Live Close to the Madrid Campus: What Barrios Students Should Consider Studying Abroad

Are you studying abroad at our GBSB Global Business School Madrid campus? Trying to get the lay of the land or an understanding of the 21 barrios, or districts, that make up Madrid can seem overwhelming. Let us break down the five barrios that are close to the GBSB Global Business School Madrid campus and what makes them unique.

Moncloa & Arguelles

These two neighborhoods could be classified as one and are amazing to live in, especially for young and active adults. This area can be considered the university quarter with Madrid’s main campus, La Compultense very close by. The area is known for its hip neighborhood bars and shops. The impressive Calle Princesa, an important street boasts all the major clothing stores from Zara to El Corte Inglés. Its ideal location, a relatively quick walk to Sol, another happening neighborhood, and Malasaña and Chueca two of the more popular barrios.

Moncloa & Arguelles borders Chamberi, a slightly more expensive residential neighborhood we will talk about next.


A barrio located just east of Moncloa, is a much prettier and what some may consider, a more sophisticated “big brother,” hosts a slightly older population that enjoys the finer things. Chamberi houses some of the most amazing architectural finds, such as the Museo Soroya, Instituto Internacional, and the British Council. The tranquil Plaza de Chamberi and Plaza de Olavide host some of the best terraces to sip cava or relax with a gin martini. Chamberi is also a business district, with many offices located in the area. There are a plethora of bars and restaurants to cater to their clientele.


What is considered today the Hortaleza barrio in Madrid, was originally a small village located on the top of a hill, skirted by streams and troughs. A village that saw its fields of vine and cereal converted later into large farms producing local produce for the enjoyment of the nobles. Today, Hortaleza is one of five Madrid districts with the youngest populations. As of 2005, individuals from France made up 1,424 of the residents. This community formed around the Lycée Français de Madrid main campus. In Hortaleza, the French are the third largest foreign resident population after the Ecuadorians and Colombians. There is a French bookshop, Frañol, located there.


Valverde is a barrio in the north belonging to the district of Fuencarral-El Pardo. Within Valverde are several neighborhoods: the Fuencarral neighborhood, the Santa Ana neighborhood, the Cardenal Herrera Oria estate, the Virgen de Begoña neighborhood, the Tres Olivos neighborhood, the Las Tablas neighborhood and the Fuencarral business park. There are differences between the zones. Since the old town was a town up until the 1950’s, it maintains much of that character, with low houses and narrow streets, while in the other areas, they accommodate much taller buildings. This is a very residential area with little in regard to nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment. It is safe, but a little more far removed from the center.


Tetuán takes its name from Tetouan, Morocco, which was the capital of the former Spanish protectorate in northern Morocco. When Leopoldo O'Donnell returned with his forces to Spain after the Battle of Tétouan (1861), he camped with his men just north of Madrid while a victorious entry into the capital was being organized. The camp developed permanent structures over time and became known as "Tetuán de las Victorias" (Tetuan of the Victories). In the 1960’s, an administrative reorganization took place and some of the outlying villages close to Madrid were swallowed up and incorporated into Madrid’s framework, and so Tetuán de las Victorias became a district of Madrid.

Today, the skyscrapers of the financial complex of Azca and the modest, low-lying houses that appear on the sidewalks of Marqués de Viana have one thing in common: they belong to the same district, Tetuan. Vecino de la Castellana is a dynamic area that has a substantial foreign presence and is home to disparate realities: the huts of the Paseo de la Direction, the commanding buildings of Captain Haya, and the locals sitting outside their homes in the neighborhood of Valdeacederas. "There are two Tetuanes: to the left of Bravo Murillo is the poor and to the right, the rich." It is a very interesting complex.

Madrid is a fascinating city with a deep history. From politics and culture to food and entertainment, you will have it all at your fingertips. If you want to find out more about life in Madrid and the amazing career prospects, opportunities, and housing options it offers, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

The city, the Spanish capital, will leave you wholly impressed. An amazing place to study abroad and lay the foundation for your future.

Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Global Content Manager

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