Madrid Areas

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Argüelles and Moncloa are very central areas, with high category and beautiful residential buildings belonging mostly to the 50`s era. The area is a mix between the fast paced, bustling historic center and the quiet tranquility of a residential neighborhood. The bustling Arguelles zone is busier than Moncloa due to being enclosed by a number of very popular commercial streets such as calle Alberto Aguilera and calle Princesa, where you can find some of the best and most prestigious shopping centers and an entire building of ´del Corte Ingles` between them, plus dozens of clothing stores, shoes and accessories.

The Plaza de los cubos, in calle Princesa, is a popular entertainment centre, filled with cinemas and specialized rooms in which both the locals and their relatives come to watch movies in one of the few areas of the city where films are showed in their original version.

Around these main avenues are thousands of secondary streets filled with antique businesses alongside the more modern; bars, shops and restaurants, which without doubt characterise the everyday life of this area. Among the alleys and small urban squares there are large green spaces like the ´Parque del Oeste` one of the most beautiful parks in Madrid, with a preserved natural wilderness and the biggest in the city, where in addition to being able to enjoy long walks, you can get a cable car ride overlooking the Manzanares River. The best part about this area is its authenticity, by simply walking through the neighbourhood you will discover the most authentic values of Madrid, small and charming places to shop, not just special clothing, but music or art specialist also.

It is known for being an area where good food can be found at reasonable prices. Especially recommended are snacks found strolling along the calle limòn, or the ´Plaza de las descalzas` and an obligatory visit of the Cuartel de Conde Duque, where many of the concerts and cultural events of the city are held.

Argüelles is always well connected, intersected with any part of the city by metro and in general all modes of transport. An area full of life, and definitely one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Madrid that is sure to delight any visitor.

The most residential and expensive part of the area are the homes along the calle del pintor Rosales. Spacious and quality apartments which often have tremendous views of the ´Parque del Oeste` make up one of the most expensive residential zones in Madrid’s real estate market.

The Moncloa area is a continuation of Arguelles, characterized by its close proximity to the ´Universitaria de la Complutense´ and therefore with a strong sense of student life and equally surrounded by green areas including ´Parque del Oeste` as mentioned. There are also long Avenues with many bars and restaurants along the large sidewalks like the calle San Francisco de Sales or Cea Bermúdez with terraces when good weather starts and where you can enjoy snacks and drinks.

One of its most important buildings is the interchange of Moncloa which houses intercity bus lines that come from other cities and metro line 3.

Also well known is the mirador de Moncloa, a high platform supported by a large column in the form of a mushroom, from where the cities traffic is controlled and sightseeing is accepted on days as signed.

From the Plaza de Cristo Rey heading out to the arco del triunfo, towards the highway of La Coruña (N – II) where there is a quick access to the M-30 and M-40, you will find the Palacio de la Moncloa, head office of Spains central Government.

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Atocha is the zone surrounds Atocha train station located in the Public square of Emperor Carlos V, facing the station is The Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art, Paseo del Prado or Paseo del Arte, Retiro park and Ronda de Atocha (where there are several cultural centers). In the area there are also a number of art galleries, restaurants and shops selling a range of curiosities.

The Reina Sofia Museum of Contemporary Art opens on Mondays, making it a good choice for a day when the other museums in the city are closed. The museum is one of the essential museums of the city. besides the temporary exhibition halls and the halls devoted to the permanent collection the museum houses one of Picasso's most important pieces “The Guernica”, as well as many other important works of contemporary artists.

The museum is located in a reformed building of the XVIII with modern elements and 2 years ago a new area was to him agrgado designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, with a showy red structure in the cover. Within the new extension of the museum you have the restaurant Arola Madrid run by cook Sergi Arola, one of most famous of Spain. It is an informal restaurant, dedicated to the Mediterranean kitchen in his essence and where its modern inner design, divided in three different atmospheres plays an important role.

