The Lavapiés neighbourhood is an area with great cultural interest and is the closest thing to a village within Spain’s capital city. It’s a diverse and cosmopolitan neighbourhood; authentic, picturesque and artistic, and over the passage of time it has still managed to keep its identity. Visitors will feel at home here as it’s one of the oldest and most traditional neighbourhoods in the city, exuding history from every nook and cranny, with dozens of plaques set up by the council to explain historical events that have taken place here.
Originally, this was Madrid’s Jewish quarter, and it’s thought that it owes it name (‘wash feet’) to a fountain that once stood in the middle of the square, where Jews would wash before attending synagogue.
It is one of the neighbourhoods contained within the wider area known as Embajadores, in Madrid’s Centro district. At its heart is Plaza de Lavapiés and its most important thoroughfare is Calle Real de Lavapiés. This street runs from Calle Magdalena up to Plaza de Lavapiés and has several metro stations nearby, including Tirso de Molina, Antón Martín and Lavapiés, and it is surrounded by shops and Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Indian and other restaurants serving food to suit every taste.
We recommend that you take a moment to look at the traditional plaques that explain the origins of the street names, as well as all the busts and statues found here.
If you want to visit this area and need somewhere to park, you’ll find our Saba public car park near Atocha Train Station on Plaza del Emperador Carlos V. This car park is open 24 hours a day, has VIA-T available at entry and exit, and electric vehicle charging bays.