Where to stay in Madrid - 11 Best areas to stay in Madrid
In today’s video, we will look at where to stay in Madrid and the 11th best areas to stay in Madrid for tourists. Before we go straight into the video, please subscribe to this channel for more videos like this. Madrid is the capital and the largest city in Spain, located right at the heart of the country.
It is famous for its historical buildings, food markets, art museums, and bustling nightlife. Madrid is a very safe city and there are no no-go zones in the city center, but like any famous tourist destination, you should always practice common sense and be aware of pickpocketing. The 1st area to look at when it come to where to stay in Madrid is the area around Puerta del Sol Puerta del Sol is the best area to stay in Madrid for first-time travelers because it is the heart of the city and it offers the widest range of accommodation options. If you book a hotel here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to Madrid’s top tourist sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops. The Puerta del Sol square is home to the Kilometer Zero plaque, the official starting point for 6 National Roads of Spain. Puerta del Sol square is a convenient meeting place for both locals and tourists.
On the square, you can also find the House of the Post Office. This is where Spaniards gather to watch the countdown of the 19th-century clock tower on New Year’s Eve. The Statue of the Bear and Strawberry Tree is another well-known sight on the square and the official symbol of the city. Statue of the Bear and Strawberry Tree is the work of the sculptor Antonio Navarro Santa Fe.
Puerta del Sol is the starting point of many streets including Calle Arenal, Calle de Alcalá, Calle Mayor, and Calle Preciados. Preciados is a pedestrianized street and one of the most important shopping hubs of the Spanish capital. Within a short walk from the square to the west, you will see Madrid’s main square and the focal point of medieval Madrid, Plaza Mayor. Designed by Juan de Herrera and Juan Gómez de Mora, Plaza Mayor was originally called Plaza del Arrabal during the 19th-century but renamed Plaza Mayor at the end of the Spanish Civil War. The square is home to the Equestrian statue of Philip III, Casa de la Panadería, which is one of Madrid’s first bakeries dating back 1500s, and El Arco de Cuchilleros, which is one of the nine entrances to the square. There are also a number of traditional tapas restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars, making it a prime location for anyone looking to sample the truly authentic local cuisine.
The traditional Christmas market is hosted here every year. This is where you can find the oldest cake shop in Spain, Antigua Pastelería del Pozo, established in 1830 and still retaining some of its original furniture, and the Sobrino de Botín, founded in 1725, world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records, famous for its roasted piglet. If that isn’t enough Spanish culture for you, the local nightlife boasts not only a slew of the city’s top clubs and music venues but also several Flamenco houses. If you follow the winding streets from Puerta del Sol, you can reach the most famous boulevard of Madrid, Gran Via. Gran Via offers a charming shopping experience with both department stores and smaller shops.
Gran Via, known as the Spanish Broadway, was built between 1910 and 1929 to link the Salamanca and Argüelles neighborhoods. Barrio Sol is also an important transport hub and close to Madrid’s nightlife neighborhoods, Malasaña and Chueca. Puerta del Sol and Gran Via offer a wide range of accommodation ranging from luxury boutique hotels to budget guest houses.
There is always something for all kinds of budgets. The 2nd area in the list of the best areas to stay in Madrid is Los Austrias Los Austrias is the place to stay for those looking to truly experience the history of Madrid because it is one of the oldest areas of the city, with buildings dating back as far as the 15th century. Barrio Los Austrias is close to some of the best sights of the city like the Royal Palace, Royal Theater, Almudena Cathedral, and Plaza Mayor. The sprawling 18th century Royal Palace, the residence of the Spanish Royal Family, is an estate so large that the public walking tours can’t cover all of its rooms in a single tour.
