Malasaña, Chueca, Conde Duque and Salesas are neighbourhoods in northern central Madrid.
Malasaña used to be a not-so-privileged residential neighbourhood. Starting from the 1980s Movida madrileña period, however, it has been populated by the city's young, creative, hip and artsy crowds. By day, it is a paradise for those shopping for second-hand or street fashion, artisan craftwork and young designers' stuff. At night, the pavements are occupied by tables of bars and restaurants as well as people just spending time with friends.
Conde Duque is a smaller neighbourhood directly to the west of Malasaña. Its character is pretty similar, perhaps a little quieter. Located near the university campus, its population is quite young and studentish, too. It is named after the Conde-Duque (i.e. "Count-Duke") barracks, an 18th-century former military compound-turned-cultural centre.
Chueca has a similar background like Malasaña (maybe a tad more bourgeois), but has built its reputation as Madrid's gay district. Of course, that does not mean that straight people were not welcome. Indeed, most restaurants, hostels and nightlife venues cater to a general public, not a specifically gay one. Apart from that, this area has a high concentration of antique shops.
Salesas is the small neighbourhood inbetween Chueca and the posh Salamanca district.
The official name of the admistrative barrio that contains Chueca and Salesas neighbourhoods, is Justicia as the Supreme Court of Spain and the Court of Accounts are seated here. The Spanish Ministry of Justice is in nearby Calle de San Bernardo.
Chueca and Malasaña are just 1–2 km north of the central Puerta del Sol square and 3 km north of Atocha (Madrid's main station for intercity trains). They can be reached with several metro lines. Stations Gran Vía (lines 1, 5), Tribunal (1, 10) and Bilbao (1, 4) are located along Calle Fuencarral that is right inbetween both districts. Noviciado (2) is between Malasaña and Conde Duque, and Chueca (5) of course in the middle of the eponymous district. San Bernardo (2, 4) and Alonso Martínez (4, 5, 10) are near the northern tip of Malasaña and Chueca, respectively. Plaza de España (3, 10) and Ventura Rodriguez (3) are on the western rim of Conde Duque, Colón (4) at the northeastern corner of Salesas.
- 1 Museo de Historia de Madrid (Museum of History of Madrid), C. Fuencarral, 78 ( ), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 10:00-20:00. This museum is dedicated to the history of Madrid from 1561 to present. Much of the history is explained by referencing exhibited paintings depicting people or events from the time, so it is also an art museum. Several maps and models (including two large ones in the basement) show how Madrid grew since the 16th century. All exhibits are explained in both English and Spanish. Free.
- 2 Plaza del Dos de Mayo. Central square of the Malasaña neighbourhood. It was named after the 2 May uprising of 1808 against the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. A monument in its centre honours the leaders of the uprising who were executed. The monument is Malasaña's symbolic landmark that is pictured on Malasaña postcards, on the label of Malasaña beer and other local merchandise.
- 3 Palacio Longoria (Longoria Palace), Calle Fernando VI, 6 / Calle Pelayo (metro Alonso Martínez). Exceptionally ornamental art nouveau building, erected 1902–03 for the banker and politician Javier González Longoria. It was designed by the Catalan architect Jose Grasses Riera and is considered to be one of the most important and beautiful examples of Spanish modernismo. Today, it houses the Spanish society of authors and editors. It can only be visited from the outside, but you may cast a glance at the entrance hall and staircase.
- 1 Cuartel del Conde-Duque, C/ Conde Duque, 11, ☏ (performances), (exhibits). Box office: Tu-Sa 17:30-20:30; exhibits: Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 17:30-21:00, Su and holidays 10:30-14:00. This former military building now not only serves as a venue for musical, dance, and theatrical performances but also hosts contemporary art exhibits. Tickets for performances are also sold online.
- 1 Calle Fuencarral (between metro stations Gran Vía and Tribunal). The high street that is right inbetween Malasaña and Chueca, is the main shopping and promenading route in this part of Madrid. The 500-metre long strip between Gran Vía and Calle Hernán Cortés is closed to motorised traffic which makes it ideal to stroll along. Fuencarral itself is mostly lined by branches of well-known international fashion, cosmetics and accessory chains. Have a look into the side streets on either side if you are looking for something more individual.
- 2 Mercado de Fuencarral, C/ Fuencarral, 45. Centrally located shopping centre.
