November 2017

M adrid, immortalized in lms by Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, is a city of many faces and unlike any other place in Europe. But the capital of Spain is now much more than only great sights and historic places; it also boasts new districts with chic bars where red wine is passe and has been replaced with a new version of gin and tonic.

Whenever I’m visiting Madrid, I always stay in the bohemian district of Malasaña. It’s quite easy to nd, as it’s located just north of Gran Via – the city’s main thoroughfare. Since the fall of the Franco’s regime that took place more than 40 years ago, Malasaña has been regarded as the district of alternative art and counterculture. In the 1970s it became home to the movide movement, which was the Spanish response to American Beatnik culture. With numerous second-hand and vintage shops, the atmosphere of Malasaña resembles that of Paris or London. Cafes, clubs and shops selling literally everything, also re ect the one-of-a-kind character of this district. One of the most favourite meeting spots for Spanish intellectuals, artists and hipsters is Cafe Comercial near the Bilbao station.

Malasaña is also becoming popular with tourists who spend afternoons in the district’s atmospheric restaurants and in the evening go for a nightcrawl around the local bars. During the day, take a walk up the trail of Malasaña’s numerous bookshops, craning your neck to see the beautiful classical buildings on both sides of the narrow streets. If you wish to nd out even more about the Spanish capital and its economic potential, read our cover story.

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