The Royal Palace was built by order of Philip V on a former Moorish castle. Surrounding the Royal Palace, you can find Campo del Moro Park, which dates back to the Middle Ages, and the exquisite neoclassical-style gardens of Sabatini. They are both free to enter and have separate entrances. If you are visiting the nearby Plaza del Conde de Barajas on Sunday, you can take part in the Painters’ Market where 40 local independent artists show their paintings. The nightlife is built around the local opera houses, theaters, and flamenco houses. Bars offer live music for fans of jazz and blues, as well as cocktails and dining for those looking to chat about the performances they have just witnessed.
The area around Plaza Mayor is the perfect place to browse some of the oldest shops in the city and pick up traditional souvenirs. Once you are tired of shopping and sightseeing, head to the San Miguel Market, a food hall of over 30 stalls, featuring flavors from every part of Spain, combined with live entertainment, this is the perfect spot to unwind and recharge. You must try traditional Spanish cuisine like patatas bravas, calamari sandwiches, and sangría. The 3rd area in the list of the best places to stay in Madrid is La Latina The historical district of La Latina is home to Madrid’s largest flea market, El Rastro. El Rastro is located to the south of La Latina metro station and Puerta de Toledo station. Come here on Sunday to shop, stroll, and grab a bite at one of the neighborhood’s old tapas bars.
You can also sample all the delicious flavors of Spain at the Mercado de la Cebada, a good place for foodies where you can buy fresh local products and local cuisines. The market was once a hub of the La Latina neighborhood. Aside from its sprawling markets, the La Latina area is famous as the primary tapas hotspot in Madrid, especially on the Calle de la Cava Baja and Cava Alta streets. La Latina draws crowds of tourists and locals alike to sample the breadth of Spanish cuisine on offer here, including a number of interesting items you probably won’t have seen on the menu at your local tapas bar. You can explore the neighborhood by strolling along its small narrow streets and large community squares. Plaza de los Carros is a great place to stop by and chill.
The square was once used as a market for enslaved people but nowadays it is the place for locals to relax. In the square, you can find the statue of Pedro de Heredia, who founded the city. In a corner of Plaza de la Paja, you’ll find a charming small walled garden, Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona. Príncipe de Anglona used to stroll through this garden when he lived in the adjacent palace back in the 19th century. There is a small fountain in the center of the garden and its design is reminiscent of those found in typical Arab gardens.
If you need a break from shopping and eating, there are a number of museums and historical churches in the area. The San Isidro Museum is a great place to learn history of Madrid from prehistoric times, while Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a beautiful, domed building, which showcases a collection of artworks from the 18th century. You can also have a look at the El Capilla del Obispo, Madrid’s most beautiful chapel, built by Francisco de Vargas in the 16th century. The chapel was originally built to house the body of San Isidro, but now serves as the memory of Bishop Don Gutierrez. The nightlife of the area keeps up with the lively standard of the city, offering a host of clubs, bars, and taverns to keep you entertained late into the night. La Latina is a safe neighborhood for tourists but as any tourist area , you should always practice common sense.
Accommodations in La Latina consist mostly of budget options and numerous mid-range hotels. It’s also within walking distance to the attractions in Centro and Retro, making it an ideal place for budget travelers. The 4th area in the list of where to stay in Madrid is Huertas Located just steps away from the city center, Huertas, also known as Barrio de las Letras is a hub of history, art, and culture. Huertas was originally farmland outside the old city center, but later became home to the legendary Spanish writers including Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Quevedo.
At the heart of Huertas stands the beautiful Plaza Santa Ana. Plaza de Santa Ana displays statues of some of Spain’s most celebrated playwrights and poets, while the Calle Huertas pavement is engraved with quotes from famous Spanish literary works. You can also visit the house where Miguel de Cervantes spent much of his adult life. His final resting place can be found in the nearby Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians. - Calle Cervantes It’s here you’ll also find the Teatro Español, one of the principal theaters of Madrid and a key stop for anyone wanting to experience the highest quality Spanish theater. Las Letras is also within walking distance to the Madrid Golden Triangle of Art, where you can find Prado Museum, Reina Sofía Museum, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities because it is home to lots of bookshops, interior design stores, antique emporiums, and sprawling street markets. The Ranas Street market offers live street performances and special offers from the participating vendors, first Saturday of every month. You may think that an area dedicated to literature wouldn’t have much of a lively nightlife, in which case you will be pleasantly surprised by the varied entertainment on offer after sundown.
