Top 5 Areas to Stay in Madrid
Madrid is a beautiful city to visit, no matter where you stay. In every neighborhood, you see pastel buildings and lively streets with Spanish people enjoying the day. When choosing a place to stay in Madrid, you’ll look at the many pink and orange apartments and feel like they would all make great homes.
And while you can’t really go wrong when choosing a Spanish home, this article will give you a detailed look at the best areas to consider for your Madrid search. These five neighborhoods are the best to stay in when in the city, whether for their convenient location or bustling entertainment.
1. La Latina
Home to Madrid’s famous market, El Rastro, La Latina is the best place to be on a Sunday. This neighborhood is also a great place to get a feel for traditional Spanish culture.
El Rastro, which means “flea market” in English, fills the streets of La Latina every Sunday with goods available for purchase and with people, both tourists and natives. Here you can find sunglasses, clothing, shoes, tapestries and more. El Rastro is a fun experience and it makes for something to look forward to every Sunday. The event only takes place on Sundays, from 9am to 3pm.
La Latina is the most southern neighborhood on our list, but it’s actually located conveniently. It is only a short walk to Plaza Mayor, Sol, and Tirso de Molina; which are all popular squares to enjoy a drink or more.
Film lovers are drawn to La Latina for the hip movie theater that is located just next to the metro stop, Tirso de Molina. This theater is definitely the coolest around, with much more to do than just watch a movie.
The venue entrance features a long hall for smoking or waiting for a friend. Inside, there is a huge open room with lots of seating for people to gather around and watch silent screenings of fun films, like 101 Dalmatians, while chatting with friends.
Here, you can order beer, wine, and any of the delicious items on their menu, which feature vegan and gluten free options. If you prefer a sophisticated cocktail to a glass of wine, you can head upstairs to the glamorous bar before the movie starts. But even if you don’t get a ticket to the film, this place is cool enough just to hang around.
THE NAME OF THE VENUE IS SALA EQUIS (“HALL X” IN ENGLISH)
LOCATED AT CALLE DEL DUQUE DE ALBA, 4.
OPEN MONDAY TO THURSDAY FROM 5PM TO 1:30AM, FRIDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 12PM TO 2:30AM, SUNDAY FROM 10AM TO 1:30AM.
CONTACT: (+34) 91 429 66 86
La Latina is also an excellent place to eat. The neighborhood that drives people to taste their traditional tapas, there is no shortage of delicious food here. A favorite of the locals is Nina’s Pasta Bar, run by two Italians who know how to serve exquisite pasta for a nice dinner.
Closed on Mondays
Open from 10:30am to 12:00am Tuesday to Friday, from 11:00am to 12:00am on Saturday, and 11:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday
They can be contacted at +34 911 37 46 60
For Mexican food lovers, Sahuaro has a wide selection of great plates and drinks, it’s well-priced, and has a nice outdoor seating environment.
Open from 1:00pm to 1:00 am Monday through Thursday, 1:00pm to 2:00am on Friday and Saturday, and from 11:00am to 1:00am on Sunday
For questions or reservations, call +34 914 29 64 49
For artsy people, Chueca is a lovely neighborhood. This area is home to many shops and restaurants, but it has even more character than that. Chueca is the gay district of Madrid, and this culture brings creativity and style to the neighborhood.
Being the home of the gay movement, Chueca also hosts LGTB pride festivals during the summer, when the district is decorated with pride flags and packed with celebration.
The diversity of the neighborhood actually translates to the shopping that can be found there, as both foreign and local brand stores line the streets. If you find a place in Chueca, you may be staying near Brandy Melville, Carhartt, or Camper, just to name a few stores.
In Chueca, restaurants resemble the modern age of the district. Your favorite dinner spot in this neighborhood will most likely be small and upscale, with some sort of creative twist.
For example, Le Coco is a quaint restaurant on Calle Barbieri that makes you feel like you’re eating a home cooked meal, while serving plates like steak tartar, octopus risotto, and homemade red velvet cake.
For those who are going to be studying in Madrid, Malasaña may be the best place for you to live. The area is filled with other students and is situated right next to happening streets like Gran Vía. There, you will find the three story Zara, among many other shops.
If you’re really into shopping, you’ll want to walk down Calle de Fuencarral to take advantage of any of the stores that you didn’t find on Gran Vía. This street has shops like Adidas, Levi’s, and Calvin Klein, just to name a few.
Before Malasaña was a shopping hub packed with young people, it was the center of a cultural revolution. La Movida Madrileña was a Spanish movement that began in the 80’s. It encouraged freedom of expression and gave rise to artistic pieces of all kinds, from graffiti to comics.
This rich past is only one of the reasons that draw people to stay in Malasaña. Apart from the historical sentiment of the neighborhood, many colorful qualities of the area remain today. This is a barrio where one can spend hours without running out of things to do, as there is everything from nice coffee shops to edgy nightclubs.
This is the neighborhood for the elite, and it’s not just a recent development. The development of Salamanca was the idea of Queen Isabella II, who wanted an exclusive area for people with political and financial status.
Today, the history can be seen by the Michelin star restaurants, Golden Mile of high-end shopping, and many museums that define the neighborhood. Salamanca is a sophisticated area to stay in, for foodies and shopaholics alike.
If you are tempted to stay near excellent restaurants, Salamanca is a good choice for you. While you’re there, stop by Hotel Único and enjoy a meal at Ramón Freixa Madrid, where you can order a duck burger with green mustard ice cream and bread. For dessert, order the Luisa of Chocolate, made of “True love, True passion”.
Salamanca might also be the place to stay for its traditional event, bull fighting. Las Ventas, Madrid’s Plaza de Toros, or bullring, is the classic stadium of Spanish bullfighting.
The events can be difficult to watch for those who are sensitive to the sport, but visiting the stadium is still a culturally rich experience if you want to be exposed to the traditions of Spain.
Las Ventas is located at Calle de Alcalá, 237
Contacted at +34 913 56 22 00
For those who prefer enjoying nature more than sporting events, Salamanca also has a great spot for that. Retiro Park is located just under the neighborhood, and it’s a place you could spend hours without wanting to leave.
This huge screen space is one of the largest parks in Madrid, and it even has a lake for rowing boats. Staying in Salamanca means easy access to Retiro Park. It’s a lovely spot, and the entrance is free.
5. Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is a famous square that is visited by many tourists and locals. This square is arguably one of Madrid’s most well-known spots, and there is plenty going on there. Plaza Mayor is a large square surrounded by hotel rooms and apartments. Inside, there are restaurants, bars, events, and more.
Those who stay within Plaza Mayor will have access to great views from the terrace, and you may even catch a glimpse of Spiderman Gordo, or Fat Spiderman, and other entertaining characters that hang around the square.
Another benefit of staying near Plaza Mayor is the market that is located just outside of the square. Mercado de San Miguel is the famous indoor market that distinguishes Madrid from other Spanish cities.
This high-end market is a popular stop for tourists, and with good reason. Walking past the many booths, you will find everything from elegant tapas to tasty wine. Mercado de San Miguel even has a Mexican booth to cure your craving for tacos and frozen margaritas.