This book fair is very popular among madrileños. The location, in the Retiro Park, is excellent and the atmosphere is perfect for a day with the kids.
In the stalls 203 and 204 you can buy books about Madrid (art, history, old photographies etc) some of them also in English, like the "Illustrated Atlas of the History of Madrid".
This park is in my opinion better than the
El Retiro park in central Madrid. It is more geared towards children and families. Children will love it as there is lots to discover such as ... I am not going to tell you. Go to the park, ignore the plan of the park, lose yourself and discover the many buildings within it for yourself.
I assure you that around every corner you will discover something new. It will feel like you are nowhere near Madrid at all (El Capricho park is in fact right on the very edge of the Madrid) as it is small and showy with colourful roses and sunflowers all year round. The sun brings out the autumnal colours. Take food and drink with you though as unlike El Retiro park there are no food or drink shops within the park itself. Although there is a free tap providing free drinking water within the grounds near El Capricho palace. My favourite spot to stop and sit was on the seat by the artificial lake opposite the waterfall on the manmade island in the middle of the lake. Sadly this park which was previously unknown to many tourists and Madrileños has been discovered and is now very popular and can be busy which is why they have a daily limit of 1,000 people in the park at any one time. This has spoiled the serenity of the park somewhat but there are still some secluded spots left within the park to escape the crowds which is good. If you are lucky like I was you will be treated to some free dancing and acting outside the dance hall in the park (usually between 12.00am and 13.00pm). Entry is free but the park is only open Saturday and Sundays from 9.00am to 21.00pm.
Calle de la Galera, 0, 28042 Madrid, Spain
+34 917 42 97 87
Nearest metro station: El Capricho
The long 45 - 60 min metro journey from central Madrid is worth it I promise you!
Exit El Capricho metro station (there is only one exit) and follow the brown signs which say Parque El Capricho which will lead you across scrubland and past some flats to the park entrance on the opposite side of the zebra crossing.
Google map: bit.ly/TpdqoR
After a morning spent immersed in the European art of the Museo del Prado, the Royal Botanical Gardens next door provide a rejuvenating (and cheap - 2 Euros) variation.
Surprisingly peaceful, when considering that it's situated in the centre of Madrid. Sit in the shade under one of the many trees, or learn a little about the many plant species.
Real Jardín Botánico
2, Plaza de Murillo
Underground station: Atocha, Atocha-Renfe
On Sunday afternoons, after a long lunch, this is the best park to laze around in. Surrounded by natural beauty, with the sun sparkling upon the waters of the boating lake, you can enjoy the spontaneous gathering of people as they dance amongst the statues to the beat of crazy tribal drums. Not to be missed if ever you are in Madrid.
Nearest Metro Stations: Retiro and Ibiza.
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