: the Plaza de Oriente (in the center) and the Gardens of Lepanto and Cabo Noval (on both sides). The gardens are separated by twenty limestone statues representing former Spanish kings.
Being located in the heart of the city, it is one of the most famous squares for international students taking a spanish course madrid, to relax and read beneath a tree.
Plaza Mayor (Main Square)
This square is one of the most important tourist places in the city of Madrid. Its construction began at the end of the 16th century by the order of Philip II.
In the Plaza Mayor is located the impressive building of the Casa de la Panadería, one of the most important and oldest buildings located in the square. It was built alongside the construction of the square in the 16th century, but it was inaugurated in 1619. On its facade, you can see the Coat of Arms of Carlos II, which is estimated to be after 1668.
The most popular access to the Plaza Mayor is the Arco de Cuchilleros, in the southwest corner of the square. There is an excellent unevenness between the yard and the street that accompanies it therefore, this majestic arch was created to compensate for it. The name “Arco de Cuchilleros” is since the street that passes through it is called “Cuchilleros Street” because it is where the knife makers’ guild used to be located to supply their articles to the butcher’s guild that were located inside the Plaza Mayor.
This beautiful and majestic park has 125 hectares and more than 15,000 trees. It is an immense green haven in the heart of the city, made up of several gardens: The Vivaces garden, the gardens of the Architect Herrero Palacios, the Rosaleda (collection of roses), the Cecilio Rodríguez gardens (classicist gardens with Andalusian airs) and the French Parterre that contains the oldest tree in Madrid, the ahuehuete, which is believed to be around 400 years old.
This park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2021. It offers all its visitors culture, leisure and sports, and wonderful architectural elements such as the Palacio de Velazquez and the Palacio de Cristal, which function as exhibition halls. You can also enjoy the Big Pond, where activities such as rowing boats are offered.
In addition, the park houses beautiful sculptures and fountains such as the monument to Alfonso XII or the Fernando VII reserve, which includes the Artificial Mountain, the Fisherman’s House, and the Smuggler’s House. It stands out the statue of The Fallen Angel, the only sculpture in the world that represents the devil; the Galapagos fountain, which commemorates the birth of Isabel II; the water wheel, which was restored and put into operation; the “Bosque del Recuerdo”, in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place in Madrid on March 11, 2004; and the Puppet Theater.
This park is one of the people´s favorites for walking, sports and many other activities. It is ideal to go with children and enjoy its multiple play areas.
El Capricho Park
This beautiful garden is only open on weekends and holidays. It is incredibly little known despite being one of the most beautiful in Madrid.
In this park, you can visit a bunker built during the Civil War, between 1787 and 1839, for the Dukes of Osuna. The Duchess took pains to create an authentic natural paradise frequented by the most illustrious personalities of the time and the most prestigious gardeners, artists, and set designers worked.
When the Duchess died, the park declined until 1974, when it was bought by the Madrid City Council, who took charge of its recovery, which ended in 1999.
Today the park houses an important botanical, artistic and sculptural wealth. In it, you can find pavilions, fountains, hermitages, squares and the Palace of the Dukes, which will soon become an interactive space, with 3D projections, permanent exhibitions, and conference rooms.
The garden is designed based on three different styles: The French garden (parterre), the English landscape, and the Italian Giardino. The parterre contains clipped hedges as if it were an embroidery on the ground; the Italian is the oldest space and mixes hedges with trees, it also houses a labyrinth made with laurel. The rest of the park is designed as a typical English landscape garden, showing nature’s purest form.