The most unknown hidden gardens in Madrid

The heat arrives and Madrid sheds its skin. For a few weeks, everyone seems to want to meet in the same corners of the capital. From travelers who choose the spring to visit the city, even the people of Madrid who continue to be “stuck” in their jobs until the arrival of summer, when many decide to run away for fear of getting burned.

But one of the good things about this city is that we always have some corner to discover, a place where we don’t have to bump elbows with anyone to get through. a lonely time… and fresh. Because when the thermometer rises above 30 degrees, we need trees, shade and fresh air.

Al fresco in seven hidden gardens in Madrid

Vista Alegre Gardens – Source: Community of Madrid

There are not many streets in Madrid where you can take your belongings outside the house to enjoy the fresh air as is done in the towns, but we have some more or less “secret” gardens in which you can have a good time alone or in good company ( and reduced) company to ramble about life. Because you think (and talk) better in the shade of a tree How cramped in the subway at rush hour.

Vista Alegre Gardens

Vista Alegre Gardens - Source: Community of Madrid
Vista Alegre Gardens – Source: Community of Madrid

We begin our route of hidden gardens south of Madrid by visiting the Palacios de la Finca de Vista Alegre which, three years ago, have been opened to the public after a recovery and restoration process. It is, nothing less, the fourth largest historic garden of Madrid, after the Casa de Campo, the Retiro and the Parque del Oeste, including among its natural treasures a gigantic cedar cataloged as a “singular tree”.

During the 18th century it was known as The Carabancheles, one of the recreational places frequented by the nobility and upper bourgeoisie of Madrid. Three centuries later, you don’t have to be noble or upper-bourgeois to wander through one of Madrid’s best-kept natural secrets.

Gardens of Las Vistillas

The name leaves no room for doubt, from here you have one of the best views of the capital: to the north, the Royal Palace, to the south the Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande and to the west the banks of the Manzanares, with the old Madrid of the Austrias to the east.

It is a garden of just under two hectares that was designed a little less than a century ago, after hosting various food markets at the beginning of the 20th century: a bust of the painter Ignacio Zuloaga, the Monument to Ramón Gómez de la Serna and the violetera are its sculptural references.

The Reina Sofía garden

Reina Sofía Garden - Source: Reina Sofía Museum
Reina Sofía Garden – Source: Reina Sofía Museum

And speaking of sculptures, how about resting for a while next to a Calder, a Miró or a Chillida? There is only one place in Madrid where you can have that happy combination of rest and contemporary art: the garden of the Reina Sofía.

It is true that it is not always free to enter here, but you can take advantage of the late afternoon to “sneak” into the museum (or on Sundays before lunch) and walk around the garden for a while, leaving for another day the masterpieces that you can see in the hallways and rooms of one of the most important museums in our country.

Quinta de la Fuente del Berro

No one would say that this natural refuge is just a stone’s throw from the M-30… unless you get very close to the eastern end of the park when the noise of traffic will remind you that you are still in the capital. But, otherwise, Quinta de la Fuente del Berro is one of the most picturesque gardens in Madrid… and freshest, thanks to its canals and ponds. It even has a waterfall! Furthermore, if you are looking for inspiration you should know that in this park there is a statue of Bécquer and another of Pushkin, one of the most idolized writers of Russian literature.

Gardens of Cecilio Rodríguez

Gardens of Cecilio Rodríguez - Source: Depositphotos
Gardens of Cecilio Rodríguez – Source: Depositphotos

It cannot be said that the Retiro is a garden that is neither “hidden” nor “unknown”, but for the laziest or the newcomers we recommend one of the coolest corners of the most Madrilenian park in Madrid.

Because not everyone who enters the green lung of the capital’s center reaches its southeastern end, where the Gardens of Cecilio Rodríguez are located, who was the park’s senior gardener. And it is not so common for a garden to bear the name of the person who designed it. But what happened to Cecilio was pure vocation: he entered with eight years as an apprentice as a gardener at City Hall…

Olive Grove of Castillejo

We have a theory that high tables and chairs were invented so that the customer would get tired sooner and leave room for the next customer, a way to speed up turnover and, with it, consumption. So this year we will think twice when approaching the Olivar del Castillejo because there will only be high tables “perfect” for informal snacking… and for the suffering of your back. But we can always take a walk between centuries-old olive trees to stretch your legs, in one of the most peculiar refuges in the most luxurious Chamartín.

Garden of the Museum of Romanticism

We may have recommended it on another occasion, but this corner is a true Eden in the heart of Madrid. Surely you already know the Museum of Romanticism, even if you have not visited it inside, since it is located next to Fuencarral street, next to the Tribunal metro stop. Well, inside there is a cafe with a small garden that is a delight to clear the mind.

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