With a royal history dating back to the 16th century, Madrid’s largest park is also its most popular, and for good reason. Aside from being a large space worthy of various physical activities, Parque del Retiro features a plethora of beautiful sculptures, monuments, fountains, buildings, and vegetation, among other things.
The park’s main entrance, which is located across from the famous Museo del Prado, invites visitors to what at first seems like a casual walk in the park on a fairly straightforward path. Before you know it, and for better or for worse, you will be lost in the immense park, facing branching pathways, each leading to drastically different features. Choosing a path can be a difficult life decision. Seriously. On the bright side, no matter which path you choose, you’re in for a treat.
One of the park’s most popular features is the massive monument to King Alfonso XII of Spain. The monument, located behind Estanque del Retiro, features an abundance of statues and fountains depicting lions, mermaids, fish, and others. The most prominent feature of the monument is, of course, the tall equestrian statue of King Alfonso XII. At the base of the monument are statues of people representing Freedom, Peace, and Progress.
Another popular park feature is the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace). Perhaps the park’s most impressive building, the palace was originally built to house flower exhibits, but is now used primarily for art exhibits, although the building itself is quite a work of art as well.
The beautiful scenery makes Parque del Retiro a great place for people to enjoy the day. Street performers, athletes, children, senior citizens, musicians, and more can always be found at the park, and who can blame them? Be sure to check out Madrid’s best park.