Things to Do Near Puerta del Sol and Gran Via in Madrid

  • 01 of 10

    Puerta del Sol

    ••• Puerta del Sol. Image: Damian Corrigan

    What is Puerta del Sol?

    Puerta del Sol (or Sol as it is commonly called) is as central as you can get in Madrid. It is actually seen as the center of the whole of Spain, as all road distances are measured from this point.

    Where is Puerta del Sol?

    Just south of Gran Via. The streets of Montera, Preciados and Carmen all meet at Sol.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Sol

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

    Useful Information About Puerta del Sol

    Puerta del Sol is mainly used as a reference point for finding your bearings, but there a couple of things worth checking out while you're here. One is the Kilometer 0 stone, outside the government building. Another sight is the famous Bear and Strawberry Tree statue, a popular meeting point for tourists and locals alike. (Note, the statue has moved and is no longer where it...MORE is in this photo).

    For decades there was an advertisement for Tio Pepe sherry up high above one of the buildings. This was removed for a couple of years but returned in 2013.

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    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Gran Via

    ••• Gran Via.

    What is Gran Via?

    Gran Via is the commercial center of Madrid, with big branches of Spain's most famous clothes shops all along it.

    Where is Gran Via?

    A little to the north of Sol. It joins Plaza de España with Plaza Cibeles (where the famous post office is).

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Plaza España, Metro Callao and Metro Gran Via.

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

     

    Useful Information About Gran Via

    There is more to Gran Via than just shopping. Architecturally, Gran Via is one of Madrid's most interesting streets. Though much of what see at street level has been drained of character by rampant commercialization, look up and see how the architects had intended Gran Via to look.

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    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Eat Cocido Madrileño

    Cocido Madrileño
    ••• Cocido Madrileño.

    What is Cocido Madrileño?

    Cocido Madrileño is Madrid's most famous dish. A stew featuring various meats, pototoes, chickpeas and other vegetables, Cocido Madrileño is served as two dishes - as a soup followed by the main dish.

    Where Can I Get Good Cocido Madrileño?

    Various restaurants may serve Cocido Madrileño as part of their daily menu del dia, but the one place I know of where you can guarantee that you'll get a cheap version of the meal is at Restaurante Doña Juana, on Calle Postigo de San Martín, just 30 seconds' walk from Gran Via.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Callao

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

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    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Convento de las Descalzas

    What is Convento de las Descalzas?

    Former royal residence and now a convent and museum. Among the exhibits are pieces of wood that are said to be from Christ's crucifix, as well as a number of famous paintings. The cloister is also worth seeing.

    Where is Convento de las Descalzas?

    The Convento de las Descalzas is on Plaza Encarnación 1, very close to Sol and Callao.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Sol and Metro Callao

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

     

    Useful Information About Convento las de Descalzas

    Opening times vary greatly. Closed Mondays and Friday afternoons.

     

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    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Casa Labra Restaurant

    Casa Labra
    ••• Casa Labra.

    What is Casa Labra?

    A small tapas bar that is over 100 years old. Get your thimble-sized beer or vermouth and then go over to the tapas counter - the specialty here is cod. Try the cod croquettes or go for (my favorite) the cod nuggets.

    Where is Casa Labra?

    Thirty seconds' walk from Puerta del Sol, on c/Tetuán.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Sol

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

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    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Templo de Debod

    Templo de Debod
    ••• Templo de Debod.

    What is Templo de Debod?

    An ancient Egyptian temple (from the second century BC), brought to Madrid in 1968 as a thank you to Spain for helping with conservation work in Egypt.

    Where is Templo de Debod?

    Close to Plaza de España, on Paseo del Pintor Rosales 2, in Parque de la Montaña.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Plaza de España

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

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    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Madrid Post Office

    Madrid Post Office
    ••• Madrid Post Office. Image: Damian Corrigan (all rights reserved)

    What is Madrid Post Office?

    The famous Madrid post office, more properly referred to as the Palacio de las Comunicaciones, is Madrid's main post office. The most iconic image in Madrid and probably its most photographed sight.

    Where is Madrid Post Office?

    In Plaza Cibeles, close to the eastern end of Gran Via.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Banco de España

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

     

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    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Plaza España in Madrid

    Plaza España
    ••• Plaza España.

    What is Plaza España?

    One of Madrid's most famous Plazas. In the early Franco years, the buildings around this square were the tallest in Spain.

    Where is Plaza España?

    At the western end of Gran Via.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Plaza de España

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

    Useful Information About Plaza España

    Under the Plaza, in the parking lot (really!), is a mini China town, with a Chinese supermarket and an excellent little Chinese restaurant.

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    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Shopping on Carmen and Preciados

    Shopping on Carmen and Preciados
    ••• Shopping on Carmen and Preciados.

    What are Calle Carmen and Calle Preciados?

    Complementing Gran Via as central Madrid's main shopping area, shopaholics shouldn't miss these streets out.

    Madrid's main branches of Spain's omnipotent and omnipresent El Corte Ingles department stores as well as the mega music, computer games and DVD store FNAC are all here.

    Where are Calle Carmen and Calle Preciados?

    They branch out from Puerta del Sol, leading towards Plaza Callao on Gran Via.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Callao and Metro Sol

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

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    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Museo de las Telecomunicaciones

    Museo de las Telecomunicaciones
    ••• Museo de las Telecomunicaciones.

    What is Museo de las Telecomunicaciones?

    A museum dedicated to the history of telecommunications. See some early telephone models and a replica of a telephone switchboard.

    Where is Museo de las Telecomunicaciones?

    On Gran Via, at the top of c/Montera.

    Nearest Metro Station: Metro Gran Via

    Read more about the Madrid Metro or buy tickets in advance:

    • Madrid Metro Tickets (buy direct)

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