True to its roots as a center of the arts, a variety of live performances can be observed, from music to dancing. Cardamomo offers nightly flamenco performances by famous dancers from all over the world. Huertas is home to one of the oldest bars in the city, Viva Madrid, while Magister is a micro-brewery with free tapas. The Plaza Santa Ana also has lots of beer houses that were favorite stops of Ernest Hemingway. The 5th area in the list of the best areas to stay in Madrid is Malasana Malasana is a trendy district, home to the Movida arts movement of the ‘80s and still retaining much of its rebellious character.
The Movida Madrileña, known as Madrid Scene in English, started in the mid-1970s after the death of dictator Francisco Franco and Spain’s return to democracy. It was full of bars, drugs, and nightlife in the 80s, but now Malasaña is one of Madrid’s hippest neighborhoods. Malasana neighborhood is packed with craft coffee shops, vintage stores, tattoo parlors, rustic bars around the historic main Plaza de Dos de Mayo, and the pedestrianized-street Calle Fuencarral.
The nightlife here is distinct and varied, with an ever-changing calendar of public events set amongst the permanent array of niche clubs and bars with a penchant for the risqué. Here you’ll find adult-only shops, rock bars, and venues for just about every musical preference, with parties commonly spilling out onto the streets. If you are less inclined to party, it may still be worth visiting in the daytime, to wander the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art Conde Duque, ABC Museum of Drawing and Illustration, or appreciate the 17th-century churches that sit nestled amongst the bars. Local shops offer almost everything you could be looking for but are of particular interest to anyone looking for vintage goods and clothing, or fans of comics, with several comic book stores within walking distance of one another. Malasaña is within walking distance from lively Chueca, Centro’s Gran Vía, and Plaza de España, where you can find a monument to Miguel de Cervantes, a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. It is also home to two of the city's tallest buildings: Madrid Tower and the Edificio España, both built in the 1950s.
The 6th area in the list of the best places to stay in Madrid is Chueca Chueca is located between Malasaña and Salamanca, immediately north of Gran Via. Chueca is Madrid’s premier gay neighborhood, that hosts the Gay Pride Festival around in mid-summer late June or early July. As you would expect from an area famous for its LGBTQ community, the nightlife is a major draw for this area. The streets are lined with the hippest bars, restaurants, clubs, and cocktail bars, transforming into a vibrant hub of entertainment after sundown. You can check out the legendary cocktail bar Museo Chicote or enjoy a drink on the rooftop terrace of the San Antón Market.
Don’t worry if that’s not your thing though, there is still plenty to see here in the daytime as well. The heart of the Chueca is Plaza de Chueca, Fuencarral and Hortaleza streets. Plaza de Chueca is a regular meeting spot with its own metro stop. Calle de Hortaleza is packed with shopping, dining, and nightlife. On the Calle Agusto Figueroa, you will find the San Anton Food Market with a wide array of vendors offering samples to those browsing the stalls. If you take the ingredients you buy here to the La Cocina de San Antón restaurant, two floors above the market, their chefs will cook it for you, so you can enjoy it as fresh as possible, whilst taking in the views from their rooftop terrace.
If your trip to Madrid needs some romantic flair, the Museum of Romanticism is housed in the former palace of the Marquis of Matallana, or for a more alternative date idea, the bones of Saint Valentine rest in the San Anton church and are available for viewing by the public. Chueca is Madrid’s official gay neighborhood with thrilling nightlife. it is typically a safe area to stay in Madrid day and night as the popular nightlife keeps the streets busy and the lights on. The 7th area in the list of the best areas to stay in Madrid is Salamanca Designed in the late 19th-century as a playground for the wealthy aristocracy, Barrio de Salamanca remains one of the most luxurious residential areas of Madrid. This Salamanca barrios is the safest area in Madrid.
