Right in the middle of the wonderful Plaza Mayor, la Torre del Oro is a very odd but brilliant little place. My one little gripe is that according to our guide book, they give you free tapas with your drink – but we didn’t get any and were too unsure of our Spanish to enquire about it. We were sitting outside on the terrace (and overpaid on our glass of chilled white wine for the privilege), so maybe you only get it if you’re actually sat inside or at the bar. Or maybe they’ve stopped doing it and Eyewitness Travel Guides need to get their facts up-to-date.
If you want to sit inside of “Madrid’s famous bullfighting bar”, you’d better be the kind of person that isn’t intimidated easily. And the kind of person that isn’t vegetarian as the first thing you see when you walk in is an enormous mounted bull’s head that takes up half the entrance – followed another one, then another one, then by yet more crazy bull-fighting paraphernalia.
If that sounds just too weird for you, we found la Torre del Oro’s terrace by contrast an open, sunny area to sit and observe the crazy activity taking place within the Plaza Mayor including buskers, people pretending to be statues and waiters from the restaurants beating pigeons away from their diners.