- 3 Time Capsule, C/ Belén, 7 (Chueca). Tiny, high-quality antique shop. The friendly owner is well aware of the worth of her hand-picked gems, so do not expect a bargain! Current offers are published on the shop's website and instagram.
- 4 Flamingo Vintage Kilo, C/ Espíritu Santo, 1, ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-21:00. Great assortment of vintage fashion that is sold by weight.
- 1 Don Quijote, C/ Duque de Liria, 6, ☏ . A great school where you can take 4-6 hours of courses a day. All courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish.
- 1 Mercado de San Ildefonso, Calle de Fuencarral, 57. Su-W noon–midnight, F Sa noon–1AM. Streetfood market on Fuencarral street, right in the middle of the Malasaña-Chueca area. 15 different stalls offer arepas (cornmeal griddlecake), brochetas (skewer), tacos, tapas, ham, meats, wine, beer etc. Between late-May and early-June an international street food festival is celebrated.
- 2 Antigua Huevería, C/ San Vicente Ferrer, 32 (Malasaña), ☏ . Tu-Th 20:00-23:00, F 20:00-24:00, Sa 13:00-24:00, Su 13:00-16:00. The very best huevos rotos ('broken eggs') and croquetas. Cheap, beautiful and delicious! The chicken-adorned tiled front dates from the 19th century. Mains €8-14.
- Cervecería 100 Montaditos, multiple locations. Daily. Popular nationwide chain that offers 100 different types of montaditos (small sandwiches). Great place to go for a cheap drink and bite to eat.
- 3 Home Burger Bar, C/ Espíritu Santo, 12 (Malasaña), ☏ . M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00. THE place for serious hamburgers. Americans will feel at home!
- 4 Home Burger Bar, C/ Silva, 25 (Gran Vía), ☏ . M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00. A second branch of the same concept.
- 5 Tapería de Malasaña, Calle Corredera Alta de San Pablo 8, ☏ . 08:00-02:00. Taperia with lunch room out the back. Reviews mixed about the tapas but great place for lunch; they do a great Cocido Madrileño and the house wine is more than acceptable (although served somewhat cold). Menu del dia €11.
- 6 La Cocina del Desierto (Al-Jaima), C/ Barbieri, 1 (Metro: Chueca), ☏ . Daily 13:30-16:00 21:00-24:00. This dark, cave-like Moroccan restaurant has some of the best North African food in the city. The seating is at low Moroccan-style tables and the calm, mellow atmosphere makes you feel like you're far from the bustling center of Chueca.
- 7 Lamucca de Pez, Plaza de Carlos Cambronero, 4 (Metro: Noviciado), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-W 13:00-01:30, Th 13:00-02:00, F Sa 13:00-02:30. Nice designer restaurant popular within the 20s-30s crowd. Good music, cool people, even better food and cocktails. The kitchen opens in the afternoon.
- 8 La Panza es Primero (Cocina Mex-Mex), C/ Libertad, 33 (Metro: Chueca), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 13:00-01:00. This is a small, usually crowded, friendly Mexican restaurant with good food and drinks at reasonable prices. Sample some of their tacos and super-cheesy chilaquiles.
- 9 Restaurante La Barraca, C/ Reina, 29, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 13:30-16:15 20:00-23:45. Recommended for paella if a more authentic experience is sought. €40+, €50 (meal for 2 with drinks).
- 10 Restaurante Siam, C/ San Bernardino, 6 (Metro: Plaza España or San Bernardino), ☏ . Daily 12:00-16:00 20:00-24:00. Beautifully-decorated with a tranquil atmosphere, the food is reasonable and offers a pleasant departure from Spanish fare, if so desired. Most mains between €8 and €12.
As becomes a real hipster quarter, Malasaña boasts its own, eponymous brand of craft beer that can be bought in local delis.
- 1 El Tigre, Calle de las Infantas, 30 (Metro: Gran Vía / Chueca), ☏ . Su-Th 12:00-01:30, F Sa 12:00-02:00. Probably the most well-known tapas bar in Madrid, a must do. Don't get frightened by how crowded the bar is and go in anyway. This is one of the most lively places in the city! Get beers, big glasses of wine or un mini de mojito and get free big plates of tapas every time you order. Very affordable.
- 2 Café Comercial, Glorieta de Bilbao, 7 (Metro: Bilbao). Opened in the 1880s, this is the oldest cafe in Madrid, and has been run by the same family since the early 1900s. There's a modern internet café upstairs, but the downstairs remains traditional.
