The capital city of Spain, Madrid, is a popular tourist destination and one of the best places to live in the country. It effortlessly combines the buzz of a modern metropolis with the appeal of a historical one. Madrid offers a high standard of living at a reasonable cost, and there is no shortage of hip eateries, shops, and bars to visit. Madrid's museums, galleries, nightlife, and well-connected public transit system all work together to make the city a popular vacation destination.
While all this sounds great, picking a location to stay in among Madrid's 21 districts and 100+ neighborhoods can be challenging. We have compiled a list of the ten trendiest neighborhoods in Madrid to help visitors decide where to spend their next vacation.
One of the most fashionable and exciting areas in Madrid is Chueca. Located at the heart of the annual Madrid Pride celebration at the end of June, this LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood boasts hip clubs, cafes, and stores. Cheuca attracts all ages and sexual orientations and is well-known for its excellent dining options, lively nightlife, and numerous bars. Spend an afternoon browsing the booths and drinking on the rooftop terrace of the famed San Antón Market. It is also worth booking the night at one of the neighborhood's iconic hotels.
- Accommodation: Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid
- Address: Calle Barquillo, 21, 28004 Madrid
- Why you should book: Enjoy a stay right in the middle of Madrid's exciting action full of lively nightlife and numerous bars. The hotel is just a short stroll from Gran Via and Paseo del Prado.
The area known as Sol is central to Madrid and is home to some of the city's wealthiest residents. Some of Madrid's most famous landmarks may be found in the Sol district, making it a unique part of the city. Among the many attractions in the area are the lively Puerta del Sol square, the Reina Sofa Museum, and the magnificent Teatro Real. The urban conveniences of supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and beautiful hotels can all be found in the Sol neighborhood, making it a fantastic place to stay while visiting Madrid.
- Accommodation: Vincci The Mint
- Address: Gran Via 10, 28004 Madrid
- Why you should book: Centrally located Vincci The Mint is just steps from Gran Via Street and 7 minutes by foot from Puerta del Sol.
Salamanca is widely recognized as one of Madrid's most desirable and priciest neighborhoods, giving visitors and locals a taste of the city's opulent lifestyle. The glitzy neighborhood of the northeastern part of Madrid is a paradise for those who appreciate finery, as it is home to several restaurants with Michelin stars, including Ramón Freixa Madrid, Zalacan, and Kabuki Wellington, and a wide variety of upscale boutiques, especially along the famed Golden Mile. Salamanca's cultural attractions, including its world-class museums and art galleries, are unsurpassed, so staying at a hotel in this neighborhood is a must.
- Accommodation: Heritage Madrid Hotel
- Address: Calle Diego De León, 43, 28006 Madrid
- Why you should book: Heritage Madrid is a 4-minute drive from Gran Via Street and 10 minutes from Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
After the death of dictator Francisco Franco and the return of democracy in Spain, the neighborhood of Malasaña to the west of Chueca became the epicenter of the countercultural movement known as Movida Madrilea. Malasaña was a thriving center for nightlife, drugs, and bars in the 1980s. The area has undergone significant revitalization and is now one of Madrid's trendiest districts and best places to book a stay. It's a haven for anyone looking for antiques and a great place to find hip boutiques owned by up-and-coming local designers and chill eateries.
- Accommodation: Sonder Malasaña
- Address: 9 Calle del Divino Pastor, 28004 Madrid
- Why you should book: Sonder Malasaña is within a 15-minute walk of Gran Via Street and Teatro Coliseum
Huertas has long been a hub for the city's literary and artistic elite. It's no fluke that this part of town earned the moniker "el barrio de las Letras" or "the Literary Quarter"; even today, the area is rife with historical remnants and allusions to the written word. Huertas's tree-lined, cobblestone lanes are dotted with centuries-old homes, elegant hotels, and cozy cafes like out of a storybook. The leafy Plaza de Santa Ana, where you can find memorials to famous Spanish authors like Calderón de la Barca and Federico García Lorca, is one of the area's most attractive places.
- Accommodation: Catalonia Plaza Mayor
- Address: Atocha, 36, 28012 Madrid
- Why you should book: Catalonia Plaza Mayor, located in the center, features a business center, free newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry facilities.
El Madrid de Los Austrias, Madrid's oldest district, is the best place to learn about the city's rich history. Filled with magnificent monuments that pay homage to Spain's illustrious past, visitors will find a rich trove of historical sites and comfortable hotels. The Royal Palace, commissioned by King Philip V in the mid-1700s, is one of the most important buildings in the city and has housed various Spanish monarchs, from Charles III to Alfonso XIII. Also located here are the beautiful Jardines de Sabatini (Sabatini Gardens), the world-famous Plaza Mayor, and the Almudena Cathedral.
- Accommodation: URSO Hotel & Spa
- Address: Mejía Lequerica 8, 28004 Madrid
- Why you should book: A stay at URSO Hotel & Spa places you in the heart of Madrid, within a 15-minute walk of Gran Via Street and Paseo del Prado.
4 Barrio De Las Letras
Barrio de las Letras has served as Madrid's literary district for centuries. Golden Age luminaries like playwright Lope de Vega and author Miguel de Cervantes also called this area home. Later, Ernest Hemingway made the area his regular hangout, frequenting various local watering holes. The region has flourished into a beautiful one, with trendy places to stay, pubs, restaurants, and boutiques. Guests enjoy a drink and people-watching the ever-bustling Plaza Santa Ana.
- Accommodation: Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Madrid
- Address: Plaza De La Lealtad 5, 28014 Madrid
- Why you should book: A stay at Mandarin Oriental Ritz features amenities, including limo/town car service, express check-in, and check-out.
3 La Latina
La Latina, a lovely neighborhood in the middle of Madrid, is known for its unique nightlife, authentic markets, and delectable tapas bars. El Rastro, a colorful and picturesque flea market selling everything from apparel and accessories to housewares and handmade goods, is one of the neighborhood's most well-known spots. Including the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, one of Europe's most enormous domes and houses works by Zurbarán and Goya, La Latina is replete with historical attractions and is a place visitors like to stay.
- Accommodation: Posada del León de Oro Boutique Hotel
- Address: C/ Cava Baja 12, 28005 Madrid
- Why you should book: Posada del León de Oro Boutique Hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Plaza Mayor and 7 minutes by foot from Puerta del Sol.
Lavapiés, the most diverse area of Madrid, is known for its trendy bars, cafés, and delicious international cuisine. It's worth a traveler's time to check out the work of local painters by taking a street art tour or visiting galleries like Tabacalera. The Rastro, the city's largest flea market, takes over the streets around Ribera de Curtidores on Sundays and other holidays. Stay in one of the neighborhood's trendy hotels and explore the city's historic watering holes and hip new hangouts after dark.
- Accommodation: Artrip Hotel
- Address: Calle De Valencia, 11, 28012 Madrid
- Why you should book: Artrip Hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Puerta del Sol and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
Staying in the historic district of Moncloa, home to some of the best family-friendly hotels and activities in Madrid, is a terrific idea for those planning a trip to the Spanish city with children. Casa de Campo Park, the largest urban park in Madrid, is a popular destination for families because it is home to the Madrid Zoo Aquarium and the Parque de Atracciones amusement park. In addition to its convenient proximity to Malasaña and Chueca, Moncloa's is home to lively shopping spots like Calle Princesa.