If you are searching for the best things to do in El Retiro Park in Madrid you are in the right place.
With a privileged location, this beautiful park is a unique open-air museum where you can enjoy numerous outdoor activities and spend an unforgettable day in Madrid.
1. Rent a boat
There is a large artificial pond close to the Puerta de Alcalá that is currently used for recreation and water sports.
This is one of the most popular spots in El Retiro Park where a lot of locals and visitors rent rowboats and enjoy the sunny weather of the city.
This is one of my favorite things to do in El Retiro, especially with my family. It is advisable to bring water and sunscreen on the hottest days.
The price to rent a boat for 45 minutes is € 6 (€ 8 on weekends and bank holidays), with a maximum of four occupants. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
The boats can be rented from Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 20:00 p.m. (18:30 in Winter and depending on the sunlight).
In order to reduce the waiting times, it is convenient to book the tickets in advance through the official App “Madrid Movil”. You can easily follow my step-by-step guide in my post about El Retiro boat renting.
2. Have a picnic
There’s no better plan for a sunny day in Madrid than packing up some food and drink and having a wonderful picnic in El Retiro Park.
I love gathering a group of friends and spending a Sunday morning hanging out on the grass and enjoying some tasty snacks and drinks.
There are plenty of different areas for picnics in El Retiro Park. My favorite picnic spots are the ones close to some of the most beautiful attractions of the park such as the Casita del Pescador, the Big Pond, and the Crystal Palace.
These places are perfect if you spend the summer in Madrid as you’ll find numerous trees and a mix of sunshine and shade.
Anyway, don´t forget fresh water and sunscreen on the hottest days.
3. Let´s work out!
El Retiro is a paradise for sports lovers in Madrid. Locals and visitors can benefit from the wide variety of sports options, many of which are free.
There is something for everyone no matter your interests or age, from yoga and pilates classes to jogging and skating.
If you are spending some time in this popular park, you will come across many people working out. There is no better place for running or skating than El Retiro, surrounded by some of the top-rated attractions in Madrid.
Touring the park by bike is an excellent option too, as you will see the main points of interest in the Park in less time while enjoying the healthy and fun activity.
4. Admire El Retiro´s main landmarks
This urban park has been carefully designed not just for recreation, but also for the education of citizens in contact with nature.
No matter if you are a local or a visitor I always recommend spending a minimum of 2-3 hours exploring the top-rated spots in El Retiro.
The Crystal Palace, the Monument to King Alfonso XII, the Rose Garden, and the Fisherman´s House are just a few of the numerous attractions the park is home to.
Visiting the top-rated attractions is one of the 5 best things to do in El Retiro. And did you know there is a goblin in El Retiro? This is just one of the 10 interesting facts about El Retiro.
5. Enjoy some family time
El Retiro offers many kid-friendly activities to spend an unforgettable day with your family.
Apart from renting a boat, skating and biking, there are plenty of playgrounds throughout the park.
My daughter loves the puppet theater and the observatory. I can guarantee that your kids will not get bored in El Retiro!
Do you have any pets? You need to know there are some specific times when your dog will be able to enjoy running on its own. Off-leash hours are from 6:00 to 10:00 and from 20:00 (19:00 in Winter).
Besides, there is a great fenced area where you can always let your dog run loose. It is located close to La Rosaleda and the Fallen Angel Fountain.
Do you know any other fun things to do in El Retiro Park? Leave your comments below!