Where to stay in Madrid—The center of all the roads in Spain
A place where history and modernity meet, Madrid is an exciting city to visit. The landscape of the entire city is filled with something for everybody—museums, galleries, historical and cultural landmarks, clubs, pubs, bars, shops, restaurants—you name it, and Madrid has got it.
Madrid is considered to be the heart and soul of art and nightlife in Spain. Some of the more prominent and well-known tourist attractions and sightseeing locations include The Royal Palace of Madrid, Plaza Mayor, Puerta de Alcalá, and many more.
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The neighborhoods in Madrid are known as barrios, and there are well over a hundred of them scattered among twenty-one districts.
These are our picks for the top 5 best neighborhoods:
- La Latina
- Barrio de las Letras
|Neighborhoods in Madrid|
|Best for expats||La Latina||A neighborhood located in the Centro district. Ideal for long-term visitors. During the day, it feels like any other busy city, but during the night, it comes to life. You can see people sitting around in cafes and bars, relaxing after a long day.|
|Best for first-timers||Sol||Situated in the heart of Madrid, Sol is close to all the sights that should be seen, as well as restaurants and shops. Most of the shops and restaurants have English speakers, so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier.|
|Best for party animals||Malasaña||The hub of Madrid’s nightlife. With bars, clubs, and pubs to spare, Malasaña is the place to be if you want to party like there’s no tomorrow.|
|Best for budget travelers||Lavapiés||One of the more affordable barrios in Madrid that has still retained its old charm and appeal.|
|Best for bohemians||Barrio de las Letras||One of many neighborhoods full of culturally relevant and significant places. Perfect for those who want to dive into the culture and art scene of Madrid.|
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Like any major city, Madrid has an efficient and reliable public transportation system. You can move through the city via bus, metro, taxis, trains, and electric bikes.
Buses cover the whole city, and they typically run from 6 am to 11:30 pm. There are also some buses that run during the night time, covering the time period between 11:55 pm and 5:30 am. A one-way ticket costs €1.50, but you have the option of buying a metrobús which enables you to ride the bus and metro 10 times for a fee of €12.20.
Madrid has one of the longest metro systems in the world. This is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to get around the city. When it comes to the type of tickets, there are one-way tickets which cost around €1.50–2, the aforementioned metrobús, and tickets that get you to and from the airport for around €4.50–5.00.
Cercanía is the name of the train system in Madrid. The trains usually operate between 5 am and midnight. There are seven zones, and each of them has a different ticket price. For additional information on how this works, check out this website.
Taxis are another way to move around the city, but they are a bit pricier. Beware of taxi scammers, since there are drivers who will try to take you on longer routes in order to charge more. Another piece of advice is to write down the address and to keep an eye on the meter.
Renting an electric bike is a green way to move around and explore the city. If you want to learn more about how it works, check out the official website.
Known for its narrow streets and large squares, La Latina covers most of the oldest section of Madrid. Full of hidden gems in the narrow streets, this neighborhood is a unique blend of traditional and modern. The history of the city is visible pretty much everywhere. Besides having a number of mesmerizing landmarks, La Latina has quite the number of tapas bars. We picked this neighborhood for long term visitors because it is full of charm, and it is close to all the other areas and neighborhoods of Madrid.
These are our picks for things to do:
- Juana La Loca
- Plaza de la Cebada
- Church of San Andrés
A restaurant in La Latina which serves traditional Spanish food. Enjoy some of those delicious tapas.
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One of the most well-known squares in La Latina, here you can see a number of vendors, street art, and performers.
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A beautiful and remarkable church which you should definitely visit when exploring the city.
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Smack in the heart of Madrid, Sol is a neighborhood full of energy and excitement. Every year it sees a great number of tourists, so there are a lot of places where you can find someone who speaks English, which is great if you are a first-time visitor and your Spanish isn’t the best.
Here are some of our picks for things to see and do:
- Gran Vía
- Chocolatería San Ginés
- Puerta del Sol
One of the best-known streets in Madrid, occasionally referred to as the Spanish Broadway, Gran Vía is located in the center of Madrid. It is packed with shops, bars, cinemas, restaurants, as well as gorgeous architecture.
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Satisfy your sweet tooth with some delicious sweets. This chocolatería is open 24 hours and is best known for churros with chocolate.
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Here is another famous square, whose name means Gate of the Sun. This is the square from which New Year’s celebration is broadcast on television and the home to some great landmarks.
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A neighborhood where young people, as well as those looking for a vibrant atmosphere, gather and meet. Known for its youthful and fun energy, Malasaña has an abundance of bars, pubs, and clubs.
Here are some of our suggestions for a good time out:
- La Vía Láctea
- El Penta
- Tupper Ware
A bar that plays a variety of music and serves delicious drinks.
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Experience a true Spanish night out, with excellent music and an enticing atmosphere.
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A club with an easy-going vibe and 60s and 70s feel and decorations.
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