The Retiro Park Lake

In the heart of the Retiro Park lies this large lake, a popular spot with the city's residents, who go there to sunbathe or hire rowing boats.

Built between 1634 and 1636 by the architect, Cristobal de Aguilera, this lake was the heart of the Buen Retiro Palace garden  and was used to hold  water shows, such as navy battles or mock battles, and boat rides for the King and Queen and their Court. At that time it was linked by a stream to the chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua, which no longer exists, and the Retiro had its own shipyard to build boats. In the middle of the lake there was an oval-shaped island which was used for theatrical and musical performances.

On the same spot, almost a hundred years later, Farinelli delighted the court of Philip V with his singing. In the last third of the eighteenth century the island in the centre was covered by the waters of the lake and in 1902 the monument to Alfonso XII was erected. Financed by popular subscription, it is an outstanding example of historicist architecture. The monument was designed by José Grases Riera and completed by Teodoro Anasagasti, while the equestrian statue crowning it is the work of Mariano Benlliure.

Currently, the lake offers several activities within the Estanque del Retiro Municipal Sports Centre such as rowing boats(100 boats are available, two of which are accessible to people in wheelchairs), solar boat (wheelchair accessible) and solar classroom and the Municipal Kayaking School, for children and young adults aged 7 to 17. 

Estanque del Parque de El Retiro / Monumento a Alfonso XII
Estanque Grande de El Retiro

Boat hire

Sports area


Global Accesibility

The pier and the solar boat are adapted for wheelchair access.

Two of the rowing boats are wheelchair accessible through a gate located at the back of the boat.

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Interest data


del Estanque
Tourist area: 
Opening Times: 

Boat rental:

Mon - Sun: 10am - 2pm / 3:30-8pm

Solar boat: Tue-Sun and Public holidays: 10am- 1:30pm. / 4pm - sunset (depending on the time of year) (see official website)

Closed:  24th, 25th and 31st December, 1st January

From 26 June, you can rent a boat using the "Madrid Movil" app or on the website To do this, go to the section ‘Madrid es Deporte’ (Madrid is Sport) and in the section  ‘Clases abiertas’ (Open classes) you can choose the venue and book a rental boat in advance.

Tipo información turística: 
(+34) 91 574 40 24
Atocha Renfe (L1)
Estación del Arte (Antigua Atocha) (L1)
Ibiza (L9)
Príncipe de Vergara (L2, L9)
Retiro (L2)
Local train (Cercanías): 
1, 2, 9, 15, 19, 20, 26, 28, 51, 52, 60, 61, 63, 74, 146, 152, C1, C2

To rent a boat for 45 minutes, call 915744024 for bookings.

Maximum capacity 50 boats.

Boats (price per boat): Mon - Fri: €6 / Sat – Sun and Public Hols: €8

(People over the age of 65 get a 70% discount on rental from Monday to Friday (non-public holidays) before 2pm, having previously proven their age at the ticket office, or presenting their card)

Tickets include boat rental for 45 minutes with a maximum of four occupants. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18.

Solar Boat: €2