There’s perhaps no more Spanish stop you can make in Madrid than Plaza de Colón. Spanish because not only is it home to the largest Spanish flag in the world, but the square commemorates one of the country’s most famous historic figures, Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish, hence the plaza’s name). As such, the square has a statue in Columbus’s honor, in addition to three giant rock-like sculptures dedicated to the discovery of America.
The square is located along the border of the Chamberí and Salamanca neighborhoods as well as two of the city’s most famous streets: Serrano, known especially for its high-end shopping; and Paseo de la Castellana, the stroll-friendly, north-south thoroughfare. It’s also surrounded by other visit-worthy sights, which include the Spanish National Library, the recently opened National Archeology Museum, and the Fernán Gómez Theater (which sits below the plaza, and often hosts intriguing exhibitions).
Colón is a great meeting and resting point, as it is packed with benches and sits at the crossroads of various sights. If you don’t come here by foot — indeed, it is a slight walk from the main tourist center — you may wish to visit it on a bus tour or GPS-guided GoCar tour.