El Retiro park: discover Madrid

Covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. In it you’ll find all kinds of interesting monuments and gardens. Click here for the guided tour (only 9€).

 

Velázquez palace
Velázquez palace

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Metro: Estación del Arte (formerly Atocha) (L1), Ibiza (L9), Retiro (L2)
  • Bus: 001, 1, 2, 9, 10, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 32, 34, 37, 45, 51, 52, 61, 63, 74, 146, 152, C1, C2, C03
  • Opening: Spring – Summer: April to September 6am – 12 midnight. Autumn – Winter: October to March 6am – 10pm
  • Free admission
  • In El Retiro you’ll also find a number of outdoor cafés and kiosks when you can get a drink or bite to eat.
  • Every year the park plays host to popular events such as the Book Fair and the fireworks display held in honor of San Isidro, the city’s patron saint.

 

Crystal palace
Crystal palace

EL RETIRO PARK

On 25 July 2021, El Retiro Park has declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with Paseo del Prado. The selection of this urban development project in Madrid called the Landscape of Light, recognizes the importance of the union of nature, culture, and science in an urban setting. It was a union that, back in the 16th century, made Madrid Europe’s first sustainable capital city.

 

Retiro lake
Retiro lake

ACTIVITIES

If you fancy pedaling around the park, you can rent a bicycle from one of the bike rentals in the area.

  • The park is home to a large artificial lake, where you can rent a rowing boat (book online and avoid the queue).
  • Visit for free the Crystal Palace.
  • Visit the temporary exhibitions of Velázquez Palace.
  • The park is also home to La Chopera municipal sports center, the Eugenio Trias Public Library, and the Casa de Vacas Cultural Centre, as well as to what is believed to be Madrid’s oldest tree.
  • El Retiro is also filled with interesting sculptures and fountains such as the magnificent Monument to Alfonso XII, which watches over the lake and in spring of 2018 opened to the public an observation deck offering wonderful vistas.
  • Other spots worth visiting are the Galápagos Fountain, built in honor of the then princess Isabella II, the Teatro de Títeres, the only theatre in Europe that stages puppet shows every weekend.
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