Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee!
Plaza de la Villa, Madrid

Plaza de la Villa, Madrid

If you fancy a bit of quiet in the heart of busy Madrid, the best place to go is Plaza de la Villa, not far from Plaza Major. This small, medieval square is surrounded by lovely buildings, each with its own story. Among them is Casa Villa (Madrid’s old Town Hall), built in 1696 and renowned for its graceful stained glass windows and frescoes by Antonio Palomino. Remarkably, at some point, this building was used as a prison. Adjoining the town hall by an archway is Casa de Cisneros, an early Spanish Renaissance castle built in 1537. It boasts a Plateresque facade, quite rare in Madrid, and an outstanding collection of fine tapestries.

The nearby Casa and Torre de Los Lujanes are supposedly the oldest buildings in the city; the tower dates back as far as the early 15th century. According to a legend, King Charles I imprisoned here King Francis I of France after the battle of Pavia in 1525. The reason for that was the French king's refusal to show respect and bow head to his captor. Therefore, King Charles ordered that the tower door be lowered, so as to force Francis to bow head each time he entered and exited the building. That gave people an impression that the French monarch, indeed, was bowing to their king.

In the center of the square stands a statue of Alvaro de Bazen, the Spanish admiral who planned the Armada and, remarkably, never lost a battle in his entire 50-year-long career. The statue was sculpted in 1888 by Benlliure and was set in the plaza in 1980.

Why You Should Visit:
Not big a plaza with nothing very touristy about it; it is rather discrete and feels like stepping back in time, which is very cool.
The buildings are quaint and well maintained; the garden in the center is nice and well kept.

Tip:
Come at night when it is beautifully illuminated for an even better shot.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Madrid, Spain within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Plaza de la Villa on Map

Sight Name: Plaza de la Villa
Sight Location: Madrid, Spain
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Madrid, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Madrid

Create Your Own Walk in Madrid

Creating your own self-guided walk in Madrid is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Salamanca Walking Tour

Salamanca Walking Tour

Madrid is a vibrant metropolis made up of 21 districts. This walk brings you to and around Salamanca, one of the wealthiest and most expensive neighborhoods of the Spanish capital, home to Madrid's Golden Mile with stylish boutiques and upscale venues, and many other prominent historical and cultural attractions. To see what makes Salamanca a famous destination, take this self guided tour and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Hemingway's Madrid Walking Tour

Hemingway's Madrid Walking Tour

There have been many writers who've expressed a love for Madrid, but one who did so quite famously was Ernest Hemingway – a frequent visitor of the city, in which he found his muse, popular success, and critical acclaim. Don Ernesto, as he was called in Spain, was a welcomed and frequent visitor to a few places in Madrid that have since become tourist attractions. Follow this self-guided...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

Madrid is not only a big cultural center in Spain, but in the entire Europe as well. Having a great and interesting history behind, Madrid developed a vast culture over time. The city became world-famed for its museums and galleries. The following tour will guide you through the most famous museums in Madrid.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Gran Via and Sol Nightlife

Gran Via and Sol Nightlife

Citizens of Madrid are famous for being dynamic and very outgoing. Living in one of the liveliest cities in Europe, locals enjoy the nightlife, when Madrid transforms into an array of colors and music. Check out the most popular nightlife spots in Central Madrid in this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Madrid Food Tour

Madrid Food Tour

While Spain is internationally reputed as a major gastronomic power, the capital city of Madrid – home to vibrant food markets and plethora of places serving traditional Spanish and typically Madrid delectable treats – promises visitors a soul warming food experience. On this self-guided walk of Madrid you will get a chance to visit some of the local spots that left mark in the gastronomic and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Madrid Introduction Walk I

Madrid Introduction Walk I

A city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks, the Spanish capital is renowned for its rich repositories of European art, portico-lined Plaza Mayor, baroque style Royal Palace and many other cultural and historical monuments.

Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since prehistoric times, the first historical document about an established settlement here dates...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Madrid´s Latin Quarter Tapas

Madrid´s Latin Quarter Tapas

This app is a description of bars and cafeterias of tapas and pinchos in the Latin Quarter of Madrid. Tapas and pinchos are generally bar snacks and finger foods, with pinchos generally originating from the Basque Country. The custom of tapas and pinchos-eating refers to eating at the bar, sometime...
Madrid Souvenir Shopping Guide: Top 15 Spanish Products

Madrid Souvenir Shopping Guide: Top 15 Spanish Products

They call Spain "magnificent" for a reason, as there're loads of fascinating stuff a visitor to the country might want to take home and share with family and friends. Luckily, in Madrid one can find nearly all that Spain is famous for - wine, food, fashion, arts, sports, etc. Good...
Top 16 Bars in Madrid

Top 16 Bars in Madrid

Madrid, the third largest city in Western Europe, is packed with an eclectic mix of bars that offer a scene for every style. In Spain’s Capital city, alcohol flows without end. Just take a walk down the streets of this vibrant city, and it seems as if every other building is a café or bar...
A Self-Guided Food Walk in Madrid

A Self-Guided Food Walk in Madrid

The reputation of Spain as a major gastronomic power to reckon with goes a long way. The capital city of Madrid has a lot to offer visitors in terms of soul warming food experience. On this walk you will visit some of the city's most vibrant and lively food markets and other places serving...
10 Uniquely Madrid Foods to Try in Spanish Capital

10 Uniquely Madrid Foods to Try in Spanish Capital

There’s no better way to fall in love with a city than through its traditional cuisine. Complete meals, appetizers, beverages and sweets: all of them draw a path to a tourist heart. Madrid, the Spanish capital, has its very own unique and original dishes that can make a stay in this city a...