Beyond Madrid’s main attractions like the Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace, there still remains a lot to be discovered, but not necessarily by foot: instead rise above the city in a teleférico cable car to see what lies west of Spain’s capital.
Departing from an old granary on Paseo de Pinto Rosales –- a pathway just above the Parque del Oeste (Park of the West) — the cable-strung cars are loaded up before heading 2.5 kilometers westward. Built back in 1969, the technology comes from a Swiss company and is considered an eco-friendly mode of transportation and, to this day, decidedly advanced.
From the closed cabins, you can scope out the rose gardens of the Park of the West, the Principe Pío Station, the M-30 freeway (which circles the city like a car-filled moat) and the Manzanares River. Looking back, you also can enjoy eastern-looking views of the Palace, Almudena Cathedral and Temple of Debod.
Then, you’ll ride over many acres of the tree-covered “green lung” of Madrid, Casa de Campo. Conquerable by foot, it can be more quickly enjoyed from above. Along the way, your journey is narrated by a recorded description of the landscape as it unfolds below you.
Finally, you’ll arrive at the city’s main amusement park. There, you can disembark to check out the lake at Casa de Campo, visit the amusement park’s attractions and the zoo-aquarium beyond it, and make a stop at the digital planetarium located in the terminal itself. Or, just stay in your car for the 11-minute journey back to the city.
While this western side of the city may seem like too much of a task for travelers, the teleférico offers the opportunity to not only take a brief rest, but also the chance to scope out the city from above and beyond.