Retiro is a district surrounding the famous El Retiro Park, from where it gets its name. It is basically a residential area, but also with many shops and businesses which makes it busy in the daytime and very quiet by night.
Retiro is situated to the east of the center of Madrid. The layout of this district resembles that of neighboring Barrio de Salamanca, with a network of perpendicular streets with wide pavements, and some boulevards, like Ibiza or Alcalde Sainz de Baranda.
Visitors coming to Madrid cannot miss the grand El Retiro Park, the larger one in the capital and the perfect place for anyone who wants a relaxing stroll in a unique setting.
El Retiro Park is a true haven of peace: a gorgeous, elegant green space filled with a great variety of trees, beautiful gardens, monuments, fountains, sculptures, a marvelous large lake with rowing boats with an idyllic scenic view of its, and also a cultural place since it hosts museums like the Palacio de Velázquez and the unique Palacio de Cristal, among a public library and other buildings.
The area surrounding the park is filled with cultural attractions, restaurants and shops, including the attractive, one-kilometer-long Paseo del Prado which is a boulevard passing many of the major museums and the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Palacio de Cibeles (Madrid’s City Council) the stunning Jerónimos, and Niño Jesús cathedrals.
Retiro is basically a residential area, but also with many shops and businesses which makes it busy in the daytime and very quiet by night. The layout of Retiro resembles that of neighbouring Barrio de Salamanca, with a network of perpendicular streets with wide pavements, and some boulevards, like Ibiza or Alcalde Sainz de Baranda.
Retiro encompasses various neighborhoods, being the three more popular Ibiza, Jerónimos, and Niño Jesús. Ibiza neighborhood recalls the Barrio de Salamanca but with less elegant buildings, and it is characterized by streets with packed buildings and bustling atmosphere of small shops, restaurants and bars. In recent years it has become a destination for those seeking a good gastronomic offer thanks to the many good restaurants found along Doctor Castelo street.
The affluent, upscale Jerónimos neighborhood is an iconic area with a privileged location just right between the emblematic Retiro Park and the Museo del Prado. It boasts beautiful 18th and 19th-century buildings with majestic facades that compete with the best architecture in Madrid. It is a quiet, primarily residential area with barely a handful of restaurants.
The Niño Jesus neighborhood is a quieter, more spacious, and residential.
The area of El Paseo del Prado / Retiro which stands as the epicenter of Madrid’s cultural life, and where three of the world’s finest art collections are to be found, aspires to gain World Heritage status in the category of Cultural Landscapes. It includes the Paseo del Prado between Cibeles and the Plaza de Atocha, the whole of El Retiro Park, and the neighborhood of Los Jeronimos.
MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL VENUES
Palacio de Cristal
Built in 1887, the Glass Palace is one of the finest examples of iron and glass architecture in Madrid. The Palacio Velázquez is a red-brick neoclassical building built in 1881-83. Both palaces are used by the Reina Sofía Museum for temporary exhibitions.
A 19th c. museum of Spain’s maritime history from its earliest days to the 20th century. The collection displayed includes weapons, flags, uniforms, and a Mappa Mundi dating back to 1500.