The Retiro Park is one of the largest parks in Madrid, covering 1.4 km2 of the city centre with beautiful landscaped parkland, fountains, botanical gardens and over 15,000 trees. Located close to the Puerta de Alcalá and the Museo del Prado, it is the vibrant green heart of the Spanish capital.
With a history dating back many hundreds of years, the Retiro originally belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century, when it was converted into a public space.
Family-friendly entertainment includes puppet shows, and free concerts by the Banda Sinfónica de Madrid at the bandstand every Sunday at midday from late May to early October. There are many children’s playgrounds and a beautifully maintained rose garden for visitors to enjoy.
The boating lake has become an iconic Madrid landmark, and rowing boats can be hired from the Estanque del Retiro Municipal Sports Centre. There are also docking stations for the popular BiciMAD bike-share scheme at various points throughout the park and plenty of kiosks and terraces selling refreshments.
Additionally, emblematic events are held in the Retiro Park each year, such as the Madrid Book Fair and the impressive fireworks of San Isidro every May. The park is also home to the Palacio de Cristal (Glass Palace), a 19th-century conservatory that is now an exhibition space of the the Reina Sofía Museum. Kids will love spotting the turtles that live in the pond just in front of the entrance.
In 2021, the Buen Retiro Park was officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape. It is one of the most important places for Madrid residents to relax, exercise and socialise in the Spanish capital.
Park opening hours vary depending on the time of year:
Spring / Summer: April to September 06:00 – 00:00 h
Autumn / Winter: October to March 06:00 – 22:00 h.
Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28014 Madrid