This park in the center of Madrid is the perfect place to rest after visiting any museum. Its name is Los Jardines del Buen Retiro.
The origin dates back to 1630, when the royal favourite and minister Conde-Duque de Olivares gave the monarch Felipe IV some land near San Jerónimo monastery, by then in the limits of the city. The Buen Retiro palace was built for the retreat (retiro) of the king.
The king Carlos III was the first to allow the people to enter in the park, on condition that they were properly clean and dressed.
The park occupies 118 ha and offers different environments.
The most representative image is the Estanque Grande (great pond) with the monument to Alfonso XII is on the shore.
A smaller pond is in front of the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), which was built in 1887 for the exposition of the Philippine islands. Constructed with steel structure and glass, its purpose was to keep exotic plants. Today it houses temporary art exhibitions.
La rosaleda (the rose garden) was made in 1915, following a general tendency in European gardens. Different varieties from all over Europe were planted.
Other sights are the Paseo de las Estatuas, flanked by statues of Spanish monarchs; the Fuente de la Alcachofa (artichoke fountain), designed by Ventura Rodríguez (as well as Neptuno fountain in Paseo del Prado); the Fuente del Ángel Caído, with a bronze statue inspired in Paradise Lost by Milton; Kiosco de música, Fuente de los Galápagos, Casa de Vacas, Casita del Pescador, Casa de Fieras…
The Royal Botanic Garden is in the Retiro Park.
El Bosque de los Ausentes (the Forest of the Departed) is a memorial to the victims of the attack that Madrid suffered on March 11, 2004. 192 people were killed as a result of a terrorist attack. God rest their souls.
I'm drawn to parks, so this was the first place I came to when I arrived in Madrid. There are several outdoor cafes around the park to grab a bite to eat, or a drink-coffee, soda or cerveza. In fact, I had my first Spanish meal there (jamon serrano, for the record!). Several of them are by the lake. A real nice place to hang out, and watch the world go by.
(Not the greatest pic in the world though, sorry)
The Retiro Park is a wonderful contrast to the nearby Prado. It gives you somewhere to sit and stroll, away from the madding crowds.
There are numerous gardens and green spaces and the water with which Madrid is synonymous in my mind.
It has a boating lake, smooth green grass, a crystal palace, good plants, and a statue to the devil!
It stands where Felipe IV's royal palace once stood, and yet the great monument in the Park is not to him, but to Alfonso XII.
To one side are the Cecilia Rodriguez gardens, more formal than the park, and another delight.
Madrid has many opportunities for locals. Streets are crowded every day and night. Also there are places to have some fresh air, do picnic, walk and relax. . I think Buen Retiro is the most important one with being in the city center. There are many walking and cycling paths. Also it has some buildings and a huge pond with boats in it.
There are some sculptures near this pond. They are surrounding a plaza. When we’ve been there, there was a huge band of percussion in this location. They played constantly while we were walking through side of the pond. It was a nice thing to have a rhythm while we were walking.
Also there is another pond near "Palacio de Cristal" with swans and strange trees in it.
El Retiro Park is so big that you can get lost... Also dont even think about walk true it all in a day because you wont be able too do it... It´s a must see! it is sooo beautyfull and green and (again) BIG... Sundays are the best days to go, there is so much activity in it....
After your heavy round of museums, art galleries and city wandering, a stroll in Madrid's loveliest public garden, the Retiro, is one of the best ways to end the day, or simply spend your entire day if your visiting time permits.
Once the private playground of royalty, the Retiro is a vast mix of green gardens, fountains, lakes, exhibition halls, children's play areas, and outdoor cafes. It gets especially lively on weekends, when it fills with street musicians, jugglers, clowns, gypsy tarot readers, and painters along with hundreds of Spanish families out for a walk.
What not to miss:
The Gran Estanque . The artificial lake at the park's centre with the massive Alfonso XII's mausoleum and the sphinx-laden Fountain. You can rent a boat and row around the lake.
La Rosadela . The beautiful rose garden.
El Angel Caido . A dramatic and beautiful statue of the Fallen Angel.
