Puerta del Sol
Although The Royal Palace was the embryo from where Madrid was born, the Puerta del Sol is its very centre, the landmark from where the city blooms and from where all national highways depart toward the coasts.
Hidden between Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace is the Plaza Mayor, a magnificent wide square with plenty of outdoor bars and shops.
Cava Baja Street, located in Los Austrias neighborhood, is the place to find a variety of restaurants that offer good quality Spanish food.
The Gran Via, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, was the main avenue of Madrid until the mid-70's. Its lively sidewalks are traversed by locals searching for a bar to enjoy a drink. It was once our particular Broadway due to the large number of cinemas and theaters there. Currently many have been converted into large fashion stores, comprising a shopping district rivaling many other major shopping areas of Madrid. This popularity is reflected in the high rent paid by the shops located on Preciados street.
The crowds on this street are impressive. From Puerta del Sol, we can walk to El Rastro, a second hand flea market open on Sundays under the statute to war-hero Cascorro. Here thousands of locals walk up and down the hill searching for hidden treasure bargains.