Moncloa in Madrid is famous worldwide for being the home of Moncloa Palace, the presidential palace of Spain. Moncloa is a western portion of Madrid that borders Argüelles and Ciudad Universitaria. It is one of the best-connected areas in Madrid, and boasts a transport interchange where travelers can get on intercity buses and two Metro lines (lines 3 and 6). Visitors also have ready access to taxis throughout Moncloa.
One of the most attractive places in Moncloa is Parque del Oeste (Western Park). It is a peaceful, green area brimming with towering trees and green grass. Visitors may follow a botanic route and discover a variety of Spanish plants as well as small bunkers used during the Spanish Civil War.
The Faro de Moncloa is another popular attraction. As an original tower that can be seen from virtually every part of Madrid, the Faro resembles a mushroom and was built in 1994 with innovative metallic elements. Since its construction it has been a polemic building because of its security deficiency. It was closed in 2005 for security reasons and cannot be visited by the public today. The City Council has plans to reopen the Faro de Moncloa, but for now visitors at least may marvel over its outward beauty.
Nearby the Faro de Moncloa is the Arco de la Victoria (Victory Arch), built in the 1950s. It serves as a reminder of the Alcalá Gate and the Puerta de Toledo, and commemorates the victory of Franco’s army against the republican forces.
The Arco de la Victoria is not the only monument that reminds tourists of Franco’s dictatorship period. The Air Force Palace and the buildings that surround it were made in a unique style that epitomizes the unrivaled Spanish Empire architecture of the Habsburg dynasty. This style features a traditional mix of colours from red brick to grey granite.
Moncloa offers two interesting alternatives for visitors: cultural activities and parties. The Museum of America is located in this area (on Reyes Católicos Avenue 6), and is the most important Latin American art museum in all of Madrid. It showcases historic and ancient art made by indigenous Spaniards. Activities, conferences, and courses for all ages are also offered at The Museum of America.
Those who prefer to party will discover many pubs and discos close to the transport interchange on Fernandez de los Ríos Street. All of these pubs have a festive atmosphere, in part due to nearby student residences and schools and because many students frequent this area. Additionally, Erasmus parties, graduation parties, and similar events are common occurrences in Moncloa.
For those on a limited budget, Moncloa is a smart choice. Humble but clean hotels are present in this section. As Moncloa is a busy area, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, it is mandatory to make reservations beforehand.
Some notable accommodations are the Hostal Moncloa (Hilarión Eslava Street 16), a guesthouse with prices starting at 40 Euros, and Hostal Angelines (Hilarión Eslava Street 16), a hostel similar in features and prices. Hostal Artico (Donoso Cortés Street 69) is a three-star hostel with comparable rates. Hostal Arrate (Gaztambide Street 61) features single bedrooms and prices as low as 32 Euros.