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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


Map

Lodging Near Puerta del Sol

See all 2,583 properties near Puerta del Sol

Estimated price for 1 night/2 adults

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 from La Equitativa Building, Casino de Madrid, and Church of las Calatravas. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts and ...

    Hotel ReginaAU$126

    4 Aug - 5 Aug

    Hotel Atlantico Madrid

    Hotel Atlantico Madrid

    Gran Via 38, Madrid, Madrid
      4.0 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Centro, this hotel is steps 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$203

      4 Aug - 5 Aug

      Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid

      Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid

      Calle Imperial, 8, Madrid
        4.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in Centro, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. Almudena Cathedral and El Rastro are also within 10 minutes. Tirso ...

        Pestana Plaza Mayor MadridAU$230

        13 Aug - 14 Aug

        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$189

          11 Aug - 12 Aug

          Dear Hotel Madrid

          Dear Hotel Madrid

          Gran Via 80, Madrid
            4.0 out of 5.0
             
             
            4.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

            This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Madrid, walking distance from Teatro Coliseum, Plaza de España, and Lope de Vega Theatre. Also nearby are Gran ...

            Dear Hotel MadridAU$174

            4 Aug - 5 Aug

            Hotel Emperador

            Hotel Emperador

            Gran Via 53, Madrid, Madrid
              4.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Centro, this hotel is steps from Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Gran Via Street, and Lope de Vega Theatre. Plaza de España and Teatro Rialto are also ...

              Hotel EmperadorAU$170

              4 Aug - 5 Aug

              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$206

                21 Jul - 22 Jul

                Hotel Paseo del Arte

                Hotel Paseo del Arte

                Atocha 123, Madrid, Madrid
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Literary Quarter, this hotel is steps from Lavapies, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, and Paseo del Prado. Prado Museum and CaixaForum Madrid ...

                  Hotel Paseo del ArteAU$129

                  15 Aug - 16 Aug