Plaza de Neptuno


Officially known as Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, the next roundabout south of Cibeles is something of a crossroads of Spanish nobility. The Ritz and the Palace, two of Madrid’s most exclusive hotels, glower at each other across the plaza with self-righteous grandeur, while the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Prado do likewise in competition for the title of Madrid’s best-loved repository of fine art. The centrepiece is an ornate fountain and 18th-century sculpture of Neptune, the sea god, by Juan Pascual de Mena.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madrid attractions

1. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

0.07 MILES

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is one of the three points composing Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art along the Paseo del Prado (Art Walk), together with the…

2. Iglesia de Jesús de Medinaceli


Up to 100,000 people crowd Iglesia de Jesús de Medinaceli on the first Friday of Lent to kiss the right foot of a wooden sculpture of Christ (besapié;…

3. Barrio de las Letras

0.12 MILES

The area that unfurls down the hill east of Plaza de Santa Ana is referred to as the Barrio de las Letras because of the writers who lived here during…

4. Museo del Prado

0.14 MILES

Welcome to one of the world's premier art galleries. More than 7000 paintings are held in the Museo del Prado’s collection (of which only around 1500 are…

5. Congreso de los Diputados

0.15 MILES

Spain’s lower house of parliament was originally a Renaissance building, but it was completely revamped in 1850 and given a facade with a neoclassical…

6. Casa de Lope de Vega

0.17 MILES

Lope de Vega may be little known outside the Spanish-speaking world, but he was one of the greatest playwrights ever to write in Spanish, not to mention…

7. Iglesia de San Jerónimo El Real

0.17 MILES

Tucked away behind Museo del Prado, this chapel was traditionally favoured by the Spanish royal family, and King Juan Carlos I was crowned here in 1975…

8. Museo Naval

0.17 MILES

This museum will appeal to those who always wondered what the Spanish Armada really looked like. On display are quite extraordinary models of ships from…