Explore Historic Center, Madrid de los Austrias: Things to Do, See

The historic center of Madrid, also known as Madrid de los Austrias, is a beautiful neighborhood located in the heart of the city. This area is known for its charming streets, beautiful architecture, and historic landmarks. It is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Madrid, as it offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. Here you can read our ultimate neighborhood guide to Historic center, Madrid de los Austrias, including top things to do and see, places to eat, drink, shop, stay, and advice on how to best explore.

Things to Do and See

The historic center is home to many of Madrid’s most famous landmarks, including the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol.


Here are some other must-see sights:

  1. Almudena Cathedral: This beautiful cathedral is located next to the Royal Palace and is the seat of the Archbishop of Madrid.
  2. San Miguel Market: This lively market is the perfect place to try some of Madrid’s best food and drink.
  3. Retiro Park: This beautiful park is located just outside the historic center and is a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  4. El Rastro: This famous flea market is held every Sunday in the La Latina neighborhood and is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts.
  5. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: This museum is located in the heart of the historic center and is home to an impressive collection of art, including works by Picasso and Van Gogh.

Eating Out

The historic center is home to many excellent restaurants and bars, serving both traditional Spanish cuisine and international dishes. Some of the best places to eat include:

  1. Casa Botin: This historic restaurant, which dates back to 1725, is famous for its roasted suckling pig and is a must-visit for anyone interested in traditional Spanish cuisine.
  2. Mercado San Miguel: This historic market is home to many excellent food stalls and is the perfect place to try some of Madrid’s best food and drink.
  3. La Vaca y La Huerta: This charming restaurant serves delicious organic food, including meat and vegetables from their own farm.
  4. Taberna La Concha: This traditional Spanish bar is known for its delicious tapas and lively atmosphere.
  5. Casa Toni: This popular restaurant serves delicious seafood and is a favorite among locals.

Shopping

The Historic Center of Madrid is a shopper’s paradise with a variety of options to suit every taste and budget. Here are some of the best shopping areas and stores in the area:

  1. Gran Vía: This is one of Madrid’s most famous streets and is lined with shops selling everything from high-end fashion to souvenirs.
  2. Puerta del Sol: This bustling square is home to several department stores, including El Corte Inglés, one of Spain’s largest retailers.
  3. Calle de Preciados: This pedestrian street is lined with international fashion brands such as Zara, Mango, and H&M.
  4. Mercado de San Miguel: This indoor market is a foodie’s dream, with stalls selling a variety of local delicacies and drinks.
  5. El Rastro: This outdoor market is held every Sunday and is the perfect place to find unique souvenirs, vintage clothing, and antiques.
  6. Chueca: This trendy neighborhood is home to many independent boutiques selling unique and fashionable items.
  7. Malasaña: This bohemian neighborhood is another great spot for vintage and independent shopping, with a variety of boutiques and second-hand stores.
  8. Salamanca: This upscale neighborhood is home to Madrid’s most luxurious boutiques, including designers such as Chanel, Gucci, and Prada.

Nightlife

The Historic Center of Madrid is a vibrant area with a lively nightlife. The neighborhood is home to numerous bars, clubs, and pubs, catering to a diverse crowd. Whether you’re looking for a low-key spot to enjoy a few drinks with friends or a lively dance club, there is something for everyone in the Historic Center.


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One of the most popular areas for nightlife in the Historic Center is the Huertas neighborhood, also known as Barrio de las Letras. This area is known for its narrow, winding streets and is home to many traditional Spanish taverns, which are popular spots for locals and visitors alike. You’ll also find numerous trendy bars and clubs in the area, making it a great place to explore after dark.

Another popular nightlife destination in the Historic Center is the Malasaña neighborhood. This area is known for its alternative vibe and is home to many independent bars, clubs, and music venues. It’s a great place to catch a live music show or dance the night away with the locals.

Lodging

The historic center is home to many excellent hotels and hostels, catering to a range of budgets and preferences. Some of the best places to stay include:

  1. Hotel Urban: This luxury hotel is located in the heart of the historic center and offers stylish rooms and excellent facilities.
  2. Hostal Persal: This charming hostel is located just a short walk from Puerta del Sol and offers comfortable and affordable accommodation.
  3. ME Madrid Reina Victoria: This stylish hotel is located in the Plaza Santa Ana and offers excellent facilities and a great location.
  4. Room Mate Laura: This modern hotel is located in the heart of the historic center and offers comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere.
  5. Hostal La Plata: This affordable hostel is located in the La Latina neighborhood and offers basic but comfortable accommodation.

Getting Around

The historic center is relatively small, so it is easy to get around on foot. There are also several metro stations in the area, including Sol, Opera, and La Latina. If you prefer to see the sights from a different perspective, there are many bike and Segway rental shops in the area.


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