Things To Do Near Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Madrid's main square, Plaza Mayor, was once the center of the city's public life. The majestic cobblestone square - ringed by three-story balconies and porticos - held bullfights, markets, even public executions. While markets are still held there, like the annual Christmas market, public executions have given way to café tables and buskers. Today the Plaza Mayor and its surrounding area are still a vibrant slice of Madrid, and full of historic sights. Our first pick for things to do near the Plaza Mayor is only a stone's throw away from the square - San Miguel market. The historic façade houses a foodie wonderland for sampling gourmet Spanish and international foods. The Puerta del Sol is considered the center of Spain and the heart of Madrid. The historic square is especially good for people watching and a little break from shopping in the surrounding streets. But make sure you take a peek at the Kilometer Zero plaque on the sidewalk - it's the point from which all of Spain's highways are measured - and gaze up at the bell tower which chimes in Spain's New Year annually. Take a stroll through the elegant Plaza de Oriente square filled with statues of Spain's royalty and manicured gardens beside the monumental white façade of the 18th century Royal Palace. Inside, the Royal Palace is a fine historical fete of lavish interiors and works of art. We are especially drawn to the red velvet Throne Room, the rather unique Porcelain Room, and the Royal Armory - exhibited in a separate wing of the palace.

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

Puerta del Sol

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Calle Mayor & Plaza Puerta del Sol

Literally the center of Spain... read more

Plaza de Oriente

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Opposite the Royal Palace (Palacio Real)
across from the Palacio Real

A large square opposite the Royal Palace... read more

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

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Calle de Bailén
Plaza de Oriente

Sumptuous royal interiors... read more

Plaza de la Cebada

Plaza de la Cebada

Trendy bars and restaurants... read more

El Corte Inglés

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Calle Preciados, 3

Spain's department store... read more

Plaza de la Villa

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Plaza de la Villa (off Calle Mayor)

Atmospheric medieval square... read more

expert pick

Iglesia de San Isidro (Colegiata)

Toledo, 37

Paintings and tomb of San Isidro... read more

Basílica de San Francisco El Grande

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Plaza de San Francisco, s/n

Valuable Paintings in a Grand Church... read more

Museo de San Isidro

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Plaza de San Andrés, 2

Madrid as it was before becoming capital... read more
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