Contemporary fashion, gourmet cuisine, fine art and upscale residential living await discovery in one of Madrid’s most stylish neighborhoods.
Salamanca is a glamorous barrio (suburb) where chic boutiques and stylish restaurants sit beside grandiose mansions that line a grid of wide 19th-century boulevards. Established as part of Queen Isabella II’s expansion of the city, the affluent air of Salamanca lured aristocrats, bourgeoisie and politicians. Today the well-heeled ambiance flourishes along some of Madrid’s wealthiest streets, where you’ll discover haute couture, fine dining and superb museums.
Seek out the latest fashion trends or simply enjoy some window shopping at the Golden Mile. Here you’ll find everything from antique dealers, bookstores and jewelers to famous brands such as Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton. Mix shopping with a culinary adventure at tapas bars and Michelin-starred restaurants, among many dining options. Platea Madrid is a food market set inside a former theater where the flavors of Asia, Italy, Mexico and Peru await.
Art enthusiasts will enjoy browsing works by Francisco Goya and John Constable at Lázaro Galdiano Museum. Appreciate more art at the Museo de Arte Público, a series of sculptures by Spanish abstract artists displayed beneath an overpass on Paseo de la Castellana. Spot valuable artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greek and Rome at the National Archaeological Museum. The Museum of the National Library has exhibits about the history of books, literature and the Biblioteca Nacional.
Look for some of the neighborhood’s architectural masterpieces, such as Puerta de Alcalá, a one-time gateway to Madrid. Join a guided tour of Palacio de Linares, which stands on the northeast corner of Plaza de Cibeles. Attend a bullfight and concert at Plaza de Toros de las Ventas bullring.
Escape the crowds at Quinta de la Fuente del Berro, a public park crisscrossed by walking paths and decorated with water features. See commemorations of Columbus’ voyage to the Americas at Descubrimiento Garden, part of Plaza de Colón. El Retiro Park stretches south from the barrio and has landscaped gardens, a boating lake, playgrounds and food kiosks.
Salamanca lies east of Madrid’s city center and is easily accessible using public transportation. Goya, Serrano and Retiro are some of several metro stations that serve the neighborhood.