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Things to do in Madrid: El Retiro park and more

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El Retiro park in Madrid, Spain

El Retiro Park was laid out in the middle of the 18th century and was created for the nobility, and aristocrats. It is the largest park in Madrid that related to Spanish Monarchy. The park has an area of ​​​​350 acres, divided into zones: English, French, and Forest of Memory (in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in 2004).

On the Square of the Fallen Angel there is a sculpture of Lucifer. The sculpture stands at an altitude of 655 meters above sea level. Also in the park is the Crystal Palace, which was built at the end of the 19th century. Initially, the palace was conceived as a greenhouse, later it began to be used as a gallery for various exhibitions of contemporary art.

One of the attractions of the royal park is the lake. During the reign of Alfonso XII, they staged sea battles or just had fun by riding on boats. I advise you to visit this park for walking, relaxing and, of course, sketching! The entrance is free.

How to get to Retiro park?

Easiest way to get to the park is by metro station Retiro (line 2 red). Or navigate with google.

3 sketch locations near El Retiro park:

Parterre garden

Parterre garden is the prettiest section of the El Retiro park, and also most visited. In this part of the garden there are many trees, benches, big flower beds and exotic flora. You can sit calmly on the bench and sketching or walking through the paths of the park.

El Retiro Park sketch
El Retiro Park sketch

San Jeronimo the Royal Church

The San Jeronimo is Roman Catholic Church founded in 16th century. The remaining part of the monastery of the Hieronymites located next to the Buen Retiro Palace (did not survive to this day). Remains of the Buen Retiro Palace today, is the Prado Museum. The close location of the palace and the monastery underlines the strong relationship between the royal family and the church. Highly recommend you visit it, because of it’s special Spanish gothic style.

San Jeronimo the Royal Church, Madrid, Spain.
San Jeronimo the Royal Church

Cibeles palace

Cibeles palace was officially opened on 14 March 1919. The facade of the palace was built in the neo-Churrigueresco style, which is characterized by an abundance of details and decorations, rich décor and a combination of various architectural forms. Initially, the palace was the central office of the postal, telegraph and telephone services of Spain. So it was called the Palace of Telecommunications. A little later, the headquarters of the Universal Postal Union was located there. Beautiful building to sketch it!

Cibeles Palace
Cibeles Palace

3 museums near El Retiro park

Reina Sofia

Museum of 20th century and contemporary art. The museum officially opened in 1990 for Queen Sofia. Reina Sofia is one of three main museums in Madrid. Here you can see famous paintings such as Guernica by Picasso, and Face of the Great Masturbator by Salvador Dali. At some days and hours you have free admission, for more information click here.

Picasso's Guernica in Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain.
Picasso’s Guernica in Reina Sofia Museum

Prado Museum

Main national museum, here you find a great collection of European art from the 12th century up to the early 20th century. Also you meet here paintings by Velasquez, Bosch, El Greco, Goya, Rubens, Titian and Rembrandt. For times and tickets click here.

Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.
Prado Museum

Thyssen Bornemisza

 The second largest private collection after the British Royal collection. Here you can observe the early renaissance painters, early German and Dutch painters. Also you meet baroque painters such as Rubens. Impressionists are part of the collection too: Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh. Book your visit here.

George Grosz, Der Stammtisch, in Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
George Grosz, Der Stammtisch, in Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Hotel Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza
Petit Palace Savoy Alfonso XII
DoubleTree by Hilton Madrid-Prado

Recommended hotels near El Retiro Park

Hotel Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza
Petit Palace Savoy Alfonso XII
DoubleTree by Hilton Madrid-Prado

Recommended restaurants near El Retiro Park

Art supply stores near El Retiro Park

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