4 Best City Biking Routes for Tourists in Madrid

Palacio de Cristal by Naked Madrid

There is no such thing as the best city in the world (even though New Yorkers like to claim the title). From what I can see, however, Madrid is getting pretty close. You’ve probably noticed that Madrid’s public bike system, BiciMad, is fully up and running. Madrid’s public bikes are electric-powered which is awesome because you barely break a sweat while going up the city’s many hills. This also means that you can see Madrid’s most emblematic buildings, plazas, parks and river all in one day, on two wheels.

Now that cycling in Madrid has been made easy, here are four beautiful cycling routes in the city-center! I’ve attached a google map with each route, but you really can’t get lost. Combine these routes as you wish, as they’re not too long and meant to be enjoyed, so you can feel free to wander off and explore. Happy cycling!!!

If you want to know how BiciMad works, check out our post: “Electric city bikes in Madrid, a city that’s turning bike-friendly

1. Atocha – Paseo del Prado – Recoletos

Ministerio de Agricultura by Naked Madrid

This first route starts at “Ministerio de Agricultura” or Ministry of Agriculture  building. This tour is very easy to bike because the streets are flat and wide. There is also a pretty boulevard which goes all the way up Paseo del Prado and Castellana. You will see some of the main buildings in the city like the Prado Museum, Caixa Forum and the National Library. You’ll also pass through three of the most important  and well-known squares  (plazas) in Madrid: Neptuno, Cibeles and Colón.

Paseo del Prado by Naked Madrid

Correos by Naked Madrid

Find the route on the map:

2. Cibeles – Alcala – Retiro Park

Palacio de Cristal by Naked Madrid

While New York and London have, respectively, Central Park and Hyde Park, we Madrileños have Retiro Park. Maybe it’s not that famous or was never featured in a Hollywood production, but we are as proud as can be of our city’s beautiful green oasis. The route through Retiro is also really easy to bike, however, you can start it at “Plaza de la Independencia”, also known as Puerta de Alcalá, to make it even easier. In Retiro Park, you’ll see some of Madrid’s most stunning places such as “Palacio de Cristal” (main pic at the top) and “Retiro Lake” where you can rent a rowboat.

Retiro Lake by Naked Madrid

Calle in Retiro by Naked Madrid

Find the route in the map:

3. Palacio – Casa de Campo

Palacio Real by Naked Madrid

What I like most about this route is that you get to leave the city for a while. We first start at the Madrid’s Royal Palace and take a ride around to enjoy it in all its glory from front to back. Then, we head for “Casa de Campo”, where there are always groups of  mountain-bikers going up and down the park’s infinite paths. If you’re not familiar with Casa de Campo, it’s much bigger than Retiro, and looks more like a forest– it has a great public swimming pool and lake where people do water sports. Of course, there are bars too. As for this route’s level, I wouldn’t say it’s easy one but it’s definitely doable. It all depends on how far you go into “Casa de Campo” .

Campo del Moro by Naked Madrid

Madrid views from Casa de Campo by Naked Madrid

Find the route in the map:

4. Matadero – Madrid Rio – Principe Pio

Matadero Madrid by Naked Madrid

Just a few years ago, the Manzanares River was surrounded by an ugly highway. Thanks to Madrid’s former mayor who spent who knows how much money on its renovation, now we are enjoying “Madrid Rio” to the max. Starting at Principe Pio, you will enter Madrid Rio to bike along different paths and stumble upon fun (and free) activities like a “tirolina” or zip-line, playgrounds (for adults too!) and one of Madrid’s urban beaches, a.k.a. sprinklers, that we love when summer comes. Then you will end up at one of my favorite spots in the city, Matadero Madrid, an old slaughterhouse which is now an awesome and free cultural center. Here is a link to our post on El Matadero.

Tirolina by Naked Madrid

The river and the bridge by Naked Madrid

Find the route in the map:

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5 Comments

  • August 6, 2014

    lauren

    Great site – thanks so much for putting this together for someone like me who is traveling to Madrid for a week in September. Can’t wait to check it out again after 10 years. Your blog is my guide. Mil gracias :)

    • August 6, 2014

      James Leahu

      Thank you for reading our blog and for your nice comment! There have been a lot of changes in the last ten years, but the city keeps the same spirit. Hope you enjoy your trip in September and feel free to contact us if you need any tips. Hasta pronto!

  • […] And if you’re looking to take these city bikes out for a spin, check out: 4 Best City Biking Routes in Madrid […]

  • […] 4 Best Biking Routs in Madrid for tourists […]

  • June 7, 2016

    Anjali Kumar

    What a nice article! I love this website and all the information that’s there on it- it’s so helpful. We’re going to spend a semester studying in Madrid this fall, and I already have a long list of things I must try based on your website’s tips. Thanks for putting this together :)