Where to live in Madrid – Neighbourhood presentation : Chamberi

Olavide square, the heart of the Chamberi neighbourhood

Olavide square, the heart of the Chamberi neighbourhood

Olavide square (photo on the left), locals chatting and sharing a caña  a few minutes from home with friends, right in the centre of Madrid, but still, with no tourists and no stress… Ah Chamberi !

This is how I described in a few words Chamberi on my post on how to choose the neighbourhood made for you:

Chamberi – Traditional, village-like, practical/close to everything

A neighbourhood which still lives the traditional Madrid way, with local markets, no lounge bars and only the typical tapas restaurants where Madrileños enjoy to be in with friends. All you need for shopping, eating out and groceries. A good example is the Olavide Square (see above, first photo of the post), where Chamberi people of all kinds meet and catch-up, drinking a few beers, “tintos de verano” (a mix of red wine and lemonade) if it’s hot, or

La esquina de Benja, a typical tapas bar of Chamberi

La esquina de Benja, a typical tapas bar of Chamberi

“Vermouth” (similar to a Martini Rosso), a typical old Madrid drink. I think that seeing this square is the best way to understand this village feeling Chamberi has. As Jodie said, many young professionals choose to settle down here, but you will find all find of people there: families, elderly people, students from Spain and all over the world. However, everyone seem to mingle and it still feels like traditional Madrid. No trendy or international bars, not too many new faces which enable many shopkeepers to get to know you and call you by your name, like in this traditional neighbourhood bar, “La Esquina de Benjamin” (see photo on the left).

Recently I have been talking with some of the readers of my blog about if they should choose Chamberi, and that’s what they said were their main motivation to live in Chamberi:

“my girlfriend and I would like to be able to enjoy both the city centres and live in a more relaxed, friendly and outdoors area – by outdoors I mean a barrio where there are nice little bars, restaurants, little shops around and friendly people.”

Indeed, Chamberi is just north of the very centre of Madrid, as you can see on this interactive map of tbe best neighbourhouds of Madrid.

Café Cósmico, one of the up-and-coming bars of Chamberi

Café Cósmico, one of the up-and-coming bars of Chamberi

I really recommend living in Chamberi if you want to live close to the center, but not right in it, if you love to be able to walk to all your favorite places, and have everything close without being in a touristic neighbourhood. Of course, Chamberi is an old neighbourhood, and as such, the flats will not be as good quality as in Salamanca, or the shops and bars will not be as fashionable and trendy as in Chueca or Malasaña, but if you’re looking for an authentic, practical and “village-like” neighbourhood, go for Chamberi.

You will find hereunder more photos of places I love in Alonso Martinez, such as the:

  • Café Cósmico”, one of the new “up-and-coming without being too trendy” bars of Chamberi,
  • Historias de Té“, a small tea shop created by a French friend of mine – If you go there, do say you came after Pierre recommended it to you… I am sure they will then be delighted to make you feel a part of the neighbourhood !
  • Paulino de Quevedo, a great tapas bar and restaurant, which I recommend if after several nights out you already feel like all the tapas menus are the same… I assure you Paulino will surprise you !

Do not hesitate to comment and/or send me an e-mail if you have any kind of question or if you are hesitating on the neighbourhood you want to move to !

Madridly yours,
Pierre – Moving2Madrid.comGoogle+TwitterLinkedinNewsletter

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This post is also available in: French, Italian

Posted on Monday, September 19th, 2011 by in Where to live ?

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