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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 4,041 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 Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...

    Hotel Riu Plaza EspañaAU$186

    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

      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. Teatro Lara and Teatro Rialto are also within ...

        NH Collection Madrid Gran VíaAU$212

        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. Teatro Lara and Plaza de Cibeles are ...

          Iberostar Las Letras Gran ViaAU$211

          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

            Petit Palace Plaza del Carmen

            Petit Palace Plaza del Carmen

            Plaza del Carmen, 4, Madrid, Madrid
              4.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Preciados Street, Gran Via Street and Puerta del Sol. Lope de Vega Theatre and Plaza Mayor are also ...

              Petit Palace Plaza del CarmenAU$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$185

                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 Plaza de España are also ...

                  Hyatt Centric Gran Via MadridAU$295

                  *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.