Madrid is the 2nd city in the world with the most green spaces. Here are two of the reasons why as well as another very special place:
This 4 mile long park along the Manzanares river used to be a busy motorway. It’s popular with Madrileños who like to rollerblade, run, cycle, walk or simply hang out with friends at its open-air bars. Madrid’s green lung features several impressive bridges over the river, flower beds, children’s games and playgrounds.
This park is a green oasis in Madrid’s concrete jungle. Its grassy meadows are ideal for a picnic or a sunbathing session.
EL Retiro Park
The origins of this 300 acre park date back to the construction of the Monasterio de los Jerónimos by Queen Isabela I and King Ferdinand II (of which there remains only the parish church of San Jerónimo el Real and a baroque-style cloister). Philip II created an area of religious retreat and devotion, hence its name. But it wasn’t until the reign of Charles III when the citizens of Madrid, if properly dressed, were given access to the fenced-off site.
Currently, El Retiro Park is one of the most popular green areas for people to go jogging, boating, picnicking and walking with pets. The gardens of the Retiro have many attractive features, like a rose garden, the Casa de Vacas cultural center and numerous fountains and statues, including the famous Fallen Angel (Ángel Caído).
The Snowzone Skiing Centre is a truly unique attraction in Madrid, because it allows visitors to ski all year round. The Centre is an indoor ski resort with real snow, landscaped with rocks and trees to create a realistic (though slightly surreal) alpine atmosphere. Children and adults can enjoy a range of activities offered, including snowboarding, tobogganing and tubing, as well as take lessons. It’s hard to picture actually riding a chairlift indoors, but it happens here, at the largest indoor track in Europe. There is everything anybody could need on a ski vacation, including restaurants and apres-ski dining in front of a fireplace. To top it off, there is a movie theater, a go-kart track, an arcade and over 200 shops.