Looking for accommodation in Puerta del Sol in Madrid? Want to know more about the area and what there is to see during your stay in this typical neighbourhood in the Spanish capital? Read on for some handy advice on things to do around this famous square in the city centre. Puerta del Sol in Madrid is far more than just a square, though; it’s the beating heart of the city, a meeting point where tourists and locals alike go shopping or meet up for a drink and some tapas.
Puerta del Sol is one of the main sights for all visitors to Madrid, a lively, bustling square where there’s always something going on. It’s also an area rich in history. In the 15th century this area lay outside the medieval city walls and the square as we know it today was only created in the mid-18th century. It was built in several stages, starting with the Casa de Correos, an emblematic building which is now home to the Madrid Regional Government. Every New Year’s Eve, its famous bell tower chimes the twelve strokes that ring in the new year, watched on television by most Spaniards as they eat twelve lucky grapes, one for each stroke, and well as followed first hand by thousands of people who flock to the square. If you want to be there yourself next New Year’s Eve, book one of our apartments in Puerta del Sol in Madrid.
Puerta del Sol is also home to Kilómetro Cero, the point from which all road distances from the capital are measured. It is marked by a plaque on the ground and most visitors don’t leave without taking a photo of themselves next to it.
The statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, in the middle of Puerta del Sol, opposite the start of Calle Alcalá, is probably the most famous statue in the city. It represents the heraldic symbols of the Town of Madrid. In the Middle Ages there were lots of bears and strawberry trees in the surrounding woods. Both symbols have featured in the city’s coat of arms since a 1222 agreement allocated the surrounding pastures to the Church and the woods and hunting grounds to the Town Council. The square also features an equestrian statue of Charles III and a statue of Mariblanca, a 17th-century Venus.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, or in the surrounding area, you’ll be right in the very centre of the city, with excellent public transport connections. This square also marks the start of some of the city’s main shopping streets, including Calle Mayor, Calle de Alcalá, Calle de Carretas and Calle de Arenal. Calle Preciados is a must. It’s the city’s leading shopping street, where you’ll find stores with all the top brands. It was also one of the first pedestrian streets, together with Calle del Carmen.
If you choose to sleep in one of the apartments in Puerta del Sol that you’ll find on our website, you’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to tapas bars. The most popular and famous is Casa Labra, famous for its cod croquettes since the 19th century. The hundred-year-old cafe La Mallorquina is famed for its delicious pastries. Alongside these two mythical establishments, you’ll find hundreds of other bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as the renovated wrought-iron early-20th century Mercado de San Miguel, a charming place for shopping or eating!
Once you’ve found your apartment in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, it’s very easy to get around the area. By strolling along the neighbourhood streets you’ll find lots of interesting places full of history and art, including the beautiful Palacio de Santa Cruz, formerly the Royal Jail and currently home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Don’t leave without visiting Plaza Mayor, only five minutes’ walk through the old streets. Plaza Mayor dates back to the 16th century, when it held the most popular market in town. The first house with the characteristic arches was built to regulate trade. Over time, this square became the most emblematic site in the Madrid de los Austrias. It’s the ideal place for taking a break, soaking up the sun, sipping a beer or drinking a relaxing cup of coffee. At Christmas it hosts a Christmas market where you can buy all kinds of Christmas decorations.
Other interesting places close to your accommodation in Puerta del Sol are the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Edificio Metrópolis, the world-famous Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, which houses a major art collection.
So, if you're looking for apartments in Puerta de Sol, this area has lots to offer in terms of culture and cuisine in a unique, festive atmosphere with centuries of history. Don’t wait!