Once the beating heart of the city’s cultural life, Plaza Mayor has played host to bullfights, markets, symphonies, tournaments, and even executions. Originally built outside the city walls, the square is now ringed with trendy shops, restaurants, and alfresco cafes, ideal for soaking up the atmosphere and watching the buzzing street life. The enormous square, which at its center features an iconic equestrian statue of King Phillip III, is easily accessible by one of many walkways connected to the surrounding pedestrian streets. At its northern end, the square is enclosed by a two-towered municipal building, housing an informative visitor center where you can pick up maps of the city and arrange for sightseeing tours in and around the historic district. Arrange to visit Plaza Mayor and other attractions in Madrid using our Madrid road trip planning app .
Plaza Mayor Tours
Madrid Hop-on Hop-off Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $26
Duration: 2 days
Madrid Walking Tour at Night with Optional Flamenco Show BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $20
Duration: 4 hours
Guided Walking Tour of Historical Madrid BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $41
Plaza Mayor Reviews
We walked from our hotel to SOL which is ground 0 or the center of Madrid. We went down to this area two days in a row. Both days was an amazing adventure and we loved every minute. This area for us i... more »
Es una de las tantas plazas mayores que tiene España.Justo que la fuimos a visitar presenciamos un desfile de carrozas y caballos de época muy pintoresco... no sabría que decirles de otras épocas del ... more »It is one of the many main squares that has Espana.justo that went it to visit we witnessed a parade of carriages and horses of very picturesque period... wouldn't that tell them other times of the year but in winter was seen desolate, a handful of tourists... other the Puerta del Sol, where there is much movement and life throughout the day, maybe is because the main metro lines reach this highlight of the city.
An amazing spot with great architecture and restaurants. The square itself is a photographers dream. With buskers playing music it is a beautiful must see part of Madrid. more »
If you want to relax and people watch from those of all nations, then his is the place to be. Or even if you want to see Spanish life in full motion, go here at night because the lights are on and street performers are out. Sip a chilled sangria or just meander around the plaza. The color is rich and the atmosphere is alive. This is a must if you go to or through Madrid.
You have to do this food market, it's an icon of Madrid, despite being overcrowded at times and expensive. It's a tourist trap that also attracts lots of Spanish (locals?), set in a beautiful building. The cakes counters are not my taste (100% sugar) but the savoury produces are superb, charcuterie, olives, seafood, cold and hot, great quality. I feel compelled to take my guests there, year after year, and will do until I leave Madrid. A must!
Historical spot - touristy today Having stayed a stone's throw away at the nearby Hotel Plaza Mayor we got to see a fair bit of the plaza itself. Today the perimeter is lined with restaurants, cafes and gift shops. Some of the restaurants' seating bleeds into the plaza proper. In fact that is part of the appeal; diners sitting outdoors in the evening, enjoying dinner and being entertained by street musicians. This venue is rich in history. To fully appreciate what you are seeing I recommend reading up a little about it before you visit - there is no shortage of information online or there is the wonderful Rick Steve's guidebook to Spain. The plaza is one of the stops on one of the Madrid walking tours outlined in his guidebook. Many sites of historical significance in Spain have been maintained as such; this is not one of them. Very commercialized. As a place to look around it should not take you more that 10-15 mins. If you are enjoying the atmosphere and you can always linger, soak in the sights and people-watch by dining at one of the many restaurants. Be wary - it can get pricey.
Very famous historical place. Very popular nowdays. That's the reason this place is always busy. There is always a lot of tourist with their cameras, flashes, group guides, etc. I was a bit surprised because there was a lot of homeless people sleeping in their boxes between plaza and other streets around it. Beautiful place, with seeing
A good place to stop and recharge in Madrid while you're looking around the city. There are several shops and cafes with great outdoor seating and relaxing views. I was able to stop here, slow down, and really enjoy the feel and culture of Madrid.
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