Madrid’s Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is one of the main squares located in Madrid's bustling city centre. A must see for those keen on taking in stunning architecture, or simply spending a few hours people watching in a beautiful historic setting.

Classic Architecture

Madrid’s Plaza Mayor (Main Square in English) is famous for its a large rectangular shape. Three story residential buildings with beautiful balconies overlook the square. Various Classic architects have contributed to its design over the years, and Spanish architect Juan de Villanueva completed the square in 1790 after three enormous fires caused major damage.

Watch The World Go By

It’s great to walk around the Plaza day dreaming about the thrilling events that have taken place (executions, bullfights, inquisition trials..!). Bars and cafés nestled in the arches around the square offer the perfect place to enjoy some serious people watching. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try one of the famous calamari sandwiches? Prices can be high, but it’s definitely worth sitting down and enjoying the ambience.

Interesting Fact

Plaza Mayor has had many different names since it was commissioned in 1620, including Plaza del Arrabal, Plaza Real and Plaza de la Constitución. Its name has jumped back and forth depending on the political state of the country at the time. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, the square was renamed again as Plaza Mayor. This time it seems to have stuck!