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 .
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Plaza Mayor
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Plaza Mayor Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
19,813 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It is a tourist site well suited to sit on a terrace and take a snack of squid. So we did. Enjoy the views while you rest and taste a typical dish from the area.
    View original
  • When you go to madrid is a walk must go to the plaza mayor, the plaza next to the adjacent streets have picturesque atmosphere of the madrid of the austrias
    View original
  • Arcaded square that is the heart of the city. Built in 600 is a large rectangular square, completely surrounded by buildings, mainly for residential purposes, all three floors. Facing hundreds of balconies. The access roads are all covered by a vault. The dark red color of the buildings (with the exception of the Casa de la Panaderia, known for its frescoes), the uniformity of architectural styles and the lack of access roads discoveries give the square look slightly morose and make seem smaller than it really is. In the Centre the equestrian statue of King Philip III, who wanted the square to give more dignity to the city. Over the centuries it has been the scene of bullfights, festivals, guest of the Inquisition and even executions. The arcades are home to numerous shops and local bars and restaurants. To see, strolling under the arcades (attention to the many "tourist traps").
    View original
Google
  • 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.
Places to stay near Plaza Mayor

Plan your trip to Madrid

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Plaza Mayor by other users

23 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain BY A USER FROM INDIA January, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 12 days in Europe BY A USER FROM VENEZUELA December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 35 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Europe BY A USER FROM POLAND December, culture, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Spain BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA November, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain & South of France BY A USER FROM INDIA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Spain BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND May, culture, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Spain BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans