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What to see in Madrid’s La Latina neighbourhood

Published on April 2, 2024 by Laura

What to see in Madrid’s La Latina neighbourhood

Located in the heart of Madrid, the Barrio de La Latina is one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in Madrid, famous for its narrow cobblestone streets, historic architecture and, of course, its incredible food scene. Every corner of this neighbourhood tells a story and every tavern invites you to enjoy the best Spanish tapas. A stroll through Madrid’s La Latina will not only take you back in time but will also allow you to fully experience Madrid life with all your senses.

If you’re looking to experience the true essence of Madrid, don’t miss this guide to the best things to do and see in La Latina neighbourhood.

History of La Latina neighbourhood

The charm of the La Latina neighbourhood goes back centuries. Its name comes from an old hospital founded in 1499 by the humanist and writer Beatriz Galindo, known as “La Latina”, who was Latin teacher to Queen Isabella the Catholic.

This neighbourhood, which occupies a large part of the oldest part of Madrid, is also often referred to as the Madrid of the Austrias. Its peculiar urban layout preserves a medieval distribution with wide squares and narrow streets that follow the ancient route of the waters. The layout of La Latina overlaps almost perfectly with the walls of the 9th century citadel – the Almudena – and the city – the medina – that surrounded it.

Over time, this neighbourhood has evolved to become one of Madrid’s most visited and loved tourist destinations, while maintaining its historical and cultural essence intact.

What to see in La Latina in Madrid

La Latina is a neighbourhood full of history and charm, with streets that look like something out of a postcard.

One of the most emblematic places to visit in La Latina is undoubtedly the Plaza de la Paja, a former nerve centre during the Middle Ages and today one of the most peaceful corners of the district. A few steps away, you’ll find the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande, a church with an impressive dome that houses works of art by great masters such as Goya and Zurbarán.

Don’t miss the Mercado de la Cebada, a lively space where you can buy fresh produce and enjoy the local atmosphere. In the lively Plaza de la Cebada you can have a beer and tapas on one of the terraces.

The Museo de San Isidro is an incredible museum dedicated to the history of the city. It exhibits archaeological artefacts, models and documents that tell the story of Madrid’s evolution from prehistoric times to the Modern Age, including the life of its patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.

One of Madrid’s architectural wonders is in La Latina. The Puerta de Toledo is a monumental neo-Mudéjar gateway that serves as the entrance to the city from the south.

Another site to see in Madrid’s La Latina is Las Vistillas, a picturesque viewpoint offering panoramic views of the city and the Manzanares River. The Jardín del Príncipe de Anglona is also a haven of peace. It is ideal for relaxing, strolling and enjoying the serenity in the heart of the city.

Where to eat in La Latina

The neighbourhood of La Latina is also famous for two streets that are true gastronomic paradises: Cava Alta and Cava Baja. Here you will find a wide range of restaurants and tapas bars that will delight your senses. We recommend these three:

  • Taberna Los Huevos de Lucio: Known for its famous “huevos rotos” dish, this restaurant is a must for a taste of local gastronomy.
  • Marmitón: Offers an excellent selection of innovative homemade dishes with the best of Spanish gastronomy.
  • Juana La Loca: Specializing in pintxos and tapas, this restaurant offers an immersive dining experience with fresh, quality ingredients.

Cultural in La Latina neighbourhood

Madrid’s La Latina vibrates with a unique cultural energy. We recommend you visit the Corral de la Morería. This tablao, one of the most renowned in Madrid, will immerse you in the exciting world of flamenco music and dance.

No less emblematic is the Teatro La Latina. With its doors open since 1919, this emblematic stage has witnessed countless performances by masters of the performing arts. Nowadays you can enjoy musicals and plays in a historic setting.

In addition, La Latina has a variety of nightclubs and bars where you can immerse yourself in Madrid’s nightlife.

Shopping in La Latina

La Latina is home to El Rastro, Madrid’s most emblematic open-air market. It dates to 1740 and has become a must-visit place for tourists and locals looking for vintage clothes, decorative objects, jewellery and much more. This bustling market is held every Sunday of the year in the streets of La Latina.

Strolling along Calle Toledo, one of the neighbourhood’s main thoroughfares, you’ll find some of Madrid’s most historic shops. If you love antiques, don’t miss Galerías Piquer, or if you like music and literature, you’ll love Molar Discos & Libros.

Accommodation in Madrid’s La Latina

After a day exploring La Latina neighbourhood, we invite you to relax in the SmartR La Latina apartments, your home away from home in Madrid.

Located right in the city centre, our apartments in Madrid La Latina offer you the opportunity to live like a local while enjoying all the modern comforts. You will be near the best things to see in La Latina, all the restaurants, monuments, and shops.

The apartments are spacious and have everything you need for a comfortable stay: from a fully equipped kitchen to a cosy living room where you can relax after a busy day. But that’s not all, they also come with additional services such as free wifi, amenities and optional airport transfer.Book your stay at SmartR La Latina!

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