The Station of Atocha is complex structure made up of the beautiful crystal structure

And brick dating back to the19th century. The station's main entrance houses a tropical greenhouse, part of the reform by Rafael Moneo.

Atocha is also the monument to the victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings ,also known by Spaniards as 11-M (eleventh of March)

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The “Paseo de la Castellana” starts in Plaza de Colón, north of the Salamanca district, continuing north you come to “Nuevos Ministerios” an area another of Madrid major rail interchange. A few kilometres north you come to the Plaza de Castilla district, an area of skyscrapers, commercial and financial center. On the Metro Plaza de Castilla, you access to anywhere in the city within a few minutes.

In this vast area are located the more expensive homes in Madrid in different categories and types of residential areas: The area of Viso, Cruz del Rayo, Alberto Alcocer, Paseo de la Habana, Alfonso XIII or Costa Rica, are names and references of many of these areas impossible to appoint completely.

The area of Plaza de Castilla has the most striking skyscraper of the profile Madrilenian, the most prominent are the “inclined Puerta de Europa towers”, or KIO Towers, designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson. At this point begins the Paseo de la Castellana, the main artery that crosses Madrid from north to south, to link up with the Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo del Prado and arriving at Atocha train station. Besides being an area with modern office buildings, many prestigious restaurants and boutiques are located here.

The Chamartin district is an area that combines a spirit and modern residential buildings and Chalets surrounded by gardens and quiet streets perfect for strolling, with many shopping and business areas where you can find all kinds of stores, supermarkets and one of the best markets in Madrid, the Potosi, for its quality and variety in all kinds of high quality food. Likewise there is a wide variety of restaurants of all types and categories, catering for Spanish and international cuisine. With typical Tapas bars and pubs, cafes, etc open late into the night accompany them as a complement to the activities of leisure Club Fashion, Pubs and Clubs of live music and so on. Through the Metro stations in Colombia and Cuzco, the area is communicated directly with the airport and the site of the International Fair of Madrid IFEMA at least 4 stations, as well as the Chamartin train station you have the famous Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid's football club just 10 minutes by metro.

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Chamberí is bordered on the North by the Cuatro Caminos roundabout and the Raimundo Fernandez de Villaverde street; On the East by the Paseo de la Castellana; In the South by the Plaza de Colon and the streets of Sagasta, Genova, Carranza and Alberto Aguilera; In the West by the streets of Princesa, Isaac Peral, Arcipreste de Hita and Juan XXIII.

Chamberí is a residential neighborhood. There are many university student residents in the area due to the proximity to the Ciudad Universitaria de Madrid. This has helped the development of the area. The neighborhood has traditional markets such as the Abastos de Vallehermoso, Andrés Mellado, Chamberí and Alonso Cano markets.

The Northern part of Chamberí has a number of top-line sports facilities open to the public.

Chamberí also has a new Cultural Complex called the Teatro de Canal which was inaugurated in November of 2008. It is located on the corner of Cea Bermudez and Bravo Murillo and consists of three buildings: a theater, an auditorium and a rehearsal complex. The Teatro de Canal will be the headquarters of the Choir and Orchestra of the Comunidad of Madrid, the Dance Company de Madrid and the Choreography Institute of Madrid.

As far as architecture goes, we could say that every type of building can be found in the district of Chamberí. Many large and old palaces, convents, schools, hospitals and churches have been declared as National Monuments. All of this adds to Chamberí`s interesting diverse culture with its abundance of modernist, neo-gothic and neo-mudejar representation.

The blue Line 1 Metro, Madrid´s oldest inaugurated in 1919, has four metro stops in the Chamberí district: Cuatro Caminos, Rios Rosas, Iglesia and Bilbao. The Chamberí metro stop used to belong to this line, but was closed in 1966. Back in those days, the people referred to it as the “Ghost Station”. It is now the Museo de Metro de Madrid “Anden 0” (Platform 0) which was founded in March 2008.

