The Spanish capital has never matched Barcelona for tourist numbers, but those in the know are more than happy to keep the secrets of this fabulous city to themselves.
Vibrant and classy, with some of Europe’s best museums and a nightlife that starts late and never seems to stop, Madrid is Spain’s economic hub and a winner for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in a relatively safe and friendly city.
Madrid is divided into 21 districts. The most exclusive areas include the designer shops of historic Salamanca, and also Justicia which is northwest of the centre, with its Parisian-style intimate boutiques and narrow streets. Younger residents in particular like Chueca. Opera el Madrid de los Austrias which is the oldest area of Madrid around Plaza Mayor, attracts a cultural crowd, while food lovers are especially drawn to central Las Letras, the literary district.
Other contenders for a city centre apartment include multicultural Lavapies to the south, currently going through the process of gentrification. Offering good value for money is Chamberi which offers larger apartments and then there is the family-focused Retiro area, close to the exceptionally captivating Retiro Park.