One of the first things to visit in Madrid for a taste of the architecture and street life of the place. The plaza is big and lively with a lot of performers and hucksters at work for the many tourists that pass through the place. What I liked about this square was the preservation of traditional stores and their signs, all going back to the 19th Century and beyond. Plaza Mayor is a kind of hub that can lead off to other interesting parts of the old city like La Latina and Plaza Oriente.
Have a coffee or a snack in the plaza and watch the street life, but avoid a big meal as it tends to be expensive and basic, tourist-level quality.
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