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The area of Chueca is located in the city centre. It belongs to the District of justice, one of the most quoted of the moment. Its attractiveness is due to a multitude of qualities like having the variety of leisure activities and the more diverse and modern services of the city.

Chueca is the kind of neighbourhood perfect for strolling and stumbling upon attractive establishments. Its most attractive point is the “Plaza de Chueca” (Chueca square) by which receives the name, and Chueca metro station on the centre of the square. Taste the forward-thinking, fusion cuisine of New York-style cafes along calles Libertad and San Marcos (Cafe Diurno & Bazaar are two stand-outs). Calle Fuencarral is a cool area for shopping, with the hippest shops: Diesel, Puma, Adidas, Hoss; and calle Augusto Figueroa for top brands occasion shoes. In the calles Almirante and Prim, one can find some of Madrid's most chic fashion and shoe shops.

You can find plenty of shops with the most modern and special.

Visiting the famous Fuencarral Market, that gives life and character to this shopping area, and where the best brands living next to creations of young designers, a place with a young and cheerful atmosphere.

Its location is perfect for walking access to the most attractive points of the city, just 5 minutes from Gran Via the ornate and upscale shopping street and Puerta del Sol (Spanish for "Gate of the Sun") is one of the most well known and busiest places in Madrid.

Ten minutes from the Prado museum and the Thyssen Bornemitza museum, two of the most important art galleries in the world.

Another good option is to stay in the neighbourhood where people enjoy their sunny days by taking the snack (Tapas) in the innumerable outdoor terraces.

This neighbourhood shows its splendor during the month of June, when it celebrate the “Gay Pride festival” that has become a social event of great significance in Madrid, not only for gays if not for all the"modern" people. At the Gay Pride parade giant floats pass by the most important streets of Madrid -Alcala, Gran Via, with music and filled with people dancing in fancy dress.

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Gran Via

The Gran Via is a great dividing line that separates the districts of the city: to the north of the avenue is Malasaña – going west – and Chueca – to the east and the south zone of Sol and Opera. The Gran Via starts where it intersects with calle Alcalá, very close to Sol. At the other end, the via finishes at Plaza de España and here begins the districts of Moncloa and Arguelles.

Gran Via is the nerve centre of urban life in Madrid: always crowded with people in a hurry going shopping, to the cinema, musicals, work……With its splendid buildings, the Avenue has a certain New York feel to it.

A few meters away from the metro Callao, about three blocks from the zero kilometre mark of the city and in Puerta del Sol. In the absolute centre of the capital, the most historic along with the most modern, the most visited by tourists and at the same time the most frequented by the people of Madrid.

Walking a few minutes from this apartment you arrive at the most visited sites of the city. Emblematic sites such as the Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, and Gran via plus Madrid’s own Broadway is only a block away. Prominent and globally known museums like the Reina Sofia, Prado, and the Thyssen Bornemizsa. Also the large parks such as the Retiro and Jardines de Oriente.

Everything is at your fingertips without having to take the metro. Many people also say this zone is where to find the restaurants, bars and shops most typical of Madrid. A place to find the real essence of Madrid.

There is little to present of this particular point as here begins ´´Kilometre 0`` of Madrid, where they begin to count the kilometre distance for all the national highways. The absolute centre of the capital.

From the apartment you can see the Puerta del Sol with its representative clock and all the bustle of this big city. The area is full of typical bars, restaurants and shops for tourists to feel the essence of Madrid.

Next to the Plaza Mayor is an area very typical of Madrid and only three minutes to the Palacio Real and the Jardines de Oriente, made accessible to pedestrians only a few years ago where you can walk through its green zones and have a drink in any of the numerous terraces that are in Opera and the surrounding area.

With a metro stop 100m away and numerous buses that can take you to anywhere in the city in a short amount of time.

