After having recommended hotels, restaurants, shops, parks, and sights to see in Madrid, I would like to to share one last thing; my favorite corner of Madrid, Plaza de la Cebada. One of the most historic plazas in the city, it is well known for it’s famous covered market. The market takes up nearly the whole plaza! This plaza is in the heart of the Latin quarter, in fact, easily reachable from La Latina station. Next to the plaza, you’ll find many small bars offering tapas with some wine to wash them down. You’ll also find the famous La Latina theatre- they still host daily shows! While these are all interesting attractions, the reason I love this plaza is completely different. Very few people are aware, but there’s an amazing small courtyard surrounded by some rather dilapidated walls behind the market. At first glance, it might not seem like much, but once inside you’ll see that it is truly fantastic! The walls are full of colors and graffiti art. A band generally plays in a small outdoor amphitheater, adding even more ambiance to the whole scene. Everything is absolutly authentic. There are even some shopfronts that frequently host a wide variety of artists. Before heading into La Latina Sunday market, stop a while to take some sun on a colorful bench . Between the improvised music and the mix of colors, you can’t help but feel some Spanish Allegria!
This is one of the most hip and lively neighborhoods of Madrid, however, during most days, there aren’t many interesting things to see. The Rastro, or Sunday market, is definitely the exception. It is easily the most famous weekend market in the city! Here you will find streets packed with people and vendors...lose yourself in the small alleys hunting for anything from vintage accessories, jewelry, souvenirs, posters, but above all great used furnishings!
The Latin Quarter (metro la Latina) is easily the night life spot in the city...hundred of little bars and restaurants; a little something for everyone. Below are two of my favorite places, but trust me, you will have no trouble following your nose to find any number of great little supper spots.
Cava Baja is the main road with tonnes of little bars and restaurants wedged together:
- At 17 Cava Baja, you’ll find “Orixe”. Here you can sit either on a bench outside or within the restaurant (much more comfortable) and enjoy a tapas menu at 14€ including wine or beer. They take care to most stylish tapas I’ve ever seen, high points for presentation.
- At 12 Cava Baja, “Posada del Leon de Oro”, is another very pleasant tapas restaurant.
- La “Sureña”, at number 15 Cava Baja, is a very popular and well known bar specializing in beer. It can be super chaotic during peak hours. Definitely popular among the local Madrilenos.
Prepare yourself for waves of people- normally people have cocktails and tapas at around 8-9 pmand then head for dinner at around 10 pm. Sometimes you’ll catch people heading for dinner at midnight; especially on weekends!