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A Stroll down Calle Serrano: What to See and Eat on Serrano

Calle Serrano is a bustling street in the heart of Madrid’s most posh district: Barrio de Salamanca. Named in honor of Francisco Serrano, a famed nineteen-century military and political figure, the street offers high-end shopping, designer boutiques, cultural sites, brilliant architecture and so much more! This prominent district begins at Independence Square, where the monument Puerta de Alcala stands. Independence Square is within steps from Parque del Retiro, making it some of the most sought after real estate in Madrid.

By Brendan Russell

 

The street recently underwent a two-year reconstruction project that saw one lane of traffic removed and replaced with a bigger sidewalk. This created a more pleasant walking experience for the tens of thousands that visit Calle Serrano on a daily basis. The reconstruction project also included an abundance of trees planted, bringing the number of trees on Serrano to over 2,000. Calle Serrano is one of my favorite streets in all of Madrid due to all the trees and spacious sidewalk. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the classical architecture on this street is truly a sight to see! I had a great time checking out the nuances and kinks of these historic buildings, some of which have stood on Serrano for over a century.

 

Whether you are an avid shopper or just a casual window shopper, Calle Serrano has some of the best shopping that Madrid has to offer. Designers from around the world can be found Calle Serrano. The street also offers numerous high-end boutiques from cities such as New York, Paris, London and Tokyo. Very expensive clothing and jewelry stores are common for Serrano, as well as a large number of banks. While Serrano may have a new and swanky feel, the history and charm of the street cannot be matched. Take Guante Varade for example, a tiny shop that has been selling gloves in that location since the year 1902, or Alvarez Gomez, a perfumery, which has been in business since 1899! These two historic stores have such a lovely charisma and are respectfully located at Serrano 54 and 14

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While shopping is what Calle Serrano is famous for, it also offers a handful of cultural sites and notable spots as well. Plaza de Colon, one of the most famous plazas in Madrid, is located just off of Serrano. This Plaza offers attractions such as Teatro Fernan Gomez, Christopher Columbus monument, as well as flies the largest Spanish flag in all of Spain. Seeing the gigantic flag flapping in the flag on a warm February day was a lovely sight!

 

As you continue walking north from the Puerta de Alcala, you will find a collection of embassies that make their home on Calle Serrano, including the United States, Ireland & Japan.   Clustered in this same area are also an abundance of office buildings and tapas restaurants to dine in. I decided to grab a bite to eat with two friends. We considered a bunch of different places including Serrano80, Astrolabius, and Jose Luis. After careful consideration, we decided to dine at an establishment called Makkila, located directly across from the United State’s Embassy. Our dinner consisted of three traditional Spanish dishes: Ensalada Rusa, Croquettes de Jamon, and Huevos Rotos. The food was excellent and I highly recommend it, even if the portions were a bit small. After our meal wrapped up around midnight or so, the lights were dimmed and the background music was turned up. I love how smoothly the restaurant became a lounge and we enjoyed the rest of our night over a couple of Mahous.

Tapas

The National Archaeological Museum, Lazaro Galdiano Museum, and the National Library are also must-sees when strolling down Serrano! I really enjoyed the National Archaeological Museum, as it recently went through a renovation to modernize the space. The museum is quite large and very inexpensive, only 3 euros for entrance and free on Sundays! I spent a couple hours walking the halls and learned a great deal about how Spanish culture has changed throughout the years. When taking into consideration price and overall experience, I believe that this institution is a hidden gem as it is usually overlooked in a city that has countless historic sites and museums.

 

The cultural Spanish and international makeup of this robust street make it a must-see for Madrileños and tourists alike!

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