In the first section of the via, there are monumental buildings: the most prominent is the Metrópolis building, directly in front you find the Circulo de las Bellas Artes, one of the most active cultural centres and at the same time with more character of the city. The beautiful building has a roof terrace where they sometimes hold concerts during the summer.

The Telefonica building is another emblematic construction of the Gran Via. When inaugurated in 1929 it became the first skyscraper of Madrid. With its 81 floors it could be seen from anywhere in the city. In the part closest to the Plaza de Callao, there is also the emblematic Capital building, with a modern American style that is crowned by a semicircular Schweppes sign that has become an icon of the city.

In the Plaza de Callao there are a number of cinemas and theatres that still remain, but little by little house the best-known international fashion stores and boutiques, but in all cases are buildings from the 20`s, a characteristic alike to that of the Palacio de la Prensa.

The Gran Via is known as the Spanish Broadway, not only for its similar, original American architectural style, but also due to its rise in the last few years as a musical capital of the World. It’s ranked as third in the World with its number if staring works per year and all of these are shown in this enormous and fantastic Avenue full of multicolour lights, huge painted sign boards and buskers.

From Callao, there are two well known streets only accessible by pedestrians that arrive directly to Puerta del Sol: the calle Preciados where you can find the shopping centres FNAC and Corte Inglés, and the calle del Carmen. At the end of calle Carmen is the famous statue of the ´´Oso and the Madroño`` a very popular site of Madrid and in Puerta del Sol.

The people of Madrid love their shows in masses, whether they are stories of Victor Hugo, Lloyd Weber, Walt Disney or their own stories with versions of 80´s pop with actors and singers….

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The area of Huertas only 5 minutes walk from Sol with Calle Huertas the centrepiece. Also known as the Barrio de las Letras (District of the Letters) for hosting such well-known writers Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina - lived during the 17th century. The area is located in the heart of the city. Full of small alleys filled with exquisite cafes, local live music and restaurants where you can find good priced cuisine and exotic drinks from all around the world.

Plaza de Santa Ana is the heart of the neighbourhood, where the famous Spanish Theater, and many cafes, beer gardens and terraces that occupy almost the whole square, one of the main meeting points of the city both local and foreign visitors. The city government has given Santa Ana a face lift in recent years, from seedy to posh. The streets radiating off Plaza de Santa Ana, are packed with Tapas bars and disco-pubs, popular as much among Spaniards as with an international crowd.

The eastern border of Huertas is Paseo del Prado, also known as Paseo de los Artes or "Boulevard of the Arts," which lies between the emblematic Plaza de Cibeles and Puerta de Atocha. The southern border is calle Atocha, which runs all the way from the train station to Plaza Mayor, and the northern border is Carrera de San Jerónimo, which ends at Puerta del Sol.

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The neighborhood of La Latina is known as the Austrian or the Habsburg Madrid, it is the oldest part of town, the medieval and Renaissance Madrid. Its name comes from the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, which reigned in Spain until 1700 and to which belongs to the important kings Philip II and Carlos I. The zone incorporates the small streets around the Calle Mayor, the Plaza de la Villa, where you find the City Council, the plaza de la Paja and the Plaza Mayor.

This neighborhood has a charm that makes it a favorite of both tourists and the local people of Madrid. It is one of the neighborhoods that provides the richest sense of authenticity and the real identity of Madrid. It is also surrounded, without the need for long journeys, with a long list of museums, cinemas, theaters and emblematic monuments where you can experience the culture of Madrid, both rich and varied. A mere two minutes walk from the emblematic sites of Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, Royal Palace, the Gran Via and the Retiro Park. The metro station in La Latina is at the heart of this neighborhood, making it the most efficient and easy way of getting to the area particularly due to its high traffic and busy pedestrian streets.

