Atocha Botanical Garden - Madrid Spain

The interior of the old part of the "Atocha" Madrid central train station is now an indoor botanical garden. This indoor tropical jungle was inaugurated in 1992 and covers an area of 4,000 square meters. There are about 7,000 plants from 260 different species in the garden as well as a pond with Goldfish and turtles. I first visited this garden in the Spring of 1994.

The garden is located where the old train landings used to be. There are paths that criss cross the garden and several cafes around the sides. Most of the plants are tropical species and a good number of them are palms. Some of these palms are so tall that they reach almost to the roof of the domed building. The image below is of the "Travelers Palm" that is native to Madagascar. In most outdoor settings this pseudo palms leaves tend to shred like a Banana tree but in this indoor garden the leaves are all intact and much more impressive.

The image below is of the Queen Sago (Cycas circinalis) which is similar to the King Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta).
In the swamp like pond at one end of the garden there are several Baldcypress trees (image below) as well as several Malabar Chestnuts.
Some other tree species in the garden include the Blue Jacaranda, the Fiddle Leaf Fig, the White Bird of Paradise, and the Rubber tree.

The Atocha train station is still the main central train station for the city of Madrid with access to the local Metro, the suburb light-rail "Renfe Cercanias", regional trains, national "Talgo" trains and the "Ave" bullet trains that go to Barcelona, Sevilla, Cordoba, Malaga and Toledo.


  1. Anyone wanting to enjoy the garden at their leisure I would suggest the mezzanine restaurant which is an open terrace and looks down on the garden.

    The food is not at all bad either! (Had a xmas dinner there for work in Dec 07)

  2. What tree bears the 'maple' leaf and chestnuts in the top border of this page? I saw some in Madrid but couldn't find out.

    1. It's called the "London Plane Tree" and is one of the most common trees planted in urban settings in the Northern hemisphere. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has identified the London plane tree as the most common street tree in New York.