Madrid en cinco pistas

By | 15 December, 2015 | 0 comments

1) Malasaña

Malasaña is one of Madrid’s most characterful and gentrified districts. It has plenty of cool shops and cafés that sell cupcakes but it still preserves its “naughty” feel from the past. You can find quite a few of them on Calle Velarde, the street where the singer Alaska opened her legendary pub La Vía Láctea, next to second-hand shops that still preserve the district’s 80s spirit. Plaza Dos de Mayo is also one you shouldn’t miss, with its famous bar terraces and the café called Pepe Botella, a favourite among literary and intellectual figures. Make sure you also visit the bookshop Tipos Infames or the new San Ildefonso market, on Calle Fuencarral, 57.

2) Reina Sofia Museum

This museum is one of the city’s main attractions. It is best to visit one of its interesting (sometimes too overcomplicated) exhibitions, like the one dedicated to Juan Giralt, in midweek in order to avoid the queues. You can also walk around its central garden, an attraction in itself, and visit the permanent collection, see the famous Guernica by Picasso, Richard Serra’s stones, Dalí’s works… The museum’s square, presided by Alberto’s historical cactus, is also an attraction worth seeing, full of children playing around, bar terraces and the emblematic Brillante, a place that makes a delicious deep-fried squid sandwich that you must try.

3) El Rastro

This flea market is a favourite spot of old writers like Ramón Gómez de la Serna and contemporary ones like Andrés Trapiello. A whole universe of stalls unfolds from Plaza del Cascorro, where you will no doubt be able to find some curious items and hidden gems. However, don’t just limit yourself to the stalls but also check out bookshops like Juanito, on Plaza General Vara del Rey, 8; different public auctions and furniture stores that are located around the aforementioned square.

4) Lavapiés

Lavapiés is slowly beginning to be tagged as a modern and hipster district, although it still preserves its multi-ethnic and alternative feel, just one metro stop from the heart of the city, Puerta del Sol. Drop by Café Barbieri, whose new management have given it a completely new spirit, and try some of its selection of snacks and coffees in its traditional European café atmosphere. The cultural feature comes in the shape of the brand-new Teatro Valle-Inclán, one of the new headquarters of the Spanish Drama Centre (Centro Dramático Nacional) that offers a fantastic programme.

5) Gran Vía

The home of all the high-street fashion brands you can think of, although it is still interesting to delve into the universe of mass consumerism embodied by the huge Primark store which opened in 2015 and made its competition brands quite nervous with its presence. Have a walk around this avenue and enjoy the differences in each of its stretches: the first one is more refined, the second more commercial and the third, close to Plaza de España, is more alternative and artistic, home to the theatres that host some of Madrid’s most important musical shows.

Categories: Guías Madrid

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