The best neighborhoods to live in Madrid

Madrid is an all-time favorite in the expat community, and rightly so! It is the capital of Spain, which means that you have everything that you need here. This city is charming and once you have got a taste of life in Madrid, you will never want to leave. This city has great infrastructure, buzzing nightlife, plenty of job opportunities, and good weather.

This sounds all amazing, but how do you choose where to live in a city as big and diverse as Madrid? In this article, we will cover the best neighborhoods for living in Madrid. 

Something that you should know is that Madrid exists in 21 districts and 100 neighborhoods. We will list our top five for you. There is something for everyone.

You will find the best neighborhoods in the center of Madrid. Here is the most life, better public transport, more companies, educational institutes,…

Table of Contents


Sol is the neighborhood in the old city center. Here you will have everything at your fingertips. Unfortunately, this also means high rental prices… Here you are surrounded by liveliness and a fast pace of life that comes with living in a capital. 

You have bars, restaurants, and shops on every corner. Without even leaving the neighborhood, you can spend all night drinking and eating the night away. 

There are various theatres, parks, and clubs.  The Royal Palace can also be found here. 

Sol is one of the favorite neighborhoods in the expat community. This means that you will hear a lot of different languages here as well. As it is a touristy neighborhood, it is pretty safe as long as you watch your belongings and keep an eye out for pickpockets!


Malasaña neighborhood is more a bohemian and young area. Therefore, it is a bit cheaper than Sol when it comes to rental prices. 

This neighborhood is covered in graffiti and is super picturesque. It is buzzing here with life, pretty much at any time of the day. You can find many vintage stores here as well, which is why a lot of people visit this neighborhood. 

Not only in the neighborhood, Sol but also here you will find many bars and clubs that will entertain and keep you dancing till dawn. It has unbeatable energy.

It is a noisy neighborhood, but the lower rent prices and energy attract a lot of people. Due to the low rent, this barrio is very popular among young professionals and students. Get ready to meet a lot of young international people.


Are you an extrovert and loving person? Then Chueca is your perfect match! Here, you have easy access to bars, events, restaurants, and, clubs. This Barrio is located in the city center, which means that you have everything nearby. This is very convenient. 

It is an international neighborhood with lots of expats, who definitely know how to have a good time. Another advantage is that rental prices are usually less expensive than the actual old city center. As Chueca is located close to the Gran Via, you will hardly notice the difference. In other words, is this the perfect place if you want to live centrally but not pay Centro prices.


Looking for cheaper rent? Look no further! Lavapiés is your place to be. 

Lavapiés is one of the most multicultural neighborhoods of Madrid. Not only in inhabitants but also when it comes to the cuisine. Living here, you will experience cultures from around the world and get to taste their yummy food as well!

Every August the neighborhood organizes a huge street festival here, it’s called the San Lorenzo festival and is one of the main attractions of this Barrio.

La Latina

If you are looking for the best tapas in Madrid, this is the place to be! La Latina is Madrid’s top neighborhood when it comes to tapas, mojitos, and terraces. On the weekends it is almost impossible to find a spot in the packed restaurants and bars. 

You wouldn’t say but this neighborhood is also full of churches and basilicas, hidden in the narrow streets. They are worth stopping and taking a look at!

One of the Madrileños traditions on a Sunday morning is heading to the Rastro market in having a few bears afterward. 

One thing that we want to recommend is to watch the sunset from the Dalieda Dahlia gardens next to the Basilica San Francisco. 

As you can read, Madrid is a diverse city. You have everything that you need at your doorstep. Meeting and connecting with new people is not a problem as it is an international city. It is easy to feel at home here. It has a lot of life, good nightlife but at the same time lots of cultures.

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