Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your heart's content.
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Walk Around Madrid's "Central Park"
Take time out of eating and drinking in Madrid and take a long stroll or do some eating or drinking in Madrid’s Parque del Retiro. Beautifully laid out, with different sections that beckon you to to the next site, there’s lots to see, summer or winter. (These shots are from winter, just imagine what summer looks like.)
One part of the Retiro, Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez on the east side, is not only beautifully manicured but also full of peacocks. There were about 12-15 of the colorful males (and not so colorful females) strolling the grounds and strutting their art-nouveau feathers. This area is popular for picture taking and of course children love the birds!
The Retiro Park in Madrid is probably the greenest spot in the city and the park is massive. Other than dodging joggers and guys and gals on skateboards and roller blades, something that I enjoyed was paying a few euros for a boat and rowing around the lake.
The ultimate offering of any large city is a reprieve from the hectic shuffle of everyday routine. This public park has sublime offerings for those intent on an afternoon of relaxation as well as for those seeking a more active approach. Parque del Buen Retiro houses Madrid's oldest tree, Rosaleda rose garden, Retiro pond (perfect for paddle boating), as well as the Crystal Palace. You might find yourself returning again and again to find refuge from the streets.
Every day is a great day to visit El Parque de Gran Retiro. No matter which path you choose to explore, there are delightful surprises around every bend. It might be a tiled bench reminiscent of ancient moorish palaces, an unusual waterfall sculpture or a peacock squawking in the trees above. The park is especially entertaining on weekends when street vendors, puppeteers, caricaturists, mimes and musicians line the promenade around the lake or "estanque". Stroll in the shade of centuries-old trees, nibble on a refreshing ice cream or sit in one of the numerous cafes to linger over a cafe con leche. Retiro is a great place to people-watch or just while away a quiet afternoon.