- By Kevin
- On Oct 30, 2017
- Travel Tips
Madrid doesn't have the traditional charm of Andalusia or the beauty of Barcelona,instead,it offers exciting atmosphere.The city is constantly buzzing with activity.An abundance of art museums and monuments will keep tourists too busy to take siestas.Top 3 Madrid sights&things to do be shared with you:
Elegant 17th-Century Ambience at Plaza Mayor
This elegant 17th-century plaza was built during the reign of Philip III.The Plaza Mayor was a center of commerce and municipal life as well as the scene of ceremonial events such as the proclamation of a new king and the canonization of saints.The square also served as a venue for bullfights,dramatic performances,and knightly tournaments.
Today,the Plaza Mayor continues to be an important gathering place in Madrid.The expansive cobblestone square is a pedestrian precinct with many outdoor cafés that are popular with tourists as well as with the local Madrileños.The restaurants in the arcaded area of the square offer traditional ambience and cuisine.On each side of the square are arched entrances linking it with the main streets of Calle de Toledo,the Calle Mayor,and the Calle Postas.
Puerta del Sol:The Heart of the City
The Puerta del Sol was named after the sun emblem on the old city gate,which formerly stood here.This spacious town square aligns with the rising sun.Besides being a hub of public transportation(with several bus stops and Metro entrances),the Puerta del Sol is also the"Kilometer Zero"point from which all distances on the Spanish national road network are measured.
The Puerta del Sol has been the scene of many historic events,including the Spanish resistance to Napoleon on May 2nd 1808,and in 1931,the Second Republic was proclaimed here.Nowadays the square is a place to hang out and enjoy life.Lined with shops and cafés,the Puerta del Sol is still one of the liveliest squares in Madrid.Just off the Puerta del Sol is Madrid's largest department store,El Corte Inglés,which sells everything from clothes,shoes,and swimsuits to traditional Spanish fans.Also nearby is La Violeta,an old-fashioned confection shop that offers the Madrid specialty of violet candies.