Austrias

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Austrias

Austrias

One of the most elegant and exclusive areas in Madrid, the neighbourhood of Las Austrias is located right in the heart of the city. Deriving its name from the Hapsburg dynasty that made the decision to move Spain´s capital from Toledo to Madrid in the early 17th Century, Las Austrias is offers visitors a slice of the real Madrlieña lifestyle. Starting at the Plaza Mayor and continuing through the centre all the way to the incredible views over the city from the Jardines de las Vistillas, the area is full of both history and beautiful classic architecture. The huge Plaza Mayor is an absolute must-see, playing host to the many events and celebrations that take place in the city throughout the year. A word of advice though – the restaurants and bars in the plaza itself tend to be overpriced and extremely touristy, and are therefore best avoided. But that doesn´t stop Las Austrias from being one of the best places in the whole city to experience genuine Spanish tapas. The long, narrow street of Cava Baja comes alive at night, as locals and tourists alike sample some of the best food and wine, “tapas-style” that Madrid has to offer. Nearby is Calle Cuchilleros, where not only can you find some excellent café´s and bars, but you may also stumble across restaurant Botín, widely accepted to be the oldest restaurant in the world. An absolute must-see is the nearby and recently renovated Mercado de San Miguel food market which is bursting with local traders offering everything from freshly baked bread to oysters and the finest champagne. The bustling and elegant streets of Mayor, Segovia and Bailen are lined with traditional shops, bars and cafes, and are all connected by a maze of narrow windy streets that are just perfect to get lost in and explore. At once vibrant and laid-back, Las Austrias is bursting at the seams with centuries-old plazas, churches and buildings, making it not only one of Madrid´s most charming, but also its one of its most historic neighbourhoods.