Malasaña Neighbourhood in Madrid: The Student Guide!
Is alternative the word which describes you best? If you’ve decided that you’re living your next adventure in Madrid and you like the hipster way of life, Malasaña is the current centre of counterculture in the city. Everyone in the city is talking about one of the most popular neighbourhoods for students in Madrid (and for everyone in fact). Keep reading to find everything about it!
Located in the northern part of the city centre
Malasaña is in the centre of Madrid, just north of the main street Gran Vía. Its western boundary follows Conde Duque Street and it limits to the north with calle de Carranza. In fact, the official boundaries are wider than that, but this is the area that madrileños consider as Malasaña’s neighbourhood, within district Centre. You may reach Sol neighbourhood, the heart of Madrid, in about 15 minutes walking.
Alternative and hipster feeling
Trendy, alternative, hipster, friendly, colourful, countercultural…these are perhaps the adjectives that best describe Malasaña.
The neighbourhood was built in the 18th century as an expansion of Madrid, and has been witness of two rebellions. In 1808 it was the centre of the uprising against Napoleon and in the 80s the place where the “movida madrileña” took place. The movida was a socio-cultural movement in 1975, after the dictator’s death. It celebrated freedom with crazy music and bohemian art.
Artists and alternative people live in Malasaña, and take part in the active local community life: book sharing events, popular assemblies…There’s always something happening in one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Madrid!
Source: Tejiendo Malasaña (www.flickr.com)
Also families who know each other live here: you can see children playing in the squares at daytime. At night, the neighbourhood changes its atmosphere completely, and people from all over Madrid come here to experience its lively nightlife.
Just walk around with no fixed destination and discover new bars, restaurants and shops every few days! Street art will lead your way, as graffitis are the neighbourhood’s distinctive feature.
Vintage and trendy restaurants
Malasaña’s restaurants and cafés will surprise you: cozy bars with hipster decoration such as hanging bikes, alternative cafés with books to read, vintage restaurants with vegetarian cuisine or tea, hip restaurants with international cuisine…But also traditional bars and terraces to eat Spanish tapas (delicious little portions of food) or taste ham. In this neighbourhood in Madrid you can find almost everything, from cheap to trendy, from hipster to castizo (meaning traditional Spanish).
Funky, indie pop, punk, rock, ska…Bars and pubs in Malasaña play all kinds of underground music for you to party and are frequented not only by young people, but also by nostalgic folks who like to remember the old days of the movida. Some of the places are really trendy.
Madrid is the city that doesn’t sleep and Malasaña keeps it awaken! Drinks are quite cheap and the neighbourhood is very busy at night, if you like to boogie this is your spot.
For a more relaxing night you can drink a cocktail in a rooftop terrace in the area or in any café with chill out music. Ojalá Restaurant in Malasaña even has an artificial beach to have a drink, isn’t it cool?
Malasaña neighbourhood’s facilities
Local shops and supermarkets to do your groceries
Malasaña is dotted with local shops to do your groceries, owned by Spaniards and by people of other nationalities alike, which offer typical food from their home countries. If you rather buy at a supermarket there are also quite a few!
Vintage and second-hand shops
In Malasaña you can find unique items, which are almost impossible to find in other parts of Madrid. Vintage and retro shops offer hipster and second-hand clothes. If you enter one of them you’ll want to change your whole wardrobe! Whether you’re in a more punk or elegant style, you’ll surely find a shop for you in this neighbourhood in Madrid. Don’t miss second-hand bookshops and old vinyl records stores. Fuencarral Street hosts the highest density of stores in the area, just between the neighbourhoods of Malasaña and Chueca.
You can get fit in one of the many gyms in Malasaña neighbourhood. There are also yoga and pilates centres to relieve stress and meet new interesting people.
Malasaña is pretty urbanized, but there are some green areas and parks where children play and locals have a caña (beer) at charming terraces. The biggest garden nearby is private, and belongs to the neoclassical Liria Palace, whose collection of art may be visited.
Cultural offer and attractions
The squares of Malasaña, such as Plaza Dos de Mayo, are busy with local people and children. This square is the heart of the neighbourhood, so if you want to feel the spirit of Malasaña you just need to go there! If you’re lucky you’ll find an activity, organised by the local community, taking place.
Source: Tejiendo Malasaña (www.flickr.com)
Museums are scattered throughout the area. The ABC Museum of Illustration hosts drawings by national and international artists. The facade of the Madrid History Museum is one of the most representatives of the Spanish baroque style. The Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits painting and prints, from realism to abstract style.
This Madrid’s neighbourhood has a high density of theatres: Teatro Coliseum, Teatro Compac Gran Vía, Teatro Alfil and Teatro Lara are within this trendy area or within walking-distance to it. You can even listen to very funny monologues in La Chocita del Loro!
Are you wondering if there’s any room for quiet study in busy Malasaña? Well, there are two main libraries: Biblioteca Histórica Marqués de Valdecilla and Biblioteca Pública Central, one of the biggest public libraries in Madrid. Depending on where you finally live, you can choose the nearest one!
Tribunal (lines 1 and 10) is the nearest metro station. Only two stops on line 1 separate you from Plaza del Sol, the heart of Madrid. And in 25 minutes you can reach University City (line 1 and line 6).
The metro stations of Alonso Martínez (lines 4, 5 and 10), Bilbao (1 and 4), Noviciado (line 2), Gran Vía (lines 1 and 5), Callao (lines 3 and 5) and Chueca (line 5) are not far, so in fact you’re connected to the entire city. Choose a place in the map and visit it!
Mid-range rental rate
Would you like to live in this trendy, hipster and alternative neighbourhood? Do you want to find out what’s happening in Malasaña? You can find a room at a shared flat for under 300€/month. Beroomers can help you find the accommodation for students in Malasaña you’re looking for!
Short and sweet
- Atmosphere: trendy, alternative, hipster, friendly, colourful and countercultural. This neighbourhood hosts cozy cafés and alternative restaurants with hipster decoration. Discover its underground and busy nightlife!
- Location: Malasaña is the northern part of the city centre, just above Gran Vía.
- Residents: artists, alternative people and families.
- Facilities: local shops and supermarkets to do your groceries, vintage and second-hand shops, museums, theatres and public libraries.
- Transportation: 5 minute underground-distance from Plaza del Sol, the heart of Madrid, and 25 minutes to reach University City.
- Rental rate: mid-range, you can find a room for less than 300€/month.
- Area of Madrid: located within Centre district.
Malasaña is so nice…! As other neighbourhoods for students in Madrid, of course. Don’t forget to check out the complete guide of neighbourhoods for students if you want to discover other possible trendy areas outside the capital city of Spain!
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