LivingTravel10 things to do in Madrid's La Latina neighborhood

10 things to do in Madrid's La Latina neighborhood

Built in a medieval Islamic fortress, Madrid’s La Latina neighborhood is the oldest in the city and one of the liveliest. While La Latina is picturesque, with narrow streets lined with tapas bars and squares dotted with beautiful churches, this neighborhood in central Madrid is modern and bustling, with no shortage of things to do. From Goya’s remarkable paintings in the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande to the busy El Rastro flea market, here are nine best things to do in La Latina.

01
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Eat tapas on Cava Baja street

Direction
Calle de la Cava Baja, 30, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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+34913 65 08 04

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If you are looking for authentic Spanish cuisine, this street is the place. Calle Cava Baja is one of the neighborhood’s most famous places to get food and drinks, and you’ll immediately understand why once you enjoy this lively and colorful setting.

Loaded with character, Calla Cava Baja also has many different restaurants suitable for various budgets. Casa Lucas, for example, is a highly regarded wine bar that stays packed until late at night, and Taberna Txakolina, a Basque-inspired bar, serves immensely addictive pintxos or aperitifs.

02
from 10

Go back in time at the Church of San Andrés

Direction
Plaza de San Andrés, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34913 65 48 71

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This historic church dates back to the 17th century and you will feel transported back in time from the moment you enter. Beneath its beautiful dome, you will see stained glass windows, gold leaf, cherubs, and the tomb of Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. A visit will only take about 15 minutes, making it an easy addition to any travel schedule. Afterward, make a pit stop for coffee in the square next to the church.

03
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Basilica of Saint Francis the Great

Direction
Calle San Buenaventura, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34913 65 38 00

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If the Church of San Andrés is peaceful and intimate, the Basilica of San Francisco El Grande is almost the exact opposite. Walk along the Carrera de San Francisco and you will be greeted by this giant basilica, whose dome is said to be the largest in Spain and the fourth largest in Europe. The main attraction here is the massive paintings inside, created by the Spanish painters Francisco de Zurbarán and Francisco Goya. However, enjoying street performers and people watching outside are also great ways to spend an afternoon at the Basilica.

04
from 10

Eat cheap tapas at Casa de Granada

Direction
5, Calle del Dr Cortezo, 17, 28012 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34913 69 35 96

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One of Madrid’s best-hidden restaurants, Casa de Granada de La Latina, has some of the best tapas deals in the city. Tucked away in a nondescript building on Calle Doctor Cortezo and only accessible via an elevator to the sixth floor, Casa Granada is worth the trip for the prices alone. Once inside, you’ll be rewarded with cheap pitchers of sangria and a great view of the city from the rooftop terrace.

05
from 10

Relax in the Plaza de la Paja

Direction
Plaza de la Paja, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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The name comes from the Spanish word for ‘paja’ ( straw ), which was sold for the mules that removed the carts in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Plaza de la Paja was one of the main markets in the city. However, the shady and picturesque square is more of a quiet place to take a break from the city these days. In addition, the square houses one of the best gastronomic options for vegetarians and vegans, Viva Burger.

06
from 10

Shop at the El Rastro market

Direction
Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34915 29 82 10

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El Rastro is Madrid’s Sunday morning market, which is possibly the most famous in the whole country. However, El Rastro is more than a market; It’s a day out. With restaurants offering good menus and street performers entertaining shoppers, you can easily spend an entire Sunday at this attraction. The main street of the market consists mainly of clothes, but if you go down the side alleys, you will find a great variety of antiques and other curiosities. Due to its crowded nature, the market is a hotspot for pickpockets, so keep your valuables close by.

07
from 10

Explore the street of Segovia

Direction
Calle de Segovia, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Segovia Street in Madrid is one of the oldest streets in the city, it runs parallel to Campo do Moro and goes up La Latina before culminating in Plaza Segovia Nueva. The street is lined with many restaurants and cafes, but one of the best reasons to walk is the stunning views of the Segovia Viaduct, an arched bridge that pedestrians can cross. However, be careful when exploring this street as it is very steep.

08
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Eat paella in the rice field

Direction
Calle de Segovia, 13, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34913 65 39 09

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You won’t be disappointed with the paella at this famous rice restaurant on the street in Segovia. They can even prepare it, and many other dishes, for those on gluten-free diets. The rice and ingredients vary according to the season, but at any time you can find paella made with seafood, lobster, mushrooms and more. In the summer, the restaurant has outdoor tables where people can look along the street while enjoying their food.

09
from 10

Visit the San Isidro museum

Direction
Plaza de San Andrés, 2, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34913 66 74 15

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This free museum in La Latina pays tribute to San Isidro Labrador, Madrid’s patron saint, but the main focus here is a comprehensive look at the city’s history, dating back to prehistoric times. The museum’s permanent collection is only 153 pieces, but it offers an interesting look at the development of Madrid. Furthermore, the courtyard adjacent to the museum is the supposed site of a miracle: according to tradition, this is where Saint Isidro saved his son from drowning when the waters rose dangerously high. The museum has now made the site a focal point for visitors.

10
from 10

Going out for beer in «Los Barrios»

Direction
Costanilla de San Andrés, 12, 28005 Madrid, Spain

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Telephone

+34913 54 02 55

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Going to the bar, known as the Madrid neighborhood, is a traditional tradition and popular pastime for the locals, and the La Latina neighborhood is home to some of its best drinking establishments. Before heading out for a night of dancing, consider embracing the Spanish tradition of tapas and beer in one of the best neighborhoods in La Latina. La Musa Latina is a typical tapas bar near the Basilica de San Miguel with outdoor seating, while Lamiak on Calle Cava Baja is a popular Basque-style restaurant among locals (few tourists go there).

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