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#92216 - 06/20/13 10:17 PM Re: What is the neighborhood of Lavapies like? [Re: Crisco]
samoca Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 1
I hope people will respond to my post here i this year-old thread.

I just joined the site so I could ask about an apt. I have reserved on a street called Calle San Cosme y San Damian, which is adjacent to the Convento Santa Isabel. Landlord called it Embajadores but I guess this is also Lavapies. This street is about a 5-minute walk to the Reina Sofia. I am a middle-aged woman traveling solo, so I don't want to be walking at night in an unsafe neighborhood, but it looks like a good location for going to the museums, and it's a really nice looking apartment with a good price and lots of good reviews (AirBnB). I've never been to Madrid by the way. I can cancel this (not going until October). On Fodor Spain forum I got people saying things like--oh no, not Lavapies. Other folks said--oh, this is getting to be an area of cute trendy restaurants (Calla Santa Isabel which this street intersects at its north end).

#92217 - 06/21/13 03:08 PM Re: What is the neighborhood of Lavapies like? [Re: samoca]
Crisco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 170
Lavapies is changing finally for the better but I still don't feel comfortable walking there alone during the day or especially at night.
I would suggest you look closer to Huertas-on the other side of Atocha or near the Plaza Mayor where there are always people around.
In October, the weather can be miserable so be prepared for rain.You can walk to just about anywhere in Madrid but I suggest you take the on/off bus the first day to get your bearings.

#92218 - 06/23/13 04:28 AM Re: What is the neighborhood of Lavapies like? [Re: Crisco]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2337
Loc: Morbihan, France
well according to govt statistics more than 50% of folks there are not of Spanish origins...

Lavapiés I am talking about so of course lower economics,and more needs also bring the undesirables. So buyer beware

"Landlord called it Embajadores but I guess this is also Lavapies"

By the way the landlord is correct, the official government administrative division of Madrid has Embajadores as the neighborhood quarters. Lavapiés is a sub area not officially recognise when talking about political divisions of Madrid.
I know visit often ,used to lived and more so have still family there.

Edited by MadridMan (06/23/13 01:15 PM)
Edit Reason: combining two consecutive postings.

#92222 - 06/23/13 01:24 PM Re: What is the neighborhood of Lavapies like? [Re: pedmar]
MadridMan Offline

Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
I'm totally with Crisco above, Lavapies IS changing finally for the better - but has a long way to go, too. If you're a single lady and this is your first time in Madrid, I think I'd strongly consider someplace else, more central and closer to the old downtown where there's more foot traffic. If you want a more residential experience like the location you're considering, try some of the streets in the Huertas neighborhood (now fancifully named, "Barrio de las Letras"). Here, there's much more foot traffic, some bars and restaurants, closer to the Old Downtown (actually, it's IN the Old Downtown), but you get the feeling of it being a real, residential neighborhood, too.

I'll usually steer-clear of Lavapies and never go there, but have walked through on a few occasions during the day and it is very pretty. LITTLE has changed there and parts are kind of falling down, but a few people/groups with money are SLOWLY starting to renovate the buildings and make the area a bit more respectable. Of all of Madrid, Lavapies is the least desireable/safe, in my opinion. But that's not saying much as ALL of Madrid is very safe, so take off a few percentage points from that for Lavapies and you're still pretty good - but there are places much better, too.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#92236 - 06/24/13 11:43 AM Re: What is the neighborhood of Lavapies like? [Re: MadridMan]
Crisco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 170
Thanks, MadridMan! I get so tired of explaining as politely as I can about Lavapies. There are people who deny the problems found there and say it is a vibrant exciting area!
A couple of years ago, I somehow managed to get lost in the area and a kind mailman helped me find my way out of there!He said it was very easy to do and insisted on walking me back to Plaza Tirso de Molina.I do remember being surprised by the big trees, hills, boarded up buildings,narrow streets and some very strange people.

#92600 - 10/16/13 06:10 AM Re: What is the neighborhood of Lavapies like? [Re: Crisco]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Lavapies is strongley multicultural and attracts the hippy communes .. anarchists etc... but I love it and have never had any problems except once when there was an anti-capitalist demonstration in the Plaza Tirso de Molina ... When I tried to take photos I was told , quite forcefully , by some men not to . But Lavapies buzzes with life . It's the same with Tetuan ... Very Arabic community and superb for Arabic foods and so friendly . It too , like Lavapies , has had it's problems . Of course the terrorists that blew up the train in Atocha were all from there . But they are a minority . Having lived in or around cities all my life I would say that you would have no problems in Lavapies . Just don't look like a tourist and be confident .... That goes for all cities in the world that I've visited from New York , London , Moscow , Istanbul , San Francisco , Sevilla , Lisbon , Cape Town etc... . There are some very 'strange ' people in Lavapies as there are in Sol and Chueca ... It's a huge city and diversity is what makes it great ... It's why I love Madrid and my home city of London . I'll give you an example : I was with my mother in London .. we went to a pub and this lady sat at the next table took off her bra .., completely top naked , to put on a new one she'd bought . The bar staff said nothing . I was uncomfortable because I was with my mother but that IS the life of any city .. You NEVER know what's going to happen and that makes it exciting and different . I refer all board members to a great city guy from the 40s and 50s .. Jack Kerouac ( author of On The Road ). French Canadian but brought up in the US : “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ... He's sort of my hero .

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