There are endless places to visit in Madrid that will appear on every travel guide. But what about those little gems, hidden from the crowds? The little corners in charming neighborhoods, where you can find cute boutiques & stores as well as the best restaurants in Salamanca and the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid.
Madrid is one of the best-known capitals of western Europe, with so much to offer. It’s a city perfect to imbue yourself in culture, try out flavors and party the night away. It’s one of the most metropolitan places in western Europe, with a significant influx of people from everywhere.
The main parts of Madrid can be crowded. During the hotter months the city’s full of tourists, which can get a little tiresome. So, once you’ve done the mandatory visits, like El Prado Museum, it’s time to get to know the town and the cozy hoods beyond the crowds.
The hidden little gems were what made me fall in love with the Spanish capital. I love neighborhoods frequented by young and hip people, full of personality so La Latina, Malasaña, Justicia and Salamanca, all quickly became my favorite places to visit in Madrid! The best restaurants in Salamanca and the best restaurants in La Latina are also among the best restaurants you will find in Madrid.
Looking for the best boutique hotels in Madrid? Then check out my Madrid boutique Hotel Review of the amazing Only You Hotel!
La Latina – The colorful Area with the Best Tapas & Cava
Visually, this neighborhood is stunning: the streets are full of vivid colors and beautiful houses. Cava Baja, one of the main roads, has lovely fabrics hanging over the streets, giving it a unique touch. You’ll want to take a snap before heading to the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid!
Besides the highly Instagrammable look, I loved the feel here. It’s a vibrant hood, and the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid offer fantastic tapas! Generally speaking, Madrid is the place for tapas, but here the experience is even better.
Be sure to visit La Taberna de Don Armando for a beautiful experience of tapas and cava. The food presentation is really thought-out here, for a somewhat fancier tapas experience. The service is amazingly friendly, and the actual restaurant is pretty cute, decorated in aqua and turquoise hues. For sure one of the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid.
After getting a belly full of tapas and enjoying the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid – time to explore! The best way to feel the pulse of a city is by walking in its lesser-known neighborhoods. Get lost in the streets to get the vibe. My favorite part was walking down to the flower garden next to the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande.
If you get the chance, visit La Latina on a Sunday and see the famous El Rastro Market. It’s the city’s most famous flea market, and one of the unmissable places to visit in Madrid, including the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid!
A fun activity to try out is going on a segway. THIS GUIDED SEGWAY TOUR TAKES YOU ON A 2 HOUR TOUR OF MADRID, BOOK IT HERE.
Malasaña – The Area for Hipsters & Vintage Lovers
Malasaña holds a special spot in my heart as one of my favorite places to visit in Madrid. For quite some time, it has been a beloved hangout of hipsters and design lovers. There’s a boho-chic feel here, with its narrow and shabby streets that are always full of color. When you walk around, you’ll find cafés and bars, but it’s an artists’ hangout through and through.
The most common establishments are vintage shops, art studios, and cute boutiques. The streets of Malasaña are also full of murals! You’ll find some of the most iconic pieces of Madrid urban art here.
Malasaña can take up a whole day of your visit to Madrid. You can come by in the afternoon and feel the art of the neighborhood. Go crazy taking Instagram snaps of this artsy neighborhood… and then, it’s party time! Stay out all night in Malasaña and hang out with the hippest people living and visiting Madrid.
When you feel you’ve had enough for one night, walk down Calle de San Vicente Ferrer. End your lovely evening a Plaza Del Dos de Mayo, where the live music will ease your mind and soul. Dance the last remains of stress away alongside locals!
Justicia – The Boutique Chic Area Among Places to Visit in Madrid
A somewhat trendier version of the main parts of Malasaña, Justicia shares a lot of its charm. It’s also an area full of picturesque streets – only they’re lined up with upscale shops. Justicia’s boutiques, interiors, cozy stores, and beauty salons make it among my favorite places to visit in Madrid. Calle del Almirante and its surroundings are particularly interesting for design lovers!
