El Retiro (El Parque del Buen Retiro)

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Madrid, Spain

El Retiro (El Parque del Buen Retiro) Madrid Reviews

slothtraveller slothtra…
109 reviews
A favourite spot in Madrid Jan 26, 2017
Retiro Park is one of the top places I visited when in Madrid. With around 125 hectares of grounds to explore and numerous routes and walkways around the park, you will not get bored here. Many of the roads around the park are named after Latin American countries. I visited one Monday evening and spent around 2 hours walking around the park in a refreshing light drizzle leaving at around 9.30 pm. The area felt safe with many people around and the atmosphere was perfect.

The Retiro used to belong to the Spanish monarchy but now has definitely been claimed by the people of Madrid. On Sundays, it gets very busy with families as child-friendly activities such as puppet shows go on. On the Monday evening that I visited, the majority of people were partaking in exercise whether it be jogging, in-line skating, aerobics, tai-chi or stretching. People were also rowing on the Estanque, a large pond near the Alcala Gate entrance. There were also people like me who were just there to look around and take in the surroundings.

I entered the park at the Alcala Gate entrance and walked to the Estanque. From there, I walked to the Velazquez Palace and the Crystal Palace, two late 19th century additions to the park. The latter has a lovely lake outside. Unfortunately the Rose Garden had closed earlier in the day so I was only able to take some photos over the hedge! It did look very nice though.

The park has no entrance fee and is open in high season between 6 am and midnight. In low season it closes at 10pm. The nearest Metro station is Retiro or its a 10-15 minute brisk walk from Gran Via or Sol (downhill going, uphill on the way back!).

Address: Plaza de la Independencia, 7

Directions: There are a number of entrances to the park but the main one seemed to be near the Puerta de Alcala.

Phone: +34 915 30 00 41

Website: http://www.esmadrid.com/informacion-turistica/parque-del-retiro/
The Estanque
Exhibitions in the park
The Crystal Palace
Birds by the lake
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Bojasem Bojasem
216 reviews
must see May 16, 2014
El Retiro park is a great place to relax ,enjoy & meet locals. Really it´s just a big park, but the soul you feel there is amazing. The Metro Retiro stop takes you right into the park. Once there you can relax. I love El Retiro I enjoy sail in the boat , see green area , watch statues & relax in the grass. In my opinion after shopping day or after attraction you should visit El Retiro & it is pretty if you drink juice close to the lake. Also you can walk playing in the park.

I like the fountains , I like the flowers near it & I like the park design.

Overall, I totally did like this place and I'd advise a stroll, but preferably on the last day
me in the park
view from the park
statue in the park
entrance in the park
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vikram Vikram
309 reviews
Madrid's answer to Hyde Park, only it's got statues and cool fountains! Oct 26, 2012
What's a trip to Europe without visiting a park? Well, it's not! It's commendable that through the years of industrialisation, urbanisation and modernisation, the European community hasn't demolished these parks. I had heard about this park before I got there ,and briefly walked parallel to it whist visiting the Botanical Garden, I just didn't wander in as I wanted to spend more time here. That time came on Friday, my last day in Madrid.

I found this park very different from parks I've seen in London and Paris in that there isn't a whole lot of places for people to sit down. But I loved it all the same.

The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly the Monument to Alfonso XII. To quote Wiki - "Close to the northern entrance of the park is the Estanque del Retiro ("Retiro Pond"), a large artificial pond. Next to it is the monument to King Alfonso XII, featuring a semicircular colonnade and an equestrian statue of the monarch on the top of a tall central core".

Outside of that, there's a Crystal Palace that hosts exhibitions, and I thought it looked a bit tacky.

But overall, I totally did like this place and I'd advise a stroll, but preferably on the last day!
Northern entrance of the park
Monument to Alfonso XII
Side shot of the Monument to Alfon…
Monument to Alfonso XII behind the…
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Priya853 says:
Thanks for the pictures and review!
Posted on: Feb 01, 2015
Vikram says:
LOL, thanks Vance. Thanks Jim as well.
Posted on: Dec 19, 2012
vances says:
Best part of reading your reviews is anticipation of brilliant photos to follow!

Posted on: Dec 19, 2012
omaartjeo omaartjeo
1 reviews
Relax and enjoy! Sep 24, 2011
This park is beautiful and fun! You can relax, take a boat ride or watch the many 'hippie's' making music or do acrobatic acts. It's a great place to spend you're morning or afternoon. It's easy to reach by metro and always busy, lots of tourists and local people.
cotterb cotterb
71 reviews
A nice relaxing day May 21, 2010
El Retiro is a great way to relax in Spain with the locals. Really it´s just a big park, but the soul you feel there is amazing.

The Metro Retiro stop takes you right into the park. Once there you can relax.

A boat dock rents small easy to use row boats for 4.55€ for 45 minutes. We did like others and rowed out to the middle, and then layed down. We read a bit and enjoyed the sun.

Others were playing soccer, walking thorugh the trees and around the lake, or having picnics. There are many bars that you can eat at but be careful because sitting at a table results in a higher price for your food...no different then anywhere else in Spain. It´s cheaper to order at the bar, and sit in the grass.

This is a great way to relax with the locals.
Entering the Retiro park
Boating in the Retiro park
simonenewyork simonene…
3 reviews
El Retiro Aug 06, 2010
I love El Retiro. I didn't get to see the statue of Lucifer or the crystal palace but the northern side of the park is lovely! I wish that I had the chance to row a boat on the lake. To fully enjoy the park, have a granizada or an ice cream and just relax on the hot Madrid sun. A must see in the city.
El Retiro
binky binky
57 reviews
Nov 13, 2007
El Parque del Buen Retiro in Madrid is so beautiful. I went here on my final day in Madrid and wish I had gone sooner, because it really was one of my favorite places.

The upkeep on the park is great; it is clean and well taken care of. It is really just a great place to take a stroll, talk with a friend or reflect.

In the park you will find El Palacio de Cristal which is modeled after the London’s Crystal Palace. There is also a body of water, Retiro’s Pond where you can take out boats and have fun on the water.
The Lake at El Retiro (El Parque d…

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