5 Unusual Things to Do in Madrid: Plant Lovers Edition

September 30, 2019
dessert city madrid cactus garden
The last few weeks of summer have been packed with really exciting plans. The main reason we love Madrid so much is the wide variety of things to do. Possibilities in big cities are endless, from the most common things you can do everywhere to unusual and unique plans and events. On this post you can find a guide to the later which is dedicated to all plant lovers out there. These are unique things to do in Madrid I'm sure you've never heard before.

Need more ideas for great plans this fall? Check out my guide to the Best Things to do in Madrid this Fall or What to do in Madrid in November.

UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN MADRID: VISIT THE BIGGEST CACTUS GARDEN IN EUROPE

We recently discovered Desert City, the biggest cactus garden in Europe. It consists of an impressive 5000m2 garden and a nursery -closed at the moment- which are a must for any cactus and plant enthusiast. Plus, you can join a free tour in Spanish where you can learn all about these peculiar plants.

Desert City
Opening times: Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 13:30.
Guided tour: 10:30
Free Admission
Google Maps
dessert city madrid cactus garden
dessert city madrid cactus garden
dessert city madrid cactus garden

UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN MADRID: HAVE LUNCH IN A GREENHOUSE

Continuing with plans for all-things-green lovers, there's a beautifully decorated restaurant called El Invernadero de los Peñotes, which serves delicious food. Invernadero is Spanish for "greenhouse" and it's called like this because the restaurant is located in a former greenhouse. The restaurant is huge, with three areas each decorated in a different way. Portions are small but the cuisine is delicate and they use good quality ingredients.

Prior or after your meal, you can shop next door at one of the biggest garden shops in Madrid, Los Peñotes.

El Invernadero de los Peñotes
Google Maps
invernadero peñotes restaurant garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid
invernadero peñotes restaurant garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid
invernadero peñotes restaurant garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid
invernadero peñotes restaurant garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid

UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN MADRID: HAVE LUNCH IN A BUBBLE

Los Peñotes has two restaruants: El Invernadero and La Cúpula -Spanish for "the dome"- which is just as beautiful as the other one but smaller and cozier. We had had such a wonderful experience at El Invernadero that we went back to try La Cúpula just a few weeks later.

This place is amazing no matter the weather. The see-through glass dome looks like a bubble and it shelters you on a rainy day. The place is surrounded by nature: there are trees, a pond, plants and flowers. So if it's a lovely day, you can eat al fresco outside, around the dome.

The restaurant was flawlessly decorated by the decorator team at the garden shop so if you like anything from the restaurant you can actually buy it!

And if that wasn't enough to like, this place is environmentally friendly: napkins are biodegradable and plates and glasses are made with 100% recycled glass.

As far as the food is concerned, the menu is similar to that of El Invernadero. All the dishes are healthy and cooked with first-class ingredients.

La Cupula de los Peñotes
Google Maps
cupula peñotes restaurant food bar garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid
cupula peñotes restaurant food bar garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid
cupula peñotes restaurant food bar garden shop alcobendas moraleja madrid

UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN MADRID: HAVE DINNER AMONG OLIVE TREES

You may think city centers are all houses houses houses. You'd have never imagined there's an olive tree garden in the center of Madrid, right? Well, it gets even more unique. Every summer there are classical music concerts and afterwards dinner is served among centenarian olive trees.

What's the name of this place? Fundacion Olivar de Castillejo. They are open from mid-July to mid-September. Don't bother making reservations online because those who attend the concert have priority even if you have booked a table online. Concerts start at 8pm so be there a bit early and book a table then. Concert tickets are 10€. Dinner starts after the concert, around 10pm.

As dreamy as it sounds, we didn't have the best dinning experience. First, because it's not the comfiest setting and second, because we found the food scarce and expensive. But it surely is something unusual to do in Madrid!

Fundacion Olivar de Castillejo
Google Maps
olivar castillejo fundacion concert restaurant olive tree madrid
olivar castillejo fundacion concert restaurant olive tree madrid food
olivar castillejo fundacion concert restaurant olive tree madrid chill-out

UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN MADRID: HAVE RETIRO'S MONUMENTS TO YOURSELF

I hope you are a morning person because this requires some effort on your side: waking up VERY early. If you are anything like me, you are probably tired of having to share city landmarks with swarms of tourist trying to get the best photo.

One day this summer, I realized the best thing to do was to go to Retiro Park when they open it at 6am to have the park to myself. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. It was so calm and quiet, there were just a few joggers and only ducks could be heard. Totally worth the early wake up call!

As far as photography is concerned, it's not only the best time to avoid crowds but also the light is amazing for photos.
retiro park pond lake monument madrid
retiro park pond lake monument madrid
retiro park pond lake monument madrid
retiro park pond lake monument palace crystal glass madrid

Are you spending Halloween or Thanksgiving in Madrid? Check out these guides:
Halloween in Madrid
Places to Enjoy a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal in Madrid

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32 comments

  1. Living on Cloud NineSeptember 30, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    The screeners is so gorgeous, the plants are stunning and so are you!!

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  2. Lovely photos.


    Thank you for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/09/basilica-shrine-of-saint-mary.html

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  3. That cactus garden is amazing!

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  4. This is interesting and certainly wasn't on our tour of Madrid. It looks like it would be fun!

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  5. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comOctober 1, 2019 at 7:21 AM

    I love greenhouses! Lovely shots.

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  6. Susie Klein GodfreyOctober 1, 2019 at 8:18 PM

    Beautiful! I would love to see this!

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  7. These are all such unique & cool ideas. I want to visit the Cactus Garden

    michellespaige.com

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  8. tomthebackroadstravellerOctober 1, 2019 at 11:10 PM

    ...the chances are slim that I will ever make it to Madrid, so thanks for showing my around!

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  9. It's always fun to find those out-of-the-way things to see and do. Love your photos of the plants and scenery.

    It's great to see you joining us on 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

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  10. Kelleyn RothaermelOctober 2, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    Oh wow! I never knew about this place! What a shame, I didn't get to go visit. Have a lovely week. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. That's a cool list. The cactus garden sounds great.

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  12. That looks really fun! We are thinking of going back to Tbilisi, Georgia for the 3rd time and I am going to look for this type of unusual places to visit!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravel.com

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  13. Your photos are always so beautiful. Love the cactus garden. I've always found them to be so interesting.
    x, Julie | ThisMainLineLife.com

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  14. I would totally love to visit the cactus garden. Such lovely photos of you especially the first one.

    https://ofmiceandramen.blogspot.com

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  15. Oh that cacti garden looks so fun! I like the pink dress you wore there too :) Thanks for sharing such great places with us!

    Hope that you are having a great week :) I've just posted a giveaway on my blog!

    Away From Blue

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  16. I have always wanted to go to madrid! Thanks for linking up with #trafficjam

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  17. Interesting garden and pretty restaurant. Serving dim sum too!
    Love your outfit!

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  18. Wow, how beautiful is Madrid and the dining options are amazing!!! #TrafficJamWeekend Linky Party

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  19. What an adorable place indeed. Also, that pink midi dress is absolutely pretty on you dear! Loving the cute feminine style.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  20. I'm a huge plant lover so i would love to do all these things!

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  21. I thoroughly enjoyed this post! If I were ever to leave the United States (and with the recent political climate, it is indeed tempting), I would move to Spain. Thanks for sharing these fun and unusual places.

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Thank you for taking out the time to leave a comment!