A Beautiful Day Exploring Retiro and Reina Sofia

Travel Diary

Day 3

Our hotel in Madrid, Sleep'n Atocha, was located not far from Retiro Park. We told the hotel front desk staff that we like seeing cool architecture, monuments parks so he reccomended a few places for us to check out including the Reina Sofia museum and Retiro Park. The hotel staff told us that it would probably take 2-3 hours to see everything in the park so we decided to make a day of it. The weather was beautiful so why not.


Inside the park there was a lot of green space, trees and paths to walk on. There is quite a few fountains and monuments to get nice pictures for your collection.

We made a point of stopping by the Palacio de Cristal (Cristal Palace) to get some pictures as it was prominently shown on our tourist map. We were expecting the Cristal Palace to be a greenhouse like a lot of other places but instead it was entirely empty aside from some chairs and speakers. There was a sound piece being pumped through the speakers currated by the Reina Sofia museum. It sounded like birds and animals which was pretty neat.
The Palace made for some excellent photo opportunities that time of day. Next we went inside the Palacio de Velazquez which was another Reina Sofia venue. It was free, lucky for us, and it had some modern art inside. You never know what you're going to get with modern art.

For lunch we planned to go to a restaurant Cookaluzka since it was on the opposite side of the park as our hotel. The place was open for lunch 1-4. They had a mix of Italian and Latin American inspired food. It was essentially international cuisine drawing influences from all sorts of places.

One of us had the menu del dia and the other an Italian Burger. All the food there was delicious and the restaurant had a good look and relaxed atmosphere. We couldn't resist taking a bite of the cake so that is why it isn't all in one piece for the photo.


We returned to Retiro park as we didn't get a chance to check out the lake/pond yet.


We hung out next to the Alfonso XII monument for a while near the steps as there was a guy playing some nice Spanish guitar and the sun was shining. We watched the boats on the water. The boats were on hiring for €6 and hour.





We had to go to the other side to get a selfie in front of the monument and the lake. The sun was going down and we were making our way to the hotel for a siesta.




We headed back walking past San Jerónimo el Real and the Prado museum. We happened upon the vertical garden right next to the Caixa Forum which was very cool to see.


After our siesta, a Spanish custom we were more than willing to adopt even though it wasn't very warm outside, we went to the Reina Sofia museum which was right next to our hotel. We figured that the museum would be a good evening activity since we wanted to sight see during daylight and we didn't want to waste daylight indoors. As it turns out it is free entry to the Reina Sofia from 7pm-9pm. The do a similar thing at the other art museums as well. The was perfect as we usually don't take very much time in museums.
We saw the great works of art of Ángeles Santos Torroella, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso's Guernica (which we weren't allowed to photograph), and Erró (Gudmundur Gudmundsson)
Afterwards we were a bit hungry so after looking on happy cow we decided to go to a vegan tavern called La Oveja Negra (The Black Sheep). They had some sandwiches and burgers on the menu which were pretty good aside from overuse of sun dried tomatoes on the wrap. The food was good and cheap and that's all we ask for.

We got a soy buger, hummus wrap and a cinnamon roll to share. We had to use charades to communicate with the bar staff since they didn't speak much English and we only know a few words of Spanish. They do have an English menu though. ;)
We had a pretty fun filled day exploring Retiro park and the Reina Sofia museum. The food was great, especially at Cookaluzka. We recommend that anyone going to Madrid check out the park and take advantage of the free admission to one of the art museums.

If you enjoyed reading about Madrid and want to read more on Spain, check out our post "El meu aerolliscador està ple d'anguiles (Barcelona, Spain)"

Comments

  1. Great pics you guys. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Good looking food too!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah Madrid is beautiful and just happens to have delicious food!

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  2. I loved Retiro Park and just wandering around its vast environs. Your photos of the Cristal Palace are amazing! I also missed out on the Reina Sofia Museum and definitely need to check it out when I go there next!

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    1. Retiro Park is so beautiful. It is hard not to get good pictures.

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  3. Awesome post! Just found your blog, and I enjoy reading your content because I'm vegan traveler as well! :)

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  4. I haven't been to Madrid yet but it's on my list. The places you visited seem lovely, especially the Retiro park, it looks massive with nice buildings/monuments to check out! Do you know if the Palacio de Cristal is used for events or something? The building is impressive but it's a pity to hear that there is only nature sounds... I am sure some colorful flowers and plants would be outstanding there!

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    1. Cristal palace had a sound exhibit on while we were there. I'm not sure if it is used for events or anything.

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  5. I have been to Madrid before but apparently I missed out on Retiro Park. I think I need to go back to explore this park because it really looks nice! :)

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  6. I have never been to Spain but I've heard so many great things about it! Looks like you guys had a blast. I'd love to check out Retiro Park some day

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    1. Spain is a lovely country. I would live there if I could!

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  7. Madrid looks like a fantastic place to visit! Loved all the photos.

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  8. This looks like such a lovely day! Those food pictures look delicious too! Thanks for sharing x

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    1. It was a fantastic day. The food was amazing. :)Thanks for reading.

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  9. I love walking cities and always wanted to visit Madrid. Walkable cities is what I miss most about Europe.

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    1. We love walking cities too. Madrid is amazing for it.

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  10. I love the idea of visiting museums in the evening, its a shame more places don't offer that! When its sunny out I much prefer to be out and about - unless its so hot I need the air-conditioning! ;) The food looks yummy too, I didn't think Spain was that friendly for vegans, but at least in the big cities it must be!

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    1. It is great that they offer the evening hours! Madrid was amazing for vegans.

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  11. Madrid is such a lovely place! Haven't managed to visit the place but by the looks of it, it seems it will be part of my bucket list :)

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    1. Glad to hear! Hope you make it to Madrid.

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  12. Madrid looks beautiful! I would love to visit there one day. :) Love this post!!

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  13. Beautiful journal entry. I remember spending hours just wandering through the parks in Spain. So much for the eyes to take in!

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    1. Thank you. Yes! lots to see! so beautiful.

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  14. Great post and love the photos. Haven't been to any major cities in Spain yet so this is high on my list. Thanks for the checklist.

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    1. Thank you. We hope you make it here one day.

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  15. You write like a literature..
    Will plan to be here someday...

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