With more than 15,000 trees of different species and 125 hectares of gardens, the “Retiro Park” is the lung of Madrid.

El Retiro is the favourite park for tourists thanks to its central location and is the scene of various activities. With its many attractions, it is one of the 10 most visited places in Madrid.

History of the Retiro Park

The Catholic Monarchs frequented this gardens that belonged to the Jerónimos Monastery and this fact is proven in the comments of Cardinal Cisneros «The monastery of San Jerónimo outside the walls of the town of Madrid, as the court is here most of the time, the royal persons and many other knights of the court».

It is in the 17th century when the Count-Duke of Olivares devised a space for King Felipe IV and his court around the Jerónimos Monastery and from then onwards its importance increased. In 1868 is permanently opened to the public and in 1935 it was declared an Artistic-Historic Garden.

Of this Monastery we it is left its Church and the Cloister that must be visited through the Prado Museum of which it is now a part.

Components of the Retiro Park

The Parque del Buen Retiro houses numerous gardens that run through its entire length. Among its architectural and historical elements you can enjoy sculptures, monuments dedicated to famous people, squares, sports facilities, ponds and terraces where you can have a drink.

It contains different ornamentations among which stands out The Big Lake that has existed since its inauguration and offers several activities such as rowing boats during the day and the Municipal School of Canoeing for children and young people from 7 to 17 years old.

At one of the lake sides stands out the Monument to Alfonso XII that borders the lake is a project by the architect José Grasés Riera from the 20th century. The work frames the lake. With those two elements, any photograph will look like a postcard.

Cristal Palace

It is in 1887 when the Crystal Palace and it is an iron and glass construction is finished. The most beautiful thing about the palace is the integration of its structure with the nature that surrounds it.

Palacio de Cristal en el Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Palacio de Velázquez

 Actually the Palacio de Velázquez, located nearby the Crystal Palace, hosts temporary exhibitions from the Reina Sofía Museum, and holds a nice exterior made of two-tone bricks and ornate tiles.

Palacio de Velázquez en el Parque del Retiro, Madrid


Gardens into Retiro Park

In the Cecilio Rodríguez Gardens we can find small ponds, water fountains, sculptures, vines that climb columns, pergolas and numerous Peacocks, 

La Rosaleda was built in 1915 and houses 4,000 rose bushes in its approximately 0.8 hectares and the Parterre Garden contains the Bald Cypress, a species that has been in the park since its inception and is considered the oldest tree in Madrid.

Walking through its gardens we can find the Monument to the Fallen Angel that represents Lucifer at the moment of his expulsion from paradise.

More to do near the Retiro in Madrid

Near the Plaza, you have the Art Triangle, formed and three of the best museums in the world. You also have the San Jerónimo Parish, the Plaza de la Cibeles, From there you can make the plan to visit Madrid in 1 day or these tips for your first visit to Madrid.

Our accommodations in Madrid

We have apartments for months in the Centro area, for months in Retiro area quieter and less touristy are the apartments for months in the Salamanca district. For a short stay we have accommodations for days next to Calle Serrano and Paseo de la Castellana, in the Escultor Building.