Centro is the most vibrant district with an extraordinary buzzing atmosphere where most of the historic sites and monuments that visitors come to see are to be found.
From the regal Palacio neighborhood with its maze of medieval streets surrounding Plaza Mayor -Madrid’s grand main square- to the vivacious La Latina, Centro offers gorgeous, centuries-old architecture together with nightlife, shops, and assorted dining options from tapas bars to gourmet food markets and some of Madrid’s oldest and most legendary restaurants.
The Spanish monarchs of the House of Austria (or the Habsburgs), who ruled in the 16th and 17th c., initiated the expansion of the city and left their mark in a neighborhood they had embellished with stunning architecture that corresponds to the original medieval layout of the city. During that time of splendor when Spain possessed an enormous empire that extended to three continents, Felipe II chose Madrid to be the capital of the empire and moved the Court from Toledo to Madrid in 1561.
place to stay in Madrid.
Today, Conde Duque is a neighborhood with an attitude all its own: it is bohemian, quiet with a hip and alternative atmosphere, and a vibrant cultural scene where you come across many historical palaces, churches, and museums.
Conde Duque developed around the huge old military headquarters carrying the same name. In 2011 the 18th c. former barracks turned into Conde Duque Cultural Center -a hidden gem- and today one of the city’s largest cultural centers along with Matadero and CentroCentro. It is a huge baroque-style building with a gorgeous intricately carved stone entrance and a large central courtyard. This cultural center is a sort of “meeting point” of all things art, music and literature related.