Districts of Madrid

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Map of the districts of Madrid

Madrid, the capital city of Spain, is divided into 21 districts (distritos), which are further subdivided into 128 wards (barrios).[1] Each district is governed by a body named Junta Municipal de Distrito. Residents of Madrid are typically called Madrileños.

Administrative division[edit]

Districts and wards[edit]

  1. Centro: Palacio, Embajadores, Cortes, Justicia, Universidad, Sol.
  2. Arganzuela: Imperial, Acacias, La Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de Moguer, Atocha.
  3. Retiro: Pacífico, Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos, Niño Jesús.
  4. Salamanca: Recoletos, Goya, Parque de las Avenidas, Fuente del Berro, Guindalera, Lista, Castellana.
  5. Chamartín: El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, Castilla.
  6. Tetuán: Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, Almenara, Valdeacederas, Berruguete.
  7. Chamberí: Gaztambide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro, Vallehermoso, Ríos Rosas.
  8. Fuencarral-El Pardo: El Pardo, Fuentelarreina, Peñagrande, Barrio del Pilar, La Paz, Valverde, Mirasierra, El Goloso.
  9. Moncloa-Aravaca: Casa de Campo, Argüelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdezarza, Valdemarín, El Plantío, Aravaca.
  10. Latina: Los Cármenes, Puerta del Ángel, Lucero, Aluche, Las Águilas, Campamento, Cuatro Vientos.
  11. Carabanchel: Abrantes, Buenavista, Comillas, Opañel, Puerta Bonita, San Isidro, Vista Alegre.
  12. Usera: Orcasitas, Orcasur, San Fermín, Almendrales, Moscardó, Zofío, Pradolongo.
  13. Puente de Vallecas: Entrevías, San Diego, Palomeras Bajas, Palomeras Sureste, Portazgo, Numancia.
  14. Moratalaz: Pavones, Horcajo, Marroquina, Media Legua, Fontarrón, Vinateros.
  15. Ciudad Lineal: Ventas, Pueblo Nuevo, Quintana, La Concepción, San Pascual, San Juan Bautista, Colina, Atalaya, Costillares.
  16. Hortaleza: Palomas, Valdefuentes, Canillas, Pinar del Rey, Apóstol Santiago, Piovera.
  17. Villaverde: San Andrés, San Cristóbal, Butarque, Los Rosales, Los Ángeles.
  18. Villa de Vallecas: Casco Histórico de Vallecas, Santa Eugenia.
  19. Vicálvaro: Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro, Ambroz.
  20. San Blas: Simancas, Hellín, Amposta, Arcos, Rosas, Rejas, Canillejas, Salvador.
  21. Barajas: Alameda de Osuna, Aeropuerto, Casco Histórico de Barajas, Timón, Corralejos.

Popular neighbourhoods[edit]

Bank of Spain building (foreground) and Palacio de Comunicaciones building (background) at the center of Madrid

Contemporary Madrid came into its own after the death of general Francisco Franco. Reaction against the dictatorial bureaucracy centered in Madrid and a history of centralism that predated Franco by centuries has resulted in the successful modern movement towards increased autonomy for the regions of Spain, considered as autonomous regions, under the umbrella of Spain.

The modern metropolis is home to over three million people.

Some of the most well-known "barrios" in Madrid are:

