Madrid is a city where revelries continue till dawn; it has a certain vibe that makes you fall in love with it right from the word go. The people of Madrid love their food, music, culture, art, and football, and yes, they definitely love to socialise. The city’s communal squares, better known as ‘plazas’ are quite popular and frequented by locals and tourists. Abuzz with cafes, restaurants, and shops, Spain’s plazas are like the “living room” of its towns and cities. These squares are the centre of all commercial and social activities, pulsating with life and are hard to miss! To live and party like the Spaniards, visit one of the plazas of the city and be assured to come back to the liveliest city on earth.
Here is a list of popular plazas of Madrid that are a must-see…
Plaza de Cibeles
Located in the busiest junction of Madrid, this landmark never ceases to amuse its visitors. The iconic Cibeles Fountain sits perfectly in front of the striking Palacio de Comunicaciones (Palace of Communication); it is where Real Madrid’s fans come to celebrate their La Liga, Spanish Cup and Champions League title wins.
The bronze statue of King Phillip III on a horse, stands tall in the middle of this iconic and historic plaza of Madrid. The grandest of all and a favourite of many, the square is ideal for sipping a cup of coffee in a café or eating your heart out at one of the famous restaurants. It is a must-visit public square, especially during Christmas for shopping and celebration.
Plaza de Colón
It is not hard to spot this square due to the towering statue of Columbus, the legendary seafarer and explorer. Known as the Columbus Square in English, the plaza makes for a great picture, especially during the months of spring, when the surrounding area is in full bloom.
Plaza de Ramales
Surprisingly, this elegant plaza is not flocked by many tourists, hence you can while away your time in peace. Madrid’s most celebrated artist, Diego Velázquez is said to be buried below this square: his remains’ disappearance is still a mystery.
Plaza de Oriente
With dozens of benches, well-maintained gardens and fountains, and the striking backdrop of the Royal Palace, this plaza is a great place to relax and enjoy the life of Madrid. At night, the illuminated palace adds a different charm to the perfect setting.
Plaza de Santa Ana
Poets, artists, and intellects have been visiting this plaza on a regular basis since its design in 1810. It is also a favourite hangout for locals and tourists as this place comes alive in the night with great bars and restaurants.
Plaza de España
Centrally located, this plaza is a popular tourist attraction. The monument right in the centre is dedicated to the great playwright and poet, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who can be seen overlooking the bronze sculptures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza – characters from his famed work.
Plaza de la Villa
This quaint plaza redefines the Madrid-style baroque architecture. The beautiful square once served as the Town Hall. The moment you arrive at this square, you are transported back to the medieval era.
Puerta del Sol
A short walk from Plaza Mayor will land you in the most famous and central square of Madrid – Puerta del Sol. Don’t forget to take a picture of your feet placed on the stone slab of ‘Kilometre Zero’ or the exact centre of Spain – a must-do in this plaza.