Romeo and Juliet in Vallecas

Graffiti above the Asamblea de Madrid-Entrevías train station

Whenever I first mentioned that my new school was located in the area of Vallecas, a bike-aficionado friend digested this news for a moment before reflecting, “You’re so close to the center of Madrid that you could cycle there! Although, your bike would be stolen as soon as you chained it up…”

San Blas and now Vallecas? Am I destined to make the rounds of all of the barrios chungos (“bad” neighborhoods) in the Spanish capital? 

But things aren’t so bad. Working-class neighborhoods exist in every city, and there are a few silver linings. For example, the price of that occasional café con leche is only about a Euro compared to 1.50 in central Madrid. Another perk? More green, open spaces. Take a look, here are some other typical images of the area:

A grassy avenue I cross on my way to work each morning

Music notes dot the path to the station

As those music notes suggest, the neighborhood has its quirky side. One thing I’ve noticed is the abundance of whimsical street names, often with literary leanings. On the way to the Tío Pío Park, for example, you’ll stumble across one of the most giggle-inducing street names in Madrid, Calle del Payaso Fofó; how can you not grin while walking down a street named after a beloved TV clown?

What about some other cool street names in Vallecas, you ask?

– Calle de Cleopatra

– Calle de Pablo Neruda

– Calle de Fantasía (Fantasy Street)

– Calle de Buendía (Good Day Street)

– Calle de la Reina de África (Queen of Africa Street)

Below are more favorite finds when it comes to street names:

Calle de la Cenicienta (Cinderella Street)

Calle de Romeo y Julieta (I assume the Capulets own that balcony)

Calle de Historias de la Radio (Radio Stories Street)

Calle de Volver a Empezar (Start Again Street)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short walk through my weekday neighborhood. What are some of the creative street names where you live?

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17 Comments

  1. I used to work near San Blas neighborhood, the metro stop was Las Musas, which I believe is the one right before Las Musas on line 7. All the streets in that neighborhood had European locations as their names, Calle de Suecia, Avenida de Niza (Nice), Calle de Manchester, Calle de Helsinki, Calle de Budapest, Calle de Estocolmo, the list goes on!

  2. Cassandra

    Oh, interesting! It’s funny to think of how I worked so close to there but had no idea the street names were so distinct. I bet that made for plenty of photo ops!

  3. I’ve got one of these stories for Seville in the works…just looking for a few more fun names (it also includes a Callejón cenicero!)

    Amelie, there’s a whole neighborhood of those streets in Los Bermejales, Seville. My personal favorite is Los Remedios, where all of the streets are named after Virgins!

  4. Christina

    I love this post! Brings back fond memories of the photos I took while working in Vallecas and exploring during mis horas libres 🙂

  5. Cassandra

    @Cat – Looking forward to your post on calles sevillanas!

    @Christina – Thanks, maja! I remember your goal of going to as many metro stations as possible, you were definitely one for exploring 🙂

  6. I think I’ll start calling myself Cenicienta. It sounds so much prettier than plain, old Cindy. And I know where you can lift a really cool street sign in my honor!

    Love, Cenicienta 😉

  7. Oh, and I really like the musical path….

  8. Cassandra

    Yes, you should start signing letter with “Cenicienta,”–you could even be “Cenders” for short 😉

    Ps. Did you just condone tampering with government property….?!

  9. For a barrio chungo, that looks pretty nice 🙂 Around me there aren’t too many crazy street names but there is one in Barcelona called Taxdirt that I think is the weirdest name ever.

  10. Cassandra

    Taxdirt??

    I just had to Google this; a quick search makes it seem like it refers to a military scuffle in Melilla. What a name!! And how did it end up in Barcelona??

  11. I love this post! It is so funny. I will now have to be on the look out for funny street names!

  12. Cassandra

    Thanks Alison! Let me know if you find any 🙂

  13. I haven’t seen too many street names, but they definitely are related in my area. Near the Legazpi metro all of them are minerals: C/del Sodio, C/del Granito, C/de la Antracita … In my neighborhood, we’re the ports, los puertos! So nearby businesses have names like La Panderia de los Puertos

  14. Awesome, I love it! C/Volver a empezar:) That would be a cool address to have. I have never had a fun street-name as my address in Spain though. In Barcelona I had a few with that had no meaning to me, but turned out to be someone important in Spanish/Catalan history apparently (ups). I liked C/Princesa though!

  15. Cassandra

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Is there a Calle Princesa in Barcelona, too? I know that there is a major street named that in Madrid…

  16. This post just popped up in my Twitter feed – love those street names! Nice to have something a bit different to the usual streets named after artists, writers and saints. Volver a empezar is my favourite – very appropriate for the new year!

    • Cassandra

      Aw, thanks Kate! Glad you enjoyed the article. I recently foudn out that there is an entire book dedicated to the unique street names in Vallecas!

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