Plaza Mayor
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
About
Huge plaza packed with cafes, bars and tourists.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Plaza Mayor
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Sol
How to get there
  • Ópera • 5 min walk
  • Vodafone Sol • 5 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Cherry_Wonderdog
    New England4,682 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Paw-some!
    What can Cherry Wonderdog say about Plaza Mayor that hasn’t been said by other travel critics? Perhaps in canine it would appear as “Sniff sniff Ah, Plaza Mayor was paw-some! From exploring new scents to wagging my tail at picturesque sights, it had my tail wagging with excitement. The barksome architecture and delicious scenery made me feel like a top dog. I give it five paws up! Woof woof!”
    Visited April 2023
    Written June 3, 2023
  • Abdel Rahman Abdelhalim
    10 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy but Beautiful City Center
    Our tour guide took us for tapas and some beverages and honestly the place felt surreal. Although it is considered a tourist hub, the place was still enjoyable. I’m glad we followed the Madrid Trip Planners travel plan because it was relatively less crowded than expected. There are also some hidden gems that our trip planner Erkut introduced us to, which made the experience much much better. I would definitely recommend Erkut from Madrid Trip Planners for anyone wanting to enjoy their trip to its potential, he knows all the great tour guides.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 23, 2023
  • jeff1955malaysia
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia6,164 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Town square
    The Plaza Mayor or Town Square is an open public square in the centre of Madrid, Spain. It was first built in the fifteen century during the reign of Philip III. Today it is a popular place for tourist.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 4, 2023
  • PaulB
    Maastricht, The Netherlands3,156 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Main Square.
    The Plaza Mayor can be considered to be the main square in central Madrid. Whenever visting Madrid, you'll get here in one way or in another. The square's history goes back to 1576, although the plaza in it’s current appearance was built in the late 18th century. The square is rectangular in shape, 129 by 94 meters and is surrounded by 4-storey residential houses with commercial areas, bars and restaurants on the ground floor. There is a bronze statue of King Philip III in the center of the square.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
  • digitalroc
    Calgary, Canada2,072 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Madrid’s most famous plaza
    Madrid’s grand central square is found in the oldest part of the city. Plaza Mayor was built on the former Plaza del Arrabal, where Madrid’s most popular market was held till the late 16th century. I made two visits here, one was during the day, and the other at 11PM, which was my last night in Spain.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 28, 2023
  • CK2000
    New York City, New York301 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not worth a going out of the way visit
    This is a large open air plaza surrounded by shops (mostly tourist traps) with a statue in the middle. There is not much else to see or experience at this location. In the evening there might be some performers but there are no seats or a fountain. It is mainly a way to take a short cut to various locations around the plaza.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 31, 2023
  • Vadim
    Murmansk, Russia33,662 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Once the square was a theater stage.
    Plaza Mayor probably looks more harmonious than the Puerta del Sol.9 converge here (!!!) the streets of the city through one of which you get here by passing through the arch. The dominant feature of the square was to serve as a monument to King Philip III, who initiated the creation of the square on the site of the previously existing Arrabal Square. Interestingly, the monument to Philip Habsburg was erected here two centuries later, already under the Bourbons. The creation of the square project was entrusted to the Madrid Baroque classic Juan Gomez de Mora. However, like the monument to the king, many of the "features" of the square appeared much later. For example, the strict geometry of the Plaza Mayor buildings of same height is the consequences of the fire of 1790, and not de Mora's idea. De Mora's idea was to create a square-theater. Thousands of spectators were placed on the balconies of the surrounding houses. The performances were, however, often bloody: bullfighting, executions, auto-dafe. The unfortunate were delivered directly from the prison facing the square. However, there were more fun entertainments. Plaza Mayor was the starting or final point of religious processions, carnivals, saints were embraced here and proclaimed kings (Philip V, Fernando VI, Carlos IV). In general, in the XVI-XVIII centuries, the square was the real center of Madrid. now, of course, there is less entertainment. Restaurants (more expensive than on the neighboring streets), collections of philatelists and numismatists.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 3, 2023
  • Margie D
    York, Pennsylvania1,670 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful plaza!
    Beautiful plaza, it's residential buildings are above cafes, restaurants and shops. The Casa de Panadería was once a main bakery and now Tourism office, with frescoes added in the 1900's. There are 9 entrances to the plaza. Early visit was a great time for pictures - by Noon it was filled with people.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 29, 2023
  • RjessMMM
    Vancouver, Washington563 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    People watching plaza
    Wonderful place to simply walk around and people watch. As with many central plazas in Europe it is rimmed with restaurants which tend to be more expensive and food that is not as great. You are really paying for the atmosphere. Would recommend walking the plaza, taking your picture and then find a place to eat that is away from the plaza. Lot of people selling misc items to the tourists so just be careful of your belongings. Enjoy.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 1, 2023
  • gliowst
    Singapore, Singapore56 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Plaza Mayor (Madrid)
    The whole area not very huge but nice to walk about. The square itself was pretty to take photos but there were several restaurants where you could seat alfresco and admiring the square. The shops were mostly for tourists and selling repeated items, all at various range of prices for the same item.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written November 6, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles27,172 reviews
Excellent
12,023
Very good
10,070
Average
4,165
Poor
702
Terrible
212

