One day back in early February 2019, my fiancé and I made plans to visit the well-known unique park northeast of Madrid called Parque Europa, located in a nearby suburb of Torrejón de Ardoz. It’s just about 26km (16 miles) away from the city center and makes for the perfect day trip with your partner, friends or family members who come to visit. While weekends in the summertime are the busiest time of year to visit, you will find the park pleasant enough for a long, relaxed walk or a picnic near some of the famed miniature monuments.
I personally didn’t learn about this park during any of my previous visits to Madrid (which were around a dozen!) but friends later told me about it a few months after I moved here in the fall of 2016. Since then, I have been twice, in both summer and winter, so I can advise you on both of those seasons and share my best tips.
My fiancé was really eager to go check it out last year and after I had told him that summertime is super hot and the sun is hard to hide from, we decided to go one Saturday last February. With just an hour of travel time both ways, we thought it was the perfect day trip.
Are you also getting excited about learning how to best visit and enjoy Europa Park (as it’s sometimes called)?
Let me show you how you can plan your own visit and enjoy a tour around Europe’s most famous sights without stepping one foot outside of the Comunidad de Madrid!
Best times of year to visit
Parque de Europa is one of the largest green lungs in the Comunidad de Madrid and especially for the residents of Torrejón de Ardoz. It can be visited year-round and you can enjoy its beautiful landscape and a wide variety of activities. With more than 5,000 trees and over 100,000 seasonal flowers, it’s the perfect escape from the big city and one of the most interactive historical tours around Europe.
The best part?
If you’re only here for a short time or don’t have the means to do a Euro tour, you won’t even have to leave the Comunidad de Madrid to see all of Europe’s major sights. How’s that for a unique day trip?
I mentioned earlier that I went to the park on two separate occasions. I actually visited in different years and different seasons so I will break down the pros and cons of taking a trip during each season.
In general, I believe the ideal time to go visit Parque Europa would be in early to mid-spring when you can enjoy spending more time outside and can have a picnic in the park itself.
Depending upon what month you go, in general, winter in Madrid is quite cold and dry. The sun struggles to rise before 9am and tends to set around 6pm so daylight won’t be on your side this season.
If you do plan to go during the months of December to February, I would recommend you get yourself out early to Torrejón de Ardoz (keep reading for transportation tips). Daylight will be a precious commodity and you won’t want to miss out on seeing the sights because it got dark sooner than you would’ve liked.
Two pluses about this season: a) won’t have to slather on the sunscreen in the winter and b) you won’t be sweating to death like you would in the summer.
You will have to dress warmly and if you do end up taking your coat or scarf off, you’ll have to carry it around with you. Plan to bring a backpack or sizable shoulder bag to compensate for that.
State of the park
Much of the trees and flowers during this season will be dormant. Expect cloudy skies but cross your fingers for a few peeks of sun to help brighten up your day (and photos, too).
While you won’t experience all the park has to offer during this season, you will enjoy milder temperatures and have the ability to spend more time at each attraction. It will be less crowded (minus weekends) so if you want more of a private tour feel, then this is the season you’ll want to plan your visit.
Outside of viewing the major European replica sights, there isn’t much to do here in the winter. The lakes and fountains will have more of an abundance of of water but all the interactive and boating activities.
July and August are some of the hottest months in Madrid. Even natives to the city don’t stick around during these months and make as many trips to the beach as possible. Or stay there for weeks on end.
With that being said, use caution when going to Parque Europa in the summer. I went in late July 2017 with some friends and found the sun to almost be unbearable. It was also my first summer in Madrid so I wasn’t used to such hot, California-desert-like temperatures.
Pack lots of water and slather on sunscreen throughout the day! And bring an umbrella if you’re extra sensitive to the sun. Let’s face it: the last thing you’ll want to be doing is being stuck inside and nursing a very bad sunburn!
State of the park
However, the park was brimming with life, nature and tons of roses. The water in the mini Trevi Fountain had dried up but the lakes and sparse shade helped us stay cool.
So, the major benefits of visiting the park during the summer is that you’ll see it in its natural state with all the trees and flowers in bloom with perfectly clear blue skies.
I would recommend a visit in the morning compared to nighttime unless you want to plan to see and enjoy their special fountain and fireworks shows during this season.
If you have kids or like light-up fountain shows, you will not want to miss visiting Parque Europa in the summer! There are lots of interactive activities and a petting zoo for kids as well as taking boats out in the lake and near the Torre de Belem.
I haven’t been to see the fireworks or light-up fountain shows but I’ve heard they’re great! When I do go, I’ll update this post with photos.
The Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)
Viking Ship (Scandanavia)
Dutch Windmills (Holland)
David by Michelangelo (Florence, Italy)
Trevi Fountain (Rome, Italy)
Tower Bridge (London, England)
Torre de Belem (Lisbon, Portugal)
Puerta del Sol (Madrid)
Puerta de Alcalá (Madrid)
How to get there
The main ways to get to Parque Europa via public transportation are by bus or by the Cercanías (commuter train). I’ve used both types of transportation and I honestly prefer taking a green bus from Madrid and then catching a local bus that serves Torrejón de Ardoz. Most bloggers who’ve written about visiting Parque Europa today don’t even suggest taking the bus but I definitely do! You will save valuable walking time and if you visit it in the summer, you’ll save yourself from potential heat exhaustion going from the Cercanías station and into the center of town and then as you stroll around the park itself.
Take the metro from where you’re staying to Avenida de América (metro lines 4, 6, 7 or 9). From Avenida de América, locate the B1/B2 Green bus #224 and wait for it to arrive or board the one that’s already there. In our experience, we found on weekends that buses to Torrejón de Ardoz came every 30 minutes. Check the schedules here to be sure.
Once you’re on board, scan your Metro abono card (with photo) or have exact cash in the amount of 2,60€ for the way there (and way back). Settle in for a decent ride (around 40 minutes) but plan to get off at the stop titled Avenida de la Constitución-Estación Torrejon de Ardoz.
From there you will have to catch a local bus which is easy enough as many pass by each hour. Hop on, pay the local fare of 1,50€ and get off at the stop labeled Torrejón – Calle Silicio. From there it’ll only be about a 5-minute walk to the entrance of the park itself.
Total travel time: Around 1 hour or less
The Cercanías C2 train route goes directly to the main station in Torrejón de Ardoz. While it is a slightly faster method to get to Parque Europa, if you don’t live in or aren’t staying near the city center, you will find this route a bit more complicated. I found it even more tiring of a route in the summer so take this into account when planning your visit.
When buying your train ticket, if you don’t already have a Renfe + Tú Card or your own metro card with sufficient access to Zone C1, remember that you will need to get a contactless paper card in order to load a ticket onto it and access the platform. The cost for the card is only 50 cents and the return fare was about 5,20€ back in 2017.
Start in or take a connecting train to Puerta de Atocha station and find the corresponding platform for the Cercanías C-2 train. You will want to head towards the direction of Guadalajara, not Chamartín. Alternatively, you can take the C-7 train that goes towards Alcalá de Hernares.
Search the train schedules here.
Once you get off at the main station in Torrejón de Ardoz, you’ll follow the same instructions had you gotten the bus. Hop on a local city bus, pay the local fare of 1,50€ and get off at the stop labeled Torrejón – Calle Silicio. From there it’ll only be about a 5-minute walk to the entrance of the park itself and you’ll most likely arrive at the Puerta de Alcalá entrance.
Total travel time: around 1 hour or a little more. (Plan for a little extra time in case you miss your train.)