A culturally diverse neighbourhood, Lavapies is like a city within a city. It’s one of the best spots in town for Indian or Middle Eastern food, as Calle Lavapiés is packed with restaurants serving up kebabs and curries in equal measure.
There are also plenty of interesting ethnic shops to explore, along with theatres showing locally produced shows, and two cultural centres. The first, Casa Encendida, is an imposing building with an avant-garde vibe which stages concerts, performances and talks, as well as educational activities for kids.
The second is Tabacalera, a tobacco factory in a past life which has now been transformed with gorgeous murals, a community kitchen, a large patio and a library. Look out for art exhibitions, plays, and lively debates.