10 Reasons to Visit Buen Retiro Park, Madrid

One of the must-see attractions in Madrid is the stunning Buen Retiro Park. With monuments, fountains, lakes, exhibitions and gardens to explore, it makes a perfect day out.

There are many reasons to visit beautiful Buen Retiro Park, ‘Park of the Pleasant Retreat’, in the heart of Madrid. The sophisticated Radisson Blu Madrid Prado is just minutes away from this top Madrid attraction.

1. You Can 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.

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.

3. See 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.

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.

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.

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.

7. 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.

8. Hear a Band

Throughout the summer there are regular open air concerts in El Retiro. 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.

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.

10. Take A Tour

Find the information office at the north of El Retiro and book a place on a free guided tour of the flora, fauna, architecture and rich history of Buen Retiro Park.

Buen Retiro Park is free to enter, and open daily in summer from 6am to midnight.

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