When speaking of Madrid, it’s no secret that Malasaña is the city’s trendy superstar. After all, la movida madrileña occurred here in this neighborhood. If you’re unfamiliar with this freewheeling era in Madrid’s history, I’ll simplify it. After the Franco dictatorship ended, creative freedom exploded, especially in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Pedro Almodóvar, the famous Spanish director (who also happens to be coming out with a new film this week, Los Amantes Pasajeros, or The Fleeting Lovers), is an exemplary of the time. See any of his early films and you’ll get an idea. Respectfully, offbeat Malasaña represented the heart and soul of the Madrid movement and its respective mentality. Be an individual; flaunt your freaky side. Today, it still retains some of its grit and edge, along with a modern, chic, “I’m cooler than you” ego.
Among vintage boutiques, independent designers and cardboard cutouts of bulls (along with hip deer), Malasaña is Madrid’s Brooklyn. I’m not one to make comparisons because it’s usually ill received, but you get the idea. It’s a hipster haven.
If you have an afternoon, walk around and discover the artsy beat. My favorite Malasaña hangout is pictured above, La Bicicleta Cafe . Consequently, this place is no secret either. On a rainy Sunday, you may be pushed to the waiting list. My advice: try to look extra chic. Or ride your bike. This café is cycle-centric, too.
Why it’s great? Besides having ample work space, this café also serves a large (read: American) cappuccino. They’re delicious, too.
Madrid me mata, la movida madrileña.
<M> Tribunal, Gran Vía
Plaza de San Ildefonso 9