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Puerta del Sol

Serving as the capital's focal point, no visit to Madrid is complete without a trip to this central square.

Puerta del Sol began its days as the site of one of Madrid's easternmost gates. The gate was adorned with a figure of the rising sun – hence the name Puerta del Sol, which translates as “Gate of the Sun”. Today, the square is the throbbing heart of the city and provides a backdrop for political marches and public celebrations, while also being a popular place for people to meet.

The open and spacious pedestrian area is an ideal place for a moment's rest while you watch the locals go about their daily business. Once you're there, take in the attractive old buildings that rise up all around you. You'll note that there are a number of statues here too, not least the monument to King Carlos III which is the square's centrepiece. The statue commemorates the king responsible for commissioning much of the city's public works.

The grand red and beige building is the Real Casa de Correos, built in the mid-18th century for the postal service, later the headquarters of the Interior Ministry and the police. It still serves an administrative role today as the seat of the President of the Community of Madrid.

Another edifice you won't fail to notice is the iconic clock tower which leads the New Year's countdown for the entire country. The tradition is to eat one grape for each of the 12 chimes of the bell on the stroke of midnight. Just in front of the tower you’ll see a plaque which marks “Kilómetre Cero”. This is officially the midpoint of Spain’s road network, and many consider it to be the centre of Spain.

If you wander over to the east side of the square you're likely to see a crowd of people hanging around near a statue. This is the Bear and the Madroño Tree, a popular rendez-vous point for locals and the symbol which appears on the city's coat of arms. Once you've seen this statue, you'll start seeing the symbol everywhere you look!

Puerta del Sol is served by the metro. There are bars and restaurants on pretty much all the streets that lead away from it and makes a great starting point for a walk around Madrid.


Guide to Exploring around Puerta del Sol


Lodging Near Puerta del Sol

See all 4,754 Properties near Puerta del Sol
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 Calle de la Princesa, Gran Via Street and Teatro Coliseum. Royal Palace of Madrid and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...

    Hotel Riu Plaza EspañaAU$136

    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 luxury hotel is steps away from Plaza de Santa Ana and Teatro Espanol. Congress of Deputies and Plaza Mayor are also within ...

      ME Madrid by MeliaAU$246

      Hotel Madrid Gran Vía 25, managed by Melia

      Hotel Madrid Gran Vía 25, managed by Melia

      Gran Via 25, Madrid, Madrid
        3.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Casino Gran Via and Gran Via Street. Puerta del Sol and Teatro Rialto are also within 10 minutes. Gran Via Station ...

        Hotel Madrid Gran Vía 25, managed by MeliaAU$111

        Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid

        Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid

        Gran Via 31, Madrid, Madrid
          5.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Located in Centro, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gran Via Street, Puerta del Sol, and Teatro Lara. Plaza Mayor and Teatro Rialto are also within ...

          Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

          Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá - The 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. Royal Palace of Madrid and Sabatini Gardens are also within ...

            Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the WorldAU$540

            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 steps away from Casino Gran Via and Gran Via Street. Puerta del Sol and Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum are also ...

              Iberostar Las Letras Gran ViaAU$159

              Hotel Moderno

              Hotel Moderno

              Calle Arenal 2, Madrid, Madrid
                3.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel and Royal Palace of Madrid. Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum ...

                Catalonia Puerta del Sol

                Catalonia Puerta del Sol

                Atocha 23, Madrid, Madrid
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Literary Quarter, this hotel is steps away from Plaza del Angel and Plaza de Santa Ana. Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor are also within 10 minutes. ...

                  Catalonia Puerta del SolAU$164

                  *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.
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