This neighborhood in the center of the city has its own very particular flair, and I love every second of it. Justicia’s all about design. It’s also where you’ll find the Mercado de San Antón, a much more exciting market than touristic San Miguel. They have a cool rooftop up there that’s perfect to chill in the afternoon.
My favorite boutique hotel in Madrid, Only You Hotel, is right here in Justicia. A design gem, its self-defined as “urban luxury,” and that’s just what it delivers. This oasis is a visual marvel and deserves a visit even if you’re not staying here. Have brunch on their outdoor patio, a bigger meal at their restaurant or some drinks at the bar. Or drop by to check out the luxurious décor!
For traditional shopping, Calle de Furrencarrel should turn into one of your favorite places to visit in Madrid. You’ll find plenty of mass brands here as well as some local design shops, still a bit more quite than the main touristic parts.
Salamanca – The luxury fashionista hood
The Salamanca neighborhood in Madrid is a shopping hub. Shopping centers abound, with traditional luxury brands and more “exotic” ones like Scandinavian Other Stories & COS plus the best restaurants in Salamanca.
The pace is indeed different than in the rest of Madrid. Salamanca is far more peaceful than hectic Madrid. The streets are wider, the area much more polished, giving a luxury feel. Some of the best restaurants in Salamanca are also among the top rated in town!
One of the best restaurants in Salamanca is Streetxo, by famous chef David Muñoz. Located on the rooftop of El Corte Inglés for men. It doesn’t do white dining but rather fun times. The cuisine is focused on Asian street food, mixing flavors I never would’ve imagined. The chefs serve you at the bar, surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere and lovely, colorful design. Streetxo is a great spot for lunch, but it’s also the “it” place in own, so expect a queue. Still, you can’t miss the place atop the best restaurants in Salamanca!
A Madrid Day Beyond the Crowds
For a one-day tour, there are three areas to explore that are next to each other. You can start your morning around the small boutiques in Justicia, then head to Plaza de Colon. Afterward, go to Salamanca and enjoy some high-end shopping. Then, it’s time for an afternoon in Malasaña! For an energy-boosting coffee break, head to cute café Mama Framboise for a French romantic experience.
Hope you will enjoy these 4 places to visit in Madrid beyond the crowds as well as the best restaurants in Salamanca and the best restaurants in La Latina Madrid.
More from Travel with a Silver Lining
Are you planning your Madrid trip? How fun! There’s endless of things to add to your to-do-list. I’ve been there and done all of it and I hope you get some inspiration of things to add to your trip. Want inspiration or support when booking your trip here? Check out some recommendations:
- Here’s my Madrid hotel review, and my top 3 restaurants in the Spanish capital!
- Read more about my visits to Spain and its neighbor Portugal, including travel guides to some of the loveliest places in the Mediterranean, in my Spain Posts as well as my Portugal Posts!
- For more fun times in warm climate, check out my travel story about Hua Hin, Thailand!
- Check out my top 3 posts: My Lisbon Instagram Guide, My Favorite Trendy Restaurants in Moscow, and my Amalfi Coast Photography Guide.
Booking Support & Input
- Flight. Reach Madrid with the best prices thanks to Momondo – download their all-in-one travel app!
- Transfer. To make sure your arrival is smooth and stress-free, I can recommend to BOOK A PRIVATE TRANSFER TO YOUR HOTEL.
- Hotel. Find the hotel of your dreams in Madrid through Booking.com, HERE.
- Tour guide. See Madrid through the eyes of a local by having a real madrileño show you around. Hi Hi lets you pick a local tour guide to show you the city beyond the crowds. Click here to meet your future tour guide!
- Experience. GET YOUR GUIDE offers incredible tours and activities all over the world, perfect to take advantage of each destination. Check out this Retiro Park Guided Tour and Tapas Tasting
tour and find see also their full City Guide of Madrid below!
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