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 .
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Plaza Mayor Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
22,656 reviews
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4.5
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  • Not much to see inside the Plaza but picked up a map at the tourist office. Went next door to have lunch at the Mercado but it was so crowded there wasn't even anywhere to sit. We found a little outdo...  more »
  • The square is beautiful and surrounded by countless bars and restaurants. There are streets full of shopping near by as well as a great market. There is construction going on right now, so you can not...  more »
  • Nice square with great atmosphere and places to eat! Worth spending and contemplating its buildings and a coffee quietly!
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  • 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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8 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 45 days in Spain BY A USER FROM INDIA December, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 16 days in Spain & Portugal BY A USER FROM ZIMBABWE August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in Portugal & Spain BY A USER FROM ZIMBABWE August, culture, outdoors, romantic, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in Spain BY A USER FROM INDIA May, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Spain & Portugal BY A USER FROM INDIA April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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