The Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal), in Buen Retiro Park.

©Anibal Trejo/Shutterstock

Palacio de Cristal


Hidden among the trees south of Parque del Buen Retiro's lake is the Palacio de Cristal. Built in 1887, it's a magnificent metal-and-glass structure and El Retiro’s most beautiful architectural monument. Art and photo exhibitions are sometimes held here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madrid attractions

1. Palacio de Velázquez


Between the lake and the Palacio de Cristal, the sober 1883 Palacio de Velázquez is used for temporary exhibitions organised by the Centro de Arte Reina…

2. Jardín de los Planteles

0.15 MILES

Occupying much of the southwestern corner of the park is the Jardín de los Planteles, one of the least-visited sections of El Retiro, where quiet pathways…

3. Fuente Egipcia

0.16 MILES

On the southern end of the estanque (lake) in the Parque del Buen Retiro, the odd structure decorated with sphinxes is the Fuente Egipcia: legend has it…

4. El Ángel Caído

0.18 MILES

At the southern end of the park, near La Rosaleda with its more than 4000 roses, is a statue of El Ángel Caído (The Fallen Angel). Strangely, it sits 666m…

5. La Rosaleda

0.21 MILES

At the southern end of the Parque del Buen Retiro is La Rosaleda with its more than 4000 roses.

6. Monument to Alfonso XII

0.26 MILES

The focal point for so much of El Retiro’s life is the artificial estanque (lake), which is watched over by the massive ornamental structure of the…

7. Bosque del Recuerdo

0.32 MILES

West of the Jardín de los Planteles in the Parque del Buen Retiro is the moving Bosque del Recuerdo, an understated memorial to the 191 victims of the 11…

8. Madrid’s Oldest Tree

0.34 MILES

Just inside the Retiro's Puerta de Felipe IV stands what is thought to be Madrid’s oldest tree, a Mexican conifer (ahuehuete) planted in 1633. With a…