One of the favorite student neighborhoods in Madrid is Malasaña. Practice saying: “Me mola Malasaña,“ which is what many madrileños say in Spanish for
"I like the hip and trendy neighborhood of Malasaña." Its quaint, colorfully designed barrio is filled with coffee shops, easy-bite eateries, vintage clothing shops and cute bakeries.
As part of our cultural agenda, it is almost a “must do” activity during one of our city-walking tours led by CIEE staff around Madrid. You will learn a lot about the history of this popular neighborhood from the times of the French invasion in the early 19th century to today´s hipster culture. For instance, one of the university law departments was in Malasaña in the 19th century when a young woman, dressed as a man and attended classes in the 1840s (since women didn't get their father's approval to get a higher education degree and were denied entry on campus). Now a bronze statue, called Julia, dedicated to all women students who were denied education access has been placed next to the former Universidad Central de Madrid building.
Malasaña has now become a “hipster” neighborhood, its streets have been filled with beards, bicycles, street markets, neighbors walking dogs, and youngsters with fashion glasses, but above all, it is a neighborhood with lots of cool eateries, concept stores, vintage clothing, shoe trends, and food places serving bites from all types of kitchens. If you are looking for Instagram pictures from your days in Malasaña, then get in line at La Pecera and get a Japanese fish-shaped cookie cone and perfect ice cream with all the toppings you want! Our students went for salty caramel ice cream and dulce de leche chocolate sauce. You'll have to eat it fast! If not, it will melt in your hand.