Barrio Malasaña! This little gem of a neighbourhood is definitely worth a visit during a trip to Madrid. Being a quirky area, popular with students and art lovers it has some great cafes, shops and restaurants off the beaten track of the main touristy trails. Malasaña is regarded among Spaniards as a place for people with alternative tastes, fashion and scene, made known by its punkish la movida revolution in the 80’s after the defeat of Franco.
Nearby to the Bilbao metro, take a stroll down Calle Velarde for your daily dose of vintage shopping. This street has shop after shop of vintage clothing stores where there are more diamonds in the rough than you would expect to find when trawling through second hand garments. Equally as good for men, shops such as MagPie and La Mona Checa are among the top for some great value vintage finds – without the designer price tag!
Famous for its nightlife, you wouldn’t want to miss Malasaña and it’s array of quirky bars by night. Tupperware is renowned for its off-the-wall décor in the form of 90’s memorabilia adorning every surface. Complementing this theme is the Britpop music, guaranteed to get you up and dancing once you’ve had a few drinks down you! For something a little more civilized, La Fabula is an atmospheric lounge bar with a fusion of Indian and Mexican furniture and Spanish food. Ideal for fairly priced tapas and some inspired cocktails.
In consistence with its rebellious streak, Malasaña is a hotspot for graffiti street art. It is a pleasure to see the powerful images of this different type of artwork whilst walking along the narrow streets, in which you will find colourful and vibrant buildings. The main square, Plaza del Dos de Mayo, from which the tiny streets lead off, opens itself to terraces, bars and old book and trinket stalls. A great place to stop for coffee and homemade cake is Lolina’s Vintage Café to enjoy the peacefulness of the day – it is only at night when this calm turns into crazy!
If you fancy ‘living like a local’ in Malasaña and staying in an apartment rather than a hotel, GowithOh is the place to look. The local experience is so much greater when staying in an apartment so you’ll leave your time in Madrid feeling like a Malasaña expert! It only takes a few late night cocktails to enjoy the ‘local’ Malasaña experience!