Neighbourhoods for students in Madrid: Atocha
Moving to Atocha neighbourhood can be such an exciting experience! Are you wondering which neighbourhood in Madrid would suit you best? If you picture yourself living in a busy and well connected neighbourhood, near to the best museums of Madrid and surrounded by green areas, then the area around the railway station of Atocha may be your next home! Keep reading to find out more about it!
Source: Antonio Rubio (www.flickr.com)
Housing around Atocha railway station
Housing in Atocha in Madrid is located southeast of the city centre, surrounding the Atocha railway station. It’s close to El Retiro Park, one of the biggest green areas of the city. The Paseo del Prado street starts here, one of the main arteries of the city where the Spanish National Museum lies.
A busy neighbourhood in Madrid
The atmosphere in this Madrid’s neighbourhood is conditioned by the railway station and the travellers that come and go, and by the public buildings and museums of the area. It’s also a place that gathers national and international tourists in old classy buildings that have been turned into hotels lately. Atocha is a busy neighbourhood but surrounded by green areas for your own amusement and with a very rich cultural offer. However, on side streets the atmosphere can be more residential and a bit quieter.
Most restaurants in the area are aimed at tourists, travelers and officers, the kind of people you tend to see on the main streets of Atocha. However, there are other types of restaurants and bars, for example those that offer homemade food at mid-range price.
Vivid nightlife in Atocha
Along Atocha street different discotheques make it possible to enjoy nightlife in this area of Madrid. Teatro Kapital is the most popular with 7 independent floors, watch out for its parties and Dj’s sessions!
Las Fiestas de la Melonera: main local tradition
The district of Arganzuela, in which the neighbourhood of Atocha is located, hosts Las Fiestas de la Melonera. This local tradition in Atocha takes place in the first two weeks of September and celebrates the Nativity of Virgin Mary. This is, of course, a religious feast, but there are different types of activities for everyone to enjoy: music concerts, Spanish traditional dances, sport competitions, fireworks, games for children…People eat melon in the street as part of the celebration (hence the name of the feast).
Atocha neighbourhood’s facilities
If you’re wondering where to do your groceries, you will be happy to know that there are several supermarkets in Atocha neighbourhood in Madrid. If you prefer small local shops you can also find them in this area of the city!
Shopping center and books market near
It’s always something positive to have a shopping center near home, and when living in Atocha this is possible. El Corte Inglés is the most popular chain in Spain, you can find almost everything inside: clothes, bags, sport equipment, food, make up…Close to Atocha railway station is your nearest mall!
Are you a booklover? The Cuesta de Moyano new and used books market is a hidden gem in Madrid. It’s located on a pedestrian street next to the gate of the Royal Botanical Garden. Don’t miss it!
Apart from private gyms, you can do sport at two sports public facilities: Centro Cultural Deportivo Recreativo Renfe and Polideportivo Municipal de la Arganzuela.
Incredible green areas
Walk north when living in Atocha and you will find El Retiro Park. It’s such a nice part of Madrid: 125 hectares of trees, gardens, fountains…and even a palace and a lake for boating. Local people love to promenade there on Sunday and sit down for lunch. Sunbathing on the grass permitted!
The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid is just outside the limits of the neighbourhood of Atocha. If you’re studying natural sciences this is a must for you! The garden displays a wide collection of plants and flowers, and is an oasis of calm inside the city.
Royal Botanical Garden. Source: Manuel www.flickr.com
Finally, Enrique Tierno Galván Park is another vast green area near Atocha’s neighbourhood. The 45 hectares of vegetation include an outdoor auditorium for events and a planetarium which is open to the public.
Enrique Tierno Galvan Park. Source: Manuel www.flickr.com
A museum for each day of the week
Atocha railway station is in the centre of this neighbourhood in Madrid. The present building is a mixture of old and new, highlighting the metal and crystal facade from 1851 and the tropical greenhouse from the 80s. It’s so nice inside that you may go there just for a walk.
Source: Andrea Puggioni www.flickr.com
The Spanish national art museum (Museo Nacional del Prado) is close to the neighbourhood of Atocha. Not surprisingly it’s one of the most popular museums in the world. Almost 3 million people visit per year its thousands of paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and historic documents. It’s really difficult to see everything in just one day! Artworks of Goya, Velázquez, Rubens or El Greco are to be found here. Its temporary exhibitions are the perfect excuse to come back.
Reina Sofía Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía) is the place to go if you would like to discover Spanish 20th-century art. The permanent exhibitions of Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, along with other artists, are really worth a visit, especially the masterpiece Guernica. This oil painting on canvas was completed in 1937 and expresses the artist’s feelings for the Spanish war and the bombings of the Basque city of Guernica. Temporary exhibitions make you want to come here again and again!
In the neighbourhood of Atocha you may also see (and experience) modern art in La Neomudéjar Museum. Exhibitions, workshops, performances..feel yourself an artist in Madrid!
Other cultural attractions in this area or nearby are the Royal Tapestry Factory (with exhibitions of fine rugs and tapestries), the National Museum of Anthropology or the Madrid Railway Museum. And if you’re a classic music lover, don’t miss the concerts of the prestigious Symphony Orchestra of Spanish Radio and Television in Teatro Monumental.
Libraries in the neighbourhood of Atocha
If you think that a library is the perfect place to study, don’t worry because it’s really easy to find one in this Atocha neighborhood. Just write down these names and find the one closer to home: Biblioteca Regional Joaquín Leguina, Biblioteca Pública Retiro and Biblioteca Pública de Humanidades.
Joaquin Leguina Library. Source: www.vavas.eu
Transportation: train and metro
Atocha neighbourhood is surrounding the railway station, so of course the train will connect you to most parts of Madrid, including the airport, and the rest of Spain. University City is at a 20 minutes distance by train and then metro, and you can reach University Carlos III in Leganés by train in 20 minutes as well.
Line 1 and 3 of the metro connect this area to the rest of the city. You can reach the city centre in about 10 minutes underground. If you rather go walking, just go 20 minutes northwest and you will reach Plaza del Sol, the heart of Madrid.
Rooms for rent in Atocha (rental rate)
So you’ve made up your mind and would love to stay in Atocha? The rental rate of a room for rent at a shared flat is approximately 300-400€/month. Beroomers can help you find the housing in the area you’ll love to have!
Short and sweet
- Atmosphere: very busy with some residential spots, plenty of hotels, vivid nightlife, most restaurants offer food for tourists and officers. It’s surrounded by green areas.
- Location: southeast the city centre, next to Atocha railway station and within 20 minutes walking distance from the city centre.
- Residents: tourists on main streets and local people on side streets.
- Local traditions: Las Fiestas de la Melonera take place in September and include religious and popular celebrations, such as music concerts or fireworks.
- Facilities: supermarkets and shopping centre, outdoors book market for booklovers, sports public facilities, libraries, museums and green areas.
- Transportation: 20 minutes to reach University City by train and metro, 10 minutes to reach the city centre going underground and 20 minutes walking distance from Plaza del Sol, the heart of Madrid.
- Apartments for rent: mid-range rental rate, you may find a room for 300-400€/month.
- Area of Madrid: within Arganzuela district.
Atocha is one of the different neighbourhoods for students in Madrid that you may choose to enjoy your experience there! Don’t forget to check out the complete guide of neighbourhoods for students, it’s really useful 🙂
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