Right in the heart of Madrid, on the border of three districts and at a point where three of the city's main roads meet, Plaza de Cibeles is an unexpected pearl. For those of you who are prone to wandering around cities, it’s quite likely you’ll end up passing through here anyway; for those of you who aren’t, it’s well worth making the trip to have a look around.
On one side, you'll notice a white, grandiose palace with towers that seem straight out of a fairytale. This is the Palacio de Cibeles, also known as the Palacio de Comunicaciones. The palace started life as the headquarters of the postal service at the beginning of the 20th century and, since 2007, it has served as Madrid's city hall.
Over on the other side of the plaza stands the Palacio de Buenavista, surrounded by a lush garden. Once the residence of the Duchess of Alba, it became the War Ministry midway through the 19th century, and then the Spanish Army headquarters midway through the 20th.
One building it would be hard to miss in the square is the Banco de España. It is enormous; its three storeys stretch themselves out over an entire block.
If you cast your gaze across the square again, you’ll see the Palacio de Linares, constructed in 1900 in the neo-Baroque style as a private mansion. It now accommodates the Casa de América, an organisation that fosters cultural relations between Spain and the Americas. On entering the building you’ll find exhibitions and a museum, as well as a bookshop and restaurant.
The centrepiece is the Fuente de Cibeles, a fountain depicting Cybele, the Roman goddess of fertility, mounted on a chariot drawn by lions. Designed by Ventura Rodriguez for a commission by King Carlos III in the late 18th century, the feature measures 32 metres across and 8 metres in height.
The plaza is located at the point where Paseo del Prado, Calle de Alcalá and Paseo de la Castellana all intersect. It’s easy to get here on foot from Puerta de Alcalá or the Prado Museum, as well as from the Bando de España metro station.
Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...
Hotel Riu Plaza EspañaAU$178
15 Dec. - 16 Dec.
Located in Centro, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via Street, Puerta del Sol, and Paseo del Prado. Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum ...
Iberostar Las Letras Gran ViaAU$198
18 Dec. - 19 Dec.
Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from La Equitativa Building, Casino de Madrid and Church of las Calatravas. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts ...
24 Nov. - 25 Nov.
Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Plaza de Callao, Gran Via Street and Teatro Lara. Teatro Rialto and Lope de Vega Theatre are also within 5 minutes. ...
Hotel Atlantico MadridAU$171
16 Dec. - 17 Dec.
Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via Street, Puerta del Sol and Paseo del Prado. Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum and Teatro ...
NH Collection Madrid Gran VíaAU$210
15 Dec. - 16 Dec.
Located in Salamanca, this luxury hotel is steps away from Golden Mile and Paseo de la Castellana. Paseo del Prado and El Retiro Park are also within 15 minutes. ...
Gran Melia Fénix - The Leading Hotels of the WorldAU$342
15 Dec. - 16 Dec.
Located in Literary Quarter, this family-friendly Madrid hotel is steps away from Plaza de Santa Ana and Teatro Espanol. Congress of Deputies and Thyssen-Bornemisza ...
ME Madrid by MeliaAU$310
25 Nov. - 26 Nov.
Located in Huertas, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum and Prado Museum. El Retiro Park and Museo Nacional Centro ...
NH Collection Madrid SueciaAU$223
22 Dec. - 23 Dec.