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Madrid Neighbourhood Named Coolest in World

Embajadores
Embajadores | © justraveling / Pixabay
A neighbourhood in Madrid has just been named the coolest in the world. We take a look at what makes it so special.

A barrio right in the centre of Madrid has just taken the coveted spot of the world’s coolest neighbourhood. From its multicultural atmosphere and edgy art spaces to its fantastic food scene, Embajadores is definitely one of the coolest places to visit the next time you’re in Madrid.

It took the coveted gong in a new poll by Time Out, in which the magazine asked over 15,000 people around the world, as well as its local experts, to weigh in on what made their favourite neighbourhoods cool.

Embajadores, home to the steep streets of Lavapiés, won the top spot for its irresistible mixture of “bustling cultural life”, diverse cuisine from around the world and excellent nightlife.

Originally a working-class neighbourhood, today, Embajadores is one of Madrid’s most diverse and is home to over 90 different nationalities.

Its corralas – old-style housing with apartment balconies looking out over a central courtyard – sit side by side with huge street art murals; in recent years, the area has attracted graffiti artists from around the world.

Perhaps the best-known draw of Embajadores is its weekly flea market, the Rastro. Madrid’s biggest market stretches through warren-like streets and is a treasure trove of everything from antiques and vintage cameras to records, dolls and flamenco attire.

The Rastro street market © Mánel / Flickr

As well as visiting the Rastro, Time Out suggests “relaxing with a gin and tonic in Sala Equís”, a former porn cinema that has been given a hip makeover, and seeing a play “in the Art Deco theatre El Pavón”.

With prices among the lowest in the centre, the barrio is still seen as one of the most ‘accessible’ for young Spaniards and foreigners living in the city, and with fewer tourists than other central neighbourhoods, it’s a great place for visitors to get a taste of local Madrid.