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Spain’s capital since 1561, Madrid is a 24-hour metropolis abuzz with an infectious appetite for art, culture, and epicurean delight. With a wealth of cheap hotels in Madrid in which to base yourself during your stay, there’s plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the city’s vibrant green spaces and add a little excitement to your exercise regime. Just grab your trainers, plug yourself into your favourite playlist, and pound the pathways of the best running routes in Madrid.


Perimeter: 4.5km

Facilities: Public toilets and water fountains


One of the most popular green spaces in Madrid, the origins of the Buen Retiro Park date from the reign of Philip IV although some of its iconic features; the Astronomical Observatory and the Royal Porcelain Factory, were added during the reign of Charles III. Translating from the Spanish Buen Retiro as “Pleasant Retreat”, this public space boasts a picturesque pond, magnificent sculptures, a delightful rose garden, and a network of paths perfect for recreational runners visiting the city.


Perimeter: 17km

Facilities: Public toilets, water fountains, vending machines


Five times the size of New York’s Central Park and six and a half times the size of London’s Hyde Park, Madrid’s Casa de Campo Park encompasses some of the city’s best running routes. Formerly the site of a royal hunting estate this green city space encompasses numerous public facilities including an amusement park, a zoo and aquarium, a sports centre, and lakeside pavilions that host events throughout the year. Runners will enjoy the park’s many trails, tracks, and roads that navigate over green rolling hills and through areas of landscaped gardens.


Perimeter: 6km

Facilities: Public toilets and water fountains


An urbanized addition to the wealth of parks in Madrid, the Juan Carlos I Park is ideal for runners. While the park encompasses a lake, river, and wide open green spaces, the real attractions lie in the 19 works of contemporary sculpture that line a well-defined 3km paved path and the park’s program of events at its outdoor auditorium. Follow the aptly named “Sculptures Path” and incorporate more of the park’s 13kms of paved trails to extend your route as required.


Length: 10km

Facilities: Water fountains


Once neglected, now rejuvenated, The Madrid Río is a 6km stretch of land bordering the Manzanares River in the middle of Spain’s capital. Providing over 10kms of paths for walkers and runners to enjoy, the park also acts as a pedestrianized link between other green spaces in the city. Knitting together some of the neighbourhoods that were cut off from Madrid by the construction of the M30 highway (which has been rerouted through underground tunnels), the park boasts an urban beach, rowing lanes on the river, and a wealth of cultural and sports facilities.

From riverside to recreational parkland Madrid has a running route to suit, so make sure you make the most of the opportunity to exercise free of charge during your stay.

This post is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove campaign

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