Visit Madrid: Top Neighborhoods to See
If you’re planning a trip to Madrid, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the popular neighborhoods before you travel. Our gurus can help you book a cheap business class flight to Madrid or discounted first class flight to Madrid. For your convenience, Alpha Flight Guru reviews the most well-known barrios in Madrid.
Alonso Martínez – This colorful square serves as a link between two very different districts in Madrid. It attracts a young crowd. Expect to find various types of charming markets, bars, restaurants, and shops throughout the streets. Walking west you’ll find the Trafalgar district and its Plaza de Olavide, and if you head east, you’ll end up at Plaza de Colón. In Alonso Martínez, the spacious flats attract pop-up markets, shops, and bars that open for a limited time. A popular location for pop-ups is the Palacio de Santa Bárbara, a centrally located building dating back to the 1860s. More recently, some cafés have opened in the area. Mamá Framboise is the oldest café in the barrio, serving macarons, croissants, and freshly-baked cookies. It’s popular, so it’s always busy. A good alternative is Dray Martina located one block away. For shopping, there are exclusive boutiques with unique products, florists, fruit shops, butchers, and more.
Barrio de las Letras – Many of Spain’s most famous writers lived here, such as Miguel de Cervantes , Quevedo, Góngora, and Lope de Vega. It is an area downtown known for its, history, interesting buildings, bars, pubs, restaurants, and hotels. Some of the popular streets within Barrio de las Letras are Plaza de Santa Ana, Huertas, Plaza del Angel, calle del Prado, and Echegaray. The area has a very active nightlife, especially on Huertas Street and Plaza de Santa Ana.
Gran Vía – This upscale shopping street is located in central Madrid. It is known as the Spanish Broadway and the street that never sleeps, and for being one of the streets with the most nightlife in Europe. It connects Calle de Alcalá with the Plaza de España. In addition to shopping, it also boasts many hotels, large movie theaters, and grand early 20th-century architecture. Gran Vía (Great Road) got its name from the media who ridiculed the area because it took so long to develop. Construction began in 1904 and was completed in 1929. The most famous building on the street is the Edificio Metrópolis. Another notable landmark is the Edificio Grassy where you can see the tower of the Telefónica Building, the first European skyscraper. Near the Plaza de España, the Gran Vía crosses a small square called the Plaza del Callao, which is the heart of cinema in Madrid. The Plaza de España is a large square with two skyscrapers, the Edificio España and the Torre de Madrid, where the Gran Vía becomes Calle Princesa.
Barrio de La Latina – This centrally located stylish neighborhood with a bohemian vibe is where people go for tapas, especially on the Cava Baja and Cava Alta. In the older section, there are many small bars and pubs. It’s very crowded on Sunday mornings until the late afternoon due to its proximity to the flea market, El Rastro. Barrio de La Latina was named after the old hospital founded in 1499 by Beatriz Galindo (“La Latina”). La Latina occupies most of the oldest section of Madrid, which is referred to as El Madrid de los Austrias. With spacious squares and narrow streets, it has a traditional pueblo vibe instead of feeling like a major city. La Latina is part of the true historic center of Madrid. Several churches in the area include the Iglesia de San Andres and the Iglesia de San Francisco el Grande.
Lavapiés – Lavapiés is a neighborhood in the heart of Madrid, centered on the Plaza de Lavapiés. This multicultural neighborhood is home to more immigrants than any other barrio in Madrid. It represents a fusion of cultures. There are Indian restaurants alongside typical Madrid taverns. People of many different nationalities reside here, especially Moroccans, Ecuadorians, Colombians, Chinese, and Bangladeshis. Calle Argumosa connects Plaza de Lavapiés to Ronda de Atocha and features many bars and terraces. In recent years, the popularity of restaurants and bars that serve international food has increased due to local demand. Cultural events are very popular in this barrio. On August 10, the Fiestas de San Lorenzo begin. The parties last for days and visitors from all over Madrid and the world come to Lavapiés to attend the free concerts, participate in contests, and enjoy free drinks. The exotic, cosmopolitan vibe in Lavapiés attracts many visitors year-round.
Salamanca – Located to the northeast of the historical center of Madrid, Salamanca is an attractive residential neighborhood and shopping district with wide streets and grand 19th century buildings, some of which are now foreign embassies. The district is divided into 7 barrios: Castellana, Fuente del Berro, Goya, Guindalera, Lista, Parque de las Avenidas, and Recoletos. Salamanca is one of the wealthiest areas in Madrid and some of its streets, such as Goya and Serrano, are considered the most expensive streets in Spain. Marqués de Salamanca Square separates the wealthy area from the more touristy parts of the district. Salamanca is a great place to go for traditional Spanish restaurants. You’ll also find modern eateries and gourmet restaurants serving varieties of international cuisine. For accommodations, this area boasts luxurious, well-known five star hotels like Wellington, Adler, Villa Magna, and Gran Melia Fenix. The neighborhood’s two main shopping areas are on the Serrano and Ortega y Gasset streets. The best Spanish designers and upscale international brands all have stores in Salamanca. There are plenty of smaller shops, too.
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