One of the highlights of visiting Madrid was Retiro Park. If you’re looking for free things to do in Madrid, the park is your best bet! You can watch people in rowboats in the water, or visit art installations at the stunning Crystal Palace, or Palacio de Cristal.
On our visit to the Crystal Palace, I wore a wrap dress from Primark (similar dress here), leather gladiator sandals from Athens (similar style here), and a blue leather bag from London (similar style here).
The Crystal Palace, or Palacio de Cristal is a large structure, that used to be used to exhibit flora and fauna from the Phillipines. The structure is stunning and very impressive.
La Rosaleda del Retiro
You can also decide to visit the Roselada – Madrid’s Rose Garden. We spent a while taking pictures in this stunning Rose Garden. I wore a rose print dress from SheIn, classic white Adidas Neo Advantage sneakers ℅ DSW Canada, red rose Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses ℅ Smart Buy Glasses, necklace and bracelets ℅ Alex and Ani, and a pink leather flap bag by Karl Lagerfeld from the Bay.
I loved the combination of the dainty gold anchor necklace from Alex and Ani with the bolder sunglasses and bright print. It was so hot in Madrid in June, over 38 degrees Celcius, but the cutouts of this dress helped keep me cool.
There are so many beautiful monuments, buildings and elements to the park. It felt so peaceful watching the rowboats, but I was surprised to see massive fish in the water! We visited Retiro Park twice, because there was so much to see, and it was a great way to spend siesta time!
For a time out, grab a Sangria from the concession hut near the Palacio de Velázquez. The prices are cheapest here and, being in the middle of the park, the perfect rest or meet up point. The Sangria isn’t super authentic, but it was refreshing. A beer is a good option too.
There are tons of art exhibits going on in the park. We also caught a Franz Erhard Walther exhibit at the Palacio de Velázquez.
I definitely recommend visiting Retiro Park over the Royal Botanical Gardens. Retiro Park is free, very well kept and managed, and a beautiful spot to relax. We also had a picnic during siesta time when all the restaurants were closed! It’s the perfect location to grab some Iberian ham, baguette (or gluten free crackers in my case), and some cheese for a romantic, scenic picnic.
You can check out my full guide to Madrid here.
You can also check out my visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid Here.