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Puerta de Alcalá

See the majestic gate that was once Madrid’s eastern entrance but is today a symbol of the Spanish metropolis.

The Puerta de Alcalá is probably the best known of Madrid’s old city gates. It was commissioned in the early 1770s by King Carlos III as a grander replacement for the original gate, built in 1559.

The gate was designed by prominent architect Francisco Sabatini and decorated with friezes, reliefs and statues by Robert de Michel and Francisco Gutiérrez. Today the Puerta de Alcalá stands at the near center of Madrid, though it once marked the city’s eastern extremity and the road to Alcalá de Henares.

Stand on the corner of one of many roads that meet at the gate and admire the elegant neoclassical architecture. There are three principal archways topped with lions’ heads and two smaller rectangular openings with cornucopia reliefs.

Admire the columns that adorn its eastern side or look up to see the royal coat of arms. The inscription below reads “Rege Carolo III Anno MDCCLXXVIII,” a tribute to King Carlos III.
You’ll also notice an array of allegorical statues atop the gate.

Inspect the masonry closely to see damage from a cannon shell that exploded nearby in the early 1800s. Walk the small, but immaculate gardens around the gate or simply take it all in from afar. Getting close to the gate can be difficult as it’s surrounded by traffic, so it’s often best viewed from a nearby restaurant, bar or hotel. Check it out at night to see it spectacularly lit up.

The Puerta de Alcalá is directly east along Calle de Alcalá from Puerta del Sol. It’s right beside El Retiro Park and the Retiro metro station. You’ll be able to visit the gate at any time of day or night, but it makes a great stop on the way to the El Retiro, Gran Vía or the Plaza de Cibeles.


Guide to Exploring around Puerta de Alcala


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Hotel Riu Plaza España $89
Hotel Riu Plaza España

Hotel Riu Plaza España

C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Centro, this hotel is steps from Calle de la Princesa, Gran Via Street, and Teatro Coliseum. Royal Palace of Madrid and Lope de Vega Theatre are also within 10 minutes. Plaza de Espana Station is only a 2-minute walk and Ventura Rodriguez Station is 5 minutes.

    Hotel Fenix Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World
    Hotel Fenix Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

    Hotel Fenix Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

    Hermosilla 2, Madrid, Madrid
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Salamanca, this luxury hotel is steps from Golden Mile, Paseo de la Castellana, and Plaza de Colon. Madrid Wax Museum and National Library are also within 5 minutes. Colon Station and Serrano Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via
      Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

      Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via

      Gran Via 11, Madrid, Madrid
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Centro, this boutique hotel is steps from Casino Gran Via and Gran Via Street. Puerta del Sol and Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum are also within 10 minutes. Gran Via Station and Sevilla Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        ME Madrid by Melia $159
        ME Madrid by Melia

        ME Madrid by Melia

        Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, Madrid, Madrid
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Literary Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps from Plaza de Santa Ana and Teatro Espanol. Congress of Deputies and Plaza Mayor are also within 10 minutes. Anton Martin Station and Sol Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Hotel Madrid Gran Vía 25, managed by Melia $58
          Hotel Madrid Gran Vía 25, managed by Melia

          Hotel Madrid Gran Vía 25, managed by Melia

          Gran Via 25, Madrid, Madrid
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Centro, this hotel is steps from Casino Gran Via and Gran Via Street. Puerta del Sol and Teatro Rialto are also within 10 minutes. Gran Via Station is only a 2-minute walk and Callao Station is 4 minutes.

            Catalonia Goya $74
            Catalonia Goya

            Catalonia Goya

            Goya 49, Madrid, Madrid
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Salamanca, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Paseo de la Castellana, El Retiro Park, and Nuevo Teatro Alcala. Plaza de Colon and National Library are also within 15 minutes. Velazquez Station is only a 2-minute walk and Serrano Station is 4 minutes.

              Hotel Hospes Puerta de Alcalá $216
              Hotel Hospes Puerta de Alcalá

              Hotel Hospes Puerta de Alcalá

              Plaza de la Independencia 3, Madrid, Madrid
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Salamanca, this luxury hotel is steps from Puerta de Alcala and El Retiro Park. Gran Via Street and Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum are also within 10 minutes. Retiro Station is only a 3-minute walk and Banco de Espana Station is 7 minutes.

                Catalonia Gran Vía $90
                Catalonia Gran Vía

                Catalonia Gran Vía

                C/ Gran Vía 9, Madrid, Madrid
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Centro, this hotel is steps from Casino Gran Via and Gran Via Street. Puerta del Sol and Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum are also within 10 minutes. Gran Via Station and Sevilla Station are within a 5-minute walk.