From the Iglesia de San Francisco el Grande you can go all the way to the Carrera de San Francisco. The Plaza San Andrés is dominated by the dome of the chapel of San Isidro, which houses the museum of the same name. The museum shows much of the history of Madrid, from its beginnings as a fortress to its birth as a Muslim metropolis. The Museum of the Chapel of San Isidro also recounts the archaeological past of the city. It also contains an art exhibition and the traditions associated with the patron saint of Madrid, San Isidro.

The street Cava Baja, close to here, has excellent restaurants, among them the renowned Lucio. In the Plaza de la Cebada originally the local market, which was demolished in 1956 and rebuilt as we see it today. From there, look for the calle Almendro and the famous tavern with the same name. Not far away is Plaza de Cascorro, in the heart of the popular street there is a Sunday market held, the Rastro: the outdoor market well known throughout Spain, which takes place every Sunday.

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The neighborhood of Lavapies is outlined with the street Atocha to the East, the roundabout of Valencia to the south, Embajadores Street to the west and Magdalena Street to the north. The center being Plaza de Lavapiés (where the exit for Lavapies Metro is located).

During Madrid’s inception, Lavapies was Madrid’s most popular neighborhood. Though in the first half of the 20th century the neighborhood had fallen into decline and it was not until the 80’s and 90’s when the area became inhabited by artists and a youthful counterculture. From there it began a process of renewal that continues today and with this new found interest and appeal the area has started to regain some of it former glory. The neighborhood has a high imagrant population and is one of Madrid’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods with a uniqually alternative and bohemian character. In Lavapies there are a multitude of bars, cafes, restaurants and stores that reflect its multicultural character. There are many affordable restaurants and an extensive range of ethnic food - India, Pakistani, Cuban, Argentina, Chinese... In the neighborhood, especially in the part close to the Museum Reina Sofía, there are several important art galleries.

The Street Argumosa, takes you directly to the Atocha roundabout and to the Museum Reign Sofia. Lavapies street is full of terraces, many of them of Indian restaurants, from which you can enjoy tasty spiced food in an outdoor setting...

In the central and cosmopolitan neighborhood of Antón Martin you will find a pedestrian zone that is next to a traditional market from which you can experience Madrid as a local, this is located next to the Film Library so you can also enjoy a good movie.

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Malasaña is bordered by Calle Fuencarral, Calle San Bernardo and the Callao and Bilbao districts.

Malasaña is located between Chueca and Argüelles. Malasaña was the center of the famous Movida madrileña of the 70´s and 80´s. The neighborhood gives off a Madrileño flavor like no other and mixes the most modern and oldest styles in the same area. Few neighborhoods enjoy this Madrileño status where anything and everything goes with no discrimination.

The Plaza del Dos de Mayo is situated in the center of the neighborhood.

The area is comparable to Camden Town in London, the East Village in New York, Kreuzberg in Berlín, or the Barrio Alto in Lisbon.

Strolling through the neighborhood is a delight for the senses. There are hardly any vehicles in the area because vehicle access is very limited.

Malasaña is a youthful neighborhood full of cutting edge businesses focusing on the latest tendencies. The area is full of young clothing designers and their boutiques, eccentric coffee shops and bars with music until the wee hours of the night and quaint restaurants with fixed menus at good prices for quality food.

Noviciado is located between Calle San bernardo, Calle Alberto Aguilera, Gran Vía, Calle Princesa and the Calle Conde Duque. This peaceful area has a number of tapas bars. The impressive Conde Duque Barracks also dominates the area. There are reasonable priced good restaurants worth mentioning. Next to the Plaza de España, you will find small, exotic oriental restaurants. In the charming Plaza de Comendadoras, you will find a small group of bars with terraces ideal for having a beer or coffee. Furthermore, there are several bars in the area that frequently have concerts with independent local bands. Activities in both Malasaña and Novicado are usualy tied togetther.

