One of Madrid's must-visit neighborhoods, Huertas is filled with boutiques, bars, and restaurants. Get some insider tips for how to best enjoy it in this ultimate Huertas neighborhood guide!
One of the best things about visiting Madrid is discovering its unique barrios. Every neighborhood of the city has its own special character and charm, and Huertas—also known as Barrio de las Letras (the Literary Quarter)—is one of our favorites.
This areas was originally farmland outside of the old city center, and it was later home to many of the great authors, poets, and playwrights of Spanish literature. These days, it's a fascinating melting pot of old and new Madrid.
From one of the city's best markets and some of its oldest tavernas to hip boutique hotels and restaurants, there's no better place to discover the contrasts that make Madrid such a fascinating city.
Where to Stay in Huertas
Huertas has long been home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the city. Classic spots include the Westin Palace and the Gran Hotel Inglés, the oldest in the city and recently renovated in fabulous 1920s style. In recent years, though, a host of new design-focused boutique hotels have joined the mix.
Room Mate Alicia is a light-filled former industrial building right on Plaza de Santa Ana. One Shot on Calle del Prado features outstanding modern design and a rotating art collection. And if you’re on a budget, Room007 on Calle Ventura offers hostel-style dorms with a unique, funky design.
Read More: Check out our complete guide on where to stay in Madrid!
Where to Eat and Drink in Huertas
Many of the best bars in Huertas serve modern cuisine in a relaxed environment. Take Triciclo, a chefs’ hangout offering Spanish-fusion sharing plates. Or Motteau, where the Buenos Aires-born Juan Manuel D’Alessandro offers up some of the city's best cakes and pastries, inspired by his French ancestry.
L'Artisan Furansu Kitchen is known for its incredible lunch menus, which are inspired by the chef's French and Japanese roots and Spain's fresh produce. Unlike most restaurants, the menu here changes daily.
That said, some of our favorite spots are the family-run classics that have been serving locals for generations. Casa González is a true Madrid icon, providing madrileños with the finest wines and cheeses since 1931.
No visit to the neighborhood would be complete without diving into the Mercado de Antón Martín. Here old-school ham and olive vendors brush shoulders with Mexican bars—enjoy happy hour at Cutzamala!—and some of the best sushi in the city at Yokaloka.
Don't miss two of Huertas' best spots for epic free tapas: Bar Quevedo and El Lacón. Both places get packed with people at popular times of day, but it's worth squeezing in and ordering a drink for the abundant tapas that are served alongside it!
You can also sample some of the best tapas in Huertas—and discover the neighborhood with an expert guide—on our Literary Quarter Tasting Tour.
Finally, make sure you enjoy an old-school menú del día (fixed-price lunch). Huertas is home to two of the city's best casas de comidas: no-frills restaurants where you can dig into a feast for about €15 (including two courses, dessert, bread, and wine). Check out La Puebla or the popular La Sanabresa (arrive around 1:30 to avoid a long line).
Read More: Check out our comprehensive guide to where to eat in Madrid!
Once the sun goes down, there's no shortage of bars where you can while away the evening in Huertas. The rooftop terrace at the ME Madrid Reina Victoria Hotel is a great—if pricey—place to watch the sunset, with regular sessions from some of the city’s best DJs.
In the later hours, Café Central offers cocktails and live jazz seven nights a week. And if you're in the mood to see boisterous locals singing along to Spanish classics, Cheers Karaoke is a (kitschy) must.
Cocktail lovers should head to Santos y Desamparados, a creative craft cocktail bar with a speakeasy vibe. Salmón Guru is another trendy place with excellent cocktails—named one of the world's 50 best bars!
Shopping in Huertas
In the past few years, Huertas has become Madrid’s hotspot for local design. Here you'll find endless boutiques filled with the work of local designers, which often makes for sophisticated souvenirs. Many of them are clustered around Calle de Moratín and the area behind CaixaForum.
If you're looking for something more specific, you might want to check out Mini Cooking for kitchen utensils, Ginger & Velvet for jewelry and accessories, or peSeta for Spanish-made accessories and unusual gifts.
What to Do in Huertas
As the center of Madrid’s literary scene for centuries, Huertas is a great place to get your culture fix. The Lope de Vega House-Museum offers a glimpse into Spain's Golden Age, set in the building where the legendary writer Lope de Vega spent the last part of his life.
Nearby, CaixaForum's vertical garden is a modern icon of the neighborhood. After snapping some obligatory photos, head inside to see some of the best exhibitions in the city.
Huertas also has a vibrant performing arts scene. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you can enjoy zarzuela (Spain's unique take on opera) at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. And for some of the best flamenco in Madrid, head to Cardamomo, where many of the country's greatest dancers perform.
Insider Tip: For the ultimate flamenco experience, check out Devour's Tapas & Flamenco Tour.
This is just a small sampling of all the incredible things to do, see, and eat in Huertas! If you're visiting Madrid, make sure to explore this beautiful and fascinating neighborhood for yourself.
Huertas Neighborhood FAQs
Huertas is known for its long literary history and connections to many legendary Spanish writers, including Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega. These days, it's full of classic tapas bars, modern restaurants, trendy cocktail spots, designer boutiques, and more!
These are simply two different names for the same part of Madrid. Huertas refers to the main street in the neighborhood (Calle de las Huertas) and Barrio de las Letras literally means "the Literary Quarter."
Huertas is full of fantastic accommodation options. For classic luxury, try the Westin Palace or Gran Hotel Inglés. For something more modern, choose Room Mate Alicia or One Shot. And if you're on a budget, Room007 offers shared and private rooms at great prices.
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