Madrid Green Bike Tour
Already did our Highlights tour and want to discover more of Madrid?
Already did our Highlights tour and want to discover more of Madrid? Do as the locals so often do and enjoy a day in Madrid’s fabulous parks!
Madrid is the greenest capital in Europe and on this tour we’ll show you our best parks. Cycling, enjoying the sun, the vegetation and beautiful views is more important on this tour than learning history and facts about Madrid. Let’s just relax and enjoy being outside!
Starting from our shop in the heart of Madrid just a few minutes from Puerta del Sol we will take you on a bike ride into the main green areas of town. We’ll cycle through the Retiro Park, along the riverside of the Manzanares, through the Casa de Campo and the Parque del Oeste.
We promise that from Casa de Campo you’ll enjoy the most spectacular view of Madrid.
Before we cycle to the first park, the Retiro Park, we will come along two important points of interest: the Alcalá gate, which in 1788 was the entrance gate to the city of Madrid and the Plaza de Cibeles which is famous for congregating all fans of sports celebrations, for example when the Real Madrid team has won an important football match or the local basketball team their match.
With its 1.4 km2 (350 acres) El Parque Del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park) is not the biggest city park of Madrid but the most beautiful and popular park in the middle of Madrid. Once a private rural retreat of the Royal Families that reigned in Spain, situated for centuries outside of the city walls of Madrid. Mid-19th century it became a public park and never lost its popularity by the people. For both locals and visitors this park is the best place to take it easy. The beautiful park offers enough places where you can have a fresh beverage in the sun or shade, meanwhile, it has also some attractions to offer, like the Crystal Palace, and the statue of The Fallen Angel or you can skate on the massive avenues that go all through the park. In the hot summers, the local Madrileños will look for shade and leisure time in this green oasis. Quiet, but yet, not too far from the bustling city!
After cycling through this beautiful park, we will see the Atocha train station, the biggest train station in Madrid. It is the main railway station for commuter trains for the city and the main station for the the high-speed rail called AVE. It is definitely worth having a look at the fantastic architecture and ceiling of the old part and the great tropical garden in the new part of the station containing 400 different species, with a total of over 7,000 plants.
140 years ago, just a little south of Atocha, there used to be another train station called “Delicias” (delight), a magnificent example of 19th-century cast-iron architecture, which has been converted into a railway museum and today offers all sorts of activities for adults and children.
While we now cycle towards the Manzanares Rio we will see the former slaughterhouse (Matadero), a set of neo-Mudejar style pavilions, built at the beginning of the 20th century on the banks of the river. Today the whole complex seems like a small city devoted to culture and events. Inside, there is a cinema, a theater, a restaurant, a library and many other spaces for exhibitions and other events. Outside, in the middle of the plaza, take place markets of all types. A real gain for Madrid’s cultural offer and certainly worth spending time here.
Now it is getting more modern as we will arrive to the large park that runs along both banks of the Manzanares River as it flows through the city.This relatively new leisure area with all the children’s parks, sculptures and long cycling paths has also a very futuristic and iconic bridge called Monumental Arganzuela Bridge, a major walkway, designed by the eminent French architect Dominique Perrault and inaugurated in 2011.
As a contrast to this modern bridge there are some old bridges that cross the river Manzanares: One is the Toledo Bridge which is a very impressive Baroque style bridge from 1724 (Toledo is a beautiful city around 70 km away from Madrid). Another is the Segovia Bridge, the oldest bridge in Madrid which crosses over the Manzanares River on the way from Segovia (Segovia is around 90 km away from Madrid). Its was constructed in the 16th century. The last one is The King´s Bridge at one of the entrances to Casa de Campo Park.The bridge was designed by Royal Architect Isidro González Velázquez and built in the nineteenth century. In its early days, it could only be used by the King, giving access to Casa de Campo from the Royal Palace.
Would you have believed that Madrid has a huge forest like park just very near the city?
With 1,722.60 hectares of natural space, this location is the most important public park in Madrid. The history of Casa de Campo began with the decision by Philip II to move the Court to Madrid, and reside there. The King built a manor house linking the Palace with the hunting area called El Pardo. Later, farms and fields bought from the areas surrounding the Casa de Campo were added.
Apart from fantastic cycle paths which give you the feeling that you are far away from the city, here you will find the Aquarium, an Amusement park, many restaurants, a lake and of course you the greatest view of Madrid from the top of the hill by the Teleferic.
We are now cycling through the park and will cross the Manzanares river returning this way towards the city center arriving first to the Bulb Park which hosts a summer film classic in Madrid each year, the FESCINAL open air film festival.
From the end of June until mid-September, the best films in digital format are screened here under the Madrid sky, using the latest technology.
As we cycle along another park called Park del Oeste we will see the San Antonio de la Florida Chapel with paintings from Goya who this way decorated one of the most popular temples of Madrid, famous for its San Antonio celebrations each June 13th with music, processions and other typically Spanish habits.San Antonio is the Saint of love and lost objects. The Saints in Spain are very important and Spaniards love to celebrate them.
Fancy a little bit of Egypt in the middle of Madrid? We are not joking, there is an Egyptian monument called the Debod Temple. This temple dating back to the 2nd century BC, was transported to Madrid’s Cuartel de la Montaña Park. The temple was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to save it from floods following the construction of the great Aswan Dam. What a different experience compared to the rest of the Spanish architecture!
While we stroll along some smaller streets of Madrid we will see another of Madrid’s points of interest: the Madrid History Museum.
Housed in one of Madrid’s impressive Baroque buildings, formerly the San Fernando Hospice, the History Museum offers an overview of the arts, industries, lifestyles and customs of Madrileños from 1561, the year when Madrid was established as the Spanish capital, to the present.
After all these new impressions we are now coming to the end of the Green Bike Tour and cycling back to our shop.