Streets and walking, Madrid
Madrid has a great architecture, nice squares and different areas of the city all having their own characteristics. Anyhow, Madrid is a very modern and lively city.
Its numerous restaurants offer delicious food.
Nightlife is lively and there are lots of different styles of places to choose from. I enjoyed a Cuban place with the nice latino music.
Fondest memory: My favourite place was not downtown, but Plaza Mayor with its wide open square; and the area called La Latina (the traditional working class living area in Madrid).
In La Latina you can find narrow streets and tiny restaurants, prices too are not the same as in downtown.
Favorite thing: The Gran Via is the commerical focal point of Madrid. It is here that you head to after you tire of Madrid's many museums and have decided it is time to do some shopping. The area also has many destinctive early 20th century buildings that makes the architecture fascinating. At night the reason that you might visit the Gran Via is to see is to take in its many bars.
Favorite thing: While walking around the centre of Madrid, look around! You will find yourself surrounded by this beautiful architecture, and not only in the bigger streets. I like to think that Madrid has a certain class and elegance due partly to its architecture. Also, where ever you are, don't forget to look up! You might find a nice surprise on top of a building!!
Favorite thing: This marvelous trompe-l'oeuil on the side of a building is near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente in Old Madrid. Blink an eye and you might just walk right into the building! Another wonderful surprise waiting to be discovered.
This building in on the way from Puerta del sol to Plaza Mayor.
I love the paintings on the facades, make it very special. I founded quite a few buildings like this walking around the Austrias area.
Favorite thing: Many of the streets and squares in central Madrid have, in place of the usual street name, a mural with both the name and a picture related to the street or square name. So, for example, in the Moorish quarter, Plaza de Puerta de Moros has a nice picture of a Moorish gate beside the square name. This seems like a really interesting idea, especially when a particular street has an obscure name. We saw many of these signs around the old quarters of the city.
In the old part of the town, mostly around Plaza de Santa Ana, shops and bars and restaurants have often façades decorated with tiles very similar to the portuguese azulejos. But, unlike Portugal, the are not only blue and white. The colors vary and so do the themes opf the drawings.
Here are some of the pictures of these azulejos I took in Madrid. Only a few examples, but walking around in a nice day you'll see plenty of them.
many years ago I came into Madrid with my mother and nothing but the clothes on, this was the time of the dictatorship in the early 1970's.
We settled into a nice apartment on Alcala 331, 2do A (floor), buzon 67 (postal box) on the exit to metro Quintana line 5. The end line was not far in Ciudad lineal, and to get to our aunt at Canillejas we had to take the electric tramway.
It was humble but nice times indeed, and got to know all the neighbors in a nice friendly neat community. we left in 1974,and time went by, until was able to come back after an university degree in the USA in 1982. the time of the World Cup of football/soccer. It took a while to come back again in 1990, and from then, it has become routine most every year until 2003, and then every year pilgrimage to the city.
The old piso or apartment is a must for me, cant be in Spain without been in Madrid.
A bit about the area of Quintana district in the municipality of Ciudad Lineal Madrid
Ciudad Lineal is the name given to the municipality that includes the districts or neighborhoods of Ventas (monumental bullfight arena), Pueblo Nuevo , Quintana (my area), Concepción , San Pascual), San Juan Bautista , Colina , Atalaya ,and Costillares .
It was a design idea of futurist engineer Arturo Soria, who created the Ciudad Lineal idea in 1886 , and a dreamer of the ideas of Ebenezer Howard on the garden city that sprung in the 19-20 century. He was advocating ruralising the city and urbanising the country along a beltway or communication axis, (today found by the streets of Arturo Soria and Hermanos García Noblejas),with tramway and basic stops, as well as single homes that would encircle Madrid. Today the Ciudad Lineal is surrounded by an urban complex of bigger proportion than envision.
Also, today the area has received considerable immigrant population especially from 2005 onward from Latin America. In Spanish but you can see the information on all districts of Madrid here
Fondest memory: Growing up as a teenager in a daring big city is awesome. Lots of wonderful memories, first kiss, first girlfriend, lots lots of stories too numerous and too detailed to mentioned but always positive.
Its an area that is not touristic, but real Madrid the reason you come to explore a city, be close to the locals, and very near Puerta de Alcala, Ventas monumental bullring and the exit on to Barajas airport. Not to forget memorable Retiro park.
