Taking its name from what is arguably one of the most famous parks in Spain, the area of Retiro offers its inhabitants a privileged and tranquil location well within reach of the city centre. Beginning just behind the Museo del Prado and stretching east to Calle Alcalá and Avenida de Menéndez Pelayo, Retiro Park is a stunning blend of formal gardens, soaring monuments and wild, wooded areas. When the weather is nice, it seems that much of the city congregates in the park, taking advantage of its main promenade to take a stroll with friends and family, stopping only to enjoy a coffee or ice cream, or perhaps watch one of the many street performers who seek to entertain the crowds. The man-made lake, behind which stands the grand monument to King Alfonso XII, comes alive on a Sunday afternoon to the sound of local musicians taking part in many impromptu jam sessions, whilst visitors can partake in a true Madrileño tradition of renting a row boat to take a ride around the lake. Abound with monuments, fountains and gardens, this beautiful park was opened to the public in the 19th century. The current neighbourhood, commonly known as Retiro, is separated from the heart of the city by the park itself, and is an attractive residential area that is popular among families and young professionals, who are looking for a more tranquil alternative to the life and energy of Madrid’s city centre. The streets of O´Donnell, Doctor Esquerdo and Menéndez Pelayo form a triangle within which you can find elegant apartment buildings, traditional restaurants, shops and services. Near enough to the centre to be exciting, yet far enough away to offer residents peace and access to a natural refuge within the city, the barrio of Retiro is a popular option for anyone looking for a slower pace of life in the Spanish capital.