La Latina is a lively, friendly and warm area of Madrid where you can walk along the narrow streets, enjoy tapas and life. With our friends we visited this area for warming up before the big Eurocup 2012 final. The bars were full and everybody seemed to enjoy. I guess La Latina could be a good spot for nightlife and entertainment as well as meeting with friends. The old streets and the architecture make a perfect setting for photography.
La Latina keeps alive the small city atmosphere that Madrid has many years ago, when everybody knows each other on the neighborhood and you could walk the entire city in a matter of hours. At least, that's what my grandparent used to say.
Anyway, when I'm on this area, I clearly understand what he tried to tell me: sloped and narrow streets, ancient houses and churches, charming and little squares, etc.
One interesting anecdote; the neighborhood is named after Beatriz Galindo (aka "La Latina"). Ms. Galindo was an amazing woman for her times (XV century), because she was fluent in the Latin language (hence her nickname) and carried out an intense cultural labor in the area.
La Latina district is the city´s Old town for excellence full of recreational and leisure areas and full of tapas bars and restaurants.
In the medieval times, La Latina was surrounded by a defensive wall and the moats which today are the axes of the quarter: La Cava Baja and La Cava Alta.
There are a couple of best known streets: Calle de Nuncio (where is located one of the best restaurants in Madrid called CASA PACO) and Calle del Almendro (La Taberna Almendro 13 in which the typical dish of "los huevos rotos" is a MUST to try!).
Apart from these well known streets in the capital, La Latina district is defined by six squares full of bars, terraces..
- Puerta Cerrada, Plaza del Cordón, Plaza de la Cruz Verde, Plaza de la Paja, Puerta del Moro and Plaza de la Cebada. Is in the last square - Plaza de la Cebada - in which I advice to do not stop to eat by the restaurant called "El viajero" which is really expensive by quality/price.
The Spanish word for "Square" is PLAZA.
If you find yourself thirsty and hungry while visiting Plaza Mayor, I would recommend going down the steps that lead to the Calle de los Cuchilleros and find a spot at one of the many sunny patios in La Latina. This warm and cosy area was one of my favorites in all of Madrid! This is the kind of place where you might end up striking up a conversation with people sitting at the next table, enjoy some nice traditional music by street performers, or get surrounded by rowdy football fans celebrating their team's victory! Truly worth the little detour.
Together with Gran Via, La Latina is my favourite spot in Madrid. Its the barro where the real madrilens live, the working class people, and its the mediaval barrio, containing many steepy small streets and alleys with a beautifull atmosphere. La Latina is located between Plaza Puerta Moros and Lavapies, and has many old tall building along the old steppy streets, you ll find many old pubs and its really worthy to spend at least one day in the area. At night its a very popular nightlife center having dozens of pubs, tabernas and tapas bars. Especially the area around Plzaza de Puerta Cerrado is very appealing. During daytime you should visit nearthe calle de toledo some typical tapas bars where the locals come at afternoon for a cerveza and some Tortill a la Espagnol. The whool floor is full of dirt cuz they are used to trow all garbage on the follr of the bar, so funny to see. At night La Latina is a magnificant barrio to stroll down the old medeaval small streets.