Once the refuge of royalty, then a fashionable promenada spot, Retiro Park today is the city's most beloved - and elegant - green space. It features manicured lawns and paths, landscaped gardens, statues, a rowing lake flanked by columns, and exhibition spaces, and is popular among locals and tourists alike. As well, the area surrounding Retiro Park is one of Madrid's most historic and noble areas, as our list of the top 10 things to do near Retiro Park demonstrates. Our top pick is the Prado museum, the jewel in the crown of Spain's renowned art galleries, which primarily houses 12th to 19th century European art, although you can also see other works like Roman statues. As the collection is drawn from Spain's Royal Collection, Spanish art is very well represented. Bosch's strange triptych the Garden of Earthly Delights and Goya's nude and dressed majas are not to be missed. Our second pick, the Congreso de los Diputados, is where Spain's lower house of Parliament meets. The neoclassical building is flanked by lion statues and, day or night, is always guarded. Sometimes you can see well known Spanish politicians on the steps. Our third pick is the Madrid landmark Plaza de Cibeles. A statue of goddess Cibeles - which has come to represent Madrid itself - sits in her chariot in the middle of the fountain and the plaza with the dramatic white Communications Palace in the background.
Calle Ruiz de Alarcón, 23
Paseo del Prado
The massive museum is Spain's homage to art...
Between Paseo del Prado and Paseo de los Recoletos
Plaza de la Independencia
Calle Moreto 4
Historically valuable works of art... read more
Paseo Duque de Julio Romero de Torres
Parque del Retiro
Romantic-style palace in Retiro park... read more