One of Madrid’s 21 administrative districts, Retiro is located to the southeast of the city center. Its area is made up of 6 different neighborhoods – Pacifico, Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos and Ninõ Jesús. Home to Atocha, the largest railway station in the capital of Spain, it might very well be the first part of Madrid you see if you’re coming from another part of the country. If that’s the case, don’t rush to the center right away because there is plenty to experience in Retiro, as you can see below.
Related article: Get to know the Vicálvaro district
Parque del Buen Retiro
Buen Retiro Park is a true symbol of the district. Great in both beauty and size (at 350 acres), the fact that it’s accessible through the city center makes it a very popular destination for tourists, which see it as a welcome retreat (which is the actual English translation for the Spanish word “retiro”) from the crowded commercial areas in the Centro district. It features a lake, as well as several sculptures and monuments of high artistic and cultural value. One of the highlights of not only the district but the entire city, it is often the stage for public entertainment events and celebrations.
Palacio de Cristal
Within Buen Retiro you’ll find this “crystal palace”, an architectonically admirable curved structure of iron and glass dating from 1887. Originally functioning as a greenhouse where Philippine fauna and flora were displayed, it serves nowadays as a contemporary art gallery (often as an “extension” of the Reina Sofia museum).
Related article: Museo de la Reina Sofia
Museo del Prado
Considered to be Spain’s most important art museum, Museo del Prado is located between Centro and Retiro and receives over 2 million visitors from all over the world every year. Hosting an unparalleled collection of European art with pieces ranging from the 12th to the early 20th century, it is widely regarded as one of the most culturally relevant museums of art on the planet. If you’re interested in the history and evolution of art, we highly recommend that you seize the opportunity to marvel at its contents, which include works by powerhouse names such as Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Titian, Rubens and Bosch.
Are you planning on visiting Madrid soon? Will you take a look around the district of Retiro? Let us know everything about it using the comment box below.
Have fun discovering the capital of Spain!