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Places (POIs) visited during this tour

Place #1
Distance: 0.00mi , Attraction : City
Map Pin
Sol, 28013 Madrid, Spain
POI 1 Tour Image
We are just starting off a main street here, the historical square we are meeting at is just straight ahead in the half moon shaped plaza.

Place #2
Distance: 0.00mi , Attraction : Historical Square
Map Pin
Prta del Sol, 20, 28013 Madrid, Spain
POI 2 Tour Image
Puerta Del Sol
Our first stop of our tour today is Puerta de Sol, which translates to “Gate of the Sun”. Makes sense doesn’t it? We are not only in the center most hub of Madrid, but it is also the actual geographical center of Spain. So calling it the Sun feels more than fitting. But where the name historically originated from is that this iconic square used to be one of the gates into the city, and it faced east, where the sun rises. 

With a wonderful backstory, there are also many features to be mentioned here, so stay with me! As you walk the square, you will come across a plaque in the pavement inscribed with “Kilometer Zero”. This is the exact point where all six of Spain’s national roads measure their distances to and from Madrid. 

There is also the Puerta del Sol Building, or the “Real Casa de Correos”, and is one of the most prominent and influential structures in Puerta de Sol Square. Built in the late 18th century, it stands as a magnificent example of NeoClassical architecture. You can notice this through the symmetry portrayed in its facade, with its central entrance and a wing on each side. It originally served as Madrid’s postal service, but throughout the years has evolved into many different government offices. Today, it acts as a cultural center, constantly hosting events and exhibitions all related to Madrid’s rich history. During New Year’s Eve, Puerta del Sol becomes the party of your dreams. Everyone is gathered, specifically to watch the clock tower, “El Reloj de la Puerta del Sol”, strike midnight. The bell chimes twelve times to signify midnight, and it is a tradition to eat a grape for each chime for good luck in the new year. 

The most notable aspects of this lively and historic square is The Statue of The Bear and The Strawberry Tree. As you may know, this symbol has been associated with Madrid for centuries, as it appears on Madrid’s coat of arms. The iconic emblem is said to have originated during medieval times when Madrid was just a small town surrounded by forests. These forests housed many creatures and plants, but the bears and the strawberry trees were so commonly found, the two became a part of Madrid’s culture. The statue depicts a bear reaching up to a strawberry tree, representing Madrid’s connection to its natural environment.


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Tour itinerary stops | Additional places you'll see on this self-guided tour

Map Pin Place 1 Madrid
Map Pin Place 2 Puerta Del Sol
Map Pin Place 3 Directions
Map Pin Place 4 Plaza Mayor
Map Pin Place 5 Directions
Map Pin Place 6 Mercado de San Miguel
Map Pin Place 7 Directions
Map Pin Place 8 Almudena Cathedral / Royal Palace
Map Pin Place 9 Directions
Map Pin Place 10 Plaza de Oriente
Map Pin Place 11 Teatro Real
Map Pin Place 12 Directions
Map Pin Place 13 Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
Map Pin Place 14 Directions
Map Pin Place 15 Gran Vía
Map Pin Place 16 Telefonica Building
Map Pin Place 17 Directions
Map Pin Place 18 Mercado de la Reina
Map Pin Place 19 Cybele Palace
Map Pin Place 20 Directions
Map Pin Place 21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Map Pin Place 22 Directions
Map Pin Place 23 Directions
Map Pin Place 24 Museo Nacional del Prado
Map Pin Place 25 Directions
Map Pin Place 26 El Retiro Park

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