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Palacio de Cristal

Modeled on London’s famous Crystal Palace, this 19th-century building is made almost entirely of glass and today hosts regular exhibitions.

The Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) is one of the most photographed monuments in Madrid. This 19th-century glass palace lies at the edge of a lake inside the Parque del Buen Retiro, one of the largest parks in the city. Come to admire the incredible glass and iron architecture of the Crystal Palace, browse seasonal museum exhibitions inside and relax in the surrounding parkland. 

The Palacio de Cristal was built in 1887. It was originally designed by architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco to house exotic flora brought over from the Philippines, which was at the time occupied by the Spanish. The flower display was part of a larger exhibition on the Philippines that took place in the gardens and included a reconstruction of a Philippino village. Today the Crystal Palace is home to contemporary art and museum exhibitions organized by the Museo Reina Sofia of Madrid. 

The design of the structure was based off the Crystal Palace in London, which was built to house the Great Exhibition a few decades before. Like the original Crystal Palace, Madrid’s Palacio de Cristal was designed so that it could be dismantled and moved to another location. 

Admire the palace’s incredible architecture. The Palacio de Cristal is made almost entirely out of glass, which is set on an iron framework and decorated with ceramics. When the palace was built, glass was an exciting new material in architecture that symbolized modernity and progress. 

Visit the monument in the morning to see the light reflect off the glass to create small rainbows of color. The building is surrounded by trees and looks out onto a lake. Photograph the surrounding scenery framed by the arched windows that line the building’s walls.

The Palacio de Cristal is closed on Tuesdays. Opening hours vary depending on the season. The Crystal Palace and Parque del Buen Retiro lie at the edge of the city center and are easily accessible by metro.


Guide to Exploring around Crystal Palace


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Lodging Near Crystal Palace

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$205
Hotel Atlantico Madrid

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4.6
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4.5 out of 5.0

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Novotel Madrid Center

Novotel Madrid Center

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4.4
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The hotel is located in one of the main commercial and residential areas of the center of Madrid, just 5 minutes walk from the Retiro Park and the Puerta de Alcalá. The Paseo del Arte, one of the main cultural centers of Europe, is located 2 km from the hotel, as well as the Puerta del Sol.

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Wellington Hotel

Wellington Hotel

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4.5
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5.0 out of 5.0

This imposing Madrid hotel is adjacent to Retiro Park and Alcala Gate in the Salamanca district, 2 blocks from the Serrano shopping area, and 1 kilometre from the Prado Museum.

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Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

Gran Via 11, Madrid
4.5
of 5, from 1,556 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Its central location in the heart of the city, Gran Via Avenue, allows guests to explore the culture and attractions that surround the hotel such as Thyssen-Bornemisza, Prado Museums, and the Puerta del Sol.

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Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza

Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza

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4.5
of 5, from 660 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in a shopping district, steps from Madrid Stock Exchange, Museo Naval, and National Museum of Decorative Arts. Cason del Buen Retiro and Plaza de Canovas del Castillo are also within 5 minutes.

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Hotel Emperador

Hotel Emperador

Gran Via 53, Madrid
4.1
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4.5 out of 5.0

Grand hotel on Madrid's famous central thoroughfare of Gran Via, less than 1 kilometer from Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace, and Puerta del Sol, and 2 kilometers from the Prado art gallery, and Retiro Park.

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Hotel Paseo del Arte

Hotel Paseo del Arte

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4.3
of 5, from 1,702 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from CaixaForum Madrid and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are also within 15 minutes.

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Hotel Claridge Madrid

Hotel Claridge Madrid

Pza. Conde de Casal, 6, Madrid
4.5
of 5, from 707 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly hotel is located in the city center, within 2 mi (3 km) of Crystal Palace, Prado Museum, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. El Retiro Park and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).