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Nuevos Ministerios

The zone of Nuevo Ministerios encompasses Paseo de la Castellana, José Abascal Street y Alberto Alcocer Street. Also contained in this zone are important avenues such as the General Perón or Raimundo Fernández Villaverde and well known places of reference like the Azca Complex, the Stadium Santiago Bernabeu, the old conference center of Madrid, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the Plaza of Cuatro Caminos. In parts it is a residential area and in others a financial zone. Inside this zone is the complex of Azca, that was designed in the years 50, with the intention to create a small modern financial world for the epoch. It is located among Walk of the Spaniard, Street Orense, General Street Perón and Street Raimundo Fernández Villaverde. Located in the centre of Nuevo Miniesterios are some symbolic skyscrapers of Madrid: the Tower Picasso and the Tower Europe. In the zone there are bars and clubs oriented towards executives, but in general there is no popular nightlife. Colon is a zone of great financial activity, and is the choice location for the offices of multinational corporations and the most important financial institions both Spanish and Foreign. Here you will find the Madrid office of the European Union and also numerous embassies. Also in the zone there are hotels, retail stores and large shopping malls. Although it is not traditionally a tourist zone it is ideally connected by public transport, the primary choice of transport being the Metro that shares the same name Nuevo Minesterios. Beside being a station that intersects 2 major and important train lines from which you can access any area of the city within minutes. The Nuevo Minesterios line also provides you quick and efficient access to the Madrid Airport. Nuevo Minesterios also offers great access to Madrid by various buslines.

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Palacio Real

Boarded by the calle Bailen, the ´cuesta de San Vincente`, calle Mayor and Plaza de Opera, filled within this area emblematic sites that are a must see such as the Palacio de Oriente (Oriental Palace), Palacio Real (Royal Palace), Jardines de Sabatini(Gardens of Sabatini), Catedral de la Almudena (Cathedral of the Almudena) or the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre.)

The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) was built in the eighteenth century, by order of Felipe V, on an ancient site of the old Alcazar, which before was a Muslim castle. Located with a privileged outlook, that offers views over the mountains of Madrid. Its construction was completed in 1764. Sabatini made the southeast wing and the big staircase of honour. The area is square with a large central courtyard. In the past the kings resided permanently at the palace, but now only carry out formal activities and events of protocol. It is an impressive building that provides guided tours for visitors to enjoy the magnificent estate lined with tapestries and antique furniture and objects of great value received by the royalty over the years, as well as getting a glimpse of paintings of Velazquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio.

The Palace is located next to the Oriental Palace (Plaza de Oriente,) a rectangular plaza with of monumental sense of character. One of its main drivers was the king Joseph I, who at the time ordered the demolition of medieval houses which were located on its site.

At the other end of the square is the Royal Theater (Teatro Real) that is the opera house of Madrid and is considered one of the most important in Spain.

In this area there are many gorgeous streets full of charm, delicious restaurants and famous bars of the city. For those interested in the typical cuisine of Madrid a stop needs to be made at the restaurant La Bola, in the street calle de la Bola, founded in 1870 its a classic tavern in Madrid that has the famous traditional Madrid stew served in a ceramic clay pot. They also serve the most typical dishes such as tripe, ´lengua estofada`, suckling lamb shoulder or apple fritters. Maintaining the décor of the olden days and where you can also enjoy tapas based on rations and castizos dishes this is authentic Madrid as its best.

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Plaza de España

At the end of Gran Via you will find Plaza Espana. Plaza Espana is surrounded by serveral building that once held the record for the tallest building, both here in Madrid and also in Europe. Two such buildings are Tower of Madrid and the Spain Building, and they represent examples of 1950 arcatecture. The skyscrapers of Plaza Espana also share a setting with more traditional and historic monuments of Madrid. Here you will find sculptures that pay homage to Cervantes by representing the classic personages of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. You will find the sculptures beautifully nestled among the enormous gardens of the Plaza. Plaza Espana is one the largest plazas in the city and is a great example of peaceful multiculturalism.

