Green Destination: Madrid, Spain

La Estación de Atocha; Madrid, Spain

It’s one of the last places you’d expect to find spectacular botanical gardens. But inside one of the busiest hubs in Europe lies one of the continent’s greenest destinations: the international terminal in Madrid’s Atocha train station.

As travelers from around the world scurry about to their local and international destinations — a familiar sight in cities from New York to Tokyo to London — many can’t help but halt their flurry to pose for a photo against this leafy backdrop.

The gardens seem to symbolize an important value of Spanish culture: No matter how hectic life gets, there’s always time to stop and appreciate its beauty.

El Parque Del Retiro; Madrid, Spain

The gardens seem to symbolize an important value of Spanish culture: No matter how hectic life gets, there’s always time to stop and appreciate its beauty.


Another one of the city’s green destinations — el Parque del Retiro — conveys the same message. Literally translated as “The Park of Retreat,” madrileños come here to escape, stroll and relax. The park is home to La Rosaleda (rose garden) — just one of the many spots the park offers for nature lovers.

Unlike New York’s Central Park, El Retiro never feels crowded. It is, indeed, a retreat — a place where madrileños might find themselves ensimismados, lost in thought among the vegetation and beauty that surround them. If you find yourself in Madrid, make sure you take a moment, amid all of the barhopping and tapas crawls — or la marcha, as madrileños call it — to appreciate some of the greener parts of the city.

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