Things To Do Near Puerta del Sol in Madrid

It's impossible to get more central than the Puerta del Sol. The surrounding area is full of shops and historical sights, and makes a great starting point for touring the city. Like the center of a wheel or a sun, the Puerta del Sol is considered the heart of downtown Madrid as well as the place from which all distances in Spain are measured.

A two minute walk away, our top pick for things to do near the Puerta del Sol is the Plaza Mayor. The large historic square has beautiful architecture and often holds public events. Otherwise, buskers and artists are a common sight there. The square is also ringed by shops and restaurants, including outdoor tables for year round al fresco dining.

Our second pick is the cultural and gastronomic treat that is San Miguel market, which is similar to Borough Market in London or the Ferry Building in San Francisco. There you can get a taste of Spain and feast on Spanish tapas, wine, cheese, and specialties at the different food stalls.

The lavish church of the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales made it as our third pick. As the place where long ago Spanish royals and nobles sent their unmarried daughters, here you can see how past royal patronage really paid off in the richness of materials and artworks.

Our fourth pick is the Plaza de Chueca. This square is the focal point for the trendy Chueca neighborhood and all its hip shops, restaurants, and bars.

Plaza Mayor

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Plaza Mayor

The medieval heart of a modern city... read more

Mercado de San Miguel (San Miguel Market)

Plaza de San Miguel
Plaza de San Miguel

Historic ironwork on the outside, gourmet food stalls on the inside... read more

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales (Monastery of the Barefoot Royals)

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Plaza de las Descalzas Reales s/n
Plaza de las Descalzas Reales s/n

National heritage monument... read more

Plaza de Chueca

Plaza de Chueca

Madrid's Gay Hot Spot... read more

El Corte Inglés

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Calle Preciados, 3

Spain's department store... read more

Congreso de los Diputados

Carrera de San Jerónimo

Spanish Parliament... read more

Plaza de la Villa

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Plaza de la Villa (off Calle Mayor)

Atmospheric medieval square... read more

Iglesia de San Ginés

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Calle del Arenal 13

Important paintings & curious... read more

Monasterio de la Encarnación

Plaza de la Encarnación 1

Madrid's baroque religious art... read more

Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Fine Arts Museum)

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Calle Alcalá, 13

Superb collection of old paintings... read more
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