After spending an entire year studying at the Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid, it’s safe to say that I spent a lot of my time exploring every square mile of this dynamic city. My weekends were spent discovering different brunch spots with friends, whilst during the week I studied at numerous cafés and libraries in between classes. I would spend entire days at galleries, losing track of time whilst I walked amongst the likes of Velázquez, Goya and El Bosco. I tried every restaurant you can think of, which consisted of having copious amounts of tapas and sangria. After all that, I feel like I know Madrid like the back of my hand. There’s so much to see, from the opulence of the Royal Palace to the fragrant smell of chocolate and churros at San Gines. But my favourite place has to be the Rosaleda at the Parque del Oeste.
An entire football pitch worth of flowers, the Parque del Oeste rose garden feels as though you are walking in the garden of Eden. This breath-taking, fragrant garden is home to almost 600 different varieties of rose bushes and is tucked away in the west of Madrid. It’s a hidden gem, where I used to go to get away from it all; off the beaten track, where the hustle and bustle of Gran Via feels like a distant memory. They also host an annual Rose of Madrid contest where visitors can choose their favourite rose on the grounds (tough choice to say the least). As it is only open for visitors during summer, when the flowers are at full bloom, the rose garden is a special treat and well worth the wait.
An added bonus: just next to it is the Madrid Teleférico, a cable cart that takes you on an eleven-minute ride across the city, with breath-taking views that gives you a whole new perspective of Spain’s capital city. This is definitely a place to visit when in Madrid!