Madrid is a big city and an ideal destination for any type of traveler. It is therefore essential to choose the right area where to stay in Madrid according to your needs.
The decision is not easy, especially for the first time in the city, as there are many neighborhoods each with their own characteristics.
But don't worry why in this article I will explain to you in a simple way how the Spanish capital is made up e which are the best areasand to better enjoy your stay in Madrid.
Regardless of what interests you most, history, culture, shopping, entertainment or gastronomy, thanks to this guide you will be able to find the right place to sleep in Madrid.
Where to sleep in Madrid: The best areas
As I told you, Madrid is quite large, the city is divided into 21 districts, which are in turn divided into 128 districts, called barrios. Fortunately, however, the most important tourist areas are not many and are concentrated in a smaller area: the center.
So we can safely say that the best district to stay in Madrid is the Center. Especially for those visiting Madrid for the first time, sleeping in the center is the perfect choice; you will be in the heart of the city and close to the most interesting tourist attractions. You will also have a wide choice of restaurants, tapas bars, cafes, clubs and shops. The great advantage of being in a central area is that you can mostly walk around.
But be careful, because the Center is divided into several smaller neighborhoods, which one to choose then? Obviously it depends on what you are looking for, you will find below the 7 best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid, to be chosen according to your preferences and the style of travel.
In any case, remember that if you want to visit Madrid mainly on foot, you should find a structure close to the following metro stations: Opera, Santo Domingo, Callao, Sol, Seville, Gran Vìa, Tribunal, Novitiate.
1. Puerta del Sol - Gran Via: Sleeping in the Center of Madrid
The neighborhood located between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol is certainly the most famous tourist area of the city. Puerta del Sol is the main square of Madrid, a strategic point from where all the other barrios can be easily reached.
Sol is a lively area and is a meeting point for tourists and locals alike. Artistically speaking, in the square there are the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree and the statue of Charles III of Spain.
The Gran Via in addition to being the main artery of the city, it is also a real symbol of Madrid, hectic and modern, but retains that retro charm of the Madrid of the 50s.
The whole area between Puerta del Sol and Gran Via is considered the real center and it is the best place if you are visiting Madrid for the first time, thanks to its strategic position and excellent connections with the rest of the city. In addition, there are many restaurants and shops almost everywhere.
Also the area of the Teatro Real home of the Opera located not far from Puerto del Sol is a great place to stay.
2. Malasana: Evening life
Malasana is a redeveloped neighborhood, the most characteristic and alternative area of Madrid, characterized by narrow streets and ancient buildings. It is a zone perfect for young travelers particularly interested in nightlife. There are many clubs, bars, restaurants and the streets of the neighborhood are always very busy both at night and during the day.
In fact there are many things to do during the day as well, not to be missed Plaza del Dos de Mayo with excellent restaurants to enjoy delicious tapas. Culturally, the Palazzo de Liria and the Municipal Museum are worth seeing.
Malasana is also very close to Gran Via, ideal for those who are also interested in shopping.
In general, if you are looking for a place with evening life and prefer to walk around the city without depending on public transport, the Malasaña district is the one for you.
3. Chueca: Vivace and Alternative Zone
Chueca is a very central neighborhood located right near Malasana, as the latter is a very lively, trendy and alternative area. Known for being the gay district of Madrid, it is the place where Gay Pride takes place.
The area is full of alternative cafes, clubs and bars. The center of the neighborhood is the Plaza de Chueca. At night the barrio is frequented by people of all ages ready to party and dance in the street.
4. La Latina: Characteristic area, in a central position
La Latina is a central area, located southwest of Puerta del Sol, but remains a traditional and less touristy neighborhood.
Famous for medieval architecture, for the largest flea market in the city, but above all for the best Tapas bars. There are also some of Madrid's oldest churches and various museums.
In the La Latina district there is an authentic and lively atmosphere, there are several bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs, and it is the perfect place to mingle with the locals. The location is very good, you can walk to the main attractions of Madrid, Come il Palazzo Reale, Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.
If you are looking for a characteristic, charming and lively area, in a central and convenient location, La Latina is the right choice where to sleep in Madrid!
5. Lavapies: Budget Accommodation
Lavapies is located next to La Latina, with which it shares the El Rastro flea market. It is the multi-ethnic heart of Madrid, very lively in the evening, among street performers and clubs, with a party atmosphere. Here everything is more real, more alive and colorful! Famous for its many ethnic restaurants and trendy bars.
Lavapies is the right choice for budget travelers, here are several budget accommodations.
6. Huertas - Barrio de Las Letras
Huertas is another beautiful neighborhood that is lively both by day, with its many museums, and by night. Very popular with young people, given the proximity of the University, but perfect for every need, with a varied offer of bars for all tastes.
The neuralgic point of the neighborhood is Plaza Santa Ana, the center of Madrid's nightlife with many tapas bars and clubs.
The heart of Huertas is also known as the Neighborhood of the letters, a real open-air museum, a series of streets that take their name from the great Spanish writers: Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Gongora.
On weekends the streets are full of tourists and locals from Madrid looking for clubs, during the week many clubs host flamenco shows.
The location is great, right in the center, Huertas is bordered by Lavapies and is just a few minutes' walk from Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor.
7. Salamanca: Elegant neighborhood
It is one of the richest neighborhoods in Madrid. Here it is born Calle de Serrano one of the most elegant and exclusive shopping streets, where you will find numerous shops specializing in luxury items.
Ma Salamanca is not just shopping, don't miss one of Madrid's landmarks, Plaza de Colòn, named in honor of Christopher Columbus.
The location is not exactly central, but the heart of Madrid is easily reached in about 20 minutes by metro. For those looking for a quiet residential area where to live a high level experience Salamanca is the perfect neighborhood to stay overnight.
Downtown, Puerta del Sol Area: Best area for a first trip to discover Madrid;
Malasana, Chueca: alternative area, evening entertainment with many clubs, bars and restaurants;
La Latina: Central, authentic and lively area frequented by tourists and locals;
Lavapies: The best area to stay in Madrid for budget-conscious travelers;
Huertas: Central area suitable for everyone, entertainment and culture;
Salamanca: sleeping in Madrid for luxury.
Discover Madrid with the Lonely Planet Guide
Tips, practical information, itineraries, ideas, photos and maps to visit the Spanish capital
Don't leave without Lonely Planet!