Sometimes I just need to get away for a day and have a change of scenery. I often day-dream of buying budget airline tickets to new destinations in Europe, but then I examine my bank account and instantly regret buying those beautiful black leather boots and warm black cardigan during rebajas. Sigh. I guess I have to wait a few more months to experience Brussels…
…or do I?
Located about 45 minutes outside of Madrid in Torrejón de Ardoz, Parque Europa is a quick fix for anyone who has European wanderlust but is on a budget. In order to liven up the Ardoz stream park, the town of Torrejón de Ardoz built over 15 replicas of important monuments in the European Union and re-opened the park in 2010. The monuments in Spain’s version of Belgium’s Mini-Europe are remarkably accurate and instantly transport you to their cities of origin. The best part? Entry to the park is 100% free!
Belem Tower, Belem, Portugal. (The one on the right is the real one)
Tower Bridge, London
Puerta del Sol, Madrid
La Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid
Eiffel Tower, Paris
Parque Europa is more than just a park full of replicas of European monuments. It has jungle gyms, a waterfall, a zip line, and bouncy castles for children. It also has a piece of a real European monument. Located behind the Brandenburg Gate, guests can see a fragment of the Berlin Wall.
The only original landmark in the park, this piece of the Wall was a donation from the Berlin City Council. It serves as a reminder of a not-so-distant past.
Planning a Trip to Parque Europa
(Much thanks to Google Maps!)
Due to its small size, both Parque Europa and the surrounding town, Torrejón de Ardoz, make a good day trip. Although it is possible to get there by public transportation, I suggest driving to the park if you have the option. If not, you can catch the 224-A bus from Madrid´s Avenida de América bus station. The trip by bus takes about 45 minutes-1 hour.
Manneken Pis replica
Although Parque Europa temporarily helped me contain a serious case of the travel bug, I think it also made me more keen on traveling to the places that were already on my Bucket List (e.g. BRUSSELS) and to new places I had never even thought to visit. If you are in Madrid, Parque Europa is definitely worth a trip and it will give you a “European experience” that will not break your wallet.
For more information on Parque Europa, check out their website.