Attractions

Top Choice Square in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Plaza Mayor

Madrid's grand central square, a rare but expansive opening in the tightly packed streets of central Madrid, is one of the prettiest open spaces in Spain, a winning combination of imposing architecture, picaresque h…
Top Choice Palace in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Palacio Real

Spain's lavish Palacio Real is a jewel box of a palace, although it's used only occasionally for royal ceremonies; the royal family moved to the modest Palacio de la Zarzuela years ago.When the alcázar (muslim fortr…
Square in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Plaza de la Villa

The intimate Plaza de la Villa is one of Madrid’s prettiest. Enclosed on three sides by wonderfully preserved examples of 17th-century barroco madrileño (Madrid-style baroque architecture – a pleasing amalgam of bri…
Square in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Plaza de Oriente

A royal palace that once had aspirations to be the Spanish Versailles. Sophisticated cafes watched over by apartments that cost the equivalent of a royal salary. The Teatro Real, Madrid’s opera house and one of Spai…
Convent in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Convento de las Descalzas Reales

The grim plateresque walls of the Convento de las Descalzas Reales offer no hint that behind the facade lies a sumptuous stronghold of the faith. The compulsory guided tour (in Spanish) leads you up a gaudily fresco…
Gardens in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Campo del Moro

These gardens beneath the Palacio Real were designed to mimic the gardens surrounding the palace at Versailles; nowhere is this more in evidence than along the east–west Pradera, a lush lawn with the Palacio Real as…
Notable Building in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Teatro Real

Backing onto Plaza de Oriente, Madrid’s signature opera house took on its present neoclassical form in 1997 and, viewed from Plaza de Isabel II, it’s a fine addition to the central Madrid cityscape; in Plaza de Orie…
Church in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Iglesia de San Ginés

Due north of Plaza Mayor, San Ginés is one of Madrid’s oldest churches: it has been here in one form or another since at least the 14th century. What you see today was built in 1645 but largely reconstructed after a…
Historic Building in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Real Casa de la Panadería

The exquisite frescoes of the 17th-century Real Casa de la Panadería rank among Madrid’s more eye-catching sights. The present frescoes date to just 1992 and are the work of artist Carlos Franco, who chose images fr…
Convent in Plaza Mayor & Royal Madrid

Convento de la Encarnación

Founded by Empress Margarita de Austria, this 17th-century mansion built in the Madrid baroque style (a pleasing amalgam of brick, exposed stone and wrought iron) is still inhabited by nuns of the Augustine order. T…