10 Reasons to Visit Buen Retiro Park, Madrid

things to do in Madrid - Bueno Retiro Park, Madrid. People in boats in the lake, statue at the background.

One of the must-see attractions in Madrid is the stunning Buen Retiro Park, the ‘Park of the Pleasant Retreat’. With monuments, fountains, lakes, exhibitions and gardens to explore, it makes a perfect day out.  And the sophisticated Radisson Blu Madrid Prado is just minutes away from this top Madrid attraction. See below for our guide on visiting the park.

1. Stroll Like Royalty        

Buen Retiro Park (El Retiro) belonged to the Spanish monarchy until it was opened to the public in 1767. When you walk around the elegant boulevards, past ponds and fountains, among trees, statues and flowers, you can’t help imagining what it was like it days gone by.

The gardens of Bueno Retiro Park in Madrid

2. Go Boating on the Great Lake    

Head to the jetty at the great lake in Buen Retiro Park, known as Retiro Pond. Here you can hire a rowing boat and take in the sights around the water, like the incredible monument dedicated to Alfonso XII.

retiro pond madrid spring

3. See the Palacio de Cristal

Originally built in 1887, the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) is a beautiful metal and glass building in which you can see a changing calendar of fantastic art exhibitions. It is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Madrid along with these other great locations!

palacio de cristal buen retiro park madrid

4. Find the Fallen Angel

El Retiro Park is filled with fountains for visitors to admire, from the frogs and turtles of the Galápagos fountain, to the Sphinxes of the Egyptian Fountain. The most famous fountain in El Retiro is the Sculpture of the Fallen Angel, located near the Rose Gardens. Thought to be the only sculpture of Satan in the world, it shows Lucifer’s expulsion and is surrounded by a fountain of demonic heads.sculpture of fallen angel madrid spring

5. Run

If you are a fitness fan, then slip on your running shoes and head to Buen Retiro Park for a run to remember. The wide, dusty paths are perfect for jogging, and you can make a loop of the park to take in the amazing sights.

run in buen retiro park madrid spring

6. Admire French Gardens

The charming Parterre Gardens in El Retiro are a nod to French grounds. They were commissioned by Felipe IV and are open in design, with hedges, flowerbeds, manicured grass and a sweeping entrance to the park.

things to do in Madrid - flowers and trees in the Bueno Retiro Park.

7. Hear a Band

As soon as the weather starts to warm up, there are regular open air concerts. Take a picnic and make your way to the bandstand near Retiro Pond on a Sunday to relax with some free tunes from fine Madrid musicians.

8. Visit Palacio de Velázquez

Beautiful Palacio de Velázquez was built around 1883 and is now a popular venue for contemporary art exhibitions from the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

things to do in Madrid - the Palacio de Velaquez in Madrid.

9. Smell The Roses

The Rose Gardens in Buen Retiro Park were designed in 1915 by the Chief Gardener of the time, Cecilo Rodriguez. It makes a beautifully scented place for an elegant walk, as you take in more than 4,000 stems.

rose garden buen retiro park madrid

10. Take A Tour

You'll find the information office at the north of El Retiro. Book a place on a free guided tour of the flora, fauna, architecture and rich history of Buen Retiro Park. The plus? The park is free to enter!

things to do in Madrid - architecture of Bueno Retiro Park, Madrid, people sitting and walking around.

Explore Buen Retiro Park on a stay with Radisson Blu!

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