Shopping: Barrio de las Letras

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  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras
  • Compras: Barrio de Las Letras

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). There is also the Roberto Garrudo store, specialised in dance shoes and flamenco clothes.

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. Close to Antón Martín metro station is the DOOC Atocha decoration and nick-nack shop, perfect for finding an original gift.

In the Barrio de las Letras neighbourhood, you can also find Serrería Belga, a cultural centre that provides the perfect platform for Madrid’s creative dynamism through art, music, design, literature, image, and gastroculture. In relation to art, in Calle Lope de Vega street, Formato Cómodo is a space dedicated to the promotion of young national and international artists, as well as artists from previous generations. In addition, every year, the neighbourhood hosts APERTURA - Madrid Gallery Weekend, an event that turns Madrid into the world capital of contemporary art.

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). The new bookshop, Crazy Mary in Calle Echegaray and the bookshops in Calle Moratín, Librería 7 and Códice.

Kamchatka Magic Toys (a delicious toyshop where you can find active learning games and fancy books). Enter Dooc  Antón Martín’s decoration shop and visit the Antón Martín Market. To keep your strength up during the walk, a good option is the pastries and bread at Brown Bear Bakery, tradition with a revamped air.

Shops like Peseta which sells sustainable fashion designed and produced in Spain for men and women; and Lolita McTisell, a creative clothes and accessories shop focusing on special events, can also be highlighted.

Mercado de Las Ranas

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…




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

Flowers, handicrafts and gastronomy from all over the world, bookshops-cafeterias, a revamped neighbourhood market and a street market, El Rastro, dates back almost 300 years.

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

One of the posh districts of Madrid, for visitors with a strong personality, offering taste without unnecessary luxury.

  • 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)
  • Guide Eating in Madrid
  • Take a peek at our selection of the most important events taking place in Madrid and start planning your next visit!

    Madrid Events Calendar: 2024
  • Reforma Estadio Santiago Bernabéu


  • Zonas de compras


The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.