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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  • Stroll through the main square takes US back to the Madrid of two centuries ago. It has a particular charm. Invited to take bleeding in one of its bars.
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  • Great atmosphere and ideal to watch the world go by whilst having a drink in one of the many restaurants  more »
  • Great story this square, has lived above e fires, many deaths and reforms. Worth visiting and eating Squid in one of its bars. Eye care that there are prices for foreigners
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Google
  • When in Madrid, do stop by Plaza Mayor. It is centrally located. Come in the day and at night. The vibes vary. During the day, you will see tourists taking in the sights and taking photos. At night, you will see Families, Couples and Groups just spending time together. Be aware there are lots of street vendors selling trinkets, the locals will warn you to watch your belongings. There are also several performers. We went in June and the Plaza can get crowded but not for long periods at a time. Patience is a virtue in famous places such as this. There are several restaurants and the San Miguel Market (well known for its tapas) is a two minute walk from it. There are also several shops to look for various souvenirs and local products.
  • A nice place to swing by on your way to other sights in the city. I don't know if this is year round but when I was there, they had botellones there at night. Go buy some wine or beer and a snack while your at it. Bring your friends and sit down and join a large group of locals just enjoying each other's company late at night.
  • One of the touristy "must see" but there is not very much to see or do. Guess if you have a guide who can tell about this square, you might get a better picture. Overall it's a nice place filled with tourists, street artists and outside cafes.
  • Its necessary to visit, its historic and sometimes if your lucky you can see artitstic events or interventions. Last time I went, there was a patch of grass in the middle of Plaza Mayor. The plaza was full but everyone was sitting and enjoying the grass.
  • Good space, worth visiting. Have a look further down beyond the square and you are in the excellent tapas/bar area... Start at the Square if you wish but walk down into the tapas area.

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Where to stay in Madrid

The Spanish capital is known for its array of distinct neighborhoods each with its own appeal. An affordable and easy-to-navigate metro system, which makes it is easy to get around Madrid gives you more flexibility in choosing where to stay. Perhaps the most popular choice is Puerta del Sol, the heart of the city center and one of the main tourist attractions with its numerous shops, affordable hotels, and restaurants. Close by is Gran Via street, one of the city's main arteries, which is also home to a number of hotels. A short walk from here is Plaza España where the city's most iconic landmarks lie, including the Royal Palace and the Teatro Royal. For somthing outside the traditional tourist areas, consider staying in La Latina or Malasaña, two bohemian neighborhoods that offer a wide range of eclectic shops, quaint cafes, and lively bars.
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