Plaza de Colón - Alonso Martínez - Bilbao Chamberí

Colón tourism Centre

The large square Colón, is dedicated to Chistopher Columbus, who dominates the square from the top of the 1885 spire. Beneath the square's waterfall there is an extensive cultural center, the Centro Cultural de la Villa, with auditorium, theatre and exhibition halls run by the city council. On the surface of the square there is a garden and a place for skating, and, of course, the enormous Spanish flag flapping in the wind. The square is also an important intersection of avenues -Castellana, Recoletos, Goya, Génova and Jorge Juan.

Colón Tourism Center
The new Colón Tourism Centre, by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, is a key starting point when it comes to touring the city. The centre is located in the former underground passage of Plaza de Colón, the centre has a large open skylight on the surface of the Plaza de Colón, providing natural light that shines directly onto a water wall and a courtyard, both located in the central area of the passage.
In this centre visitors will find extensive and varied tourist and cultural information about the capital, it has been designed as a live space where visitors will be able to interact and experience the thrilling lifestyle of the city.
Colón Tourism Centre’s continuous business hours are 09:30 to 20:30, 365 days a year.

On the Paseo de Recoletos side of the plaza are the Archaeological Museum and the National Library:

colon madridSpain's National Library, Paseo de Recoletos, 22
Metro: Colón (L4) - Google Maps
Across the street from well known Café Gijón you'll find the Biblioteca Nacional & Museo del Libro, Spain's National Library. This neoclassical giant used to be accessible to researchers only, but now it's open to the public for free.

Archeological National Museum, Serrano, 13
Metro: Colón (L4) - Google Maps
Right behind the Library stands its architectural sibling the Museo Arqueológico with outstanding pieces ranging from the first inhabitants of the iberian peninsula to 19th century pieces, as well as Greek and Egyptian collections.

Adjacent to both of these is Plaza de Colón, with a garden and a place for skating, and of course, the enormous Spanish flag flapping in the wind and neo-gothic monument to Christopher Columbus.
Beneath the square's waterfall sits Centro Cultural de la Villa, a fine cultural center with a theatre and exhibition center run by the local government.

Alonso Martínez

The area around the Plaza and metro station Alonso Martinez is the intersection of the streets Sagasta, Génova and Santa Engracia. It is ideal for both the resident and the short-term lodger because of its location near Plaza de Colón, a central point of the city and terminus for the buses to Barajas airport. It is within walking distance of the main cultural and commercial areas of the city and it is located near the business centers on the lower part of Paseo de la Castellana. The heart of Alonso Martínez is Plaza de Santa Bárbara, with its shady terraces, and an active nightlife. It also has a cercanías train station nearby (Recoletos Station) for those who wish to go on excursions or make trips outside the city. Ten minutes walk brings you to the main shopping areas of the city. Added to all this, there are many places for tapas and some nice restaurants.


The Glorieta de Bilbao is the intersection of the streets Sagasta, Luchana, Fuencarral and Carranza. Bilbao, in the same way as Alonso Martinez and Colón it marks the limits of the "center" of Madrid. Taking the street Fuencarral southwards you enter Malasaña district. It is an area with good shops, bars and places to eat. The café Comercial, right at the Glorieta, is one of the classic cafés of Madrid: non reformed since 1953, it was the place for literary gatherings in the post Spanish War period.

See more photos @ Flickr about Cafe Comercial

Links of interest

  • Colón information centre. Colón Square
    (Underground passage access through the side of Paseo de la Castellana on the corner with calle Goya)
  • Colón (L4)
  • Bilbao (L1,L4) /Alonso Martinez (L4,L5,L10) /Colón (L4)

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