A buzzing cultural centre channeling cutesy bakeries, bolthole boutiques and independent galleries all set among cobbled streets explore the coolest hangouts of barrio Conde Duque in Madrid.
What? The sister cafe of super-successful Hola Coffee, Misión is helmed by Spain’s former national barista champion Pablo Caballero. Flouting local custom, their breakfast menu is served until 4pm.
Tip A special selection of pastries is offered (and speedily devoured) on the weekends; better get in quick if you want one of those banoffee croissants.
See also Federal Cafe. A few blocks away, Madrid’s favourite Antipodean breakfast menu layers on the Aussie charm – and also serves brunch till 4pm.
What? Stocking some of the most sought-after labels and designer collaborations, this pint-sized retail gem is a regular pit-stop for Europe’s wandering fashion-forward crowd.
Tip Sift through the cutting-edge collabs and you’ll spot the line of Monocle fragrances elaborated by Comme des Garçons.
See also Located in the same picturesque plaza, Sportivo is Madrid’s other most ebullient multi-brand menswear shop.
Mercado de los Mostenses
What? Of all the inner city’s thriving municipal markets, this multicultural hub is a sort of Chifa Town, where myriad Asian and Latino flavours swirl together in stalls and eateries, emulating Chinese-Peruvian Chifa cuisine.
Tip Wander through the stalls, follow your nose, and you’ll locate the best mini-eatery. There’s a reason why Madrid’s top chefs source their exotic ingredients here.
See also Calle Conde Duque, a few blocks away, is just as diverse. Check out the ace Asturian dishes.
What? With one of the world’s most extensive collections of illustration – nearly 200,000 examples dating back to 1891 – the starkly modern structure was built on the site of a converted brewery.
Tip Check out the eye-opening evolution of illustration from the pre-Civil War period into the dark days of the dictatorship.
See also Centro Cultural Conde Duque. A few paces away, the former Royal Guard military barracks has been repurposed into a plum cultural precinct.
What? Transformed into a psychedelic feast of colour and curvilinear forms by Valencian maestro Jaime Hayon in 2017, this tower first sprang up in 1957 as an ego-project for the dictator Francisco Franco.
Tip Dinner at the Somos restaurant comes with one of the glitziest views of Gran Vía.
See also Dear Hotel. On the opposite side of Plaza de España, this more temperately coloured hotel has the best rooftop view of Conde Duque.