Given the central location and beautiful architecture, many guided walking, tuk-tuk, bike, Segway, and general sightseeing tours pass by Palacio de Cristal, alongside other attractions such as Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor, and Alcala Gate. Several Retiro Park-only tours also include a visit to Palacio de Cristal, allowing a holistic insight into one of Madrid’s best-known green spaces; meanwhile, if you want to avoid overwhelming group tours, there are also private sightseeing excursions available.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Located at the heart of Retiro Park, a visit to the Palacio de Cristal is ideal for first-time visitors.
- Art and architecture fans will be especially charmed by this rather unique sometime-exhibition space, fronted by a swan lake.
- Time your visit right and you can enjoy a delightful prism-like effect from refracting sunlight inside Palacio de Cristal.
- Heavy rains may provoke the temporary closure of the Palacio de Cristal.
How to Get There
You’ll find Palacio de Cristal at the heart of Retiro Park, with a swan lake on one side and lush greenery all around. As such, it’s easy to reach both on foot—follow the signposts once inside Retiro Park—and by Metro. The closest stops are Estación del Arte, Retiro, and Ibiza, which are served by Lines 1, 2, and 9.
When to Get There
Palacio de Cristal is a pleasantly year-round attraction, which can be especially enjoyed on sunny days when natural light will cast a lovely sheen over the interior. It’s free to enter, which is perfect for travelers on a budget, and during the summer Palacio de Cristal often hosts temporary Reina Sofía art exhibits.
More budget-friendly Madrid attractions Palacio de Cristal may be one of Madrid’s most striking free attractions, but it’s far from the only one. In fact, Madrid is a great city for travelers on a budget, who may also wish to consider a visit to Palacio de Cibeles, a stroll down the photogenic Gran Vía, or a stop at the Templo de Debod. Even the prestigious Prado and Reina Sofía Museums are free to enter between certain hours of the evening on specific days of the week.
- Things to do in Toledo
- Things to do in Segovia
- Things to do in Zaragoza
- Things to do in Cordoba
- Things to do in Valencia
- Things to do in Bilbao
- Things to do in Santander
- Things to do in Murcia
- Things to do in San Sebastian
- Things to do in Alicante
- Things to do in Granada
- Things to do in Seville
- Things to do in Castile and León
- Things to do in Aragón
- Things to do in Basque Country
- Retiro Park (Parque de El Retiro)
- National Museum of Decorative Arts (Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas)
- Royal Tapestry Factory (Real Fábrica de Tapices)
- Royal Botanical Garden (Real Jardín Botánico)
- National Anthropology Museum (Museo Nacional de Antropología)
- Alcalá Gate (Puerta de Alcalá)
- CaixaForum Madrid
- Madrid Naval Museum (Museo Naval de Madrid)
- Prado Museum (Museo del Prado)
- Cibeles Fountain (Fuente de Cibeles)
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza)
- Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia)
- Cybele Palace (Palacio de Cibeles)
- Atocha Train Station (Puerta de Atocha)
- Plaza de Cibeles