The very centre of Madrid: Puerta del Sol. This is how I described in a few words Sol on my post on how to choose the neighbourhood made for you:
- Madrid’s heart & meeting point
- shopping & eating out
Sol, nickname of the neighbourhood around the “Puerta del Sol“, is the very centre of Madrid, and officially, of Spain: it is the km 0 of all roads built from Madrid and going all over Spain.
This is where the famous protests and camp of the “Indignants” was (photos here).
Is it also the obvious point for newcomers to start a tour of Madrid, do some sightseeing, shop or even party. You can pretty much find anything you want in Sol.
If there’s so many people, so many touristic venues and shops, why would you want to live there ?
Because apart from being the centre of all attention, it is still the pounding heart of traditional madrid landmarks.
The symbol of Madrid stands there: the Bear and Strawberry Tree statue. This is also the statue many Madridians use as meeting point.
You will also find one of the most famous traditional tapas bar: Casa Labra. Their battered cod is just unbelievable.
As you can see on this interactive map of Madrid, you can get to pretty much anywhere in Madrid in less than 15 minutes, thanks to the efficient metro and “Cercanías”.
I recommend living in Sol if you:
- want to be close to everything
- like being in the middle of things
- want to enjoy at the same time the foreign shops, pubs and restaurants you are familiar with, as well as the typical Madrid places such as the pastry shop “La Mallorquina” (see photo on the left).
- still want to be sure to find english-speaking people to start with ( all shopkeepers around Sol do speak some english)
All in all, Sol is a great place to live in as a your first neighbourhood, if you want to discover Madrid but still feel you need to stay close to international and english-speaking restaurants, shops and bars. When flathunting in the Sol neighbourhood, please make sure:
- you have some place to do your grocery shopping not far, something quite hard to find in some part of Sol
- you will not have to sleep in a room with a window directly over one of the “party streets” of Sol.
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 Sol:
- Casa Labra, for Spanish style amazing battered cod and “croquetas”
- La Mallorquina, for the one of best Traditional madrid breakfast and pastries,
- Las Cuevas de Sesamo, for the best Sangria in Madrid and a great atmosphere and decoration,
- Casa Mira, for the best “Turrón”(Spanish-style fudge) in Madrid.
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