Always a stop when in Spain. Some photos of my Madrid .
My beloved Madrid has 21 districts with names such as Arganzuela, Barajas, Carabanchel, Centro, Chamartín, Chamberí, Ciudad Lineal, Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca, Moratalaz, Puente de Vallecas, Retiro, Barrio de Salamanca, San Blas, Tetuán, Usera, Vicálvaro, Villa de Vallecas, and Villaverde.
The visitor should have heard of Barajas as thats where the airport is located. Then the popular ones are Centro, Chamartin, Chamberi, Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca,Retiro, and Salamanca. My old district was/is Ciudad Lineal but no tourist there just working class Spaniards and plenty of local flavors in bars, restos. I will mention them all with highlighted the upper real estate value neighborhoods.
Some recaps for Arganzuela starts by the Puerta de Toledo and in it you find the Vicente Calderon stadium for the football/soccer club Atletico de Madrid. Several suddivisions or barrios here are Acacias,Chopera, Imperial,Delicias, Legazpi, Moguer, and Atocha (the train station is here).
In Barajas, as mentioned you find the international airport for Madrid, you have here the Ermita de la Virgen de la Sociedad a church, and its suddivided into barrios or neighborhoods as Casco Viejo Barajas, Alameda de Osuna, Timon and Corralejos. The other that attaches to it is Valdebebas where the Real Madrid FC has a training center and farm team site of Real Madrid-Castilla.
Carabanchel, it was once famous for a prison in the Franco dictatorship,now gone. Here you have the church Ermita del Santo, San Isidro Labrador, the patron Saint of Madrid. The neighborhoods are Vista Alegre, Vista Bonita, Abrantes, Opañel, San Isidro, Comillas. In Vista Alegre was the old arena for the Real Madrid basketball team,7 times European Champion.
Centro, this is where most visitor come as most attractions are in it or around it. Puerta del Sol,Gran Via are all here, the IN place for the movida as well as Joy Eslava discotheque, Royal Palace, etc all guide books talks about it. The neighborhoods are Palacio,Embajadores,Corte,Justicia, Universidad,and Sol.
Chamartin, this is the other train station of Madrid; as well as the greatest Santiago Bernabeu Stadium home of Real Madrid FC, FIFA club of the 20C,and IFHHS European club of the 20C, 9 times European champions, simply the best! You have plenty to shop and be merry here, a place that needs further research by visitors. Its like home to me ::) . the neighborhoods are El Viso,Prosperidad,and Ciudad Jardin, Hispanoamerica, Castilla ,and Nueva España.
Chamberi, a small neighborhood, and popular with students residencies, has neighborhoods such as Gaztampide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro,Rios Rosas,and Vallehermoso.
Ciudad Lineal, well this is my district where I lived for four years in the 70′s and come back to it like a pilgrimage every year. This was carved out in 1892, and the most prominent feature is the church Nuestra Señora de la Concepción
( Our Lady of the conception). Neighborhood here are Ventas (the bullfight arena is here), Pueblo Nuevo, and my old nostalgic place Quintana right on Alcala Street; another barrio that most associates with the district is that of Arturo Soria, very nice.
Fuencarral-El Pardo; biggest district in part for the Monte del Pardo and Salto de Viñuelas forest parks. This is where the king has his residency. the nice neighborhoods are Barrio del Pilar, El Pardo, Valverde, Peñagrande, la Paz, and Mirasierra amongst others; all very nice neighborhoods.
Hortaleza, with a nice mirador de sanchinaro or lookout tower just outside the M30 ring road. neighborhoods here are , Canillas,and Palomas amongst others.
Latina, this is a very popular district with lots of night action and tapas. From the river Manzaneras all the way to the town of Alcorcon, this is a nice chuck of district. You see the very nice Puente de Segovia or bridge of Segovia over the Manzanares river. Neighborhoods are Aluche (where have some good old friends), Cuatro Vientos, los Carmenes,and Campamento amongst others.
Moncloa-Aravaca, this is the University area, plenty of bars,restos and the Puerta de Hierro ,Casa de Campo and its attraction parks ,Palacio de la Moncloa, neighborhoods are Casa de Campo, Argûelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdemartin, El Plantio and Aravaca.
