The best thing about staying in Barrio Salamanca is its proximity to Parque De El Retiro; Madrid’s largest park. The park is in the ward of Jerónimos which is in the district of Retiro.
It’s one of my favourite places to go for a walk or a jog, have a cold beer in the shade or lie on the grass in the sun after a big lunch!
There is a big boating lake should you fancy practising your oarsmanship.
If you are a jogger it takes about 30 minutes to run around the edge of the park, if you take in all the corners, but it’s much more fun to explore the small shady internal paths which are full of unexpected sights.
There’s an outdoor gym near the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, the only statue I know dedicated to Lucifer. I love the imps on the base!
There are many other beautiful statues in the park.
El Retiro has given it’s name to the local district which has many other things to see.
To the west of the park, at the bottom of the Paseo de Recoletos, is the Plaza de Cibeles, a rotunda with a fountain featuring Cybele, the Roman goddess of fertility and a symbol of Madrid. When I took this picture, a mass rally of nude cyclists just happened to be passing by!
Towering above the rotunda is the Palacio de Cibeles, formerly the Palacio de Comunicaciones (Post Office HQ), but now it’s used as an art gallery. The building itself is stunning both inside and out.
You can still see the post office counters on the ground floor and the ceiling is very nice.
There’s a bar on the top floor which has terrible service and mediocre food but you do get a great view from the roof looking up Calle de Alcala towards the Circulo des Bellas Artes, itself an even better viewing spot.
Pics upload April 2011 and Feb 2017.