The Plaza Mayor is one of Madrid’s best-known public places. Its cobbled courtyard is surrounded by stylish restaurants, boutiques, bars and cafés. It was a chaotic market back in the 16th century until King Felipe II commissioned a proper public square. The plaza was completed in 1619 under the supervision of architect Juan Gómez de Mora, but would burn down three times before the present version was constructed in 1790.
Walk through the plaza, soak up the atmosphere and admire the elegant architecture. Look up to see some of Madrid’s most expensive residential real estate or turn your eyes to the painted façade of the Casa de la Panaderia. It was once the headquarters of the Bakers’ Guild, but today houses a tourist information center. Head to the middle of the plaza to see a statue of King Felipe III on horseback created by Giambologna and Pietro Tacca. It was erected in 1616 but moved to the plaza during renovations in the 19th century.
Continue exploring to see artists selling their work, street performers and musicians. The plaza is still used for public celebrations and other festivities, so be sure to check local event guides to see what is scheduled during your visit. Wander along the walkways and duck into boutiques or grab a coffee and a bite to eat. There are several restaurants and cafés around the plaza, but take note that prices can be high.
Walk through one of nine gateways and admire the rest of Madrid’s Los Austrias quarter. The Plaza Mayor is in the center of the city and accessible from other major destinations including the Casa del Ayuntamiento and Royal Palace. The closest metro stations are Ópera and Puerta del Sol. You can visit the plaza at all hours of the day and night, and most restaurants stay open quite late.
Located on central Madrid's main artery, the Gran Via, opposite Plaza Callao, this historical building reflects early 20th-century eclectic style with ornate stucco work topped by a French cupola.
Located in Gran Via, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Rialto, Plaza Mayor, and Plaza de Espana. Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Barrio de las Letras, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza del Angel, Plaza Mayor, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Prado Museum and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia are also within 15 minutes.
Grand hotel on Madrid's famous central thoroughfare of Gran Via, less than 1 kilometer from Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace, and Puerta del Sol, and 2 kilometers from the Prado art gallery, and Retiro Park.
Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Joy Madrid and Plaza Mayor. Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Gran Via, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Isabel II, Plaza Mayor, and Royal Palace. Almudena Cathedral and Plaza de Espana are also within 10 minutes.
This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Madrid, steps from Teatro Coliseum and Plaza de Espana. Also nearby are Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace.
Located in Barrio de las Letras, this hostel is within a 5-minute walk of Santa Cruz Palace and Plaza Mayor. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and El Rastro are also within 10 minutes.