Madrid through its neighborhoods: Sol

As you may know, Madrid is divided in several areas. In these areas there are plenty of things to do and see, and since it is a lot of information we are going to discuss one place at a time, we started last week with Lavapiés and today it’s time to talk about Sol.

Madrid’s most famous and central square is Sol, one of the best known and busiest places in town. Puerta del Sol used to be one of the gates which enclosed Madrid in the 15th century. Its name came from the rising sun which decorated the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east. From Plaza Mayor it is just a short walk to this beautiful area of Madrid.

Sol has everything. If you are visiting Madrid, Sol is definitely an area you must have seen before heading back home. For example, Chocolatería San Ginés is one of the famous cafés where you can enjoy the best churros with chocolate in town. The nice atmosphere and the Spanish vibe will make you never want to leave Madrid again.

@Marie Thérèse Hébert & Jean Robert Thibault on Flickr

At Sol you will see a couple of statues, —and for the ones that are into Spanish history this might be interesting— starting with the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree (known by the locals as El oso y el madroño). This is a sculpture that represents the coat of arms of Madrid and is found and the east side of the Puerta del Sol. Another famous statue at the east side of the square is the statue of King Carlos III of Spain (also known as the mayor-king due to the extensive public works program he set in motion).

Even more important than the statues is the Kilómetro ceroThat is, the starting point of all the roads in Spain: the kilometer zero, the spot from which everything flows. You will find it right in one of the sides of the square, where the big Administration building is. 

For the students who like to go out during the week or in the weekends, you are lucky! One of the best clubs in Madrid is placed just 5 minutes away from Puerta del Sol: Joy Eslava. This is a very popular disco club which is open 365 days a year. And there you won’t only find a dance floor but live concerts and performances.

A plus: Sol is just five minutes away from Inhispania, so you can hang out around there whenever you want. Also, if you leave the main square and wander around the streets nearby you will find pretty amazing stores and bars.

Definitely worth a visit!