With it's burgeoning art and music scene, Bushwick has become synonymous with the underground and what's in. Take the hipsters smoking rolled Bali Shag cigarettes outside of Alphaville and transplant them to Malasaña, in the heart of the Spanish capital of Madrid—you're guaranteed that they will feel right at home.
Much like Bushwick, this Spanish neighborhood, which lies in close proximity to the more bourgeois Chueca, underwent a rebirth before becoming the hipster stronghold it is now. The neighborhood has become overrun with small galleries, pop-up shops, bars, secondhand stores, and the very best in underground nightlife that Madrid has to offer.
The best part about this beautiful arts district is how close together everything is. The walls are also plastered with graffiti that rival any of the street art holding court on Brooklyn's streets. Combine this with the local music scene, and you get a wide mix of people ranging from artists, curious tourists, and Madrid's young and beautiful. Several of the bars in the area regularly host cultural exchange speakeasies that invite non-Spanish speakers (or non-Madrileños who speak the language) to interact with locals in a setting where language isn't necessary. If you're searching for an adventure in an underground Spanish dive bar, look no further than Malasaña.
Malasaña is best explored with adventurous friends in tow, the kind of people who look closely at the local scene and want to interact with it instead of just going to Plaza Cibeles. The small streets are perfect for getting lost in and finding your own little nook. It's a district that's as relaxed and welcoming as it is absolutely teeming with artistic energy. You can't say you've truly visited Madrid unless you get a taste for what it's like to be a modern, young urbanite there, and Malasaña will give you that taste and so much more. The coolest thing about this neighborhood isn't the murals: it's the immersion. So dive right in, sin pena y con ganas de conocer.
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