One of the most important decisions you need to take is that of choosing where to live in Madrid.
Madrid has over three million inhabitants and the city is divided into 21 districts: Arganzuela, Barajas, Carabanchel, Centro, Chamartín, Chamberí, Ciudad Lineal, Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca, Moratalaz, Puente de Vallecas, Retiro, Barrio de Salamanca, San Blas, Tetuán, Usera, Vicálvaro, Villa de Vallecas and Villaverde. These districts are in turn divided into different residential areas and, very often, the residential area has the same name as the district.
We call these “Barrios” in Spain, or “Barrio” in the singular. Officially, a municipal district is an administrative entity made up of a clearly defined area, with a registered population, designed to ensure the correct distribution of administrative and government services. However, for many of us, the name Barrio goes further than the geographic and administrative location to a sense of belonging to a community. It is the people who live in a Barrio which give it its personality, or something special to the Barrio or its history.
With this post we start a series of articles dedicated to the Barrios in Madrid.
We will let you into their secrets, their common features, location, atmosphere, and quality of life, hoping that it will help you locate the perfect place for you to live in MADRID.
Today we start with Moncloa, Chamberí and Arganzuela.
District of Moncloa:
Surely you have heard of this district for one reason or another. Perhaps because of the Moncloa Palace, where the Prime Minister of Spain lives, or because its proximity to the University City, headquarters to the Complutense University or ICADE University. It is home to several Barrios like Argüelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Moncloa, Princesa and it is close to the Gran Vía and the Plaza de España.
Places of interest are the Teleférico (Cable Car) with its entrance in the magnificent Paseo de Pintor Rosales which is scattered with ice-cream parlours and terraces, the Parque del Oeste which you can see from the Templo de Debod, donated to Spain by the Egyptian government, and not to forget the plethora of shopping areas in Princesa as well as its lovely local bars.
District of Chamberí:
This is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most favourite residential areas chosen by the Madrileños to settle. Not surprising. You can see a mixture of modern buildings with Neogothic and Neomudéjar buildings, and not only homes but churches too. It definitely has class, is very central but quiet and offers all sorts of leisure suggestions for all tastes.
In this Barrio you will find lots of shops, restaurants and terraces, concert halls and theatres, as well as sports centres like the ones in Canal, where you can enjoy from a covered swimming pools to a minigolf area or a park where you can practice jogging…
It is very well communicated with the Complutense and ICADE Universities, the Instituto de Empresas… among others, by numerous buses or the metro.
District of Arganzuela:
The Puerta de Toledo, situated next to the famous Rastro of Madrid (flee market), marks the start to a district located next to the Manzanares river. An area which has new residential areas next to the more traditional and typically Madrileñan Barrios. Its morphology has changed over time enhancing its charm. At present it has increased in value mainly thanks to the area called Pasillo Verde, or Green Corridor, full of modern buildings and numerous pedestrian areas, and also thanks to the Madrid Río Project which has provided it with large green areas and leisure parks. It has also turned into a cultural reference in Madrid having converted the Antiguo Matadero, or Old Slaughter house, into areas which hold permanent art exhibitions as well as different acts and events.
Arganzuela is divided into the following Barrios: Imperial, Acacias, Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de Moguer and Atocha, the railway station which is the departure point to many cities in Spain. This district is a little farther away from the universities than the aforementioned districts, but what we can say in its favour is that it is very well communicated and that the rent here is somewhat cheaper.