City of Contrasts
Madrid is about its people and its organised chaos. It is a city of contrasts with multi-ethnic neighbourhoods and elegant boulevards, narrow streets, impressive buildings and the finest museums.
At first glance there seems to be no law that applies to all the hassle and the rush, but after the initial immersion, everything runs smooth and pleasantly. At least, according to my personal experience.
Plaza Mayor is one of the many places in Madid where you're likely to see lots of people gathered and enjoying their beautiful city. These guys were performing another "local custom," flamenco. Actually, Sevilla is more well-known for Flamenco, but these street performers were pretty talented.
The heart of the historic Jewish barrio, today this plaza is the hub of the quintessentially working-class Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés, rife with artists, immigrants, students, and aspiring actors. To the left is the Calle de la Fe (Street of Faith), which was called Calle Sinagoga until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. The church of San Lorenzo at the end was built on the site of the razed synagogue. Legend has it that Jews and Moors who chose baptism over exile were forced to walk up this street barefoot to the ceremony to demonstrate their new faith.
Looking for Designer Brands? Come to SALAMANCA!
No, I'm not banishing you to the city of Salamanca! There is a very exclusive district here in Madrid selling designer and luxury products like Chanel, Loewe, DKNY Donna Karan, Gucci, Hermes, Versace amongst others. It is known as SALAMANCA (the district). Luxury/ Branded products. I'll recommend a few of my favorites (read: polite and charming boutique assistants):
Let's start with:
Address: Jose Ortega y Gasset, 14, Madrid 28006 (METRO: Nunez de Bilbao).
I had expected to find really snooty boutique assistants but they were surprisingly very helpful towards me. I use Chanel skin care and make-up and because I bought a few items, they even gave me a few skin care samples. I'll definitely go back to this boutique again.
Address: Velázquez, 28, Madrid 28001 (METRO: Velázquez)
This boutique stocks the cheaper range of Donna Karan's clothings. Very affordable. I even saw some Spanish school girls coming in here to buy a few dresses! Friendly assistants, great variety of outfits to choose from at an affordable price!
Address: Jose Ortega y Gasset, 10, Madrid 28006 (METRO: Nunez de Balboa)
Even if the clothings at Versace is not within your budget, fear not! It's OK to browse through the trendiest Versace collections from casual wear to evening gowns! I stood there - riveted.
Address: Calle Don Ramon de la Cruz, 2, Madrid 28006 (METRO: Serrano)
I am a BIG fan of Gucci... and managed to grab a lovely pair of sandals which was on sale!
This pub is a well known one in Madrid. It is a historic place that breathes out the athmospere of the beginning of the 20 th. Century. It is a loved rendez-vous spot cuz it lies near the disco’s of Bilboa malasana. It has wooden-tables, leather lined sheets and mirrors on the wall. The visitors are intellectuals, artists and workers. casual