Plaza Lavapies, Madrid

3.2
#243 of 974 in Things to do in Madrid
Lavapiés is an informal neighbourhood of the city of Madrid, centered on the Plaza de Lavapiés. It is located within the boundaries of the administrative ward of Embajadores, part of the Centro District.The name literally means "wash feet" possibly in the fountain in Plaza de Lavapiés which no longer exists.OverviewLavapiés was long considered the most "typical" neighborhood of Madrid; humble and somewhat neglected. Now its large immigrant population has given it an exotic, cosmopolitan flavor and it draws many visitors from other parts of Madrid, as well as foreign tourists. An inscription on a fountain in Plaza de Cabestreros is a monument to the Spanish Republic in Madrid. The ruins of Escuelas Pías, a religious school, were left to stand for many years after it was burned down by the anti-Catholic, radical left that supported the Popular Front in 1936. Only in 2002 were part of the ruins converted into a university library. The north side of the ruins face the Plaza Augustin Lara, named after the 20th century Mexican composer who wrote a song about Madrid which includes the phrase "I'll make you the empress of Lavapies".In the late 1980s and 1990s, Lavapiés had acquired a reputation as a "vertical slum", with its tenement blocks either empty or occupied by older people paying low rents. As a result, it became the most important location for okupación, or squatting, in Madrid.More recently, it has become the focal point for immigrant populations, from the Indian subcontinent Chinese, Arabs and Senegalese. It has been estimated that around 60% of the population is of foreign origin and that there are 82 different nationalities represented.
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Plaza Lavapies Reviews
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178 reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Madrid has many of these open court-type spaces and this is just a taste of one. Not very noteworthy but great to stumble across.  more »
  • July 18, 2017
    Thus it is written on the wall of one of its magical streets, and can not have been explained better. Lavapiés grabs you with its thousands of cultures in the same square meters, with the traditional blended with the exotic, with its full of beautiful graffiti and its tiny dormers asphalt which increasingly is more impossible to rent. Hopefully the crowds would raise prices and continue to always being the neighborhood where we have no prejudices and that we are living happy near what is different.
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  • July 8, 2017
    I discovered this neighborhood on my last Madrid and honestly don't know why I never walked around in that area... just go there and enjoy this neighborhood and specially on Calle Lavapies the nice an...  more »
Google
  • It's good when you get to a place and those who serve you know about what you are selling. If you have questions, let us advice that probably will end up finding what you need. Friendly service. Reasonable prices.
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  • Hardware that has it all, in the heart of Madrid. Also sells small appliances and other kitchen items. It is OK for a trouble
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  • Many things, good price, good service, highly recommended
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  • This hardware store, where you can find anything you want is located in plaza de lavapiés. Not only you can buy any type of screws, tools, etc. But you can also buy appliances, crockery, etc. The price, not more expensive than in the large stores and you encourage trade in district.
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  • They have everything but not treat you very well. No more hardware store if you want another treatment although this is the largest and most visible. Though lying is something that you usually end up needing occasionally and in Lavapiés have all kinds of services.
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The Spanish capital is known for its array of distinct neighborhoods each with its own appeal. An affordable and easy-to-navigate metro system, which makes it is easy to get around Madrid gives you more flexibility in choosing where to stay. Perhaps the most popular choice is Puerta del Sol, the heart of the city center and one of the main tourist attractions with its numerous shops, affordable hotels, and restaurants. Close by is Gran Via street, one of the city's main arteries, which is also home to a number of hotels. A short walk from here is Plaza España where the city's most iconic landmarks lie, including the Royal Palace and the Teatro Royal. For somthing outside the traditional tourist areas, consider staying in La Latina or Malasaña, two bohemian neighborhoods that offer a wide range of eclectic shops, quaint cafes, and lively bars.
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