It’s also home to embassies of the United States, Canada, and Switzerland. Madrid’s longest and most elegant avenue, Paseo de la Castellana runs through Salamanca. This street is home to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the AZCA business center, and the Cuatro Torres Business skyscrapers complex. You can find the best high-end boutiques, fine dining eateries, upscale bars, and luxury hotels around Calle de Serrano, Calle de Velázquez, and Calle de Goya, also known as Golden Mile.
In fact, even those who don’t will be able to appreciate the beautifully designed shopfronts and architecture of the area. The area also boasts a number of museums, art galleries, and exhibition halls, including the National Archaeological Museum, Columbus Plaza, the Puerta de Alcalá, the newer Robot Museum, and Madrid’s iconic bullring Las Ventas. The Puerta de Alcalá on Plaza de la Independencia is a neoclassical arch, one of the iconic monuments in Madrid, erected in 1778 by Italian architect Francesco Sabatini. It’s a great place to take photos. If all that shopping and wandering museums make you hungry, there are also six Michelin-starred restaurants in the area to choose from, along with a plethora of other fine dining establishments and cafes, offering an array of cuisines, from authentic local delicacies to Japanese fusion. The nightlife of the area maintains the exclusivity and sophistication it was designed for, with the city’s top mixologists serving cocktails from some of the most prestigious clubs and bars, catering to the wealthy socialites and company executives from the nearby business districts.
Salamanca is a bit off-center but you can easily reach its attractions by metro. Velázquez, Serrano, and Ventas theodadđaddawqdadđnearest metro stops to Salamanca barrios. The 8th area in the list of where to stay in Madrid is Lavapiés Located between La Latina and Huertas, within walking distance to Retiro and Centro, the hip and trendy Barrio de Lavapiés, meaning “wash your feet”, is a good option for those who like international cuisines with a wide range of good value accommodation. You will find the central meeting places for young Madrileños in Plaza Lavapiés, and many numerous Indian restaurants along Calle Lavapiés.
Lavapies have stayed true to their multicultural origins throughout the centuries and the melting pot of cultures that formed this working district have left their mark on the art and atmosphere of the area. A hub of visual and dramatic art, the selection of exhibition centers and theaters include the Teatro Valle-Inclán, one of the base theaters of the National Drama Center, and the La Casa Encendida cultural center, which offers a wide variety of exhibitions, performances, art installations, and workshops. The Spanish Film Archive is also located here, a must-visit for anyone interested in the development of Spanish cinema. Thanks to its multicultural population, the dining options available in Lavapies are varied enough that even the pickiest eaters will find something they love, with restaurants offering food from across the world. The Tapapiés festival takes full advantage of this smorgasbord of cultural cuisines, exhibiting live performances, catered by vendors blending their country’s traditional foods with the Spanish tradition of tapas.
It’s not just the food of these cultures that is celebrated in Lavapies however, as the thriving immigrant community brings the vibrant festivals of their home countries with them. Most notably, the Indian celebration of Holi takes over the streets at the beginning of spring, filling them with color and ushering in the season. It is an event not to be missed if you have the opportunity to participate in the festivities. The 9th area in the list of the best areas to stay in Madrid is Retiro Retiro is a family-friendly neighborhood, located close to Paseo del Prado and Av de Menéndez Pelayo.
It is famous for its El Retiro Park and home to the Golden Triangle. Retiro Park is safe to visit day and evening. The primary feature of the Retiro district is Madrid’s most famous park, Parque del Retiro, which was first opened to the public in 1868. It was originally built for King Philip IV, was damaged during the War of Independence, later became a place for commoners and royals. This sprawling 125-hectare estate has more than 15,000 trees, the lungs of Madrid are a great place to relax.
