The Retiro park is one of my favorite places to spend time on a nice weekend day in Madrid. I am apparently not the only one that feels this way because if the weather is nice you will find what seems like most of Madrid’s population there.
This huge park in the middle of the city is close to the Prado Museum and easily accessed from a number of Metro Stations. There are a lot of great things to see and do inside the park and it is not difficult to spend half a day there.
One of the main features of the park is a man made lake in the middle of the park. This is the heart of the park and a lot of the activities take place around it. The lake has row boats for rent if you want to get out on the water. If you want a drink or a snack there are a couple of outdoor snack bars as well as other food vendors located throughout the park.
The video below shows the various activities that the Madrileños enjoy in the park.
If you are traveling with your kids you will find plenty of activities to keep them entertained. There is usually a puppet show set up by the lake that is entertaining, even if you do not speak Spanish. There are also the usual musicians, magicians, clowns and other types of street performers that work for tips.
Puppet Show Video
One of my favorite buildings inside the park is the Crystal Palace which houses a rotating exhibit. The display changes regularly and in my three trips to Madrid I have seen a miniature version of the palace, a tower made out of plastic baskets and a plant exhibit.
Retiro Park is a must visit if you have time when you are in Madrid.