La Latina

La Latina area has the most Mediterranean atmosphere of any area in the city, highly reminiscent of Tuscany’s warm light and La Habana street life.

It has all the aspects of genuine ancient Madrid: pedestrian cobblestone streets, open squares for socialization, Baroque churches, street markets, and rooftop cafes with palm trees. The atmosphere of the Rastro street markets feels more Arabian than European. A writer’s delight, you’ll find all kinds of novelesque characters here. And before you even have a chance to notice, you might have bought a non-working soviet watch or a useless bronze jug.

A part of the Austrian Madrid, it is the oldest part of town and is home to medieval and Renaissance ruins. Builders in this area worry they might stumble upon another part of the medieval Arab city walls below the basements.

Locals enjoy tapas bars and restaurants on Cava Baja, which are packed on weekends. Our favorite is Txacolina pintxos bar, a gourmet version of tapas. In a traditional Vasque style, you stand at the bar and eat as many pintxos as you want. Before leaving, simply report the number when paying. It’s a truly hassle-free eating experience.

A day in La Latina. Relaxed breakfast time under the sun in the ancient and atmospheric Plaza de la Paja. Then search for beautiful vintage items in the Rastro street market. Meet with friends for lunch at the rooftop of El Viajero with its Mediterranean view, where you can order a tapas snack and a caipirnha cocktail. Sometimes on the weekends we just sit there all the way until sunset.

Our La Latina Area Guide
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