Puerta del Sol, or “Sun Gate,” is Madrid’s beating heart. It was once at the eastern extremity of the city and the location of a medieval gate decorated with the rising sun, from which it gets its name. Today it’s the city’s main public square, hosting everything from political demonstrations to New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Stroll the square and admire the grand old buildings, gaze at the iconic statues and watch Madrileños go about their day. In the center is a statue of King Carlos III, who commissioned much of the city’s infrastructure and public works projects.
Turn your eyes to the Casa de Correos. The red and beige building was constructed in the 1760s and served as the city’s post office for several decades. It later housed the Interior Ministry and the police headquarters under Franco. Today it’s home to the Presidential Council of the Community of Madrid.
Look up to see the clock tower that all Spaniards turn to for the countdown on New Year’s Eve. It’s a local tradition to eat a grape for each of the 12 chimes at midnight. Find the Kilómetre Cero plaque in front of the tower building; the plaque marks the center of Spain’s six national roads.
At the eastern side of the square is Madrid’s most famous statue, the Bear and the Madroño Tree. It’s the symbol of the city and is on everything from the coat of arms to taxi doors. Head over to the replica Mariblanca statue that marks the spot where a fountain once stood.
Puerta del Sol is surrounded by busy streets packed with boutiques, bars and restaurants. Choose a direction and start exploring. It’s the center of the city and the place where locals and tourists alike stop to get their bearings and plan their day.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Callao, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Espana. Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro Rialto and Plaza de Espana. Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Casino Gran Via and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Prado Museum and Plaza Mayor are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Salamanca, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Casa Arabe, Las Ventas and El Retiro Park. Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Located in Centro, this hostal is within a 5-minute walk of Royal Theatre, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Oriente. Plaza de la Villa is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) away.
This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Madrid, steps away from Teatro Coliseum and Plaza de Espana. Also nearby are Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza del Carmen and Plaza Mayor. Plaza de Espana and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are also within 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Liria Palace, Comillas Pontifical University and Oeste Park. Plaza de Espana and Cuartel del Conde Duque are also within 10 minutes.