"Meet other tourists in Madrid's Plaza Mayor" Plaza Mayor Tip by DanielF

Plaza Mayor, Madrid: 144 reviews and 258 photos

Plazas have traditionally been a key point of the urban grid in such a gregarious society as Spain is. Every city has its main square, where the notions of Roman agora and Arab sook converge to create an open space suitable for commerce and social interaction. Madrid's Plaza Mayor is a model of perfect Castilian market square, arcaded and lined with severe buildings laid down in an almost perfectly symmetric pattern.

The Plaza was initially laid down in the 15th century as a market square and got its current rectangular shape a few centuries later. In spite of different renovation and reconstruction projects, little has changed from that time and the square retains its regal yet austere appearance.

More than just a market square, for centuries, the Plaza Mayor has been the ideal framework to host the most important events in the city, including bullfights, Inquisition trials (autos de fe) and public executions. Today, the plaza has lost much of that importance in terms of commercial activity and meeting point for the locals (the numerous pavement cafes, if very pleasant, are mostly a rip-off where locals seldom go). Nonetheless, it remains a great place to enjoy the company of many other tourists, the street entertainers or the occasional shows provided by the Municipality.

You will find the Plaza Mayor at its most traditional in December, when Madrid's Christmas market is held there, and on Sunday mornings, where philately and numismatic aficionados gather to exchange their items.

Address: Main square of Madrid
Directions: Metro Sol & Opera
Website: http://www.madridtourist.info/plaza_mayor.html

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jun 13, 2008
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Balnea, vina, Venvs”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 6 8 4

Have you been to Madrid?

  Share Your Travels