This Walking Tour is a 3.4 Km, (2 mi 198 yd) , that will take you from a starting point, at Callao Plaza. On this Walking Tour, you will be able to see:
- (A) Callao Plaza
- (B) The Gran Vía
- (C) Cibeles Plaza
- (D) Paseo del Prado
- (E) Neptuno Plaza
- (F) Congress of Deputies
- (G) Puerta del Sol
- (H) Back to Callao
Callao – Gran Vía
This photo was taken from Callao and showing the Grand Via, where we start this walking tour, that will take us to La Cibeles, where we will take a right on Paseo del Prado, walking to Plaza Neptuno. Here we take another right and leave to the left the Hotel Palace, to the right the Palace of Congress, all the way to Puerta del Sol, and back to Callao where we started.
The Gran Via is one of the main streets of Madrid. It starts in Alcalá Street, and ends at Plaza España.
Since its construction in the early twentieth century, La Gran Via is an important landmark in the city, because of what it has given to tourism, leisure and commerce.
The stretch between Callao, where we started this walking tour, and the square this photo showing, Red de San Luis, now there are many international retail chains of fashion stores.
At this neo-renaissance style building, Gran Vía (right) and Alcala (left), meet, giving the building that wedge shape.
It is adorned with Corinthian columns, and allegorical statues of Trade, Agriculture, Industry and Mining. The round tower is crowned by a dome of gold inlaid slate.
Círculo de Bellas Artes Rooftop
Terrace Cafe of the Circle of Fine Arts of Madrid, on the summer.
Circulo de Bellas Artes (Circle of the Fine Arts) is a multidisciplinary center that houses all kinds of artistic activities, like exhibitions, films, workshops, shows, and more.
Also, it’s worth visiting the roof terrace where the views over Madrid are unbeatable. The photo above, will have a birds eye view of Madrid taken from the roof of this building.
Círculo de Bellas Artes Terrace
When you visit Madrid, we recommend that you take a panoramic view of Madrid from above.
Without doubt, the best place is the rooftop terrace of the Circle of Fine Arts, and also we suggest the Palacio de Cibeles, which is the prominent white building of this photo.
Palacio de Cibeles, which was formerly known as Palacio de las Comunicaciones, was officially opened on March 14, 1919, starting its operation as a modern office and hub for post, telegraph and telephone.
The complex is formed by two building, which since 2007 began to house the municipal offices of the City of Madrid.
This used to be the main post office in Madrid. As you can see, still maintains the athmosphere.
This public part of the building is maintained as a museum opened to the public. The rest of the building, which in the past were offices, today host the high administration of the Ayuntamiento de Madrid (Madrid Municipality).
From the Palacio de las Comunicaciones Rooftop, Cibeles Plaza
This Photo was taken from the terraces on top of the Palacio de las Comunicaciones. It’s open to the public, and allows 15 minutes tour to the top of the building, where this photo was taken.
This Palace, was the Central Post Office building of Spain.
Paseo del Prado
Paseo del Prado
Recommended you walk through it in the middle of the boulevard, where there is this historical garden.
I’ts one of the oldest historical gardens of Madrid and it goes from Plaza Cibeles, to Glorieta de Atocha.
Paseo del Prado, hosts the most important art museums in the city. World known museums, like El Prado, Thyssen – Bornemisza, and close to Glorieta de Atocha is the Reina Sofía Museum.
On this Walking Tour, we will leave museum visits for a special dedicated walk, since it takes time to visit a museum.
Plaza Neptuno Fountain
Neoclassical marble sculpture, from the second half of XVIII, was part of the idea of King Carlos III to modernize the city of Madrid. This modernization plan included the placement of emblematic monuments.
It’s the meeting point of the Atlético de Madrid football team, when they win important games and titles.
It is very well situated in the middle of two great Hotels, The Ritz and The Palace, very close to, Museums and Retiro Park.
Plaza de las Cortes – Carrera de San Jerónimo
This photo is taken from Plaza de las Cortes, right in front of the Congress building, which is on a small hill.
Below you can see the Neptuno Plaza, and a bit higher above is the Monastery San Jerónimo el Real.
It is very well situated in the middle of two grand Hotels, The Ritz and The Palace. It’s also very close to, Congress, Museums and Retiro Park.
Palace of Congress
Neoclassical, it was constructed on the same site, where the convent Espíritu Santo was, before it burnt down on 1823. The construction of this new building, began on 1843 and was inaugurated on October 31, 1850.
In the 1980s it suffered its first expansion of facilities, building in the adjacent block, which once was Hospital de Italianos (Italian Hospital), being there in the period between 1598 and 1885.
Carrera San Jerónimo
Tomás Allende building, was built as a residential construction between 1916 and 1920, according to a design by architect Leonardo Rucabado trying to adapt the national or regional styles, in this case the Santander architecture, to the changing needs of modern life.
Puerta del Sol
The oldest building in Puerta del Sol, is La Casa de Correos (the old post office). Today, the building is being used as the central offices of the Government of Madrid Community.
The clock tower was built, and donated on the XIX century by José Rodríguez de Losada. Every December 31st, at midnight, this clock becomes the center of attention for the vast majority of the Spanish people and visitors, which will be attending on Puerta del Sol, and on TV, the chimes while eating the traditional Twelve Grapes. They will be hoping that each one of these grapes, will give the best of luck for each month of the following year. This custom began to be televised on December 31, 1962.
Until early 2010, this square had traffic as a bus stop, and afterwards it was closed, to make it a walking area together with the nearby streets of Preciados and El Carmen. The bus stop then, was moved to Jacometrezo street.
Today Callao is a very important meeting and commuting point for shoppers, and others who visit the city centre.
The plaza allows concentration of up to 10,000 people, which make it a great place to organize events sometimes coordinated by the city Municipality and other times it is used to organize marketing and promotion events for companies. Almost daily, there is some activity in Plaza Callao.