Retiro Park, Madrid

122 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Estanque, Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain.
    Estanque, Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain.
    by planxty
  • Estanque, Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain.
    Estanque, Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain.
    by planxty
  • Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain.
    Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain.
    by planxty
  • Aitana's Profile Photo

    Jardines del Buen Retiro

    by Aitana Updated Jul 30, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Estanque y Monumento a Alfonso XII
    4 more images

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Outdoor Dining in Parque del Retiro

    by spgood301 Updated Nov 23, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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)

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ChrsStrl's Profile Photo

    Beautifully green oasis of quiet

    by ChrsStrl Written Aug 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cecilia Rodriguez Gardens

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ozalp's Profile Photo

    If you are tired...

    by ozalp Written Aug 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Green
    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Gaby_G's Profile Photo

    You can get lost...

    by Gaby_G Written Oct 23, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fuente

    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....

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • vanessadb's Profile Photo

    A relaxing must

    by vanessadb Updated Aug 12, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cave near the Crystal Palace

    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

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Retiro: lovely park!!

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written Dec 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Monument to Alfonso XII

    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!

    Was this review helpful?

  • tweetycaro's Profile Photo

    Parque del Retiro

    by tweetycaro Written Oct 28, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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,.....

    Was this review helpful?

  • benidormone's Profile Photo

    Lazy Sunday afternoon

    by benidormone Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Retiro Park

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Retiro Park

    by HORSCHECK Updated Feb 25, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Retiro Park: Palacio de Cristal

    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.

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • babettu's Profile Photo

    Just right for a relaxing day out ! ! !

    by babettu Written Jan 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Retiro Park
    4 more images

    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 ! ! !

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    nice park in the heart of the city

    by mindcrime Updated Sep 3, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    crystal palace at Retiro park
    3 more images

    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! :)

    Was this review helpful?

  • agarcia's Profile Photo

    El Retiro

    by agarcia Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A typical sunset in El Retiro

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • garridogal's Profile Photo

    Madrid's City Oasis

    by garridogal Written Nov 1, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The beautiful main pond
    4 more images

    Parque de Retiro has always been a favorite spot of mine in Madrid. Its location and look are both fabulous. Without having to travel far out of town, you can escape the city in this gorgeous park which, I'm happy to report, is still meticulously maintained.

    I have so many memories of having spent time in the various sections of this park. I was so happy to be here once again on a brilliantly sunny day. It's truly a beautiful and wonderful place.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Retiro park.

    by cachaseiro Written Aug 13, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boats in Retiro park.
    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Madrid

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

60 travelers online now

Comments

View all Madrid hotels