Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
Plaza de Murillo, 2, 28014
Metro Stop: Atocha
Price: 3€ with various discounts
The botanical gardens are a little haven of peacefulness right in the middle of the city. With an array of plants, trees and flowers through which to walk, the gardens are a good tourist stop anyway, but there are also plenty of little areas to settle down and read, while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Remember to bring water and snacks because there are no cafés once you’re inside the gardens.
Plaza de la Paja
Metro Stop: La Latina
To the west of Madrid lies Plaza de la Paja, a quiet little square near to the El Rastro market. Escape the flea market crowds on a Sunday and make your way to this square, and it’s hard to believe that five minutes away the streets are teeming with shoppers. With plenty of small cafés to get a coffee at, the square is the perfect place to sit and read, while doing a bit of people watching. It’s quiet enough to concentrate, but there’s enough going on to watch if you’re bored. Right next to the square is the tiny Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona. While it only takes about one minute to walk around, it’s a perfect walled garden in which to relax, that is removed from the busier streets around it.
Círculo de Bellas Artes
Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014
Metro Stop: Banco de España, Sevilla
Price: 4€ entrance to terrace (combined ticket for 5€ gets you into exhibitions as well)
The terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes is a great place to go if you want to view the city from the sky. The panoramic views are spectacular, but once you’ve taken them in it’s a fantastic place to read and relax. The terrace is full of sofa areas and comfy lounging spaces so that you can properly settle in and enjoy the views and a good book. With a restaurant and a bar to keep you satisfied, it’s the perfect place to spend a day reading, while also taking in the breath-taking views of the city.
Buen Retiro Park
Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001
Metro: Retiro, Ibiza
El Retiro Park is an obvious choice for those who want to find a quiet place to read in the city. The sheer size of the park, one of the largest in Madrid, means that there are lots of places to explore, so you’ll hopefully find the perfect place to suit your needs. The busier areas are packed with cafés, restaurants and snack bars so you’ll never go hungry, and are perfect for people watching in between reading. However, with just a little more walking, you’ll find tranquil areas of grass that are isolated from the tourist hotspots to give you that bit of peace and quiet. There are lots of shady areas to get away from the sun, and it’s easy to spend a few hours reading in the park without noticing where the time has gone. A particular highlight of the park, although perhaps a slightly busier area, is the beautiful Palacio de Cristal.