Alonso Martínez
This district contains the large Plaza de Colón. This plaza commemorates Christopher Columbus, who was responsible for ushering in the Spanish imperial golden age of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is within walking distance of the main cultural and commercial areas of the city such as the Prado museum, the expansive Parque del Buen Retiro and the business center on the lower part of the Paseo de la Castellana.
Atocha covers a large area and is bordered by the Huertas and Lavapiés districts. It contains several notable cultural institutions including the Reina Sofía Museum. Also located here is the central bus terminal and the Atocha Railway Station, one of two main train stations in Madrid (the other is located in Chamartín). This was the main site of the train bombings carried out on March 11, 2004. Atocha was also the site of the 1977 Massacre of Atocha.
Torre Picasso, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the same architect of World Trade Center New York.
AZCA / Nuevos Ministerios
Azca is the financial district. The area is populated by skyscrapers, among them Torre Picasso–157 metres (515 ft), Edificio BBVA–107 metres (351 ft) and Torre Europa–115 metres (377 ft). Torre Windsor, one of the skyscrapers in this area, burnt entirely on the night between 12th and 13 February 2005 [1]. A very large (3 interconnected buildings) El Corte Inglés department store is also here. The area is directly linked to Barajas Airport by metro line 8 from Nuevos Ministerios station. It's the Parkour centre of Madrid.
A Black and white photograph of the Torre Picasso (Picasso Tower) looking southwest
CTBA (Cuatro Torres Business Area) 
The CTBA is the new financial district of Madrid, the area will be composed by four skyscrapers. The tallest of them is the Repsol tower (250 m/820 ft), designed by Sir Norman Foster. When they finish the construction of the building, it will be the tallest skyscraper in Spain and the 3rd in Europe. The second tallest skyscraper,'Crystal Tower', is only 0.6 metres (2 ft) lower than Repsol tower, with 249.4 metres (818.2 ft), it will be the 4th tallest skyscraper of Europe. This building has being designed by Cesar Pelli. The third tallest skyscraper is the 'Sacyr-Vallehermoso' tower with 235 metres (771 ft) and designed by Enrique Alvarez & Carlos Rubio. This building will have a 5 star hotel on the first 31 floors and will be the 5th tallest tower in Europe. Finally, the fourth building will be 'Espacio tower'. It is 223 metres (732 ft) long and it is designed by I.M. Pei. The four skyscrapers will be finished during 2008.[2] Currently, the tallest tower is the 'Espacio Tower' because it is more advanced in construction than the other three towers.
Chueca is well known as a centre of gay culture in Madrid.[3]
Main article: Chueca
Las Cortes
This small district is notable for housing the Congreso de los Diputados, the lower house of the Spanish parliament. Other notable sites include the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Banco de España, the Café del Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Zarzuela Theater and the Plaza de Cibeles.
Parque del buen Retiro.
(or Barrio de las letras) This neighbourhood is west of the Paseo del Prado and north of Calle Atocha. Having once been the home and popular hangout of writers such as Miguel de Cervantes and Calderon de la Barca, Huertas is now considered Madrid's literary neighbourhood.[3] One prominent landmark is the house where Cervantes died in 1616.[4] The neighbourhood is now a popular nightlife spot and tourist destination.
Gran Vía 
As the name implies, the Gran Vía district contains one of Madrid's most important avenues, the Gran Vía (literally, "Great Way"). First and foremost it is a shopping street; however it also contains a number of tourist accommodations, plenty of nightlife (all of Madrid's large goth scene gravitates around Gran Via, for instance), many of Madrid's largest movie theaters and live musical shows. It is also a hub for Madrid's red-light district, linking as it does many side streets. One of these streets, Fuencarral has become a link between the old shopping areas of the center of the city, the Bohemian Malasaña, and the hip Chueca district, making of it one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the city.
Gran Via
Traditionally one of the poorer neighborhoods near the city center, this district has maintained much of true 'Madrileño' spirit of the past. Lavapiés is one of the areas with a high concentration of immigrants (mainly Chinese, Arabs, Hindi, Africans and Caribbeans), and also tends to attract artists and writers adding to the cosmopolitan mix. The presence of immigrants has led to an inevitable variety of shops and restaurants - this is a good place for good and cheap restaurants of local and international food. It's also one of the best places to search for non-Spanish foodstuff, (herbs and spices etc.)
La Latina
In and around this area are the origins of Madrid. Its difficult to put precise boundaries on La Latina, because, like its immediate neighbors, streets are narrow and winding. There are quite a few nightlife spots, though the neighborhood is best known as having one of the best concentrations of tapas bars (particularly on the Cava Baja and Cava Alta). There are also a number of attractive churches, like the Iglesia de San Andres and the Iglesia de San Francisco el Grande. On Sundays and major holidays, the famous Rastro flea-market begins on the eastern edge of La Latina, spilling out of the San Millan exit of the La Latina metro stop to the Plaza de Cascorro all the way to the Ronda de Toledo to the south. Plaza de la Paja is another interesting and entertaining spot of this neighborhood. On the other side, La Latina borders with Plaza Mayor and another ancient part of the town, Los Austrias, where you can find the beautiful Palacio Real (Royal Palace).
This neighbourhood is famous for its nightlife, and for having been the main hub of the Movida in the 70s and 80s.
Main article: Malasaña
Edificio España, 117 m (385 ft), built in 1953
As the name implies, Madrid's main Opera Theatre is the Teatro Real (Royal theatre). In front of the theatre is the Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is no longer used as a residence, but it has been kept intact since it last functioned as home to the King, serving as a cultural monument and occasionally used for state functions. The entire palace is not open to the public, but most of the more important rooms can be visited. The palace is interesting in its own right, in particular its architecture and gardens (there are two, the Jardines del Moro and the Sabattini gardens). There are also some excellent frescos inside the palace by Tiépolo, and paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco, Juan de Flandes and Caravaggio, among others. This palace is known for being one of larger palaces in Europe; it's actually larger than Versailles Palace.
Barrio Retiro is a classic neighborhood surrounding the famous Retiro Park, to the east of the center of the city. It is demographically the oldest neighborhood in the city, however over the past 5 years the increasing number of flats put for rent have been attracting young people and students to the area in growing numbers, and the diversity of the gastronomical fare in the neighborhood reflects this. The neighborhood can be characterized by the style of its three most important areas; in the north part centering on the calle Ibiza, the streets are in a grid pattern and the buildings, normally 6-10 storeys, are packed closely together, creating a bustling atmosphere of small shops, bars, and restaurants. This area is very similar to the neighboring Salamanca district. In the south, called Niño Jesus, the area is quieter, more spacious, and residential. To the west of the park (but still included within the parameters of Barrio Retiro) is the Jerónimos area, an area of beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings and many museums (including the Prado). This area, however, has few private residences, the large flats (often above 200 m²/2,150 sq ft) being mainly used for offices. Main article on Retiro Park: Retiro
A residential district in the north. Other buildings and areas include the headquarters of the Spanish Olympic Committee, the IFEMA (Madrid's main trade fair centre) and Juan Carlos I Park, a park between Campo de las Naciones (commercial district) and Barajas. Mar de Cristal is a tube station in Hortaleza district with an airport connection.
Vallecas is a working-class residential district in the south of Madrid. It is also home to Rayo Vallecano football club.
Aravaca is an upper-class residential suburb in the northwest of Madrid. During the Spanish Civil War the front was stabilized here for almost three years. Aravaca and its surroundings include parkland and wooded areas such as Casa de Campo.


  1. ^ "División Administrativa de Madrid". Verdad-11M. July 9, 2006. 
  2. ^ "La mayor obra de rascacielos de Europa.". CincoDias.com. August 21, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b Let's Go: Spain & Portugal. Cambridge, MA.: Let's Go, Inc. 2012. ISBN 9781612370316. 
  4. ^ "Huertas Madrid". Retrieved 29 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Districts of Madrid at Wikimedia Commons