If you are looking for a fun, healthy, and kid-friendly activity that the whole family can enjoy during your stay in Madrid, try traveling into the city on two wheels. Cycling in Madrid is a great way to explore the Spanish capital and allows the kids to burn off some energy while you enjoy the culture and architecture of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
The banks of the Manzanares offer one of the best places to enjoy cycling in Madrid. Beginning north of the city, the river runs through the heart of the Spanish capital before joining the Jarama towards the south. For many years it was forgotten due to the fact that it flowed past one of the city’s major highways, but now, after five long years of construction work, more than seven kilometers of the highway runs underground, meaning that residents and visitors alike can once again enjoy the green spaces along its banks.
Renting bikes in Madrid is easy. Just head to Mi Bike Río or Eco Moving Sport, where you will find bikes of all sizes and colors. So, grab some sunscreen, a bottle of water, and your bike, because Madrid is waiting to be discovered!
A good place to start is at Príncipe Pío station. From there, cross the river and then ride south along the riverbank. This gives you the opportunity to admire the many bridges along the way, such as the King’s Bridge (built in the 19th century to provide access from the monarchy’s seat at the Royal Palace to the old hunting grounds at Casa de Campo), Segovia Bridge (designed by Juan de Herrera in the 16th century), and Toledo Bridge (built in the quintessential Spanish Baroque style).
The view is breathtaking: On your left is the Royal Palace, Moro Gardens, and Almudena Cathedral. A little further down is the Vincente Calderón stadium, home to the soccer team Atlético de Madrid.
After a quick break to catch your breath and drink some water, continue cycling along the river and you will come to the spectacular Arganzuela Bridge, designed by the French architect Dominique Perrault and opened in 2011. To reach the other side of the river you will have to pass through its twisting metallic cylinder. There’s no doubt that your kids will love its futuristic interior!
After crossing the river, continue towards the Matadero Contemporary Art Center by cycling through the Arganzuela Park. Here you find fun attractions for the kids, such as a zipline and several slides of various sizes and difficulties.
After a long day of cycling, take a well-earned rest and treat yourself to a refreshing drink. The banks of the Manzanares are full of open terraces where you can sit and soak up the sunshine, enjoy the view, and share some great-tasting tapas. Sit comfortably knowing you’ve discovered a side of Madrid that few visitors to the city get to see.