If you’re planning a trip to Madrid, you may be struggling with choosing the right neighborhood for your travel needs. If its your first time in the city, its good to stay near the city center so you have easy access to all major attractions. Madrid is a restless city however, and choosing the right part of downtown is important. A quieter neighborhood like Salamanca might be preferred if you’re traveling with children. But if you’re hoping to be in the middle of the excitement then a bustling district like La Latina will be more suitable. To make the process of choosing a little easier, here is our take on the best neighborhoods for staying in Madrid.
Madrid locals lovingly call Huertas the “literary neighborhood”. This tiny district gets its nickname thanks to author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, who lived in the area for most of his life. Like any Madrid neighborhood, Huertas features countless bars and restaurants that are very traditional and serve the best tapas in the city (and probably all of Spain). If you’re looking for a charming small-town neighborhood that is relatively laid back, then Huertas is a good choice for your vacation. Some of the nicest hotels in Madrid are in Huertas, so finding a quality place to stay shouldn’t be an issue.
Chueca is Madrid’s official gay neighborhood that offers a thrilling nightlife and a booming live-music scene. Technically Chueca is part of the larger Justicia neighborhood. However, due to it’s independent spirit, Chueca has become a neighborhood of its own and an increasingly popular destination for tourists. Boutiques are very common in Chueca as are outdoor bars that bring the party out to the open air. Madrid is known for having a fantastic nightlife, and it is safe to say that Chueca plays a major role in earning that reputation. If you’re looking for all night fun then try finding an apartment in Chueca.
Sol is one of the primary neighborhoods in Madrid. It is located at the very heart of the city and therefore a good place to start your touring. Sol encompasses two huge squares that are iconic to Madrid’s architecture. The first is Puerta del Sol and the second, Plaza Mayor. Both plazas feature historical buildings, equestrian statues and numerous cafes where you can sit and enjoy a nice dinner. Many festivals take place in this neighborhood including the festival for San Isidro, the patron Saint of Madrid. If you want to stay in the very heart of the city, wrapped up in all the commotion, then Sol is definitely for you.
Salamanca is actually a district but often classified as its own neighborhood. Locals know that it is the most expensive neighborhood in Madrid and often called the most authentic. Salamanca houses Madrid’s largest bullfighting ring, Las Ventas, as well as many other major attractions. This neighborhood is close to the city center and also to the financial district. It’s a good place to stay if you want to be near downtown but not quite in it. Another perk of Salamanca is that it is generally quieter than some of the pub-filled neighborhoods like La Latina or Chueca. Many of the finest restaurants and shops of Madrid are in Salamanca. While it is a pricey district, it makes up for being expensive with its superb style and elegant authenticity.
Also known as the party neighborhood, La Latina is a colorful and youthful part of Madrid. It is located in the city center so if you stay here it will be easy to make your way around the rest of the city. It may be where all the hip kids go to hang out, but La Latina actually houses many of the most historic parts of Madrid. The neighborhood is built at the location of the medieval wall of the city, parts of which are still standing. A major portion of La Latina’s charm is this mixture between the historic and modern Madrid. If you choose to stay in La Latina, you will never be bored. Every Sunday El Rastro, an open air street market, starts up with boutique stalls and good food. The evenings are always very lively as the neighborhood is bursting with cafes, pubs, and bars where locals and tourists alike gather to take on the night.
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