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Plaza Mayor of Madrid

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  • Post last modified:28/02/2024

One of the tourist epicenters of Madrid. The Plaza Mayor is a special attraction in Madrid. Commissioned by Felipe II in 1581, the Plaza has undergone all kinds of transformations and improvements. Its architect Juan de Herrera, the architect of the Monastery of El Escorial, organized the Plaza in such a way as to accommodate all kinds of events in the city.

Today the Plaza Mayor, having survived 3 fires – 1631, 1670 and 1790 – is a tourist area and a special center for events (cultural, leisure, political and social). Restaurants, souvenir stores, philatelic stores and bars surround the Plaza. It is located very close to the Puerta de El Sol, and many special alleys.

The equestrian statue of Philip III watches over the Plaza, was placed in 1848 and is the work of Juan de Bolonia and Pietro Tacca.

The Plaza Mayor of Madrid in a Flash

What to do in the Plaza Mayor

Eating, even though it is not the best alternative, since the existing restaurants are usually expensive, taking advantage of the fact that there are tourists. It is a bit paradoxical, the more tourists the lower the price. We recommend eating a sandwich or tapas in one of the side taverns. An excellent option is the Market of San Miguel, leaving the west side of the Plaza Mayor, there you will find, among other things, dried fruits, fragrant wines, bakery, pastry, fresh pasta, tapas bars, among others.

To buy. Souvenirs and other things. There are no brand stores and great fashion, but rather souvenir stores.

Get information. There is an official tourist information center. It is usually open from Monday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 8.30 pm. Among the services offered: Guided tours, free public Internet access, free Wi-Fi connection, etc.

What to see and Photograph.

It is an ideal place to take pictures, full of tourists and locals. Photograph preferably in the early morning or late afternoon. What to photograph:

  • The statue of Philip III
  • The balconies and windows of the building
  • The Cuchillero Arch
  • The view towards Toledo Street
  • The Bakery House
  • Among others

What to visit

Visiting the San Miguel Market, recently remodeled, is a valid alternative for the visitor.

Parking. The basement of the Plaza Mayor is a public parking lot, an option for those who come by car to the center of Madrid, although it is not very advisable.

Points of Interest in the Plaza

Knifemakers Arch

It is one of the arches (doors) of access to the Plaza, located to the southwest of the Plaza, work of Juan de Villanueva and its name is given by the street of the same name to which it leads.

San Miguel Market.

Built in 1916, renovated in 2009, the new San Miguel market reopened. An excellent option for visitors.

Statue of Philip III

In the center of the Plaza, a photograph for the memory.

Other nearby places of interest

  • San Miguel Market
  • Puerta del Sol
  • Mayor Street
  • Plaza de La Villa