Moratalaz, outskirts of the beltways road M30 and M40, out away from attractions. neighborhoods are Marroquina, Pavones, Vinoteros amongst others.
Puente de Vallecas, popular local district home of Rayo Vallecano, 2 division and sometimes 1 div football/soccer club. I used to come a lot by here in my youth. The end of year San Silvestre marathon race is run thru here! Neighborhoods are Numancia, Portavoz, and San Diego amongst others.
Retiro, this is another highly visited district around the Parque del Buen Retiro and the magnificent museums such as Prado! , and the botanical gardens. Neighborhood are Pacifico, Estrella,Jeronimo, ibiza,and Niño Jesus.
Barrio de Salamanca, the chic and trendy in Madrid along the Castellana and Serrano streets. The place to be and be known in town. Neighborhoods are Recoletos, Goya,Fuente del Berro, Castellana, and Lista amongst others.
San Blas, residential more and more from an industrial past, coming of a la mode. Neighborhoods are Simancas, Canillejas, Salvador amongst others. In Canillejas you can get the bus to airport 101/200 and other nearby cities like Torrejon de Ardoz and Alcala de Henares all linked with line 5 of metro my old line lol!
Tetuan, the Cuatro Caminos round point and the ave Asturias are very lively here, a must to find in Madrid. See older homes of Madrid by Bravo Murillo street. Neighborhoods are Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, etc.
Usera, very residential and industrial north of Manzanares river, some neighborhoods are San Fermin, Almendrales, and Moscardo.
Vicalvaro, this is an university district and has the fabolous Faunia park of nature, good for the kids. Neighborhoods are casco historico (old center) and Ambroz .
Villa de Vallecas, very laidback parroquial and country area in southern part of Madrid, nice to see the real city away from tourists. Neighborhoods are Casco Historico(old center) and Santa Eugenia.
Villaverde, in the south of city was industrial now becoming more residential, some neighborhoods here are Ciudad de los Angeles, San Cristobal,and San Andres. The newer autoroute A42 now passes nearby.
Hope it helps orient yourself next time looking for a rental or visiting the City of Madrid, and remember, “From Madrid to Heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day” Cheers
Fondest memory: walking its barrios and quaint cobblestone streets of old is sublime with a cana and tapas to recharge
found some more photos as my boxes from moving are beginning to unload.
Madrid is my city, where I grew up as a Young teenager, and had the first freedom, so it will always be in my heart. Lucky enough to visit often nowdays.
Walking is sublime and a must; mix in the Madrid day with the hussle and buzzle and then taste its terrific nights full of life.
The pictures here are the famous historical National Library, the Metropolis building, and the Plaza Santa Ana. And the nice neighborhood of cueva san miguel with all those tapas bars. All symbols of this wonderful city.
Fondest memory: walking anywhere is magical day or night. Metropolis is up my alley coming from Alcala up Gran Via.
accommodations at good prices
sights see VT destination Madrid for ideas by posters like us, there are many possibilities depends on your interests. tourism Madrid link at
see travel tourist card section.
same site for the weather
Madrid is sublime.
Fondest memory: walking and riding boats in Retiro park, walking Alcala street to Sol; just growing up as a kid around Quintana, and visit every year lol!
Favorite thing: Madrid's stately boulevards are lined with buildings ranging from grand to gaudy. Many of them are embellished with statues, sphinxes, gargoyles and many other sculptural extravanganzas. Framed in voluptuous niches, holding lintels or topping domes and turrets, they seem to spy from the heights the multitude rushing around on their mundane daily errands (and on their extraordinary touristy deeds).
Favorite thing: Madrid is relatively safe but it is a big city after all and you always need to be aware of your surroundings and your personal items. If you are approached for charities etc, just walk away. In crowded areas, hold your possessions close by and secure. Pickpockets will always have a go.
Favorite thing: We loved walking around the city. I totally adore the houses with balconies and different types of windows. It looks so fresh and sunny. Probably because i am from Czech and we dont have such type of house here, i feel the south atmosphere from these houses.
Walk, walk all over. Is the best way to know Madrid or for that matter any city. But in Madrid I felt pretty safe.
Now, wear a good pair of shoes.
Fondest memory: Its people, their culture, their food and its Monuments. I loved their parks, and would love to go back soon.
What I missed the most is the "Enjoy Life" feeling is everywhere.