Plaza Mayor is a large square in central Madrid. It serves today as a meeting place for tourists and locals alike, and has played host to a variety of festivities throughout history, including bull fights, soccer matches, and executions during the Spanish Inquisition.
The plaza was built in the early 17th century during King Felipe III's reign - the central statue is a nod to him overseeing the project's completion. Forming the outer walls are a series of three-story residential buildings with balconies overlooking the center, providing excellent views of the action below.
The most prominent of the buildings in the plaza is the Casa de la Panaderia - House of the Baker's Guild, which today serves municipal and cultural functions. There are also several shops and eateries that occupy the ground level of the buildings and provide refreshments for hungry and thirsty travelers admiring the square.
The hop-on-hop-off tour is the best way to see the main highlights of Madrid! I would highly recomend this to anyone who doesnt have too many days to spend in the city but would like to see as much as possible.
My friend and I absolutely loved our bike tour of Madrid. It covered all the key historical and cultural attractions whilst enjoying additional scenes from the bike route itself. The tour was perfectly timed at each stage, with plentiful information from our enthusiastic tour guide Yop, and a refreshment break half way through. It was definitely worthwhile for an enjoyable way to see the best of Madrid.
Review by Leilani S M, May 2013
Doing what: Madrid Super Saver: Madrid Illuminations Evening Tour and Flamenco Show at Torres Bermejas
Very nice to see Madrid during the night. Flamenco show a bit long and started a bit late, but worth it. Very entertaining. They even dropped everyone off at their respective hotels! Super, since it was late and we were tired.
Plaza Mayor has undergone many changes over the centuries. Victim to three fires, the buildings surrounding the plaza have been rebuilt each time. The most recent update to the plaza was the addition of colorful frescos in 1992.
Also nearby is the popular Puerta del Sol, another landmark plaza of Madrid.