If you enjoyed staying in Barcelona’s Gracia district, you’ll love staying in Salamanca quarter. This very upscale area does get very quiet on weekends and it’s certainly the safest area to lodge, within walking distance of everywhere and there is a few really nice places to eat along the square. For an area that is very safe (whatever that means), I would suggest the Salamanca district such as the area around calle Serrano and the streets leading off it further north of the center where the expensive designer boutiques are located. It’s kind of sterile and I wouldn’t stay there, but it’s ultra high end and seems really safe and secure.
It is difficult to advise you about what apartment choosing, as we all have different preferences and requirements. Choosing the right area is basic for having a happy time in Madrid. For that reason in this Madrid Guide you will find plenty of information about the different Madrid areas, pictures and maps which will help you to take the right decision. Staying in the former ‘shabby’ corner-turned revival neighborhood of Madrid is a lively affair, with buzzing crowds on hot summer nights around its epicenter Plaza de Chueca. Apartments in Madrid are great value and never far from the many, cafés and restaurants dotted around this trendy spot. Nearby Fuencarral is regarded as the heart of Madrid’s fashion scene.
Puerta del Sol is about as central as you can get. There’s plenty of Madrid Apartments dotted around the near by streets and you can’t move for cafes, restaurants and shops. You’ll be right on the main hub for the metro to get around and plaza Espana, Plaza Mayor and numerous other sites will be right on your doorstep. Madrid is a very safe city except for the pickpocketing that goes on in many European cities. The Plaza Mayor and the Puerta del Sol are spots where you are more likely to have your pockets picked, simply because it is easy to do in those crowded places where tourists bunch up and are easy pickings.
The first aspect you should consider is the location. As mentioned, don’t rack your brain, simply because Madrid’s 1000s sights are scattered all over the various areas, so you will be roaming around all the areas in any case. If you plan to avoid Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol at night, you might as well skip Madrid. Madrid is very lively at night, and those two areas have a lot to offer. While I understand how some might consider areas bordering on Puerta del Sol as seedy, this is actually a very old area full of traditional Spanish ambiance that has many tapas bars and little restaurants and is hopping late into the night and considered by those of us who love the city as one of the most desirable areas to stay in to be near all this.
Many of the museums and plazas can be found staying around the city’s Centro and nearby districts of Retiro and Salamanca. Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, home to Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ is arguably Spain’s single-most famous artwork. The stunningly beautiful Plaza Mayor, Prado Museum and the splendid gardens of Retiro Park are all close by. With easy transfers in Madrid, Vincci Via 66 hotel is a great place to rest those weary feet after a busy day’s sightseeing. While car hire in Madrid is easy to arrange, you won’t need it in the home of the city’s Castizos, just 15 minutes walk from the quaint old winding streets of Rastro Market. Enjoy the rough diamond-cut locals and its multicultural melting pot of personalities.
These are just few areas in Madrid’s Center where you may consider staying during your visit. Other Center quarters plus peripheral areas provide more options. There are many different types of Apartments in Madrid to suit your tastes in whatever area you choose to stay.
- Madrid-Salamanca Part II: Whose Plaza Mayor is mejor? (normsonline.wordpress.com)
- Madrid – My photographs (normsonline.wordpress.com)