Shopping: Barrio de las Letras

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  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
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  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
    compras_barrio_de_las_letras.jpg
  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
    compras_barrio_de_las_letras.jpg
  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
    compras_barrio_de_las_letras.jpg
  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
    compras_barrio_de_las_letras.jpg

Barrio de las Letras, aka Barrio de las Musas or Parnassus (after Journey to Parnassus, by Miguel de Cervantes), is Madrid’s Literary Quarter. Some of the streets and squares in this neighbourhood – Atocha, San Sebastián, Calle del Prado, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Huertas, Plaza del Ángel, Plaza de las Cortes, Plaza de Jesús... – were home to the greatest Spanish writers in the Golden Age: Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Góngora, Cervantes... This is hay they carry quotations by them and other literati on the pavement. Today, the Literary Quarter is one of the most enjoyable districts in Madrid – for flâneurs and for shopping lovers too.

A bunch of stores have managed to keep their historical charm alive: Don Flamenco (flamenco shoes), Casa Pajuelo (honey), El Jardín del Ángel (a lovely florist) and Licores Cabello (wines and spirits since 1902).

Barrio de las Letras is also a good place to buy contemporary art or designer objects. Fast Cool Co sells paintings, T-shirts and creations by young artists and craftsmen. Modernario is perfect if you’re looking for special items for your home. The area is swarming with antique dealers and art galleries. La Integral, for example, established as a showcase for independent artists, is the right place to find original gifts, especially for film lovers. Many of the shops specialise in young designers and innovation; try Franjul for handmade shoes.

Wrapped in a bohemian atmosphere, the Literary Quarter has drawn restless souls over the years who have set up specialist stores with a character like Desnivel (an amazing bookshop specialising in outdoor and adventure travel), Tununtunumba (a fascinating shop selling all sorts of exotic or indigenous musical instruments, from Galician bagpipes to goblet drums, didgeridoos, whistles or chalumeaus), Kamchatka Magic Toys (a delicious toyshop where you can find active learning games and fancy books) or Brown Bear Bakery (traditional bread and pastry with a modern twist).

Flea markets and fairs

On the first Saturday of the month, dealers take their merchandise out to the streets in the Literary Quarter for passers-by to find a bargain they mightn’t be looking for…

In Barrio de las Letras there’s a high number of home décor and design shops. In June, they hold this décor fair where you can find vintage furniture and imports.

DON’T MISS

Open-air shopping in the area of Kilometre Zero and Puerta del Sol: An activity to enjoy all year round.

A refined environment with exclusive shops, where haute couture and men’s wear are the order of the day.

Independent fashion for every occasion, the latest trends in accessories and delicatessen for the discerning palate.

Flowers, crafts, world cuisine, bookshops and coffee shops, a revamped local market and a street market that is 300 years old.

  • Find out why Spaniards tend to eat later than the rest of the continent, when it's traditional to munch on a "saint's bones" and where you take in a flamenco show with a drink or a meal

    Eating in Madrid (PDF)
  • Eating in Madrid
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There are all kinds of things to do in Madrid, but some of them are not to be missed! Find out more!

  • Take a peek at our selection of the most important events taking place this year and start planning your next visit!

    2018 Events Calendar
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