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Leisure

Discover Retiro Park

January 20, 2023

History

Philip IV created the Buen Retiro Park in the 17th century as a recreational estate for the monarchs of the House of Austria. Parts of it were demolished, and others damaged, during the War of Independence, as the French used it as a fortress. However, in 1868 ownership was transferred to the city council, and it became public and accessible to everyone. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, El Retiro was the site of several international exhibitions, which resulted in the construction of such emblematic buildings as the Crystal Palace and the Velázquez Palace. In July 2021, it was designated a UNESCO Cultural Landscape and World Heritage Site. Today, it is the most famous park in the city and one of the most popular in Spain. 

Opening hours, access, and location

Retiro Park opens at different times depending on the time of year: From April to September, it is open from 06:00 to 00:00, and from October to March, it opens from 06:00 to 22:00. Admission is completely free, and there are 18 gates. Most of the park is accessible to people with reduced mobility. El Retiro is located in central Madrid, between Alfonso XII and Menendez Pelayo Streets, a 20-minute walk from Gran View Apartments.

What to do

The park receives hundreds of visitors every day and is one of the most popular places for picnics, walks, sports or for admiring the fountains and sculptures. One of the main attractions of the Retiro is the Great Pond, which offers a variety of activities, such as rowing boats, a solar boat and classroom, and canoeing. On the other hand, the Crystal Palace, in the Romantic style, is a pavilion built for the Philippine Exhibition of 1887 and is one of the main examples of iron architecture in Spain. It currently houses various temporary exhibitions that are well worth a visit. 

Restaurants

Due to its size, it takes about 3 hours to fully explore Retiro Park. Therefore, if you feel like a snack or a drink, you’ll also find ice cream parlours, bars and restaurants inside the park, the most typical of which is Florida Park. Don’t miss it.

Finally, if you are looking for a fully fitted apartment in the heart of Madrid, Gran View Apartments is for you. Stay in Gran Vía with all the comforts at your fingertips. Book now! 

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