One of the main commercial and retail streets in Madrid, offering fashion, tech, gifts and cosmetics, Princesa is a must on the list of all kinds of shoppers. Since it’s close to the university, the neighbourhood gets filled with students and party-goers at weekends.
Calle Princesa is a long thoroughfare that starts as Gran Vía on Plaza de España and reaches Moncloa. It stretches along a residential and shopping district with outstanding buildings like the Liria Palace, a typical eighteenth-century mansion in the Neoclassical style owned by the House of Alba. The palace is open for tours (appointment required).
The wide sidewalks at Princesa give lots of room to the pedestrian crowds. This high street has two distinct stretches, the first one running from Plaza de España to Calle de Alberto Aguilera. Plaza de los Cubos lies in this part of the street and features casual restaurants, most of the fast food establishments in the area, and cinema theatres screening films in original subtitled versions.
On the second stretch, which starts on Calle de Alberto Aguilera and ends in Moncloa, the number of shops increases. Zara, Amichi, Blanco, Mango, Trucco, and many others are to be found here. You can buy fashion wear and accessories for women, men and children in the many small boutiques as well as in major department stores like El Corte Inglés. From traditional and young fashion or party dresses to sports and causal outfits, Princesa has something for everyone.
Leisure & entertainment
Princesa is home to a host of coffee houses and restaurants where you can stop for a coffee or a meal, especially if you like Spanish food.
Between Princesa and Alberto Aguilera streets is a major cultural centre, Conde Duque, housed in old Conde Duque military quarters, built in the local Baroque style. The venue runs exhibitions, conferences and concerts that are usually free. In addition, Conde Duque is home to the City Archives, the Town Historical Library, the Town Collection of Contemporary Art, the Municipal Newspaper and Periodical Library and the Musical Library, among other collections and facilities.
In addition to the shops that line the streets, there’s Príncipe Pío, a shopping centre adjoining the Príncipe Pío commuter rail and tube station. The building has a structure and façade that resemble those of the former Estación del Norte railway station. The shopping centre accommodates around a hundred shops, restaurants and cinemas on two levels. It’s open seven days a week, including bank holidays.
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