Going To Spain : Madrid’s Famous Parque del Buen Retiro

Visitors to Madrid consider Retiro Park, otherwise known as Parque del Buen Retiro, to be one of its cardinal attractions. It contains miles of paths and walkways to explore, a peaceful lake, and many beautiful sculptures and monuments, and is host to a variety of events and festivals throughout the year.

The buildings within the park, once part of a royal palace, hold deep cultural roots for the locals and have been cherished as a historical playground since the park’s opening in 1868. Due to the Napoleonic wars many structures were lost or are barely discernible however today there are numerous sites still worth seeing.

The Palacio de Cristal, once a beautiful glass atrium that housed many exotic plants, and the Palacio de Velquez, now showcasing a beautiful display of art for visitors are two must see places found within the park. If you enjoy art, the Casn holds another wonderful collection of paintings dating back to the nineteenth century, but do not forget to stop by the Ejrcito, a historically rich museum weaving tales of Spain’s military history.

The centerpiece is large lake near the northern entrance, called the Estanque del Retiro. It’s often busy, particularly in the summer months, with couples and families relaxing by the waters edge and enjoying the scenery and ambiance. For those looking for something a little more exciting, there are boats available for rent which you can use to row around the lake.

Another beautiful feature of the park is the Rosaleda rose garden, enjoyed by both tourists and natives, as well as the nearby Cecilia Rodriguez gardens and Serrano Street’s outstanding restaurants.

Making your way through the park, be sure to stop in at one of the many cafes and enjoy a taste of Spanish food at its best. Aside from people strolling down the street there are many impressive jugglers, fortune tellers, talented dancers and even people playing instruments.