The most transgressive neighborhood in Madrid: Chueca between shopping and hot nights out
In recent years the neighborhood of Chueca has become one of the trendiest areas of the city. In addition to the incredible commercial offer – don’t miss the walk through Fuencarral street – it offers much more. Its art galleries and clubs are the ideal place to enjoy the most lively and festive atmosphere of Madrid. Chueca is also the hub of the international gay community that opens the celebrations of the Gay Pride week right here every year between the end of June and the first week of July.
The squares of Chueca are a meeting point for both the inhabitants of the neighborhood and the whole city: Plaza Chueca, central square of the neighborhood and arrival of the Metro, Plaza Pedro Zerolo, full of bars and clubs, Plaza Santa Barbara with its ancient brewery. The quiet Plaza del Rey, where the Casa de las Siete Chimeneas (the House of the seven Chimneys) is famous for the legend of its ghost, also deserves a mention.
Other buildings in Chueca will attract your attention for their architectural peculiarity. Among these we would like to mention Palazzo Longoria in calle Ferdinando VII, a perfect example of Modernism, and the Casa de los Lagartos (house of the Lizards) between calle Mejia Lequerica and Hortaleza, with its original decorations on the facade in modernist style.
The many markets are another distinctive feature of the neighborhood of Chueca, as well as a good place to eat or drink. The best known is the San Antòn Market in calle Augusto Figueroa which, in addition to the traditional stalls of fresh products, offers show cooking and a large terrace with bars and restaurants. Mercado di San Antòn has recently been converted into a rather trendy place where nothing is no longer so cheap as before. You can take a look at the Barcelò Market in the same street and the San Ildefonso Market in Calle Fuencarral 57. We point out the latter because it aims to become Madrid’s Street Food Market. If you are loyal to Bio, go instead to the Lucas Garden, specialized in “0 km” products.
Places of art in Chueca
In recent years Chueca has become part of the most vibrant artistic panorama of the city. Its many art galleries (Edurne, Alcion, Mad is Mad, just to name a few) host interesting exhibitions by national and international artists.
If you are in the mood for museums, do not miss the Museum of Romanticism (Calle San Mateo 13), a faithful representation of 19th century Spain’s art, culture and lifestyle. Finally, the Museum of the History of Madrid (calle Fuencarral 78) is very interesting. It collects works and objects from 1561, the year in which the city became the capital of the kingdom, until the beginning of the twentieth century.
Shopping in Chueca
Beyond calle Fuencarral – which has become a sort of open-air mall, Chueca is a great choice for shopping in Madrid. Its streets are full of small shops that sell original clothing and gifts. Prices are generally low in the area closest to Gran Vìa and rise up as you move towards the other end of the neighborhood, where you’ll find calle Castellana, which offers more luxurious products.
If you are looking for a souvenir or some gifts, try El Tintero (calle Gravina 5, Metro Chueca) which produces shirts, sweatshirts and fabric bags with very nice prints or, next to it, the Secret Market which sells clothing and accessories of craftsmen or local designers. A little more elegant and a little more expensive is Lesac, in calle Augusto Figueroa 23 or in calle Fuencarral at 146, which sells bags, shoes and women’s clothing.
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