Spring has arrived in Madrid, and the sunny days and warmer temps are inspiring locals and visitors alike to spend more time outside. Having a picnic is a great way to celebrate the nice weather; here are some of the best spots in Madrid to enjoy one.
Parque del Buen Retiro
One of the most popular picnic spots in Madrid, this centrally located park has plenty of grassy areas to put a blanket down and eat lunch. There are also small stands with outdoor seating throughout the Retiro Park selling snacks, drinks, ice cream and even pizzas if you’d rather sit at a chair and table while you eat. After your feast, walk it off by checking out the peaceful lake or the famous Palacio de Cristal, a building made of glass.
Casa de Campo
Madrid’s largest green space, the Casa de Campo is an enormous park on the edge of Madrid that was once used as a royal hunting ground. There are picnic tables here and there, and several restaurants located around the lake with outdoor and indoor seating. There’s plenty of space to find a quiet area to relax on the grass. The area also houses the Madrid Zoo, amusement park and cable car, so there’s plenty to do pre- or post-lunch.
Once neglected and ruined by traffic and smog, Madrid’s riverside area has had a serious makeover. In the early 2000s, the city built underground tunnels for the traffic, and Madrid Río was newly renovated. With several parks and play areas, spaces to picnic and relax and even a beach area with fountains and sand, having a picnic is just one of the many things you can do along Madrid’s Manzanares River.
Templo de Debod
This park surrounding an ancient Egyptian temple is the perfect place for a picnic, especially a dinner one as sunset approaches. If you aren’t in the mood to eat, just bring a blanket, a few beers and relax until the sun goes down. Before you eat, have a walk around the outside of the Templo de Debod, given to Spain as a gift from Egypt in 1968.
Cerro del Tío Pío
Take a picnic to Cerro del Tío Pío and you can view the skyline of Madrid while you eat. The park is nicknamed “Park of the Seven Breasts” after the hills that you can see along the horizon. This is a fairly quiet park, so if you want to picnic in a peaceful, secluded place, this could be a good choice.
Brunch in the Park at Parque Tierno Galván
Brunch in the Park takes place on Sundays in June and July at the Parque Tierno Galván. It’s more or less a party in the park. You can buy tickets ahead of time and head over to hear live music or DJ sessions while you chill out, dance and eat. A bit rowdier than your average picnic, this is a fun way to spend a warm Sunday out in the sun.
The Plaza Mayor is a square in central Madrid that dates back to the 1600s. It’s definitely not ideal for a traditional picnic, but hear us out: it’s the perfect place to buy Madrid’s signature Calamari sandwich at one of the many bars or restaurants in the area and eat it as you admire the square.