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The most beautiful parks and gardens in Madrid

Madrid is a great metropolis that has done a great job in preserving the look of its historic buildings. But it is also a city with lots of greenery, charming parks and and peaceful gardens where you can take a stroll, relax, play sports, or participate in leisure activities.

The most emblematic of Madrid's parks is El Retiro, with more than 125 hectares and 15,000 trees, some of which are centuries old. For instance, the famous Bald Cypress is the oldest tree in the capital from nearly 400 years ago. With origins documented since the time of the Catholic monarchs, this park is not only a great lung of the city, but the centre of culture, entertainment and sport. The notable monuments at El Retiro include the grand Estanque, el Palacio de Velázquez, and el Palacio de Cristal.

Despite the enormity of El Retiro, the prize for the largest park in Madrid has to go to la Casa de Campo, a huge wooded area of ​​about 1,723 hectares. la Casa de Campo is home to various leisure facilities such as an amusement park, a zoo and the cable car.

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Photo: Casa de Campo, Madrid by © Håkan Svensson Xauxa

The newly restored M-30 motorway on the banks of Manzanares River has made it possible for visitors and locals to get easier access to Madrid Rio, a huge park of more than 10 kilometres long. In this park, you can find various monuments of great importance including, Toledo and de Segovia. 

Another fairly recent public park, called Juan Carlos I or Campo de las Naciones, is currently one of the largest and busiest parks, with 160 hectares that include a lake, outdoor auditorium and numerous sculptures as well as various recreational areas.

One of the most charming green spaces in Madrid is in fact little known by most. It is the Parque El Capricho, Alameda de Osuna, a natural paradise created in 1784. Its landscaped gardens offer French, English, and Italian-style landscapes. You can also visit a Civil War bunker that's still in great condition.

Madrid has numerous gardens, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens (el Real Jardín Botánico), close to Prado Museum, or the nineteenth-century English-style Campo del Moro, as inspired by Queen Maria Cristina. 

In the surroundings of the Royal Palace, the Sabatini Gardens were built in the 30s on the old stables. They present a beautiful geometric design and allow you to watch spectacular sunsets. No less intense are the sunsets that overlook la Casa de Campo, Parque del Oeste, and the Debod Temple. This ancient Egyptian temple was rebuilt in Parque del Oeste back in 1968 when it was donated to Spain by the Egyptian state.

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