Madrid’s Centro district overflows with old-world atmosphere, from its decorative plazas to the winding alleyways lined with cafés and shops. There are dozens of comfortable hotels in Centro that are housed in attractive buildings from the 1600s. Guests in this area enjoy unrestricted access to some of the most visited neighborhoods in Madrid.
At the center of all this is Puerto del Sol, a lively commercial district overflowing with shops and restaurants. Most of the architecture here dates to the 1800s. Roads radiate in every direction, and visitors can walk to Plaza de la Villa or even the Royal Palace or Royal Opera House.
Adjacent to Sol is the Austrias, with Plaza Mayor. This area is named after the Hapsburgs, who ruled the region during the 1600s. The architecture here is especially evocative, as it calls on a heady mix of French, Austrian and Georgian influences. This is where most of the city’s residents and visitors go to party. Madrid has a longstanding reputation for putting on an energetic after-hours scene, and there’s no more exciting place to be based than in Centro.
Accommodation in Centro is widely available. Dozens of affordable three- and four-star hotels are available, intermixed with the occasional five-star high-rise. The most exclusive brands in Madrid are located in neighboring districts, but no place is as convenient as Centro when it comes to shopping, dining and partying.