Salamanca, the area north of the Parque del Retiro, is a smart address for apartments and, even more so, for shops. The barrio is the haunt of pijos – universally denigrated rich kids – and the grid of streets between c/Goya and c/José Ortega y Gasset contains most of the city’s designer emporiums. Most of the buildings are modern and undistinguished, though there are some elegant nineteenth-century mansions and apartment blocks. There is a scattering of museums, galleries and exhibition spaces to tempt you up here, too, in particular the Sorolla and the Lázaro Galdiano museums, two little gems that are often ignored by visitors.

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