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Plaza Mayor

Make your way to Madrid's iconic cobbled square and stroll past artists' stalls, listen to local street musicians, or sit down in the porticos to enjoy a coffee.

Once a marketplace, then a bull-ring and even an execution square, Plaza Mayor has transformed and evolved significantly through the ages. Felipe II commissioned a public square to be built here, which was completed according to the designs of the architect Juan Gómez de Mora in 1619. Having been destroyed by a series of enormous fires, it was finally rebuilt in 1790 and has managed to survive in this incarnation until the present day.

There's no need to come here with any specific purpose. Just have a wander and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the classy residential buildings that border the plaza. The square is dominated by the Casa de la Panaderia, which, in the past, housed Madrid's bakers' guild, and which today provides a home for the tourist information centre. At the centre of the square you'll find the statue of Felipe III atop his horse, the work of Giambologna and Pietro Tacca. The piece was made in 1616, but it was only placed in the square in the 19th century as a result of all the building work and repairs being undertaken here.

Plaza Mayor is now a favourite place for artists to come and sell their work and for street performers and musicians to show off their skills. It's also a popular place for public celebrations to take place; check out local tourist information resources to see what's going on during your visit.

The walkways that run around the square provide a break from the sunshine, and are lined with boutiques, cafés and restaurants. You should be aware, however, that the restaurants here can be quite pricey.

Plaza Mayor is in a district called Las Austrias which is an interesting area to walk around. The square itself is accessible via Ópera and Puerta del Sol metro stations, and is not far from the Casa del Ayuntamiento and the Royal Palace. It's always open, and the restaurants serve until late into the evening.


Guide to Exploring around Plaza Mayor


Lodging Near Plaza Mayor

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Hotel Riu Plaza España

Hotel Riu Plaza España

C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    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$176

    Hotel Regina

    Hotel Regina

    Alcala 19, Madrid, Madrid
      3.0 out of 5.0
       
       
      4.5 out of 5 (2 reviews)

      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 ...

      Hotel ReginaAU$144

      Hotel Atlantico Madrid

      Hotel Atlantico Madrid

      Gran Via 38, Madrid, Madrid
        4.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        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$206

        Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

        Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

        Gran Via 11, Madrid, Madrid
          4.0 out of 5.0
           
           
          5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

          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$196

          Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques-Leading Hotels of the World

          Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques-Leading Hotels of the World

          Cuesta de Santo Domingo, 5, Madrid, Madrid
            5.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Centro, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Royal Theatre and Plaza de Oriente. Sabatini Gardens and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes. ...

            Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques-Leading Hotels of the WorldAU$436

            ME Madrid by Melia

            ME Madrid by Melia

            Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, Madrid, Madrid
              4.5 out of 5.0
               
               

              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$228

              Gran Vía Capital

              Gran Vía Capital

              Gran Via 48, Madrid, Madrid
                4.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Centro, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Callao, Plaza de España and Plaza Mayor. Royal Palace and Plaza de Cibeles ...

                Gran Vía CapitalAU$169

                NH Collection Madrid Gran Vía

                NH Collection Madrid Gran Vía

                Gran Via 21, Madrid, Madrid
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  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$232

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.