Malasaña: alternative and vintage fashion

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Boasting a vibrant nightlife scene at weekends thanks to its array of pubs, coffee houses and bars, Malasaña is also a top shopping destination. Discover the vintage shops, young fashion stores and bookstores where you can buy antique and second-hand books.

This area Madrid owes its name to one of the heroines and victims of the historical events that took place on 2 May 1808: Manuela Malasaña. Plaza del Dos de Mayo, a square in the heart of the neighbourhood, commemorates the rebellion against Napoleon’s occupation.

The streets here are flanked by restaurants and bars to have dinner or a beer or two with tapas or pinchos (tapas spiked with a toothpick to a small slice of bread). In summer, the outdoor cafés, especially around Plaza del Dos de Mayo, are usually brimming with people.

Cult of vintage fashion

Malasaña attracts mainly young people who identify with the alternative community. There are vintage shops (El templo de Susu, La Cierva Vintage, Popland) offering all kinds of new and second-hand items from the 1960s to the 1980s. The little ones have something for them too at Mon Petit Retro.

In the footsteps of the movida madrileña

In the early 1980s, Malasaña witnessed the birth of the movida madrileña, the underground movement shaped by writers, musicians and artists whose footprints are still there. Get a nice leather jacket in a vintage shop as a good reminder of those festive years.

Old and modern

Odd as it may seem, Malasaña transcends nostalgia. In addition to items from the past, you’ll find fashionable tea houses, futuristic graphic design studios and recently opened stores. Among the old ones are Antigua Casa Crespo, selling espadrilles (the casual shoes worn by Spaniards during the summer months), and the shop of musical instrument maker Fernando Solar.

Street markets and bookstores

If you’re interested in antique and second-hand books, don’t miss a tour of Malasaña’s speciality bookstores. A weekly antiques and collectables market has been operating in Plaza del Dos de Mayo since 2011, while the DOSDE Market, sponsored by the local shopkeepers’ association, packs its stalls every Saturday in spring and autumn with handmade objects by young designers


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