El Palacio de Cristal . The superb palace entirely made out of crystal, where you might be lucky to see an exhibit.
El Palacio de Velazquez . A beautiful building that also holds exhibits from the Reina Sofia.
The park hosts a book fair in May and occasional concerts in summer.
For more pictures please visit my travelogue
Retiro is Madrid's main park where you find sculptures, gardens and meters and meters of fresh air!.
The Royal family use to go there to spend a relaxing days but now it is the most popular place to scape from the noisy and crowded city both by locals and tourists. It has an artificial lake where you find the monument to Alfonso XII which is very worthwhile to see. Retiro was very near from my hotel so I could go several times but the day with more activity is Sunday, there are performances, vendors and different activities for all the family. During May to October, the Banda Sinfonica de Madrid performes for free on Sundays. I also saw many people running and excercising even at night!
This is a huge parc (120 ha), just take a break on the stairs near the statue of Alfonso XII, if you get tired. There is a lot to see in the parc, a lot of fountains, Palacio de Christal, statue of the fallen angel,.....
The Retiro was originally built for the Spanish king Phillip IV and was opened to the general public in the 1800's. Situated behind the Prado museum. Retiro is also a central meeting point for all sorts of people fromroller skating youngsters io older men playing 'petanca' to football players and joggers of all ages. The park has a number of 'terrazas' where you can sip a beer or enjoy an 'horchata'. The central focus of the park is the large lake where you can go boating. Especially on a Sunday afternoon it is worthwhile to visit the park.
Take a stroll in Madrid's largest park: Parque del Buen Retiro. There is a lake with the Alfonso XII monument where you can hire boats. The Palacio de Velazquez and the Palacio de Cristal are located in the centre of the park and are well worth seeing.
The Retiro Park is a very large and beautiful park. It is visited daily by many people from all walks of life and is an ideal place for relaxing after a tiring day or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
One can surely enjoy having a drink or meal on one of the ' terrazas' or else going for a boat ride on the beautiful lake which is found there. It is certainly a place worth visiting ! ! !
Retiro is a great park in the heart of the city! It’s always a big relaxation opportunity when I’m tired from the busy streets of Madrid. You can stroll around the paths or just rest on the grass under the blue sky. There are some cafes inside but the park is great for picnic. I noticed too many statues in the park, some of them are very nice like the one of the fallen angel.
Of course, don’t miss the Crystal Palace and the great big lake in front of it. Some times there are exhibitions inside the palace but the best thing you can do here is rent a boat and chase the swans! :)
El Parque del Buen Retiro (as this is its full official name) is the most beautiful park of Madrid. It just happens that I live in a nearby area, so Retiro is my favorite place in which to read the paper during Sunday mornings, practicing my not very developed photographic skills or just walking with my friends when they came to visit the neighborhood.
Apart from the impressive central lake, and the elegant Palacio de Cristal, I always find fascinating the Fallen Angel statue that is placed in the southernmost part of the park.
Retiro park is right in the center of the city and the place where the inhabitants of Madrid go to relax and to breathe.
It´s a huge park where you can just relax on the grass or on the many benches or take a boat on the lake, sit in a cafe plus many other things.
It´s the perfect place to go when you think that it is all getting a bit too stressed and you need to relax.
The El Retiro park in Madrid is huge. If you are there on a nice day and would like to walk in a park this one is for you.
The Parque del Buen Retiro is the most popular park in Madrid. It can get crowded during weekends when many Madrilenian families go for a stroll in the park and street musicians, sidewalk painters, fortune tellers, jugglers and street performers animate the crowd.
The Retiro Park was a royal park; it belonged to the Real Sitio del Buen Retiro palace. In 1632, the palace was built by King Philips IV as a retreat for the Royal family. Retiro stands for retreat, hence the name of the park and palace. At the time the park was well outside the city walls, but now Madrid has completely enclosed the Retiro park. The 130ha or 320acre large royal park opened to the public in 1868. It is partially laid out in a formal French style, while other parts are more natural.
I recommend you enjoy this part of Madrid. Have fun!!