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 apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Callao, Plaza de Espana and Puerta del Sol. Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is steps away from La Equitativa Building, Casino de Madrid and Church of las Calatravas. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Real Casa de la Aduana are also within 5 minutes.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Rialto, Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. Plaza de Espana and Royal Palace 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 Puerta del Sol are also within 10 minutes.
This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Casino Gran Via, Puerta del Sol and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Prado Museum and Plaza Mayor are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is steps away from Plaza del Carmen and Puerta del Sol. Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Espana are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Gran Via, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Santo Domingo, Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. Plaza de Espana and Royal Palace are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Barrio de las Letras, this boutique hotel is steps away from Plaza del Angel and Plaza de Santa Ana.