"I like Malasaña, me gustas tú ”sang Manu Chao in his hugely popular song“ Proxima estación: Esperanza ”. You will probably sing it too after visiting one of the more particular districts of Madrid.
Often ignored by tourists, who do not find famous sights and monuments here, Malasaña is a creative neighborhood that changes rapidly and always remains on the cutting edge.
Cradle of underground culture and Movida with a capital M, understood as a countercultural movement born in the 80s in the newly formed post-Franco Spain, Malasaña is the most loved neighborhood by Madrid hipsters. For its alternative venues and its vintage shops it is very reminiscent of London's Camden Town.
It is worth spending some time here to get to know the Alternative and underground Madrid. There is enough to do to fill an entire day, well into the night.
You can grab an alfresco coffee in the historic Plaza Dos de Mayo, shop at the designer market, browse the ABC museum's comic exhibits, watch experimental theater shows or hang out with friends drinking and chatting late into the night. . All to the rhythm of indie / rock, punk and pop music.
What to see in Malasaña
The nerve center of the neighborhood is Plaza Dos de Mayo, a popular meeting place for Madrilenians of all ages and the best starting point for exploring the neighborhood on foot.
The name of the square recalls the Madrid uprising against Napoleon's occupying troops, which took place in 1808, while the statue that dominates the square depicts Daoiz and Velarde, artillery officers who fought alongside the people.
During the insurrection of May 2, 1808, the French imprisoned and killed the seamstress Manuela Malasaña, to which the district was later dedicated.
Far from the bloody episodes of the nineteenth century, today Plaza 2 de Mayo in Madrid is a sunny place, full of terraces and cafes with outdoor tables. Here in the spring and autumn months it is held DosdeMarket, a very nice market with stalls of young Spanish designers where you can buy T-shirts, jewels and drawings.
If you are a lover of drawing and illustration, an unmissable stop for you is the ABC Museum, entirely dedicated to these two graphic arts. It is probably the best European museum of its kind, thanks to its numerous activities, including exhibitions and workshops, and its exceptional location.
The museum is housed in a modern building converted from a former brewery which is a jewel of contemporary architecture, a must see.
Another important cultural center in the Malasaña district is Headquarters of the Count Duque, which regularly organizes concerts, exhibitions and fairs: take a look at the splendid Baroque palace that houses it.