Plaza de Santa Ana

One of Madrid's liveliest areas, filled with restaurants, cafés and tapas bars.

TravelCurious Tip

Come here to experience Madrid like a local - most tourists flock to the larger squares.

Classy Plaza

Plaza de Santa Ana was built in the 19th century on the site of an old monastery of the same name, which had been demolished in 1810. Its most iconic feature is on the square's western side: overlooking the plaza is the Reina Sofia, a 19th century hotel with a grand windowed façade that is famed as a favourite stopover for popular bullfighters. Manolete, considered by many the greatest bullfighter of all time, always stayed in room 220.

Smaller than Puerta del Sol and less pricy than Plaza Mayor, this is also a quieter spot to relax, where you're less likely to be bothered by any street performers. But there's still lots going on, with hundreds of surrounding tapas bars and vinotecas nearby, and the square makes a great starting point for night-time excursions in summer. On Sunday mornings, Madrilenian families stroll here to buy newspapers and loaves of bread.

It's also a beautiful place: many of the restaurants are decorated with elegant ceramic tiles. Two statues pay tribute to authors of the Spanish Golden Age, the playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and the poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca, who was killed by Nationalists during the Civil War.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Madrid
Plaza Mayor
This colossal square has hosted a variety of events over its 400 year history, from street markets to public executions.
Puerta del Sol
The centre of Madrid's New Year celebrations, and mile zero of Spain's network of roads.
Las Meninas by Velázquez
This enigmatic painting is one of the crown jewels of the Prado collection.
Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet
An incredible representation by Tintoretto of the events before the Last Supper.
The Garden of Earthly Delights
An astounding triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, portraying fantastical crowds of people and monsters in a warning against temptation.
Classic Spanish Tapas
Spanish tapas are the heart of any social gathering.

Related Tours

Historic Madrid for First-Timers
Visit Madrid, Spain’s vibrant multicultural capital, to discover its historic plazas and royal palaces, neoclassical churches and the winding streets of its Medieval quarter.
  • Start your tour in Madrid’s bustling heart, Plaza Mayor (Main Square)
  • Stop at Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) to photograph its famous bear statue and clock tower
  • Learn about Spain’s epic hike, the Camino de Santiago (Way of St James), at the Iglesia de Santiago (St James’s Church)
  • Explore Madrid’s Gothic heritage at Ramales and the Plaza de Oriente (Eastern Square)
  • Marvel at the grand Royal Palace and Royal Theatre
  • Stroll the medieval streets of the Barrio de la Latina (Latin Quarter)
  • Finish at Plaza de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square), a food, culture and nightlife hotspot
 Madrid is an ever-moving city filled with a mix of ancient history and modern life. In this mammoth capital, you’ll find everything from one of Europe’s richest art collections to grand royal palaces and maze-like medieval quarters lined with tapas bars and sweeping plazas. On this four-hour tour, a local expert will guide you through Madrid’s frenetic streets, introducing you to the city’s top sights.
Plazas, palaces and Gothic history
Begin your tour at Madrid’s main hub, the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), a renaissance square with a 400-year-old statue of King Phillip II surrounded by impressive porticoed buildings. You’ll learn about how this historic square has hosted everything from exotic markets to bullfights and even public executions and burnings during the Spanish Inquisition. There’s also a chance to stop at the nearby Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) to see its iconic bear statue and clock tower.
The Plaza de Santiago (St James’s Square) is a through-way on Spain’s famous 500-mile Camino de Santiago (Way of St James) pilgrimage hike across the country. Here, you’ll see the Iglesia de Santiago (St James’s Church), once one of the oldest churches in Madrid which was rebuilt in neoclassical style in the 19th century. It’s now time to explore Madrid’s 15th century Gothic quarter, Ramales, with its tranquil plaza home to the Reina Sofia (Queen Sofia) concert venue and resting place of the renowned artist Diego Velazquez.
In the adjacent Plaza de Oriente (Eastern Square), your guide will introduce you to Madrid’s famous Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre, a world-class opera house. The plaza was designed by King Joseph I in 1844, its Medieval houses removed to make way for gardens and sculptures and of course, the royal buildings. Learn all about the palace, which is the largest in Western Europe and the official residence of the Spanish royal family.
The life and soul of Madrid
As you come to the end of this epic, express tour of Madrid, you’ll navigate the snaking streets of the Barrio de La Latina (Latin Quarter), a medieval wonder. Discover narrow alleys lined with cafés, bars and restaurants, Moorish churches and pretty plazas. The tour concludes at the Plaza de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square), one of Madrid’s most vibrant squares. Soak up the atmosphere of its traditional taverns and tapas bars, terrace cafés and boutiques.
Searching for a quick, informative glimpse of Madrid? This tour is the perfect choice for your first visit to Madrid, taking in the city’s main areas and landmarks. 
The Literary Quarter Live Virtual Tour
On this Live Virtual Tour, we will take you to heart of Madrid and its Literary Quarter, or Barrio de las Letras, which was home to 17th-century writers like Lope de Vega, whose house is now a museum.  On this Private “The Literary Quarter Live Virtual Tour" you will discover: 
  •  Plaza de Santa Ana - Madrid's most popular squares is a hub of food, nightlife, and culture.
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