Plaza Espana borders West Park from Paseo de Moret and goes as far as Rosales Street. This enormous park is one of the largest green areas in the city. Close to the Plaza Espana you will find the Debot Temple. This Egyptian temple was a gift from Egypt and was provided to thank Spain for their contribution in building the Assuan Dam. The temple was transferred stone by stone to Spain, from Eygpt. From this beautiful sanctuary you can witness some of the best views in the city, which incompasses the royal palace, the Campo del Moro and ends at the Manzanares River. A few meters from here you can have a interesting and colourful aerial view of the city by taking the old cable car. In the end of Rosales Street you will find large brick buildings that make up some of the most expensive residential areas when measured by cost per square meter.

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An area bounded by the calle Alcalá and the Puerta de Alcalá, the Paseo del Prado from Plaza de Cibeles until the Plaza del emperador Carlos V next to the monument of those that died in 14 – M and the Paseo infanta Isabel, situated here is one of the largest and most visited art galleries in the world: The Prado Museum (undoubtedly the best as far as works from the XVI and XVII centuries, with the best works from the period from Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools. Also home to many of the best works of Goya, Velazquez, El Bosco, Rubens , Murillo, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Tiziano, Rafael, Watteau, Tintoretto, El Greco, Ribera, Zurbaran, and many others.)

This is an area that anyone who wants to know Madrid will walk through feeling overwhelmed, because within it, are many of the most emblematic monuments and important sites of the city.

Its streets and avenues date back from the days of Carlos III, the reformist king, who took the throne of his half-brother Fernando VI. Major avenues and buildings along the streets Alcalá, Alfonso XII or the Paseo de Recoletos reflect Madrids era of absolute glory and the Spanish empire.

The area of Paseo del Prado is the institutional heart of Madrid: here there is Banco de España, la Bolsa, the post office ´correos` building, and icons of the city such as Cibeles, Neptuno and the Puerta de Alcalá. Above all, the museums on Paseo del Prado make Madrid one of the art capitals of the world. In this area there are also some of the most classical hotels like the Ritz and Palace, along with some of our favourite tapas bars. Surprisingly though, this is an area relatively calm considering its central position and importance.

The Paseo del Prado goes from Atocha to the Plaza de la Cibeles. This ´paseo` has been renamed the Paseo del Arte, and is the heart of Madrid with one of the best offers of painting in the world. As its name suggests situated here is the Prado Museum, the ´joya de la corona`, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, and now the new art center CaixaForum. In the plaza Cibeles, is the centre of Latin American culture Casa de America.

Next to the Prado Museum is the Real Jardin Botánico which currently contains more than 30,000 plant species worldwide. It is the perfect place to unwind after a visit to the Prado museum.

Not far from the Paseo del Prado is the Parque del Retiro, the old gardens of the palace. An enormous park, full of hidden places to enjoy and take in its great beauty, inside there is also the pond where you can take a boat ride, the Palacio de Cristal or the Palacio de Velázquez where they have wonderful expositions.

In addition to these monuments there are many others that should not be missed, such as Casón del Buen Retiro, the Museo del Ejército,, the Catedral de los Jerónimos or the Museo de Artes decorativas.

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Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is the absolute heart of the city. Moreover, this plaza is where 8 streets come together and is officially the centre of the nation: the ´kilometre cero´ of all the national highways, represented by a stone slab at the entrance of the Casa de Correos, as signed. The Casa de Correos is a building from 1766 the current headquarters of the Comunidad de Madrid, with its clock tower and bell that gives the 12 chimes of the New Year to all of Spain.

The area of Sol and its surroundings is a favourite for pick pockets and thieves. Special care and attention should be taken when walking through these streets; we also recommend reading our safety recommendations.

There are various places to visit in this area: in the same plaza of Puerta del Sol is the statue of the ´Oso and Madroño,` which is the emblem of the city: it appears that in the middle ages there were many bears roaming the forest surrounding the Villa. The Madroño – a tree with red fruits – is on the emblem to symbolise an agreement made in 1222 to spread the use and enjoyment of the land surrounding the Villa – its trees, hunting and grazing – between the church and council of the Villa of Madrid. The statue, at the end of calle Carmen, is the most classic meeting point of Madrid.

