Photos From El Retiro, Plaza Mayor, Crystal Palace, and the Prado

Our time in Madrid may have been limited but that didn’t stop us from setting out to see as much as possible before having to leave! Among the many tourist-y areas we visited were a few whose beauty stood out above the rest. In this post, I have uploaded some of my photos from parts of Madrid that I felt were absolutely stunning.

El Retiro Park

Buen Retiro Park was one of the most relaxing places we escaped to while in Madrid. At the center of the park was a huge pond where you could pay to rent a little row boat and hang out on the water. Jorge and I wished to try it ourselves but the line of people waiting was crazily long. Instead, we sat on the steps near the park’s famous statue photographed above and enjoyed the relaxing guitar music of a man who was playing nearby.

The Crystal Palace

While at El Retiro, we took a short walk to the famous Crystal Palace. The Palacio de Cristal, as the Spaniards call it, was originally built in 1887 to exhibit flora and fauna from the Philippines. The architect, Ricardo Bosco, designed the building to be made almost entirely of sheets of glass set in an iron framework. The structure was designed in such a way that it could be re-assembled at another location but has remained at its original site and is now used for art exhibits.

Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor (or Main Square) is a central plaza in Madrid. It is located very close to Puerta del Sol, another famous plaza in Spain. Jorge and I had a blast walking around here. Vendors were selling interesting items and souvenirs. Many people were shopping in preparation for the upcoming holidays. At night, the border of the plaza was illuminated with lights making it even more beautiful than it already was.

The Prado Museum

Finally, we set out to visit Museo del Prado: the famous Prado Museum. We were originally going to wait until 6PM to enter with free admission but the line of people waiting for free tickets (literally) wrapped around the Prado. Thankfully, Jorge and I managed to get in at 5:45PM with free student tickets that I am confident many of the likely-to-be-students waiting in that long line probably had no idea about…

The museum was lovely- we saw several famous paintings inside. Sadly, after a certain point, we agreed to leave because we just couldn’t walk anymore. Our legs were exhausted from doing so much all in one day!

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