Retiro Park boasts Crystal Palace that has been converted into exhibition centers, a large artificial lake with the option to hire a rowboat and spend an afternoon on the water, and a number of statues, art installations, and fountains including the monument to King Alfonso VII. For families with young children, the Teatro de Títeres is a puppet theater that performs shows every weekend, to keep little ones entertained in between trips to the various playgrounds. Such a large open space makes an ideal venue for festivals, which includes the annual book fair, held early each summer, that sees publishing houses from across Spain gather to display their titles. Don’t despair if you can’t make it for the fair though, as the Cuesta de Moyano book market is situated nearby, with over 30 permanent stalls forming an open-air bookshop, selling books both new and secondhand. Retiro is the perfect area to relax and unwind, with the many cafes surrounding the park offering the opportunity to sip a drink on the terrace and bask in the Spanish weather. The 10th area in the list of the best areas to stay in Madrid is Argüelles, Moncloa, and Chamberi Located near the University City in Madrid, Arguelles, and Moncloa are the lovely residential and quiet neighborhoods of central Madrid.
It’s just 10 minutes underground to go from Moncloa-Aravaca to the city center and surrounded by green areas and cultural attractions. Its notable sight is the Templo de Debod (Debod’s Temple), an ancient Egyptian temple gifted to Spain and transported to Madrid in 1968. Templo de Debod stands as the centerpiece of a reflection pool in the Parque del Oeste (West Park) and offers a stunning place to observe the sunset. Moncloa-Argüelles is popular with students with a number of prominent universities such as Universidad Pontífica Comillas, Universidad Politécnica, Universidad Complutense of Madrid, and Universidad Nebrija.
Unsurprisingly, the area heavily caters to international students and locals, with an array of cafes and bars, bookshops and bakeries, and, of course, a selection of clubs, pubs, and bars to keep you entertained into the evening. Being somewhat less of a tourist hotspot, yet still, in the center of the city and within easy commute of some of the most popular attractions, Arguelles and Moncloa may be the ideal area to look for accommodation if you are on a budget but still want to stay in the heart of the city. The 11th area in the list of the best places to stay in Madrid is around Museo Del Prado and Plaza De Las Cortes Located to the east of Madrid Centro, the Museo Del Prado, Paseo Del Arte, and Plaza De Las Cortes area is one of the most picturesque in all of the city.
Stylish, historic buildings provide a sophisticated, upper-class vibe to the area. Despite this, it doesn’t have a stuffy feel, like many such neighborhoods exhibit. A friendly, welcoming atmosphere is present throughout, with locals ready to help you embrace their culture. The name Paseo del Arte comes from the incredible collection of major art museums located in the district. Founded in 1819 and designed by Juan de Villanueva, Museo del Prado is Madrid’s most famous museum that has 8,600 paintings and over 700 sculptures dating back to the 16th to 19th centuries.
It is the works of Spanish painters such as Francisco Goya and Diego Velazquez, among others. Meanwhile, the Reina Sofia Museum provides countless exhibits and works of contemporary art of famous Spanish artists Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró. Adjacent to the Prado museum, in Madrid’s Art Walk, lies Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, which displays European paintings from the Middle Ages to the late 20th century.
These institutions alone can keep art fans entertained for days at a time. Then you have other locations, like the Plaza De Las Cortes, displaying incredible monuments and fabulous architecture, guaranteed to wow anyone interested in those sorts of things. For those not interested in art, you have other options too.
For starters, there is El Retiro Park. With wide-open green spaces, gardens, lakes, monuments, and more, it is ideal for relaxing and getting away from the city environment for a break. Facilities and amenities in the area like restaurants and shops are all quite pricey, which probably won’t come as a surprise. However, they help to complete an experience that is all about style, class, and luxury.
Now, you have it, where to stay in Madrid and the 11 best areas to stay in Madrid. Overall, Puerta del Sol and Gran Via is the best area to stay in Madrid for first-time travelers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within walking distance to Madrid’s top tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, and shops Thanks for watching.
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