Chueca is a stylish neighborhood in the center of Madrid, just north of the old town. It is known as the gay area of the city due to its LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) associations. The neighborhood has numerous gay-friendly shops and bars as well as an important annual Gay Pride march. Chueca represents the progressive and stylish side of Madrid in contrast with the rustic feel of the bordering old town area. Visit this beacon of tolerance and open-mindedness on your trip to Madrid.
Near the metro station, relax in the Plaza de Chueca, a square surrounded by large buildings. It is filled with wide, open space, which is representative of Chueca’s general ambiance. Read a book at a café or have a few drinks at a bar in the evening. The streets of Fuencarral and Hortaleza are teeming with life and bright lights from night until dawn.
Admire the alternative clothing choices in the shops and on the streets. The area is a fashion hub so you can find anything from exclusive designers to bohemian treasures. Enjoy a meal at one of the international restaurants along the streets and in the main plaza.
Attend the Gay Pride festival, held every year in June or July. Streets fill with extravagant clothes, flags and dancing and the walls echo with singing. The festival perfectly encompasses the diverse and liberating atmosphere of the Chueca area.
Chueca is named after the 19th-century composer Federico Chueca. He wrote for the zarzuela genre, a blend of operatic singing and prosaic lines. Visit a local souvenir shop to hear the music playing and purchase a CD to keep the memories sharp after your visit is over.
The Chueca neighborhood is in the center of Madrid, near attractions such as San Jerónimo el Real and the Museo Nacional del Prado. It is just east of the Malasaña area, which is packed with restaurants, bars and clubs. Take the Metro to the Chueca station to explore the area. A number of buses stop in the neighborhood as well.