Parallel to the River Manzanares, Madrid Rio is a significant recreation and cultural area. Designed by the architect Ricardo Bofill and built-in 2003, it is where you can find playgrounds, green spaces, an amphitheater, two viewing points (one of which is crowned by Manuel Valdés's sculpture The Lady of Manzanares), and Caja Mágica, the High-Performance Tennis Center. The park is located between Usera and Vallecas.
Several kiosks with outdoor terraces along the river make them the perfect spot to stop for a drink and a snack. Enjoy a tinto de verano (summer wine), a more regional variation of sangria, in the summer.
You can bike to places like the Matadero or the Casa de Campo, Madrid's largest park, which has access just off Madrid Ro, without worrying about traffic on the six-kilometer-long broad walkways on each side of the river. Along the river, several bike rental businesses, including Eco Moving Sports (€5 for an hour, €10 for two hours), offer tandem bikes, rollerblades, and go-karts. The Matadero also provides a fun 'Bike-Lunch' package with three hours of rental time and a picnic to enjoy while traveling (€19).
A massive retail center with 160 stores is located directly over the river from the Matadero opened at the end of 2017. On the bottom floor is a food mall, and on the top are restaurants with views of the river.
Visit the Plaza Ro 2 Viewpoint, located at the top of the retail center, for some fantastic views. The expansive play area, which has pathways connecting the buildings, will be adored by kids.
Even though Madrid Ro Park is a relatively new development, several ancient sites along the river haven't altered much throughout the years. Keep an eye out for the figure of San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid, who is depicted saving his son by raising the waters of a well. The Puente de Segovia, an earlier bridge built between 1582 and 1584 by Juan de Herrera, is located at the end of Calle de Segovia.
Football enthusiasts may honor the cherished Vicente Calderón Stadium, the adored former home of Atlético Madrid, located on the northern side of the river immediately west of the Puente de Toledo. The team lived in the 1966-built stadium until it relocated to the brand-new Wanda Metropolitan stadium in 2017. The road that runs directly underneath the stadium's stands is an odd feature that can be seen from the riverbank.
With 17 separate play parks along its path, Madrid Ro Park is a child's dream come true. The parks, which include slides carved into the rock, zip lines, swings, and enormous climbing frames, were all constructed using natural and sustainable materials. There are several of them, so there are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way and play.
A section of the park between the Arganzuela footbridge and the Matadero is transformed into an urban 'beach' in the summer by turning on a massive fountain where children and adults enjoy running through the refreshing water sprays.
Many residents bring their beach towels and lie on the grass or around the fountain. With plenty of green space, a park is also excellent for picnics.
Visitors who enjoy skateboarding, BMXing, rollerblading, or scootering should go to the park's skate park, a concrete area with half-pipes, jumps and rails perfect for learning new tricks. There is also a beginner's area for those just getting started, and many locals create a vibrant, enjoyable atmosphere.
The Madrid Matadero is a former slaughterhouse that has been transformed into a cultural hub close to Madrid Rio. The Rio 2 retail center, one of the biggest in the city, is nearby if you wish to spend the day window shopping in Madrid.
Paseo de la Ermita del Santo 14 16, 28011 Madrid Spain