Going to parks is a way of life for most Spaniards. And why not? The typical Spanish park is a place to relax, have fun, and enjoy meaningful bonding with families and friends. Best of all, it’s for free. No wonder, one can be found in every important barrio or neighborhood in the city of Madrid.
One park that’s small in area compared to the premier Parque El Buen Retiro, but you wouldn’t say it doesn’t hold a candle to the latter, is the El Capricho. Evidently, it must be one of the most charming Parques this side of Madrid.
And like Retiro, it has already been declared as a historical site, having been built under the helm of the Duchess of Osuna herself during the last part of the 1700’s up to 1839. Meant to serve as the recreation area of the Osuna Dukes, its beautiful design was drawn by the famous artist from France, Jean-Baptiste Mulot.
Capricho is popular for a number of attractions that are scattered within 14 sprawling hectares of land, such as fountains, ponds, hermitage, gardens, labyrinth, and the Palace of the Rulers of Osuna. Part of the Alameda de Osuna neighborhood, the garden can be reached if you’re coming from the Airport, it being situated within the district of Barajas.
Accessible because of the nearby Madrid Metro Station of the same name, I still walked a few hundred meters, which had me drenched in sweat because of the searing afternoon sun. My advice is for everyone to visit at around 7 to 8 Pm during the remainder of the summertime when you can still enjoy daylight while the temperature has become cooler.
Parque El Capricho greets you with an imposing tall and wide gate, but not before you encounter its security personnel that will request you to go thru a metal turnstile entrance similar to that found in Metro.
Entrance to the park is free and so, you can stay there to your heart’s content, and while the time away. Perhaps, as a first-timer, you might want to immediately wander around and check out its impressive attractions, and even lie down for a bit on the grass beside the pond, and just commune with nature.
However, it is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays, and weekend, so better reserve your afternoon during any of these days and be ready to explore the beauty and uniqueness of The Capricho Park.
Casa Vieja is one of the first attractions you will find inside the park. A lot of stories have been told about this old house, the most interesting of which is the one with the fairy tale slant, that an old witch lives here.
You don’t have to explore much in order to find El Labirinto. Right in the midst of the park, you’ll encounter this wondrous, vast combination of tall hedges. My adventurous self wondered how intricate and difficult the labyrinth might be, but upon inquiring, I was told it was being renovated.
The Ruins and Fort (La Ruina y el Fortin) is meant to mimic an abandon building, and in effect, add to the landscape of the park. It signifies death, and so, its presence is meant to balance the overwhelming symbols of nature found in El Capricho.
Paseo de Alameda de Osuna
Entrance Fee: Free
October to March
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 9AM – 18:30PM
April to September
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 9AM – 21PM