Madrid through its neighborhoods: Malasaña

There is something in Madrid that you cannot find elsewhere. It might be its people, or its rhythm, or its history, or… well, we don’t know, but there is something that makes Madrid special, and it definitely has to do with its neighborhoods.

For the past few weeks we’ve been reviewing different areas downtown and, of course, Malasaña need to be there.

A bit of history

This wonderful, eclectic neighborhood is part of the living history of the city —as well as Spain. Malasaña was traditionally called Barrio Maravillas, due to a convent placed there (the name “Maravillas” got stuck in with the area recently thanks to a sociocultural movement involved in 15M, Patio Maravillas). Though, during the 60’s its name changed into Malasaña, given after the street Manuela Malasaña that took its name from a young seamstress killed by Napoleon right after the 2nd of May uprising.

Urban art in Malasaña [Picture: David Ramos on Flickr]

As the pivotal point of La Movida Madrileña, Malasaña has been on the spot since the 80s.

A neighborhood full of squares to hang around

Doesn’t matter where you look at, you will always see a square in the horizon. Ok, maybe that’s too much… though, there are many iconic squares around.

Get lost in the neighborhood and find la plaza del Dos de Mayola plaza de San Ildefonso, la plaza de Tudescos (or La Luna)… Moreover, you will a los of iconic places that remind us of La Movida Madrileña and the hip (but old at the same time) Madrid.

Cannot miss – Must seen!

Warning!! You need to go to these places, otherwise you will missing out a lot of the real Madrid experience:

  • El Palentino (Plaza de Carlos Cambronero, 1). The heart of calle Pez. This bar offers good bocadillos and everything there is super cheap.
  • Bar Sidi (Calle de Colón, 15). An old style bar, very typical and with great tapas (plus, it is pretty affordable).
  • La Ardosa (Calle de Colón, 13). Best beer in Madrid and a pretty amazing salmorejo. It is a small tavern that you cannot miss.
  • Tupperware (calle Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 26). The BAR. It is the place to end up a night of party, for sure.
  • La vía láctea (Calle Velarde, 18). Another iconic bar/pub in Madrid. The perfect place to truly experience the city’s nightlife.
  • El Penta (calle de la Palma, 4). A classic from the 80s. Cannot talk about La Movida and not talking about El Penta. Worth a visit just to get a taste what Madrid used to be.
  • Picnic (calle Minas, 1). This bar is part of the essence of Malasaña. Pretty close to calle Pez, it has big windows to the street that are opened from Spring to Fall and let you walk in and out easily. Perfect place for the oldest millenials.

While you look for all these cool bars an squares, don’t forget to take a look around and enjoy the amazing urban art that Malasaña offers =)

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