GalleryLocation - Central
Parque del Buen Retiro
Retiro Park is right in the centre of the city and covers about 350 acres. It's a pleasant place, scruffy around the edges but with a lot of charm and loads of exhibits and diversions dotted around. Lots of madrileños stroll around here in the late evening during the summer, not least because it offers shade, green and water, which all help to keep it cooler than the steaming dusty streets that surround it.
At its heart is the Estanque del Retiro, a large artificial lake and the Mausoleum of Alfonso XII. Other places to discover include:- the Palacio de Cristal a glass pavillion built in 1887 which is part of the Reina Sofia museum and hosts exhibitions
- the El Angel Caído - The fallen angel statue - yes, Satan has a place in the park
- the Bosque de los Ausentes - Forest of the departed - commemorating the 191 victims of the 2004 March 11 attacks - the Museo del Ejército - Military museum - with a variety of armour and weapons from the Middle Ages up to the civil war
All year long there are various temporary exhibits dotted around the place and sometimes special events (last year we had a ballet put on in the middle of the lake), plus busking musicians, tarot card readers, puppet shows for the kids etc. See our guide to Madrid's Parks and Gardens for other nice green spaces in the city.