All over the Madrid you will never be too far from a plaza (aka a square). The city is full of them and they make for the perfect place to take a break in a terrace with a drink or simply just on the steps of a monument. Here are 10 of or our favourite Madrid city squares….
1. Puerta del Sol
Translating as the ‘Gate of the Sun’, Puerta del Sol is one of Madrid’s busiest squares. There are lots of famous attractions around this square including the Tio Pepe lighted sign, the statue of a bear and a madrone tree which is the symbol of Madrid, and it’s also the exact centre (0Km) of Spain.
2. Plaza de Cibeles
Just off of Gran Via where Calle de Alcala meets Paseo del Prado you will find the site of one of Madrid’s most iconic images – Plaza de Cibeles. Unlike most of the other city squares, this view has to be admired from the footpaths as the centre area where the fountain lies is actually one of the city’s busiest traffic hubs.
3. Plaza Mayor
Perhaps the fanciest of Madrid’s plazas, this popular city square is enclosed by buildings with nine entrance archways. It’s surrounded by cafes and restaurants, a tourist office and its centrepiece is a bronze statue of King Philip III on a horse.
4. Plaza de la Villa
Not too far from Plaza Mayor you will find the picturesque Plaza de la Villa. This pretty square is also one of the quieter ones and is home to Casa de la Villa, the former Town Hall.
5. Plaza del Callao
As you wander through Gran Via keep an eye out for another city plaza – Plaza del Callao. This busy square is bustling with people and cars, but take a moment to take in its surrounding art-deco architecture, particularly that of the Callao Cinema Building and the Carrion Building with its neon Schweppes billboard.
6. Plaza de España
One of our favourite plazas in Madrid, Plaza España can be found on the western end of Gran Via. It’s a great place to cool off on a bench under some trees and take in the fountains along with the famous monuments. The centre monument is dedicated to Spanish novelist, poet and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and includes a bronze sculpture of Don Quixote.
7. Plaza Santa Ana
The best time to explore this popular Madrid square is once the sun goes down and both locals and tourists come out to play. Plaza Santa Ana is a popular area in the city for nightlife with lots of great bars and restaurants in the plaza and surrounding streets. Also, the square becomes one big terrace for tables and seats which makes for a great atmosphere.
8. Plaza Oriente
This open square is set against the stunning backdrop of The Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid). This plaza has a relaxed vibe with its gardens and trees to the side making it the perfect place to take in the palace, particularly at night when it is illuminated.
9. Plaza de Ramales
A lesser known and very peaceful square, Plaza de Ramales is well worth checking out if even only briefly for its beautiful stunning architecture. But if you have the time, grab a seat in one of the terraces and enjoy a drink in this relaxed city plaza.
10. Plaza de Paja
Another city square where you can relax in a cafe terrace is Plaza de Paja. However, if you find yourself in this square in the La Latina district on a Sunday you will find it tough to find a seat as the plaza and its surroundings are a popular place for food and drinks, especially on the last day of the weekend.