02 May Salamanca, the Neighbourhood in Madrid that We Call Home
On the famous Castellana Avenue
Classical Building of Salamanca’s District
La Puerta de Alcalá
When we arrived in Madrid a few years ago, we had the opportunity to rent a flat in the beautiful neighborhood of Salamanca. We didn’t realise at the time how lucky we were to find this wonderful place. It has everything you could need. It’s just close enough to enjoy Madrid, and its famous “movida”, but far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet too. It’s close enough to walk to the city centre… and what a beautiful walk it is. You get a true sense of history as you pass by the of all of the beautiful 19th century buildings.
Salamanca offers a very large selection of shops in which to spend time… and money! Here, you’ll find the smart, sophisticated and expensive ones such as Loewe, Carolina Herrera and Purificación García, as well as Spanish designers. You can also find the more affordable options like Zara and Mango, who create special collections for the Spanish market.
Of course, Salamanca is also great for food. If you don’t want to cook, don’t worry! In fact, eating out is almost an unwritten rule in Madrid. For an eclectic option, situated in the middle of the “Gold Triangle” (between Calle Goya, Serrano y Velasquez), you can find a typical marketplace called “El Mercado de la Paz,” the Peace Market. It’s colorful, rich in flavors, animated and authentic!
If you are looking for a greener part in Salamanca, you can walk through a marvellous park called “El Parque del Buon Retiro.” It covers a huge area, with numerous pathways to wander down, and beautiful spaces to stop and enjoy the scenery. Sit on the grass and enjoy a picnic during the spring. If you prefer a proper table and chair for your dining experience, there are numerous terraces that offer lunch and a drink. If you’re into sports, you can enjoy a jog or take a boat ride on the lake (the children love this).
Last, but not least, Salamanca offers an impressive array of exhibitions and museums. The most famous one is the Prado Museum with its legendary collection of antique paintings. I bought the annual pass so that I can visit often. It’s not expensive and you can go there as much as you wish without planning! It’s fantastic!
Another nice one is the Thyssen Foundation, an incredible private collection where you can admire a large selection of paintings dating from the Middle Ages through to the latest contemporary art. There’s something for everyone. They also curate temporary exhibitions to a very high standard. I never miss one, as they are always fantastic. (Right now: chef-d’oeuvre from Budapest. So mysterious…)
These are just a taster of what I like in Salamanca. This neighborhood is full of secrets… and I have much more to share with you!