Designed in 1755 by commission from Ferdinand VI, the historic Royal Botanic Garden features terraced gardens, exhibition greenhouses, and ornate architectural detail. Though the garden is a convenient stop on a self-paced tour, most travelers opt to book one of several sightseeing tours that pass the garden. Travelers that want to see more often book a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Most tours offer multiple routes, and typically include the Royal Botanic Garden on the itinerary.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Gardeners and horticulture enthusiasts shouldn't miss the Botanic Garden's exhibition greenhouses, and impressive bonsai collection.
- Architecture fans should stop at the garden's ornate gates—the Puerta de Murillo and Puerta del Rey.
- Don't forget sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat, since the Madrid sun can be quite strong in the summer months.
- To enjoy flowers in full bloom, visit in spring and early summer.
How to Get There
Located at Plaza de Murillo, 2—not far from the Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado)—the Royal Botanic Garden is typically included on city sightseeing tours, and Vespa tours, which are ideal for adventurous travelers. If you have more time and want to visit the garden and walk its grounds, it's easiest to arrive by metro. Take the 1 line to Estación del Arte.
When to Get There
The Royal Botanic Garden is open year round, at 10am daily. Closing times change seasonally. In the winter months, the garden shuts its doors at 6pm, and in summer, at 9pm. Visitors should check in advance to confirm closing times. Plan to visit in April, May, and early June to enjoy the flowers in full bloom. To avoid the crowds, arrive during the week, since weekends tend to be busiest.
Exploring El Retiro Park Just a short walk from the Royal Botanic Garden is El Retiro Park, one of Madrid's most celebrated public spaces. This must-see urban park offers visitors well-manicured gardens and walking paths, and is home to the Velázquez Palace (Palacio de Velázquez), a lovely arts space. Visitors shouldn't miss the park's highlights including the waterfront Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal), and the Rose Garden (La Rosaleda).
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