A short break in Aranjuez

  • 'The boy with the thorn'. View of the fountain in the Island Garden. Aranjuez

In the south of Madrid you'll find the city of Aranjuez, which has been declared a World Heritage Cultural Landscape by the UNESCO for its spectacular gardens, and for monuments like the Royal Palace. We suggest a day out and give you ideas about how to make the most of your day.

XThis website uses cookies to guarantee the best user experience, and to compile anonymous statistics on the use of the website in order to learn more about our visitors and the contents they find most interesting. If you continue browsing, we consider that you agree to their use. For more information, or to find out how to change your settings, see our cookies policy.

A short break in Aranjuez

MORNING (10 AM TO 12:30 PM)

If you're planning to visit Aranjuez from Madrid, one of the most convenient options is to take a C3 train from Atocha. When you arrive, your first destination should definitely be the Royal Palace. The large Plaza de Armas square is an excellent place for a first view and for taking photos. Did you know that several kings and queens chose this as the venue for their parties and where they spent the spring? Come on, you're sure to want to go in. There are two types of visit: with and without a guide, but you can only see the King's private rooms on the guided tour. When you come out, we suggest making for the Parterre garden and walking across a charming bridge that will take you to the Island Garden. It stands in the middle of the River Tagus and has a waterfall known as 'the castanets'. As you enter the garden you'll see statues of mythological figures, and you can take a seat in the lovely square containing the statue entitled 'The boy with the thorn'.

A short break in Aranjuez

MIDDAY (12:30-4 PM)

After a walk through the gardens, it's now time to explore the historic centre on foot. A walk along the Boulevard Capitán Angosto Gómez Castrillón offers the chance for a little shopping and to see monuments like the former San Carlos Hospital. A leisurely walk will bring you to the 18th-century bullring. Inside you can take a guided tour (we recommend booking in advance) around the arena, the chapel, the corridor around the ring, the stalls, the covert and the Bullfighting Museum. You can handle a bullfighter's cape! Feeling hungry? If you go back to the area of the Parterre garden and along the Calle de la Reina you'll find numerous places to eat. The most emblematic is known as 'El Rana Verde' and is located beside the River Tagus. Try ordering some typical dishes such as the succulent pheasant.

A short break in Aranjuez


The next thing is to explore the vast and spectacular Prince's Garden. If you have children or don't feel like walking, a good way to go round it is by taking the Chiquitrén train. When you buy your train ticket we recommend asking for a combined ticket which will also entitle you to a river cruise. Once on the Chiquitrén, as you travel around the garden you'll see fountains like the Narcissus fountain, age old trees, ponds like the Chinescos pond… And you'll almost certainly see pheasants, squirrels and peacocks. The train makes two stops: at the Museum of the Royal Barges and the Casa del Labrador house (which is open to visitors with prior reservation and by notifying the ticket office). On your return, the fully glassed-in sightseeing boat leaves from the Glorieta de Fernando VI. Why not take a boat trip along the same route as the kings and queens of the past? It's now time to head for the station for the journey back to Madrid.

A short break in Aranjuez


A good time to visit Aranjuez is the first weekend in September. This is the commemoration of the Aranjuez Mutiny in which over 200 people dress up in period costume.