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El Retiro (El Parque de Retiro)

Alongside games of football and couples in pedalos, the art galleries, buskers and 17th-century palace give El Retiro a different flavour to your average park.

El Retiro, or El Parque de Retiro, was once a place of retreat for the Spanish royal family who had a palace in its grounds. Although it was opened up to the public in the 1860s, many of the original features have been retained, making this a remarkable place to visit as a sightseer as well as a nice, quiet spot to relax in. There are all sorts of interesting sites dotted about the grounds here so you’re sure to find plenty to keep you occupied over its 140 hectares.

While some areas have been left relatively wild, others are managed and tended to. The Rosaleda del Retiro is a beautiful rose garden and offers a feast for the senses when the flowers are in bloom. The Forest of Remembrance is another landscaped part of El Retiro, and was established in memory of the victims of the 2004 terror attacks in Madrid.

A wonderful feature of this park is that you’re likely to come across some impressive statues and monuments unexpectedly. For instance, Paseo de la Argentina is adorned with a number of statues that once stood in the Royal Palace. There is also a striking monument to Alfonso XII right by Retiro Pond. The king sits on his horse in the middle of a semi-circular colonnade, accompanied to his left and right by allegorical statues. Even if you're wandering around aimlessly through El Retiro, it probably won't be long before you come up against a statue or a fountain or a well-tended garden.

You can also catch some art exhibitions at the Palacio de Velázquez or the Palacio de Cristal, both monuments to neoclassical architecture in themselves. The Casón del Buen Retiro is also an interesting building and one of the only remaining 17th-century structures in the park. Having served as a ballroom once upon a time, it is now home to the Prado Museum’s study centre.

El Retiro is within easy walking distance of the Paseo del Prado and Plaza de Cibeles. The main entrance can be found next to Puerta de Alcalá although you can also access the park from Retiro, Principe de Vergara, Ibiza and Atocha metro stations. The park is open every day, although opening times depend on the time of year so it’s worth checking before you make the trip.


Guide to Exploring around El Retiro Park


Lodging Near El Retiro Park

See all 4,379 properties near El Retiro Park
Hotel Riu Plaza España

Hotel Riu Plaza España

C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...

    Hotel Riu Plaza EspañaAU$176

    Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

    Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

    Gran Via 11, Madrid, Madrid
      4.0 out of 5.0
       
       
      5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

      Located in Centro, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via Street, Puerta del Sol, and Paseo del Prado. Teatro Lara and Plaza de Cibeles are ...

      Iberostar Las Letras Gran ViaAU$225

      Hotel Paseo del Arte

      Hotel Paseo del Arte

      Atocha 123, Madrid, Madrid
        4.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in Literary Quarter, this hotel is steps away from Lavapies, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Paseo del Prado. Prado Museum and CaixaForum ...

        Hotel Paseo del ArteAU$172

        Novotel Madrid Center

        Novotel Madrid Center

        O'donnell 53, Madrid, Madrid
          4.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Located in Salamanca, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of WiZink Center and Nuevo Teatro Alcala. El Retiro Park and Paseo del Prado are also within 1 mile ...

          Novotel Madrid CenterAU$165

          ME Madrid by Melia

          ME Madrid by Melia

          Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, Madrid, Madrid
            4.5 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Literary Quarter, this family-friendly Madrid hotel is steps away from Plaza de Santa Ana and Teatro Espanol. Congress of Deputies and Thyssen-Bornemisza ...

            ME Madrid by MeliaAU$254

            Hotel Fenix Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

            Hotel Fenix Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

            Hermosilla 2, Madrid, Madrid
              5.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Salamanca, this luxury hotel is steps away from Golden Mile and Paseo de la Castellana. Paseo del Prado and El Retiro Park are also within 15 minutes. ...

              Hotel Fenix Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the WorldAU$306

              Wellington Hotel

              Wellington Hotel

              Velazquez 8, Madrid, Madrid
                5.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the business district, within a 5-minute walk of El Retiro Park and Paseo de la Castellana. Puerta de Alcala ...

                Wellington HotelAU$305

                Agumar Hotel

                Agumar Hotel

                Paseo Reina Cristina 7, Madrid, Madrid
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Retiro, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of El Retiro Park, Paseo del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. CaixaForum Madrid ...

                  Agumar HotelAU$123

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.