Shopping: Chamberí

  • Mercado de Vallehermoso
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  • Compras: Chamberí
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  • Compras: Chamberí
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Chamberí is perhaps one of the areas of Madrid that best conserves the neighbourhood atmosphere, with lively streets, but not excessively transited by mass tourism despite its proximity to the centre.  Perhaps this is the secret to bring together an attractive combination of shops and businesses where the better known brands are intermingled with small specialised boutiques.  

Like in other areas of the capital, here we can also find establishments of the fashion brands most frequented by the general public. The section of Calle Fuencarral between the Bilbao roundabout and the Quevedo roundabout is a pleasant stroll riddled with sought-after shop windows, such as those of Zara, Oysho, Kling, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti or Women’s Secret. However, we can also find other establishments that are not so common in other areas, such as the La Mexicana coffee shop, a large branch of La Casa del Libro, the small curiosities of the Danish store, Hema, a spacious area for natural and ecological products in Herbolarios Navarro or an urban branch of the large sports chain, Decathlon.

However, if what we are looking for is some of the most original and different stores, we will have to walk a little further. In this neighbourhood that has everything, from wools an threads by Black Oveja (Sagasta, 7), a hipster reference for fans of urban knitting — knitting and crochet with a social or aesthetic purpose-, to the equestrian leather and outfits for horse  riding in Equus (Hilarión Eslava, 32).

In spite of the classic air of some of its façades, the streets of Chamberí are dotted with shops for restless spirits. This is the curious case of the skating and skate shops that fill the area. Sk8land, Dak Tak, 44 Board Shop, which focus more on surfing and snowboarding are worth a visit, as is Se Rueda. Another unique aspect of Chamberí is the proliferation of games shops —board games, role plays, card games, etc. Pay a visit to Generación X, Naipe Juegos, La Comarca de Juegos or Ítaca. Other toy shops in the area deserve a mention: Bazar Matey, for model enthusiasts, Hola Caracola, for those looking for toys to fight nostalgia, Esmalper, a classic for lovers of miniature houses and porcelain dolls,  and Juguetrónica is the perfect place to find any technological toy or entertainment gadget -  drones, robots, remote control models, etc.—.

The cultural and academic atmosphere of this neighbourhood, where many artists, writers and students have lived, lives on in some noteworthy bookshops, such as Visor, which is also a  publisher specialised in poetry; El Argonauta, specialised in music; Axón, focusing on medical topics; La Flor de Chamberí, devoted to the world of Tintin, or the delicious El Dragón Lector, one of the best bookshops for children  in Madrid.

And for those with a sweet tooth and gourmet lovers, the neighbourhood is plagued with temptations. You must wander around the stands at Vallehermoso Market and Chamberí Market; sample the cheeses at La Quesería, Poncelet or La Fondí; choose a fine wine at Santa Cecilia; or succumb to the delights of some of the cake shops that fill the neighbourhood: Viena Capellanes, Edelweiss, Chocolat Factory or La Marina, whose Kings’ Cake is among the best in Spain each year.

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