Do you want to know which area of Madrid would be a good fit for you?

This post is part of the “The best areas to live in Madrid” Series. In this post I’ll share info about the Centro district that will help you get an idea of what your life would be like in this area, the type of housing you can find, its prices and the activities available by just going out on the street and walking a few minutes.

It’s the monumental and historical area of the capital. Bustling and lively.

A great cultural offer, with museums and theatres, and gastronomic offer, too, with typical restaurants and taverns.

Centro, in turn, is divided into the following neighborhoods:

  • Malasaña-Universidad
  • Chueca-Justicia
  • Lavapiés-Embajadores
  • Palacio
  • Huertas-Cortes
  • Sol

We recommend the following neighborhoods:


Cortes–Huertas:This is largely a pedestrian neighborhood with a lot of traditional
commerce. Within this area you will find the “Barrio de las Letras”.
Justicia-Chueca: Currently it’s one of the more fashionable areas of Madrid. International fashion brands, art galleries, restaurants and bars. There are also some underground establishments such as sex shops and tattoo studios that still hold out within this area. Chueca is one of the most renowned gay neighborhoods in the world and it hosts the Pride Festival every year. In the course of just one weekend, the whole neighborhood is a party and receives thousands of visitors yearly.

In this neighborhood you’ll find the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, the Plaza de Oriente and the Teatro Real. You’ll find the “unofficial” neighborhood of La Latina, one of the oldest in Madrid and currently a very trendy and updated part of town with lower structures buildings and not as high quality, many do not have an elevator, but they have been renovated and have the “bohemian” charm. Please, note this area is not the same as the “official” district called Latina which is further south of the capital.

Sol: Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, the Town Hall, the Plaza de la Villa and the San Miguel Market are some of the points of interest located in this neighborhood. We also find within this area the Madrid of the Austrias, the area that developed and prospered from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

This area is where the old University of Madrid was located until the first half of the 20th century. Malasaña is one of the “unofficial” neighborhoods that gained momentum in the era of “La Movida”, the 80s. Connected to Chueca by Fuencarral street, you can easily walk from one area to the other.

Housing in Centro

Most of the houses are located in old buildings, many of them renovated and updated. Many narrow streets with character.

Each Neighborhood has its own personality and the housing differ from one another, Studios and apartments of 1 and 2 bedrooms abound, except in the immediate vicinity of the Royal Palace which are larger properties in classic buildings.

There is an offer of more than 2.200 flats for rent with an average price of around 28€/m2.

There is a very small number of chalets built so that the supply of this type of housing for rent is super scarce. Most of the properties offered are flats, of which the majority (around 40%) are 1 bedroom. There are also some studios (10%), 2-bedroom apartments (33%), 3-bedroom flats (12%) and +4-bedroom flats (5%).

Of these, 9% are rented with a garage, 12% have a terrace and 2% a swimming pool.

With this table you can easily see the range of prices and the type of property with the greatest offer:

∗ These percentages and prices refer to an approximate average of the supply that we have observed in recent years. The supply of housing available for rent in Centro varies from day to day. The more demanded the area, the more dynamic the offer.

Sport Centres in Centro

Centro Deportivo Municipal Barceló
Barceló, 6 – planta 4º (Mercado de Barceló)

Centro Deportivo Municipal Escuelas de San Antón
Farmacia, 13

Cultural Centres in Centro

La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2

Centro Cultural La Corrala
Carlos Arniches, 3 y 5

Medialab – Prado
Alameda, 15

Centro Sociocultural Clara del Rey
Palma, 36

Centro Sociocultural Lavapiés
Olivar, 46

Museums and Art Galleries in Centro

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
Paseo del Prado, 8

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Santa Isabel, 52

Palacio Real de Madrid
Bailén, Plaza de Oriente

Fundacion Casa de Alba – Palacio de Liria
Princesa, 20

Casa Museo Lope de Vega
Cervantes, 11

Espacio Fundación Telefónica
Fuencarral, 3

Paseo del Prado, 36

Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Alcalá, 13

Museo del Romanticismo
San Mateo, 13

Museo de Historia de Madrid
Fuencarral, 78

Sala Alcalá 31
Alcalá, 31

La Fiambrera Art Gallery
Pez, 7

Theatres in Centro

Teatro Real
Plaza de Isabel II

Teatro de la Comedia. Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico
Príncipe, 14

Teatro de la Zarzuela
Jovellanos, 4

Teatro María Guerrero. Centro Dramático Nacional
Tamayo y Baus, 4

Teatro Español
Príncipe, 25

Pequeño Teatro Gran Vía
Gran Vía, 66

Tablao flamenco Café de Chinitas
Torija, 7

Tablao Flamenco Casa Patas
Cañizares, 10

Tablao Flamenco Corral de la Morería
Morería, 17

Teatro Arlequín Gran Vía
San Bernardo, 5

Teatro Bellas Artes
Marqués de Casa Riera, 2

Teatro Calderón
Atocha, 18

Teatro Cofidis Alcázar
Alcalá, 20

Schools in Centro

There are a total of 10 public schools, 5 institutes, 7 private schools, 16 charter schools and 13 of them are bilingual Spanish-English. In this Comunidad de Madrid you may check all of them.

Parks and gardens in Centro

Real Jardín Botánico
Plaza de Murillo, 2

Jardín tropical Estación de Atocha
Glorieta de Carlos V

Jardines de la Plaza de Oriente
Bailén, 17

Jardines de Sabatini
Bailén, 2

Campo del Moro
Paseo Virgen del Puerto s/n

Jardines de San Francisco el Grande
Gran Vía de San Francisco, 29

Shopping in Centro

It’s a district with many important shopping areas and very differentiated among them.

On the one hand, there is the Rastro de Madrid, the most traditional street market that is held outdoors on Sundays and holidays in the street Ribera de Curtidores and the surrounding area.

The Gran Vía is one of the most important and significant axes of the city centre and a very lively place, theatres, hotels, restaurants and cafés, thousands of citizens and tourists strolling around and some of the main national and foreign fashion chains, as well as small shoe shops, watch shops, jewellery shops and jewellery shops, while, being a very central area, it also has numerous souvenir shops, crafts and traditional items such as lace, mantillas and fans.

Chueca-Malasaña-Fuencarral is the young and modern area with some of the most relevant new designers, as well as tattoo shops, decoration, comics, art bookshops or old and second-hand copies and retro style establishments.

Sol-Preciados-Carmen, in the heart of Madrid’s historic centre, next to Puerta del Sol, is the pedestrian area that was the first open-air shopping centre in our capital, with the largest selection of department stores, books, music, fashion, shoe shops and accessories.

Nearby are the streets Mayor and Arenal, also with shops that are worthwhile.

Lavapiés offers a wide range of commercial activities, mainly through small traditional shops. African handicrafts, accessories for belly dancing, narguiles, Maghreb handbags and lamps, electronics shops and mobile phone repair… There are also small traditional food shops, where a variety of imported products such as Indian and Pakistani spices or Asian canned noodles, sake and bamboo are sold.

In the barrio de Las Letras there are a good number of shops that maintain their historic charm along with other newer often linked to artists and creators of various disciplines.

Finally, Las Salesas is one of the most interesting shopping areas in the city. Small shops with personality in which the design, elegant and urban, maintains an avant-garde style.

Centro postal codes

28004, 28012, 28013


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

Series post #1 Chamberí  Series post #2 Salamanca  Series post #3 Retiro  Series post#5 Chamartín  Series post#6 Moncloa-Aravaca Series post#7 Arturo Soria

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