Essential: a picnic at the Retiro Park
Famous for: His imposing architecture
In three words: large, geometric, fascinating
The Salamanca district is one of the few in Madrid with a well-defined urban structure- geometric and well-arranged. Elegant and very chic, it is the most stylish area of the capital. You have to see it for yourself, it is worth it.
HISTORY: This has always been a wealthy neighborhood. Its elegant XIX century buildings carry rich traditions. The name comes from the architect, José de Salamanca y Mayol, who designed it in the XIX century. Today it is one of the most elegant areas of the city, full of luxurious shops, art galleries and fashionable restaurants. There are several important avenues that form the layout of the area. Almost all of them go to Retiro Park, Madrid's most famous garden, a huge green oasis of 120 hectars which recalls its origins to the XVII century when the Conde Duque gave this land to the King. Today it is one of the most significant places in Madrid.
ATMOSPHERE: Elegant, chic, fashionable. Nothing to do with the more popular areas of the old town, it is a noisy and colorful rich district. There are many cultural inputs over here, but certainly for a selected audience.
PLACES: Without a doubt Retiro Park is an important part of the area. It is the biggest park of Madrid and all of Spain, with its green spaces that extend over 120 hectars. The visitors of the park often join a tour in the so-called golden triangle of museums. The Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia are located very close if not inside the park itself. There are also many buildings to be visited in addition to the statues. The magnificent Crystal Palace is well worth a visit. Originally a greenhouse reiterating the Kew Gardens in London, now it hosts art exhibitions.
In the Salamanca area do not miss the Plaza Mayor, Museum of Art Nouveau, the Monterrey Palace and the famous Plaza de Cibeles, an emblem of the capital.
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