If you’re thinking about visiting or even moving to Madrid, be sure that there is a lot to get to know and explore. We won’t be naive to tell you all of it in this single article. However, we can provide you with starting points. If you’re planning to live in Madrid, beware that half of the city’s population disappears in August. This departure leaves a void in most of the charming spaces of the capital. For those who like tranquillity, it is the perfect month to enjoy the best of the city, without the usual crowds. We propose to you some cool corners full of charm where we can take refuge from the high temperatures and enjoy a concert or impressive views of the city.
This garden is a surprise: more than 7,000 square meters of plants and vegetation raised in what was the old municipal slaughterhouse and which retains all its splendour despite the high temperatures. It was built between 1908 and 1928 by the architect Luis Bellido y González. It is restored in the style of nineteenth-century greenhouses in London or Vienna and inside it houses some 9,000 species of plants, including cacti and succulents, and even fish species.
In the Barajas district, you will find a garden that is a jewel of Romanticism, an extraordinarily preserved monument to the taste of the 18th century, the Capricho de la Alameda de Osuna. Within its 14 hectares, you will come across an artificial river, lakes, forests, gardens, buildings that simulate temples and surprising corners where you can cool off. Its construction began in 1780 for the Dukes of Osuna, the most cultivated couple of the aristocracy of the time, promoters of Enlightenment ideas and patrons of artists.
On Montera street, two steps from Puerta del Sol and in the heart of Madrid, there is a beautiful urban oasis in the shape of a secret garden. To get to know it, you will have to go up to the fourth floor of the Salvador Bachiller store, leaving behind leather bags, suitcases and a vintage-style interior café with comfortable chairs and sofas. But if you go up to the roof of the building, you will find a unique and wonderful space. Colourful hydrangeas, vines, young trees, and plants with colourful flowers will welcome you into a tea room that looks like a fairy tale.
The charming botanical garden of Madrid was created for Carlos III by Juan de Villanueva and the botanist Gómez Ortega in 1781. Right next to the bustle of the Paseo del Prado and south of the Prado Museum and its corresponding queues, inside this deep place, Green and bright, with more than 30,000 plants from all over the world, it is easy to feel that city life has been suspended. In addition, this summer they have returned their beautiful musical walks in the light of the moon.
The Arzábal group restaurant, located in the Museo Reina Sofía, is one of the most charming summer spots in the city. Its terrace is a haven of peace a few steps from the traffic and the bustle of Atocha and its menu is always appetizing.
Joaquín Sorolla was a true exponent of ‘enlightenment’, the celebration of light, and a lover of gardens, like the one he built here. A cool refuge with fountains, a pond, leafy trees and tables and chairs scattered throughout the space to rest from the high temperatures.
Madrid has its own desert, and nothing better than the summer heat to experience it in all its splendour. Rather, its experimental landscaped garden with a biotech nursery, all very much from the 21st century. A space of more than 5,000 square meters dedicated to botanical gardens where cacti are the masters. And they are not alone. In this macro botanical experimental garden of more than 5,000 m2 and more than 400 xerophytic species, other plants accompany them, many of them even indigenous to the Community of Madrid.
This glass and wrought iron building, which dates from 1887 and was built for the Philippine Islands Exposition, is a beautiful and bright space where you can contemplate art. In addition, in an incomparable setting: in the middle of the El Retiro park, next to a lake with ducks, surrounded by nature and good vibes. It is one of the headquarters of the Museo Reina Sofía, which often exhibits great installations, sculptures or pieces designed specifically for the Palacio de Cristal.
Three spaces under the roof of the Palacio de Linares (headquarters of Casa de América) to combine the flavours of two continents creating recipes as exotic as the tasty tacos de Chamorro with roasted pork, crumbled pico de gallo and coriander or the diced chicken with garlic Oriental. Chef Sergio Fernández, the gastronomic advisor of the restaurant, has managed to incorporate nuances and techniques from across the Atlantic to our classic recipes creating unique dishes.
In a forgotten corner of Plaza de la Paja, in the heart of the La Latina neighbourhood, is this hidden garden, full of shadows and fresh spaces. A brick wall jealously guards the best-kept secret of the Palace of the Prince of Anglona, who inhabited the building and walked through its garden in the 19th century. In the centre of the enclosure is a small stone fountain from which several cobblestone paths emerge.
In summer, winter, spring or autumn, this Egyptian temple is wonderful at any time of the year. The best thing to visit in the summer is to take advantage of the shadows of the park that spreads around you.
Since it opened its doors in its entirety in 2011, Madrid Río has been a mandatory stop for those who aspire to a piece of nature without having to leave the city. The park stretches for more than 10 kilometres, with majestic bridges that connect both banks, such as the Segovia and Toledo Bridge or the modernist twin bridges of Matadero and Invernadero, El Oblicuo, Andorra and the Monumental Bridge of Arganzuela. Added to this are several green spaces such as the Salón de Los Pinos or the Jardines de Aniceto Marinas, which make the walkthrough Madrid Río a real pleasure. It is a pleasure to walk along the banks of the Manzanares River and enjoy a large number of leisure parks with swings, zip lines and slides that occupies this green space. In addition, there are fountains and water jets for the little ones to have fun in summer and bars with large terraces. Remember to bring your bikes or skates!
Open since the beginning of June, access to this terrace in the heart of Madrid can be done only and exclusively upon reservation. There are established 2-hour public shifts that ensure the influx and that more people can enjoy not only the views but also its culinary and cocktail offerings. All clients will be able to check the status of hygiene and disinfection processes through software.
Next to the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, in the neighborhood of La Latina, is this small park, divided into several rose flower beds (formerly dahlias). Eclipsed by the majesty of the adjacent church, this viewpoint is one of the best and quietest places in Madrid to watch a beautiful sunset. The sculptural group of ‘San Isidro’, by Santiago Costa, presides over the site. An ideal corner for a romantic date.
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