What to see in El Retiro Park

Crystal Palace

El El Retiro Park or Buen Retiro Park It is the largest park in Madrid. It is a historical park that has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. In this park you can find many interesting things, from the lake to monuments and leisure areas. That is why it has become one of the essential visits when we visit Madrid.

Let's see everything in detail what can be done or visited inside this park, commonly known as El Retiro. Located in the heart of Madrid, it is one of the important visits within the city, and without a doubt it is a great respite if we want to get away from the noise of the city.

History of El Retiro

The name of this park refers to a former royal estate located in the Jerónimos Monastery that served for the kings to retire and rest for a time. These dependencies were expanded and finally the park would be built on this area. At first it was called El Gallinero but a royal certificate of Felipe IV gave it its current name.

El park covers an area of ​​118 hectares and it has been declared a historical garden and a Site of Cultural Interest. It is also located in the Archaeological Zone of the Historic Site of Madrid, which means that in the face of excavations and works the archaeological study of the area is guaranteed to avoid destroying historical heritage.

Getting Here

Puerta de Alcalá

This is a great park and it is actually quite easy to approach it from different points of the city. It limits in the north with the famous Puerta de Alcalá, in the south with Atocha station, in the east with Menéndez Pelayo avenue and in the west with Alfonso XII street. The main door through which it is usually accessed, although there are others, is the one next to the Puerta de Alcalá, called Puerta de la Independencia.

What to see inside the park

The park is quite extensive, so a walk through it will take time. You have to make a route to see places that are essential. We already know that the artificial lake is very famous but there is much more to see in this park.

Independence Gate

Independence Gate

Normally the route that is done through the park starts at the Puerta de la Independencia, next to the Puerta de Alcalá, which is another monument that is usually visited in the city. Near this door is the Puppet Theater, where there are performances every Sunday morning of marionettes and puppets for children. Next to this door is the Plaza de la Independencia with which it shares its name.

Pond of the Retreat

Very close to the entrance of Independence is the famous Retiro pond. This is known as the Big Pond, since in the park you can also see the Pond of Ochavado or the Campanillas. In the artificial pond is where you can see the well-known boats that can be rented to enjoy a good ride. You can also do group tours to get to know this space a little better. This pond has been part of the park since its inception in the seventeenth century. Next to this pond is the monument to Alfonso XII.

Walk of the Statues

Walk of the Statues

On one shore of the pond is the well-known Paseo de las Estatuas, which is another of the popular areas within the park. In this walk you can see numerous statues of different Spanish kings. A place where you can remember your history classes. In principle, these statues were to be placed in the Royal Palace, but due to the danger that they could fall due to wear and tear, the work was not carried out and instead they were placed in this park.

Crystal Palace

Pond in the Retreat

El Crystal Palace is the emblem of the park and one of its most visited and photographed spots. It has a lot of charm and without a doubt there are many people who take snapshots of this beautiful building. At present it is the headquarters of the Reina Sofía Museum, so when entering it you can see works of art.

Gardens of the Parterre

Gardens of the Parterre

Within the park there are numerous gardens and one of the most popular are the Jardines del Parterre. It is located next to the Casón del Buen Retiro, which is one of the buildings that survived the destruction of the Palacio del Buen Retiro.


Fisherman's house

The whims are decorative or landscaping elements in which historical spaces, places or buildings are recreated. In this park there are some of these quirks. La Casita del Pescador is one of them and it is a small house surrounded by a pond that seems to be taken from a fantasy tale. There is an artificial Mountain also called the Roller Coaster of the Cats with vegetation, waterfalls and figures of felines.

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