Madrid is a really diverse city. You can find almost anything you need here, from parties to restaurants to markets and parks. There’s something for everyone, and there’s even a neighbourhood for everyone, it seems! I previously lived in the neighbourhood of Chamberí and down near to Lavapiés! I’d recommend if you visit Madrid, trying to take a whole to stroll and explore around all the best neighbourhoods in the centre of Madird. Here’s my list!
Sol is the central neighbourhood of Madrid, it’s where you can find the main square, the important shops and restaurants and most of the people. You can find the famous bear statue here which is the official symbol of Madrid. It’s really the centre of Madrid and even the centre of the peninsula of Spain as all the highways begin there.
Metros: Sol, Sevilla, Ópera, Gran Vía, Santo Domingo, Callao, Tirso de Molina (Lines 1, 2, 3, 5)
Malasaña is probably my favourite neighbourhood in Madrid. Although sometimes I feel like it’s got just a bit TOO HIPSTER. But that’s what you get for being different and authentic, then you get a bit TOO cool, then: expensive and pretentious. But I would not say that Malasaña has lost it’s charm, you just have to go to the right places. There are so many bars in this area it’s amazing, some of the best food markets and alternative shops and for a young scene I’d say it’s the best part of Madrid!
Metros: Tribunal (Line 10 & 1), Bilbao (Line 1 & 4), Noviciado & San Bernando (Line 2)
Lavapiés literally translates as ‘feet cleaning’. This more ‘lower class’ neighbourhood is full of Indian restaurants, quirky bars and located right next to the famous market town of La Latina. Lavapiés is made up of many small winding streets which mostly sloping on a hill. The area goes down towards Atocha where you can find the famous art gallery Reina Sofia and the tropical train station!
Metros: Lavapiés (Line 3, yellow), extending to Tirso de Molina, Antón Martín & Atocha (Line 1)
I’d name Salamanca the more upper class neighbourhood of Madrid. There are some lovely unique shops and nice bars and restaurants in this area. There’s a main road with plenty of offices and businesses, the neighbourhood is fairly quiet and clean as you might expect from a more posh district.
Metros: Príncipe de Vergara, Retiro & Goya (Line 2), Serrano, Velázquez, Lista & Goya (Line 4)Núñez de Balbao (Line 5)
Chamberí is just north of Malasaña a little more out of the centre. This neighbourhood is known as the business district with some amazing terraces and architecture to look at in awe. It’s fairly calm and not overly expensive like Sol or Salamanca can be.
Metros: Bilbao, Iglesia and Rios Rosas, Alonso Martínez, Gregorio Marañón, Colón, Rubén Darío, San Bernando, Quevedo, Canal
There are a lot of bars in La Latina similarly to Malasaña (well the whole of Madrid and even Spain has a lot for that matter, but La Latina, even more!) Every Sunday every inch of La Latina is covered with their very famous El Rastro flea market where you can find some amazing bargains! This area is also a little cheaper than Sol, Malasaña or Salamanca, so go there for some great tapas on a terrace!
Metro: La Latina (Line 5)
Chueca is located just next to Malasaña and they seem to be blending more and more into one place. However, Chueca is the gay town! There are some of the coolest bars and clubs in Madrid located in Chueca including some great food markets. Come here during Gay Pride and you’ll have the time of your life.
Metros: Chueca, Gran Vía & Alonso Martínez (Line 1 & 5) and Tribunal (Line 1 & 10)
If you have a little more time to spare whilst in Madrid, it’s worth checking out the best day trips from Madrid and how to get there!