The Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro) is a very popular park placed in the center of Madrid. It covers more than one square kilometer and it contains a lake with boats, many monuments, fountains, statues, gardens, restaurants and of course, a lot of trees and grass.
The park was built in 1640 by Felipe IV. Nowadays, everyone can visit it for free, and see the ancient buildings and monuments which are in it. Probably, the most famous part of the park is the artificial lake, located in the center of the park, just beside Alfonso XII monument. In there, people are used to resting on the benches, drinking refreshments in the terraces or renting boats. There are also other essential places to visit in the park as the Crystal Palace, which has expositions inside, the Angel Caido Fountain or the rose gardens.
Every day, above all at the weekend and in summer, the park is full of people who want to have a nice time, read, take a lunch, do jogging or rest. Besides, also many people go there to visit the lake, go boating or see the gardens and the monuments which are inside them.
If you want to visit Retiro Park, notice that you will need at least 3 hours to see it all. You can go there by subway using the Line 2 (Retiro Metro Station).
What to visit in Retiro Park
– The lake and Alfonso XII monument: The perfect place to go with your friends and rent a boat or rest away of the stress of the city.
– The crystal Palace: The Crystal Palace isn’t far away from the lake, but surely you will need to ask about it to find the correct place, because the Palace is hidden by the trees. When you arrive at the palace, you will enjoy the fountain which is in front of it and you also could enter in the building, where there are free expositions everyday.
– Paseo de las Estatuas: Also called “Paseo de la Argentina”, it has a lot of statues of some Kings of Spain.
– Angel Caido Fountain: This statue, built in 1885, is famous because it is said that the angel of the fountain is not an angel, but a demon. (If you visit it, please give us your impressions!)
Also, you can…
…rest in the ground: Many people have picnics in the grass. What’s is more, in spring or summer, the park is ideal to stay all the day resting, walking or going on skates.
Finally, in some remarked dates, there are special events inside the park. For example, in spring you can visit the books market in the street (Feria del Libro), or at San Isidro you can go to the park at night to see some fireworks near the lake.
More places to visit near Retiro Park
– Puerta de Alcalá: The Alcalá Gate is placed in Alcalá Avenue, just between Cibeles Square and one of the entrances of Retiro Park. The monument was built in 1778 and it’s the most popular “gate” in Spain.
– Cibeles: In Cibeles Square you will see the famous Cibeles fountain and some important buildings, like Cibeles Palace (Palacio de Comunicaciones), the headquarters of the Madrid city council.
– Neptuno Fountain: This fountain is placed in Cánovas del Castillo Square. Since Cibeles Fountain is used by the supporters or Real Madrid football team, this another fountain is used by the Altetico de Madrid football team’ supporters to celebrate its triumphs.
– Prado, Reina Sofia, Tyssen, Caixaforum and other museums: All of these museums are in the city center. Although we know that it’s impossible to visit all of them on one day, we recommend you to visit Prado and Reina Sofia, which are two of the best museums in the world (notice that you will need about 4hours to visit each one).
– Atocha train station: This station is not abroad from Retiro Park (it’s about 5minutes walking), and it is the most used train and metro stations of Madrid, so if you have to travel by train, probably you will have to go there.