1. Crystal Palace (or Palacio de Cristal)
An iconic building to Madrid, the Crystal Palace could be the best backdrop on your Instagram. It’s a massive glass building in the park, on the edge of the lake. Originally planned to be a huge greenhouse in the late 1800s, today it is used for exhibitions, and gatherings, so you can enter and walk through.
2. The Retiro Park Lake
Besides its beauty, the large lake in the middle of Retiro Park is a popular spot for visitors for a few reasons. You can rent boats Monday through Sunday from 10 am to 5:30/8:30 pm (depending on the time of year), for 6 euros during the week and 8 euros on the weekend. It’s a fun activity to do with your friends, family, or a romantic ride for you and your significant other. It’s even worth the ride alone!
There is also often a small flea market where you can purchase souvenirs, Spanish trinkets, or even have a caricature done of you or your group. You will often find many musicians performing a violin trio, or a Spanish guitar medley.
If you visit the park in the evening, we recommend finishing at the lake to see the sunset from the Monument of Alfonso XII.
PRO TIP: Retiro is considered one of the best running locations in Madrid. Anyone willing to workout while in Madrid (or just looking for a nice walk), should not miss the opportunity to run early in the morning or at dusk when many local madrileños do their daily exercise.
3. Florida Retiro
What many don’t know, is that the terrace restaurant inside the park, called Florida, turns into a club at night, taking Retiro to a whole new level.
You can make a reservation at the restaurant and enjoy the flavorful dishes, or enjoy cups of wine with your friends under the sun in the open outdoor terrace. In the evening, the bar and club are packed full with madrileños enjoying a good night out.
To find more information or make a reservation, visit floridaretiro.com.
4. When you’re ready to leave …
Leave the park by walking through the French Parterre, and take time to appreciate Madrid’s Oldest Tree, a bald (‘calvo’) cypress that is believed to be 400 years old.
The charming Parterre Gardens are a nod to French grounds. They were commissioned by Felipe IV and are open in design, with hedges, flowerbeds, manicured grass and a sweeping entrance to the park.
To find more information and activities in Madrid, visit buzziler.com/madrid/.