With expansive green areas, as well as swimming pools, rollercoasters and a dolphinarium, Casa de Campo has everything an ordinary park has and plenty more besides.
Located to the west of Madrid, Casa de Campo covers an impressive 1,700 hectares of land and was the 16th-century hunting grounds of King Felipe II. Since it was opened to the public in the 1940s it has become a popular park for both locals and tourists. There are plenty of facilities to keep all the family happy here, while the extensive green spaces provide more than enough food for the imagination.
Wandering around the park, nature lovers will see a lot of squirrels and birds, as well as flora typical to this region of Spain. However, if you've got children in tow, you might like to consider more focused entertainment, such as a trip to the zoo and aquarium. Covering an area of 20 hectares, the complex houses more than 500 animal species with a petting zoo, dolphinarium and giant panda area.
There's also an amusement park with rollercoasters, flume rides and carousels which is always a hit whatever your age!
It’s worth checking out the programme at Madrid Arena too. This indoor pavilion stages sporting and cultural events, and there are often some impressive shows on here.
Sports enthusiasts are amply catered for with swimming pools, tennis courts and a kayaking reservoir, not to mention loads of green space to have a game of soccer, throw a ball around, or teach the locals how to play cricket!
If you decide to have a picnic, there are several places where you'll find tables and benches, and plenty of grass to lay out your rugs. The restaurants and cafés around the lake offer some great views, but be careful because they can work out quite pricey!
Whatever you decide to do, it's probably a good idea to get hold of a map, or at least to plan where you're going, because it really is a big space and is easy to get lost in. It's worth noting that visitors are also advised to be wary in some of the more remote areas of the park.
Casa de Campo is open at all times, although the park's facilities tend to close towards the end of the day. Most of the restaurants stay open quite late in the summer. A nice way to get here is by taking the Teleférico cable car which runs from the city centre.