I live in the Goya barrio, which is part of the district of Salamanca, here in Madrid. More specifically, it’s basically a giant square bordered by Principe de Vergara, Calle O’Donnell, Calle del Doctor Esquerdo, and Calle de Don Ramon de la Cruz.
When we first moved to Madrid and were thinking about where to live we were admittedly a bit overwhelmed. Do we want the hustle and bustle of Sol? The twisty streets of La Latina? The gritty yet cool area of Chueca? Or do we head out of the center altogether? We decided on Goya for a variety of reasons. It’s very close to Retiro, a quick one-line ride into Sol on the red line, is rather upscale without being pretentious, and is pretty close to IE, my husband’s university.
I’d say one of the most awesome things about Goya is living near the Palacio de Deportes. I’ve never actually seen a concert here, but I’ve been entertained on many evenings by the happens in Plaza San Felipe II, right next to the venue. People lined up for concerts, food stalls, sometimes even music that’s being played outside of the Palacio de Deportes makes for an entertaining evening. If Shakira comes back to Madrid I will certainly have to secure a ticket and see her from a proper seat. On the other side of the Palacio is the Real Casa de la Moneda, which is basically a big money museum.
For food shopping there are plenty of options in Goya. There is a large supermarket at one of the two giant Corte Ingles buildings at the Goya/Alcala intersection. The other Corte Ingles building houses a level dedicated to luxury and gourmet goods, along with a stocked papeleria with a small greeting card section. A decent-sized Carrefour is located on Calle Conde de Penalver, not far from the Correos, and a KFC (hey, you might be hungry after waiting 45 minutes to post something). There is also a row of fantastic local shops (a butcher, fruit/veggies, and a fish guy) located on Hermosilla, if you’d like some local flavor instead of the big brands.
Just outside of the technical Goya zone, on the southern side, is a great little movie theater that plays English films, Renoir Retiro. Mondays are discount days. The theater only shows 4 movies at a time, and the theaters themselves are rather small, creating an intimate and friendly atmosphere. They even have a book swap book shelf on the second floor. Take a book, bring a book!
Other useful places to know: there is a hospital and a dentist’s office (a Sanitas office) on Calle del Doctor Esquerdo, and two Chinese “bazaar” shops (which are full of cheap but often useful items), one on Hermosilla, and the other on Alcantara.
Overall I really like living in Goya. It’s close to everything in Madrid, but isn’t smack in the middle of the party. Beautiful balconies, quaint European side streets, and proximity to the park and main center makes Goya a great barrio to live in. If you’d like help finding an apartment in this area, try checking in with Madrid Rent Flat or Madrid Home Stay!