This time I want to present to you the most diverse and surprising neighbourhood of Madrid: Lavapies.
This is how I described in a few words Lavapies on my post on how to choose the neighbourhood made for you:
Lavapies starts just south of the very center of Madrid, from the Tirso de Molina Square which marks the start of this neighbourhood, and goes south until the metro station of Embajadores (interactive map of Madrid for more details).
As you can see, you can get in 10 minutes metro to the very centre of Madrid.
Lavapies has the best “quality-to-price” ratio if you want to live close to the centre of Madrid: the square meter is 10-20% cheaper than the average – 10-13 € / m2 to rent compared to 15-17 € in other neighbourhoods of the center.
When I first arrived in Madrid, some locals told me not to look for a flat in this neighbourhood. It was true 10 to 20 years ago, now I have to disagree. Today Lavapies is as secure as any other neighbourhood of Madrid centre. You can walk back home at any time without feeling insecure, since there are always many people outside.
Lavapies is a diverse neighbourhood, with a large Indian and African community, but not only: it is also still know for its traditional bars and shops like the butcher you can see on the photo above.
Urban art in Lavapies
I recommend living in Lavapies if you:
- want to be close to the center,
- live in an authentic neighbourhood, with only locals but with many international people who want to live in Madrid on the long-term
- want to discover the typically spanish traditions, and at the same time contribute to the evolution of a new neighbourhood with art, NGO, festivals, bars with international roots
All in all, Lavapies is a great neighbourhood to move to if you want to discover the other Madrid, not the touristic one, but the Madrid its new diverse population is creating.
When flathunting in the Lavapies neighbourhood, please make sure:
- you will not have to sleep in a room with a window directly over one of the “party streets or squares” such as Lavapies or Tirso de Molina Square.
- the quality of the flat is OK, since many flats are very old.
You will find hereunder a summary (with links for more information) of the places I just recommended as well as more photos of places I love in Lavapies:
- Melo’s, a unique bar managed by the same couple for 40 years, with the same food since the opening: croquettes and the famous “zapatilla”. Always packed, so come early !
- All the indian Restaurants with terraces on Calle Lavapies, cheap and good.
- La Escalera de Jacob, a theater and bar with great cocktails – they have amazing one-man shows in small rooms where you really feel an exchange between the audience and the person on stage
- The terrace bars on Calle Argumosa, especially Casa Asturias for good earthy food from Northern Spain.
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