Cool Things To See in Madrid’s Retiro Park

Spend a relaxing day in Retiro Park
Spend a relaxing day in Retiro Park | © Vlad Ghiea / Alamy Stock Photo
Lori Zaino

When it opened in the late 1700s, the Parque del Buen Retiro served as a retreat for the Spanish royal family. Today, however, it can be enjoyed by everyone – gardens, statues and all. Here’s what to check out in the capital’s premier park.

Escape from the noise of the city

1. The lake


© Andrew Michael / Alamy Stock Photo

Although the lake is man-made, the peaceful waters set in front of the massive columns and statues of the Alfonso XII monument are a sight to see, especially around sunset. You can even rent a rowboat for a few euros and paddle around the lake. Visitors like to feed the giant grouper fish living in the pond, and you can also watch the ducks paddling by on the lake’s tranquil water.

2. Casita del Pescador


© Maria Galan / Alamy Stock Photo

Set on a small pond, this quaint, brightly coloured house resembles a doll’s house. Located next to one of the lesser-used entrances, Casita del Pescador is in a relatively quiet area of the park. It’s also situated next to a hill you can explore and features a little waterfall.

3. Palacio de Cristal


© Beatrice Preve / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the most iconic buildings in Madrid, the Crystal Palace is made almost entirely of glass. Enter the building to see the sunlight streaming in through the solid glass panes and admire the art exhibitions that are changed out seasonally. The building is surrounded by a small lake where terrapins, frogs and ducks all live together. If you cross in front of the lake, you can get a gorgeous photo of the palace with the lake, trees and sunshine in perfect harmony.

4. Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez


These enclosed gardens have a very special feature – peacocks. Set off to the side of the park, this spot is fairly difficult to find, but once you discover it, you won’t want to leave. Follow the peacocks through the maze-like bushes, trees and quaint ponds, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see them flying down from the tall trees in the garden.

5. La Rosaleda


© Maria Galan / Alamy Stock Photo

May is the ideal time to visit La Rosaleda, the circular rose gardens of Retiro Park. Located fairly close to the Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez, the garden features over 4,000 blooming flowers in various colours, shapes and sizes. The archway trellises, covered in ivy and roses, make you feel like you’re in some kind of fairytale, and picturesque fountains and park benches complete the experience.

6. Paseo de la Argentina


For a little bit of Spain’s royal history, wander down the Paseo de la Argentina, also known as the Paseo de las Estatuas (Statue Walk). As you might guess from the name, the path is lined and decorated with 18th-century statues of Spain’s past royalty. This spot is perfect for a leisurely stroll and a little bit of culture at the same time.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article