Also known as Barrio de las Letras, Huertas was once home to prominent literary figures, Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega among them. The neighborhood is committed to celebrating its rich heritage: Calle Huertas itself is inlaid with quotes from celebrated authors, street names pay homage to them, and second-hand bookshops pervade. Huertas receives a fair amount of spillover from the center — side streets around Plaza Santa Ana take on a foreign party atmosphere at night, and you always see young backpackers navigating the streets — but as you descend into the neighborhood, everything becomes a little more cramped and slightly less refined, and takes on more of an underground feel. Live music is at the heart of Huertas: by night, its subdued bars are ideal for meeting friends, sipping cocktails, and chatting quietly while enjoying jazz or singer-songwriter performances.
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