In my opinion, Plaza Mayor is a must visit Madrid tourist spot if you have never seen such architecture before.
It was built during the year 1598-1621 of Philip III’s reign. The plaza is rectangular in shape and on top are the residential buildings. OMG, people do live here! I wonder how much the rental is. Quite costly I suppose as it is central of Madrid.
There are a lot of plazas in Spain and even in Europe. Plaza means a public square, marketplace or similar open space in a built-up area.
I am not Spanish and initially I just pronounced the word as ‘plaza’ with the hard ‘z’ in English. Unbeknownst to me, Plaza ‘Mayor is pronounced as ‘Plasa Mayor’. The letter ‘z’ in Spanish is pronounced as ‘s’.
Such as the famous local brand, Zara is pronounced as ‘Sara’. At first I felt weird but after some time it has become my second nature. Time will heal my hard tongue. Hehehe..
Back to Plaza Mayor…I love the view of the plaza be it during the day or at night but I really adore the sight of Plaza Mayor particularly when it is around Christmas time. The lights displayed enhanced the aesthetic of the architecture more.
Remember my post of another plaza; Puerta del Sol recently? Plaza Mayor is just walking distance from here. If gauged by Google Map it is around 3 minutes. Really close!
Do you see the white umbrellas lining out the terrazzo in front of Plaza Mayor? They are cafes where Madrileños and visitors alike sit, sipping a relaxing cup of cafe con leche ala Ana Botella (ex-mayor of Madrid) while enjoying the majestic amber architecture.
FYI, there is a slight price difference between eating inside and outside at the terrazo. Eating outside is much more expensive. Depending on the establishments, some can be from a few centicimos (cents) or much higher.
Madrid Tourism Center is located here too in one of the sections called as La Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House). In Spanish it sounds sexier huh? It reminds me of the Spanish telenovela shown in Malaysian local channel when I was in middle school.
See the Spanish traditional costume in the picture above? They are the street art performers donning costumes for photo opportunities. It is not FREE. Depending on them, you should ask for their price first before snapping your camera. I paid a euro for a photo with them but at Real Palace, I had to pay four euros per person!
I love the cobbled stones paving the road here in Plaza Mayor. They add up to it’s aesthetic value. Such as this road leading to another Madrid tourist spot; Mercado de San Miguel.
How to go to Plaza Mayor?
You can reach here easily either by Metro line 1 (blue) ,2 (red) , 3 (yellow) or Cercanias to Sol Station and walk a bit.