The streets Preciados, Arenal y Carmenthat part Sol, are pedestrian only and are the most popular shopping areas of Madrid.

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The Quintana neighborhood belongs to the Cuidad Lineal district which is at the end of Calle Alcala around number 360, right after the M-30 Beltway which circles the city.

The Quintana neighborhood extends:

From North to South from the street Virgen del Lluch to the street Vital Aza and East to West from the street Federico Gutierrez to the street Florencio Llorente.

Calle Alcala, the longest avenue in Madrid, is an important reference point which starts at the famous Kilometer O in the Puerta del Sol and runs all the way to number 400. Calle Alcala is one of the most emblematic streets of the city and offers an endless amount of services such as supermarkets, shops and coffee shops.

Apart from the Calle Alcala which is full of traffic and many transients, the neighborhood is quite peaceful. It is an area with a small town feel where you will find the neighbors chatting in the streets and the senior citizens playing Bocce Ball. The oldest buildings, the majority being modest apartments, were constructed in the 50´s and 60´s. However, recently there have been many new well-built modern building constructed in the area with garages, swimming pools and competitive prices for young middle-class families.

There is a modern shopping center at the cross streets of Arturo Soria and Alcala where one can find everything he or she could possible need.

The closest Metro Station is Quintana ( Line 5, Green ).

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This borders of Salamanca are Paseo de la Castellana, Retiro Park, María de Molina Street y Francisco Silvela Street. Salamanca is one of the few nieghbourhoods in Madrid has incorporated modern town planning thus having perpendicular streets that are organised in well defined blocks.

The neighborhood of Salamanca traditionally has been considered an upper class neighborhood and is requested most by locals and long term visitors and does not feel like your typically touristy neighborhood. This is where you will find Madrid’s most luxirious stores. Salamancas most important streets are Serrano, Velázquez, Goya y Príncipe de Vergara. Serano Street begins at Plaza de Independencia, where the famous Puerta de Alcalá is found. Puerta de Alcalá was designed by the orders of Carlos III and is the main entrance of the Retiro. The Retiro is a symbolic monument for Madrid. Also located in this zone are small palaces that still remain from the 19th century. Serrano Street is one of the most famous Streets in Madrid and of course is the choice location for the most famous and exclusive stores. Here you will find luxurious Shopping centers, cafés and high-ranking restaurants.

Without doubt this area is know for being the best residential area of Madrid. It is very well connected to the historic center, by both Metro and Bus. It is conveiently located a short walking distance from the most important places and museums, but stills offers a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. In saying that the area is in no way boring, and also offers excitement if that is what you seek. In fact, it is an excellent place to take a pleasant walk, to shop in the most exclusive boutiques, grab a drink at a bar or to eat in a fine restaurant. Salamanca offers an extensive range of Hotels and good restaurants. It also offers options for night-life.

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This area is known by a single reference: ´la plaza de toros de las ventas.` Known as the most important bullring in Spain. A unique monument built in 1929 which today is used for major musical events in the off-season of bull fighting. Also a very significant place in the lives of major figures in history such as Hemingway and Ava Gardner.

This is a neighborhood whose axis is the calle Alcala, a huge street that crosses Madrid from its most central point to almost the exit into the Northeast. At its end point it is traversed by the M-30, the motorway from Madrid. The neighborhood is set to one side of calle Alcalá, albeit on the side away from the historic center, but very well connected by bus and metro. It is one of the most famous streets of Madrid, and in its entirety is full of shops and businesses of all kinds, and a variety of tapas bars and cafes with typical Spanish cuisine.

Its proximity to the M-30, the main circulation highway of Madrid, makes this area a good choice for those who visit the city and need good access to other areas or places of work.

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