The time goes by and in Madrid there are still some shops that bring you back to the past. Taverns, restaurants, all kinds of shops, pharmacies and libraries are part of the history of this Region, with a mixture of tradition and modernity that allows these places to adapt over time.
It is concentrated in the centre, in streets like Arenal, Carretas, Mayor, Carmen and Preciados, where these shops are still open surrounded of great national and international firms. The commercial range is huge, but there are many corners where tradition matters as well as handmade manufacture and the knowledge on how to manage this kind of businesses brings you back to the past.
Hand fans, capes, handmade shoes and cutlery shops and pharmacies that have libraries with miracle cures, is what you can find here. You can find in these streets shops where the Royal Family buy or a place where to buy nougat in August.
The old pharmacies are very peculiar. They stand out due to its careful decoration and furniture. There, besides pharmacy drugs, you can still find old recipes, master formulas for ointments and writings that tell us how the medicine was centuries ago.
For example, the Mother Queen Pharmacy (Farmacia de la Reina Madre) (Calle Mayor 59) has been open since 1578. In its library you will find some of its "prodigious cures" like the topical ointment against the baldness or mummy pieces against tuberculosis.
All kinds of traditional businesses have preserved their status in Madrid, existing shops that have this Castilian atmosphere. Since 1868, Casa de Diego (Puerta del Sol 12 y Mesonero Romanos 4) sells hand fans, umbrellas, sun umbrellas, sticks, castanets and shawls.
Since 1894, La Casa Yustas (Plaza Mayor 30) have sold caps, hats and military ítems, although currently they also sell handmade products, decoration items and souvenirs. Also, since 1984, we find the oldest headdress shop of Madrid. It is La Favorita (Plaza Mayor 25). Besides the headdress, you can also find hats, souvenirs and traditional wineskin bottles with the three ZZZ.
The Almacén de Pontejos (Plaza de Pontejos 2), from 1861, sells daily all kinds of haberdashery items and crafts. Also, since 1915 the wool shop the Gato Negro (Plaza Mayor 30) offers all kinds of wools and also seam advices. These two places are crowded every day, and they are references in their specialties.
Spanish Culture flag-bearers shops
The flamenco has a privileged position amongst the Spanish culture. Since 1882, Guitarras Ramírez (Calle de la Paz 8) has been selling guitars that have been used by famous artists like Andrés Segovia. If you visit the shop, you will be able to see the collection they have.
Capas Seseña (calle de la Cruz 23) sells the most classical clothes in Spain since 1855. The Spanish Royal House, Hilary Clinton, Picasso, Buñuel, Rodolfo Valentino, Plácido Domingo, Hemingway, Gary Cooper and many more have been clients.
Discover them by yourself
These are only some examples of the tradition of the central area of Madrid. Get lost in the area while you walk around the Habsburg Madrid, and discover these unforgettable places. Visit also our gastronomy section in order to discover centenary bars, restaurants and accommodations that will make you enjoy even more your visit.