Plaza Mayor

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Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain
Plaza Mayor - Winnie the Pooh
Plaza Mayor - Micky/Minnie Mouse
Plaza Mayor - Plaza Mayor (looking inward)
Plaza Mayor - Plaza Mayor (looking inward)
Plaza Mayor - After a while I disapproved of the place - too commercial
Plaza Mayor - Historically interesting
Plaza Mayor - Initially happy to see the place

Plaza Mayor Madrid Reviews

Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Premier square Nov 09, 2011
Located near Sol station, plaza mayor is the city's main square and pretty much in the centre too. The square has had quite a bit of history attached to it as well; it used to be the site for markets, bull fights, football games and even public executions. These days however, the square is more conservative and normal. It's a great spot to people watch, serves as a great meeting point or just as a start off point for other places nearby. The square is lined with many shops, as well as the tourist office, and is not far from many bars and restaurants. When in Madrid, it's worth stopping or starting your sightseeing from this point!!
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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spocklogic spocklog…
325 reviews
Central Square of Madrid - historic but commercial Jul 21, 2009
The Plaza Mayor is Madrid's main square located in the historic centre of the city. The name Mayor simple means oldest or grandest. It dates from the early 17th century (c 1620) when it was inaugurated during the reign of King Philip III, whose equestrian statue sits in the middle of the plaza. The statue was moved from Casa de Campo to Plaza Mayor in 1848. The plaza is rectangular in shape, 423 x 308 feet (129 x 94 m), surrounded on all sides by 3 storey residential buildings with balconies. Large archways provide access for ingress and egress, of which there are 9 in number.

Historically, the space was originally a market place in the middle ages, King Philip II sought to modernize Madrid during his reign and wanted the space turned into a grand square as a center place for festivities. It has played host to bull fights, royal coronations and even executions. Today it is still used as a place for festivities, but tamer ones in modern sensibilities. It is a major tourist attraction with numerous tapas bars and restaurants and shops in the porticos at the base of the surrounding buildings.

From a personal point of view, I could appreciate the history and architecture of the place, but it's rather a tourist trap of sorts. The restaurants and cafes are rather expensive and you will find vendors selling their wares dressed as Winnie the Pooh, Mickey/Minnie Mouse and Darth Vader. Quite tacky really in such a historic place. Nevertheless, it's atmospheric enough to enjoy some tapas or wine and people watch. I can not highly recommend it, but worth seeing if you ignore the commercialism and appreciate the historic aspects.
Plaza Mayor (looking inward)
Initially happy to see the place
Winnie the Pooh
Micky/Minnie Mouse
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Dontwearwhite Dontwear…
3 reviews
Jul 19, 2007
During the day you might wanna hang out in Plaza Mayor. There are a few tapas bars there and it's fun to sip on sangria and just people watch for a while. Also, you can go to Parque buen Retiro. Grab some hashish from the many sellers(if you're into that sort of thing) and sit back with a buddy and watch the boaters in the lake/pond thing. really cool for the afternoon. There's also plenty of nooks and crannies that you can go to and relax and people watch. have fun.

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