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There are so many fun things to do in Madrid, which is why it’s one of the best cities to visit in Spain! One of the things most people never visit, and don’t even know about, is Casa de Campo in Madrid. It’s the perfect nature escape from city life and the 3.3 million people in Madrid.
Most visitors visit Parque Retiro in Madrid, but while it offers a small nature escape, you will still feel like you are in the city in Retiro, not the countryside of Spain.
For a real escape into nature, you need to go to Casa de Campo in Madrid. It’s a grand labyrinth of trails, trees, and rolling hills that will have you feeling like you are completely out of Madrid and exploring the Spanish countryside.
Where is Casa de Campo?
Casa de Campo in Madrid is located on the western part of the city near the La Latina neighborhood, Parque Oeste, and the Palacio Real. It’s just west of the Río Manzanares.
You can enter the Casa de Campo in many areas. The two most common entrances are either from the Puente del Rey, just west and downhill from the Palacio Real along the Río Manzanares, or from the Casa de Campo metro stop along línea 5.
History of Casa de Campo
Nowadays, Casa de Campo is a massive public park that is available to everyone. However, that was not always the case.
Casa de Campo was originally created in the early 16th century by the royal family to be their private hunting grounds, and it’s easy to see why! The majestic rolling hills and bountiful nature make it a prisitine nature escape that is incredibly close to the city, and specifically the Palacio Real.
Unfortunately for the public, the Casa de Campo remained private and was exclusively used by the royal family until 1931, when it finally opened to the public!
Casa de Campo is massive at 4,257 acres. To put that in perspective, it’s about five times larger than New York’s Central Park!
What to Do in Casa de Campo
With Casa de Campo being so huge, how is it possible to decide what to do there?
Well, we’ve got you covered, so you can decide what to do in Casa de Campo while visiting Madrid.
Lago de Casa de Campo (Casa de Campo Lake)
It’s well-known that Madrid does not have a beach, but it has….uhhh…a lake?
The Lago de Casa de Campo isn’t really for swimming, but you can rent a rowboat, kayak, take a stroll around it, or eat at a restaurant with a view of the water and the Madrid skyline in the background. If anything, it’s simply something different to do than be in the city.
Parque de Atracciones (Amusement Park)
Casa de Campo is actually home to the 3rd biggest amusement park in all of Spain!
Sure, it’s not exactly a nature escape from Madrid, but it’s something fun to do that’s a little different from other things to do in Madrid.
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid (Zoo Aquarium of Madrid)
Another unique thing to do in the Casa de Campo is to visit the Zoo Aqarium of Madrid. Again, it might not be the nature escape you’re looking for, but still, it’s something different.
On the eastern side of the Casa de Campo closer to the city, there are plenty of differnet playgrounds for children, which are typically surrounded by picnic tables.
On the weekends, you will find plenty of families having a big meal and spending time together while the children run around and play. It’s a very common thing for people from Madrid to do on the weekends.
Moving deeper into the Casa de Campo, you move away from all the restaurants surrounding the lake and playgrounds, and the asphalt roads become dirt trails that get narrower and narrower. The city skyline and noise disappears into the horizon of oak and pine trees as you truly begin to escape Madrid.
This is where the Casa de Campo really comes alive, and you can see why the royal family used it as a private hunting ground for so many years.
While there aren’t many wild animals that live there now, aside from some squirrels and birds, you can imagine what it was like years ago before it was most likely overhunted by the Spanish royal family.
Whether you are walking, biking, or running in the Casa de Campo, you can really escape the city by exploring all the trails that zig zag throughout the park. Some are smaller single track trails, while others are a bit wider. Both, however, will take you deep into Madrid’s Casa de Campo and give you a completely different view of the city.
When in Madrid, Casa de Campo is a must-visit if you are looking for a little nature escape, or even just a nice spot for a picnic with one of the best views of Madrid’s skyline!