La Latina is one of the most traditional neighborhoods in Madrid. The streets are lined with tapas restaurants and bars, plazas and old churches, making it a great place to walk around and simply take it all in. It’s the site of the famous weekly market El Rastro which occurs every Sunday, but there’s also some cool alternative things to do in the area, so check out this list below.
See the city from up above
La Latina is all about bar-hopping, but what many don’t know is that there’s a cool rooftop space on the third floor of the popular tapas joint El Viajero. While the views aren’t necessarily panoramic, seeing the rooftops of Madrid is picturesque, and some truly epic sunsets can also be seen from the bar’s roof. Heat lamps will warm you up during chilly weather, and there’s a great selection of drinks and snacks for you to enjoy while up above.
The Rastro is one of the biggest weekly markets in Madrid, extremely popular among tourists and locals. What many don’t know is that if you veer off the main market street to some of the smaller side streets, you’ll discover many small stands or people with blankets or tables outside, selling whatever they no longer want. Here you can find quirky and original items on the cheap, and just remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Not only does the Mercado de Cebada have some really cool street art, its stands sell a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, cheeses, wine, and of course there’s plenty of spots to order tapas and beer and just hang out. The outdoor courtyard which is part of the market is called Campo de la Cebada and features all sorts of things like art, theater, workshops, drinks and food, or can simply be used as a gathering space.
La Latina’s main theater, Teatro La Latina, always has something exciting to offer. Practice your Spanish by seeing Un Chico de Revista or Prefiero Que Seamos Amigos, which are both Spanish plays. This particular theater is also known for offering cabaret shows, so see what’s playing during your trip and head over for a little culture.
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For five euros, Madrid Street Art Project conducts tours called Safaris Urbanos that focus on street art in one specific area of town, such as La Latina, for example. For 15 euros, Cooltourspain will give you a guided tour of Madrid’s best street art, including a visit to La Neomudejar, a contemporary arts center, along with walks through areas such as Lavapiés, La Latina and Malasaña.
La Latina has its very own set of festivals each August in Madrid, celebrating La Verbena de la Paloma. You can find outdoor concerts, parades and plenty of action at the neighborhood bars and restaurants during this festive season. As the weather is hot, many spots have outdoor tents and terraces set up as well. If you happen to be in Madrid in August, make sure to head down to the area to join in all the fun.