Chueca, Madrid Travel Guide
- Centrally located near Gran Via
- Lively, laid-back vibe with lots of trendy shops
- Hopping nightlife, with plenty of small bars to choose from
- Vibrant and visible LGBT community
- Great casual restaurants and intimate cafes
- San Anton Market for tapas, stores, and a cool rooftop terrace
- Easy access to lots of metro stations
- Narrow sidewalks and winding streets difficult to navigate
- Very few buses run through the neighborhood
- Not family-friendly (sex shops, party area)
- Can be loud on weekends
What It's Like
Chueca, with its narrow, winding streets full of small, intimate restaurants, lively bars, and gay-friendly venues, is one of the nightlife hotspots in Madrid. It has a decidedly small-town feel to it, but it is undergoing a major overhaul, and areas that were once forgotten are now must-sees. Take, for instance, San Anton Market, a three-story marketplace with wonderful stores and a beautiful rooftop terrace that's open year-round. From Thursday to Sunday night, hordes of young locals and tourists alike go bar-hopping, have tapas or a nice, romantic dinner with their significant other, and dance until the early morning in this buzzing, young neighborhood.
Chueca is also popular among hip Madrileños for its trendy stores, especially those in the area around Fuencarral Street and Plaza de Chueca. Young designers have set camp here, and streets overflow with small boutiques and cool shops (and a few sex shops, too).
The area is centrally located in Madrid -- Gran Via, one of Madrid’s two main thoroughfares, is the neighborhood’s southern border -- and metro stations are plentiful, at Tribunal, Gran Via, Chueca, and Banco de España. It's also super-easy to get around Madrid's eminently walkable Centro from here, and the Prado is only about 15 minutes away on foot from the heart of the barrio. Driving in the area is not recommended, as most of the streets are one-way, and parking is virtually impossible.
Where to Stay
Chueca is pretty compact, so the only thing you might want to consider is the level of noise you can take at night. Those who want to be in the thick of the nightlife action might want to stay as close to Plaza de Chueca or the northern side of the neighborhood as possible. The streets closest to Gran Via and Barquillo are generally quietest and offer easy access to Sol, major attractions, and public transportation. The western side, especially Hortaleza and Fuencarral streets, is the busy heart of its retail district and is packed with a steady stream of shoppers and revelers day or night.