To visit the Barrio de las Letras in Madrid is to enjoy the history of the Spanish capital and its literature, especially that of the Golden Age. This is why many of the streets in this area of the city are named after literary greats such as Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Quevedo.
The Barrio de las Letras is not an official administrative district, it is a touristic denomination for a specific area of the Barrio Cortes, in the Central District of Madrid.
This area is bounded by Paseo del Prado, Calle Atocha, Carrera de San Jerónimo and Calle Cruz. Most of the area is pedestrianised and closed to traffic, and it is a very enriching experience for tourists to visit it in peace and quiet.
The nerve centre of the Barrio de las Letras is Plaza Santa Ana, where in addition to many terraces and restaurants you will find the Teatro Español, and the statues of two literary greats, García Lorca and Calderón de la Barca.
Calle Huertas is the main artery of the Barrio de las Letras. Walking along this street you will come to points that represent a small piece of the history of Spanish literature from the Golden Age. Like the Church of San Sebastián, where Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer was married and where Lope de Vega was buried. Or the Mentidero de los Representantes, a place where writers and actors met to chat, gossip and keep abreast of current affairs.
As you can see, a stroll through the streets and squares of Madrid's Barrio de las Letras is a journey through part of the history of the capital and of Spain and its literature through the experiences of the main writers of the Golden Age of Spanish literature. But as well as strolling around, you can enjoy an aperitif, a coffee, lunch or dinner in one of the many restaurants, or on one of the terraces in its squares and streets.
The range of hotels in the Barrio de las Letras is also extensive and you can stay in renowned hotels or in picturesque hostels full of history.
And of course, the proximity of museums as important as the Prado Museum, make the cultural offer of this area of Madrid one of the must-see places for tourists who visit the capital every year.
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