- 3 Pastelería La Duquesita, Calle Fernando VI, 2 (metro Alsonso Martínez), ☏ . M-F 8.30AM-8.30PM, Sa 9.30AM-8.30PM, Su 10AM-8.30PM. Long-standing confectionery (established 1914), offering excellent tartlets that are not only delicious but also look picture-perfect. They are also sold to take away. Tartlets 5–6 € a piece.
- 4 Café Gijón, Paseo Recoletos, 21 (Metro: Banco de España or Colon). A historic literary cafe. The outdoor terraza is nice in the summer.
- 5 Café Restaurant El Espejo (El Pabellón de El Espejo), Paseo de Recoletos, 31 (Metro: Colon), ☏ (café), (restaurant). Daily 09:00-01:00 (café); daily 13:00-24:00 (restaurant). Opened in 1978, but looks much older. Has two divisions: a more casual café and a restaurant. Good food and very crowded during lunchtime. Café: €14-15 (midweek set menu), €19-20 (weekend set menu); Restaurant: set menu €11-17.
- 6 Libertad 8. Libertad 8 is an iconic coffee shop and bar located on Libertad del barrio de Chueca, in Madrid. Opened as a coffee shop in 1975, ever since then it's served as a stage for artists and singer-songwriters (known as cantautores). It's become one of the most important spaces for songwriters, with frequent concerts by Pedro Guerra, Rosana, Ismael Serrano, Luis Pastor, Tontxu, Andrés Suárez, Lichis, Carlos Chaouen, or Kiko Tovar.
- 7 L'Orangerie & Creperie, Calle de San Joaquín, 14, ☏ . Café, crêperie (place making crepes), sweets & very friendly staff – a good place for lovers of deserts & the sweet
- 8 Areia, C/ Horteleza, 96 (Metro: Chueca), ☏ . M-F 16:00-03:00, Sa Su 14:00-03:00. Very cool chill out bar decorated with deep colours in a Moroccan style. Dark and inviting. The seating includes cushions on the floor, traditional tables and chairs, or if you’re lucky, grab the four poster bed at the back. Drinks: €7 before 22:00 and €8 after 22:00.
- 9 La Via Lactea, C/ Velarde 18 (Malasaña, Metro: Tribunal), ☏ . Su-Th 20:00-03:00, F Sa 20:00-03:30. A swingin' bar where you can twist the night away with local hipsters.
- 10 Demode, Calle Ballesta (At the back of Gran Via, closest metro may be Tribunal/Gran Via). From 00:00 to 04:00AM. Cool electronic sounds for 20s-30s. Free.
- 11 [dead link] El Junco Jazz Club, Pza. Santa Bárbara 10 (Metro: Alonso Martínez). From 23:00 to 05:30AM weekdays, to 06:00AM weekends. Smallish venue, starts the night with live jazz, later on morphs into relaxed night club. Not cheap (once inside, beer still €5.50, mixed drink €8.50), so attracts older crowd than others nearby. €6 with beer, €9 with mixed drink.
- 1 Hostal Jemasaca-Palma61, Calle de la Palma 61 (metro: Noviciado), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Breakfast (coffee + pastry + juice) is included in price and it's served in a cafe near hostel. The nearest metro station is Noviciado. The room includes own bathroom and TV. Quiet and clean basic hostel. Double room: about 50e/night.
- 2 Hostal San Martin, Calle Concepción Arenal 4 (Metro: Callao), ☏ . Small, clean guest-house on the 4th floor. Ideally located just meters from Gran Via, with great staff and free wi-fi. All rooms have sink & shower, but most share bathrooms. Singles: €30-36; Doubles: €42-48.
- 3 Hostal MH Fuencarral, Calle Fuencarral 10 3º (Metro: Gran Via), ☏ . Centrally located, all rooms include bathroom, TV, free wi-fi, air conditioning, central heating, laundry and baggage storage facilities. Rooms with kitchen, washing machine and fridge are also available. Single: From €30.
- 4 Hostal Visa, C/ Pérez Galdós, 7 (metro: Chueca), ☏ . Simple, clean and secure. Central location close to Gran Via. Friendly staff. Single €30+.
- 5 Hostal Asunción, Plaza Santa Bárbara, 8, 2º D (Metro: Alonso Martínez), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00 to 00:00, check-out: 11:00. Simple but clean, on 2nd floor of building. Staff speak excellent English, very friendly. Reception open 6:00 to 00:00, but no curfew, guests get access code to front door. Good free WiFi. Doubles €55.