David I
Madrid, Spain4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
More than 4 centuries of history are crammed into what is without question a harmonious must-see on any visit to Madrid. A good finishing (or starting) point for a wander round the classic Austrias (old city) district, you can relax at one of the terrace bars that spill over the cobbled centre, or wander around the arcades which sometimes play host to collectors' markets. There's even a tourist office smack in the square to check out what's on that week & get the gory details on a plaza once used for bull fighting & for burnings of heretics! Don't miss heading down the steps at the western end, thru the Arco de Cuchilleros, & then doubling back up the Cava de San Miguel street at the rear of the Plaza. On the left is the usually packed market of San Miguel (& its generally good but pricey tapas haunts). But on the Plaza side you will find various cellar bars (known as cuevas- caves) built into the lower floors, specializing in different tapas and frequently playing host to impromptu flamenco & guitar sessions.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fermin P
53 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
This is the main square or plaza of Madrid, you can find some restaurants to have dinner or lunch, or I recommend to go for tapas to the Torre del Oro bar, is by the north-west corner of the square. You'll appreciate the bullfighting culture of Spain, and see lots of instances when the bull has been victorious...
In the plaza you can also see soccer fans gathering before a game, or street performers... grab a chair at a restaurant and enjoy people watching in the afternoon.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew B
Madrid, Spain31 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Plaza Mayor is a lovely square in the heart of Madrid. Around the periphery are an abundance of restaurants offering typical food of the region. The choice is wide and the waiters are super keen to get you into their restaurant, but don’t feel pressured.
As with many Spanish locations, the area doesn’t really come to life until later in the evening. However it’s a great place to stop and have a drink and tapas and people watch before you head elsewhere for your actual dinner.
Be sure if you order a tapas sized portion, that’s what they bring you. We got caught as they served an actual portion (ración) and we were obviously charged accordingly. This also limited how many dishes we could try as we were too full!
If you’re here around lunchtime, try the little café on the corner closest to Calle Atocha, they have fantastic calamari rolls!!
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bruce G
Amherst, NH206 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Plaza Mayor is a lively and picturesque square that was once home to bull fights. Today it is surrounded by one large rectangular building. It has several ports at which to enter the plaza. The first floor is lined with restaurants and shops. The upper floors are either businesses or residents, but are not accessible, at least not that I could find. There is a huge statue in the middle. The plaza is used for things such as Christmas Markets and performances. While we were there in early November they were preparing for the Christmas Markets that would open later that month. It's beautiful and certainly a must see in Madrid. FYI, things open late in Spain. Some restaurants don't open until 1 pm for lunch. Most of the shops don't open until 11 am or later. Not to worry because nearby is Mercado San Miguel which opens early and maybe he best food hall I have ever visited.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Francisco Duarte
Porto, Portugal1,494 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
The Plaza Mayor of Madrid has been playing a social role that dates back to the Middle Ages, that is, an extraordinary space for social interaction. The "plaza mayor" comes from urban planning that combines living in society with beauty and magnificence. They are very similar and have themselves and in the various cities in which they were built. In essence, they are large open spaces in part and protected from sun and rain in another, with the construction of colonnades and balconies. The Plaza Mayor in Madrid is really big and it is the biggest of all. It was built by Philippe III in 1620 and in addition to fulfilling the role of increasing self-esteem and civic splendour, it is now a symbol of Madrid. Because it is essentially a large quadrilateral enclosed in its perimeter, it is a great stage over time for popular festivals, religious festivities, real events and military triumphs. People come together to talk, eat and drink in bars and cafes, as well as to enjoy open-air theatre, concerts and art exhibitions and book fairs. Most events in this square take place on weekends or festive seasons. In the centre of the square you can admire the statue of Philip III, a monarch far ahead of his time.
Written March 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stefania P
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
My stay was simply amazing.
The hotel is in a great location and you can reach everything on foot.
The staff took great care of us and was super prepared regarding the healthy and safety procedures. Everybody was wearing the mask and hand sanitizer was always available.
The SPA is super new and we enjoyed a treatment there (highly recommended)
The style of the hotel is very edgy and for us the best part was the rooftop pool with a breathtaking view over the city.
We will certainly return there next time in town.
Written August 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Borton World Traveler
New York City, New York1,064 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
Come here to be part of this open square. People gathering around this plaza to sun bathe, people watch or to eat at nice expensive cafe restaurants. There is a tourist information center here for your questions. Lots of panhandling for your euros from “free gifts” to take a photo with costume performers. Come here and enjoy the scene
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Molly M
Bainbridge Island, WA243 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This plaza is enclosed by buildings on all four sides, most of which have interesting architecture as well as a bronze statue in the center. What is not pleasing about this plaza is the number of people dressed in character costumes trying to have a photo taken with you in exchange for a gratuity. I understand people need to make a living, just wish it was a culturally aligned means of doing so.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA9,561 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
Early December 2019.

One of the prettiest open spaces in Spain. A gorgeous combination of imposing architecture, historical tales and vibrant street life. Grand arcaded building’s surrounding it on all four sides. Hundreds of locals and visitors milking about. There’s always something going on , whether it’s an impromptu street performance or the holiday Christmas market.

Written April 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DAMIAN McG
Southport, UK5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Lots of restaurant in the square al provided standard fare. For the centre of a capital city centre prices were good.
Too many street hawkers..beggars
Some great calamari rolls at 6€..from many seller
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Plaza Mayor - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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