10 Must See Plazas Around The World

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	Plaza del Castillo during the Plaza Abierta, a live music event in Pamplona during the Run.

Plaza del Castillo during the Plaza Abierta, a live music event in Pamplona during the Run. 

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Oct 12, 2012 —  Plazas are the beating hearts of their cities. These historical community centers have nurtured budding artists, staged revolutions, and inspired new love. Plazas like the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, with its famous Spanish Steps, fueled some of the best work from the Romantic poet John Keats. Places like Harvard Square in Massachusetts continue to inspire young students with the ghosts of countless celebrities, politicians, and artists. And London’s Leicester Square, which once housed the Prince of Wales, has become the center stage for theater’s royalty, welcoming hordes of drama fanatics and aspiring actors looking to make it big.

City plazas are the cultural meeting points where street performers and local artists experiment and innovate. This is where both travelers and locals, young and old alike, come to meet, mingle, and maybe even share a bottle. With a bustling energy that never stops, a city’s plaza is the perfect place to watch the crowd from its ancient steps or through the window of a historic café nearby. Whatever you’re in the mood for, this list of our favorite plazas from around the world will have you soaking in each city’s history, life, and culture, right in the center of it all.

  • 1

    Piazza San Marco

    Landmark / Shopping Area / Square

    Piazza San Marco - Landmark | Shopping Area | Square in Venice.
    Venice

    Piazza San Marco
    30124 Venice

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  • 2

    Times Square

    Culture / Landmark / Nightlife Area / Outdoor Activity / Shopping Area / Square

    Times Square - Culture | Landmark | Nightlife Area | Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area | Square in New York.
    New York

    42nd Street to 50th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue
    New York, NY 10019

    212‑869‑1890

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  • 3

    Piazzale Michelangelo

    Landmark / Nightlife Area / Outdoor Activity / Square

    Piazzale Michelangelo - Landmark | Nightlife Area | Outdoor Activity | Square in Florence.
    Florence

    Piazzale Michelangelo
    50122 Florence

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  • 4

    Harvard Square

    Landmark / Outdoor Activity / Square

    Harvard Square - Landmark | Outdoor Activity | Square in Boston.
    Boston

    HSBA: 18 Brattle Street, Suite 352
    Boston, MA 02138

    617‑491‑6976

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  • 5

    Leicester Square

    Culture / Landmark / Nightlife Area / Shopping Area / Square

    Leicester Square - Culture | Landmark | Nightlife Area | Shopping Area | Square in London.
    London

    Leicester Square
    London WC2H 7

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  • 6

    Plaza de la Paja

    Landmark / Outdoor Activity / Plaza

    Plaza de la Paja - Landmark | Outdoor Activity | Plaza in Madrid.
    Madrid

    Plaza de la Paja
    28005 Madrid

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  • 7

    Piazza di Spagna

    Landmark / Shopping Area / Square

    Piazza di Spagna - Landmark | Shopping Area | Square in Rome.
    Rome

    Piazza di Spagna
    00187 Rome

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  • 8

    Plaça Reial

    Nightlife Area / Outdoor Activity / Square

    Plaça Reial - Nightlife Area | Outdoor Activity | Square in Barcelona.
    Barcelona

    Plaça Reial
    08002 Barcelona

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  • 9

    Union Square

    Outdoor Activity / Park / Plaza / Shopping Area

    Union Square - Outdoor Activity | Park | Plaza | Shopping Area in San Francisco.
    San Francisco

    Between Stockton and Powell Streets
    and Post and Geary Streets
    San Francisco, CA 94108

    415‑781‑7880

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  • 10

    Place Rossetti

    Outdoor Activity / Square

    Place Rossetti - Outdoor Activity | Square in French Riviera.
    French Riviera

    Intersection of Rue Mascoïnat, Rue Rossetti,
    and Rue du Pont Vieux
    06300 Nice

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What are your favorite plazas?

Chris M. Oct 12, 2012
Hopefully the new Grand Park in Los Angeles will eventually make it's way into lists like this. Can't wait to see the new fountain and plaza area. Piazza Navona is another good one in Rome, Place Vendome is another small but cool one in Paris. Paris tends to combine parks and plazas into some magnificent outdoor spaces.
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