Deciding in which area of Madrid to live?

This article belongs to the series “Interviews & Areas of Madrid”. In it we give voice to its residents, Spanish or foreign, recently moved or with many years of experience in the neighborhood. From their personal experience and their recommendations, we will approach each area with the intention of facilitating the decision-making process on which area you will feel more comfortable when moving to Madrid.  

Stacy-viva | Lifeinthemove

I met Stacy Viva when she was looking for help in renting one of her properties a few years ago. Since then we have kept in touch and have developed a nice friendship.

Stacy is American, born in Los Angeles, have lived in Madrid now for 8 years. She had originally studied here when she was young at the Complutense University and always dreamed of coming back. In 2013, she finally made the move and now considers Madrid her home.

Getting to know Stacy and Atocha​


Why did you choose Atocha?

I currently live near Atocha (the train station) and considered the cultural triangle of Madrid as it houses three important museums – the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofia.

I chose this area as I thought it was a great place to invest in and have airbnbs. It proved to be true.

Often times, tourists would choose my airbnbs and make it base camp when they would travel around the country via the Atocha train system.

What do you do in Madrid?

I am a Movement Mindset Coach and my purpose is to help individuals find true and lasting happiness in their life from everyday occurrences. It’s the way you view life (are you open and curious?), your day-to-day experiences (the ones you sometimes overlook because they seem so mundane), and the little physical movements and mental preparation you do each day.

I offer workshops and events, for both companies and individuals, yoga and coaching sessions. All the info is in my web as well as my contact details.

What can you do on foot?

The area is full of supermarkets, exercise studios and little quaint cafeterias and it’s all available by walking distance. My favorite activity is to meet a friend at the Retiro park and walk there which is 10 minutes away by foot.

Do you use public transportation? Or private car?

Atocha- area is in the south of Madrid and close to everything.  You have direct bus routes to the north per Castellana and to Barrio Salamanca.  At the same time, you are three stops away from Sol (center of Madrid).   This area has direct access to the best public transportation. 

Shopping in the neighborhood: a couple of favorite stores

My favorite place to shop is the Santa Maria de la Cabeza fresh market.  It´s not touristy but packed with Spanish natives and me buying all different types of cheeses, olives, jamones, wines, fresh fruit and vegetables.  Luckily, there is enough for everybody ☺

Leisure in the neighborhood: restaurants, bars…

My favorite restaurant in the area is Rossell Bodega, a typical traditional Spanish restaurant with great salads, jamon and lots of tostas.  It´s a family owned business and has great wines to choose from.

Culture of the neighborhood: theaters, cinemas, museums…

I’m just saying that I am walking distance to 3 great museums in Madrid: Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia.

Tell us something about sports

I swim three times a week at a private pool in the area and also have a membership at a local gym.  The other days I am teaching yoga online and in studios in Barrio Salamanca and El Viso so I am pretty exhausted when it comes to the weekend – hahaha ☺

Green areas, which one is your favorite?

The best green area is the Retiro Park.  It doesn´t get much greener than that.  It’s the most beautiful park filled with different types of trees, a lake, a crystal palace, statues, a library, restaurants and a rose garden.   

Would you recommend the area to live with children?

The Atocha area is an area for everyone…young families with children, working professionals and elderly people and the beauty is everyone is out doing their thing so you see all walks of life every day.  


And, finally, a summary of what type of housing can be found in Atocha


Atocha station is in a square where three of Madrid’s neighbourhoods converge: Jerónimos which belongs to the Retiro district, Palos de Moguer which belongs to Arganzuelo and Lavapiés and Huertas which belong to Centro. Each one of them has its own personality.

In this area, there is a wide variety of rental properties, apartments and flats, of different sizes, both furnished and unfurnished. Many with the charm of the old buildings. And in a variety of styles and prices:

In the Jerónimos neighbourhood there is a supply of less than 100 properties for rent with an average price of 22.83€/m2. Of these, 70% have 3 or more than 4 bedrooms. And 25% of the total are rented with a parking space.

On the contrast, in Palos de Moguer, with an offer of 69 properties for rent at an average price of 19.42€/m2, 74% of them have 1 or 2 bedrooms. And only 8% of them are rented with parking space.

On the other hand, in the Centro district, Lavapiés neighbourhood, there are currently more than 300 properties for rent with an average price of 22.69€/m2. Almost 50% of them are 1-bedroom flats and around 8% are rented with a garage.

Finally, in the Huertas-Cortes neighbourhood there are around 200 rental properties with an average price of 21.83€/m2. Of these, 77% are 1 and 2-bedroom flats and only 7.50% of them are rented with a garage.

Does Atocha convince you? Do you think it would be a good choice for you?

If you are planning to move to Madrid soon, you’ll find all the relevant information in The secret of relocating to Madrid. If, in addition, you need help with the organization or even if you prefer that we accompany you, check out our services.

In the meantime, you can receive regular information by filling out this questionnaire. And if you find it useful, we thank you for sharing it.


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