What is “Breaking the Barrios”?


Smart Insiders wants to give you tips for how to experience different areas in Madrid. For this reason we’re launching a new series called “Breaking the Barrios”. Get ready for excellent guides for planning your next visit to one of Madrid’s popular neighborhoods. Also you can find information about restaurants, activities, nightlife, and more! 

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Lavapiés: Diversity and fun all in one. 


Lavapiés is the official melting pot of Madrid where many different cultures and ethnicities blend together to create one amazing neighborhood. There are more immigrants here than any other barrio, and up until 1980 only consisted of elderly Madrileños. Since the rent is cheaper for the center, in addition to the multicultural aspect, many young people are drawn to the area.

How many nationalities are there? Around 90 with the most prevalent being Moroccan, Colombian, and Chinese.

Cuisine: Food from all over the world. 


Looking for food from all over the world? Lavapiés has other areas of Madrid beat in the food & drink department. The restaurant scene of Lavapiés is diverse along with its people so you can find exotic dishes of your choice. From Indian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese, Moroccan, and Latin American there is something for everyone here.  Every weekend you can go and try something different so go ahead and choose one of the multiple options the barrio has to offer.

Tapas + Lavapiés = Tapapiés 


There are many fun events going on here but the most well-known is TapaPiés. Starting in 2011, the event has become more and more popular every year. The event usually takes place the last 10 days of October and during this time there are crowds of people visiting to taste the delicious tapas. There are over 90 bars that participate in the event all serving unique dishes between 1.50€ and 2.50€. For an extra euro, you can also get a botellín (a 250 ml bottle of beer) to drink while walking along and tasting.

After you’ve tried a bit you are able to vote for your favorites through the event website. Here you can find a map and details of the ingredients for each creation.

In addition to the food there will also be live entertainment with many concerts taking place around the area. Make sure to mark this in your calendar because it’s a must!

Parties from around the world. 

Bollywood Lavapiés


The leading and most popular event focusing on Bollywood in Europe takes place in Lavapiés in June. It’s a free festival that is filled with dance performances, films, good Indian food and Cobra beer for just one euro. Also, you will see a display of traditional clothing with dance lessons offered to both children and adults. Come and join in on the fun to kick off your summer holidays!

Fiesta de San Lorenzo


Look to the sky around August and you might see a shooting start in remembrance of San Lorenzo. Legend has it the shooting stars are representative of his tears falling from heaven. Which brings us to the celebration in his honor where San Lorenzo is celebrated in Lavapiés. The party includes processions, music, fireworks, competitions, and more.

Hindu Lavapiés


The festival takes place in three traditional districts. The San Cayetano festival is held in the area around the church dedicated to the saint in Calle Embajadores, Plaza de Cascorro, and streets in the Lavapiés. You can enjoy concerts, charity events, and historical street processions. In addition, the bars will open up onto the streets to join in the party. The residents make this a special occasion.

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