Doing a bit of a deductive exercise, if Spain is considered the best country in Europe to party, its capital, Madrid, must be a temple devoted to the bad nightly habits of the masses. And that’s not far from the truth.
Madrid offers party and leisure alternatives to night birds every day of the week. From Monday to Sunday you’ll find live music, bustling bars and people willing to be surprised by the sunrise far from their vampire coffin. It is a city where anything can happen and where the greatest stories of many lives will start with: «Do you remember that night in that place in Madrid…?»
Just as in the saying “different strokes for different folks”, in the Spanish capital you’ll be able to find different party areas, some of which are pigeonholed to a music style, type of bar and specific audience.
Here you have a small selection divided by areas and type of bars that we hope can help you make the most of your nights in Madrid.
One of the oldest areas in Madrid, including Calle Huertas and the emblematic Plaza Santa Ana. It is also referred to as Barrio de las Letras for the great amount of theatres and streets devoted to famous Spanish litterateurs.
Its deep web of pedestrian streets makes it one of the most popular areas among twenty and thirty-year olds when it comes to finding the ideal place to start or end the night. In Huertas you can find pretty much anything: traditional bars where you can grab a drink at the bar while talking to the waiter surrounded by posters of bullfighting events; jazz clubs; karaokes; Irish pubs; after hours and Latin bars where you can let loose and dance till morning.
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Some of the places that I highly recommend going are:
- La Casa del Abuelo (calle Victoria, 12): a great historic place (it opened in 1906) to start the night with some sweet wines.
- La Cervecería Alemana (Plaza Santa Ana, 6): another historic place, whose wooden tables have been bearing the weight of homebrewed beer since 1904.
- Penthouse: for those who say there is no place for glamour in Huertas. This bar, located on the roof of ME Madrid Reina Victoria Hotel, has deck chairs and a beautiful view over the square. You can also have a cocktail while contemplating those views.
- Populart (Huertas, 22): a great place to enjoy some live jazz.
- La Boca Club (Echegaray, 11): bar with live music of different styles opened seven days a week until late hours of the night.
- Kapital (Atocha, 125): one of the biggest clubs in Madrid, but with a rather young audience. The building is incredibly pretty and has different rooms on each floor.
A place for those nostalgic of “la movida madrileña”, a movement that took place during the 70s and 80s. After falling into oblivion for quite some time, Malasaña has become a meeting point for young people, and not so young, who belong to different urban tribes. Hipsterism has taken over the streets of Malasaña, but there are still places where you won’t be looked down on for not wearing a long and groomed bear.
Some of the best spots in Malasaña are:
- El Penta (La Palma, 4): a real throwback for those nostalgic of the 80s music. A legendary place.
- Mezcalería (San Vicente Ferrer, 25): try the best Mexican mezcal in Europe in huge space where the music never stops.
- La Vía Láctea (Velarde, 18): A melting-pot since time immemorial. This is where Almodóvar and his squad used to party. Erasmus, locals and others meet here looking for drinks, laughs and fleeting nights. A place where you can let loose without reservation.
- El Rey Lagarto (Martínez Izquierdo, 53): a lifelong bar for rock music lovers.
Avenida de Brasil area
This area, close to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, attracts beautiful people who like to party until late hours of the night in an elite environment with its above-average-budget bars. Some of the most renowned bars are:
- Moby Dick (Avenida Brasil, 5): one of the best places in Madrid to listen to live music of different styles. People from all places come to be delighted with the concerts held here.
- The Irish Rover (Avenida Brasil, 7): next to Moby Dick, we have a good Irish pub, with pints and football. The place is huge, with two storeys where you can catch a concert, drop by the library or even watch some of the most important sport events in one of their several screens.
Known as Madrid’s Soho, it is one of the most fun and colourful areas in the capital. It is the quintessential gay area and its terraces, surrounding Plaza de Chueca, get crowded with locals and tourists who decide to enjoy life with a drink outdoors.
Some of the recommended places in Chueca are:
- Delirio (Libertad, 28): the name says it all. One of the craziest bars in Chueca. You can let loose till the next morning.
- Mercado de San Antón (Augusto Figueroa, 24): a very cool place that has been in vogue for the last few years. It is not a party spot per se, but it is ideal for having a few beers and some tapas and enjoy a live concert in one of the market stalls. Ideal for the weekends.
- Museo Chicote (Gran Vía, 12): one of the places where you can start or end the night.
Now that we have already reviewed some of the most frequented areas of Madrid at night, here you have some of the clubs where you can end your night:
- Joy Eslava (Arenal, 11): meeting point of celebrities since its opening at the beginning of the 80s. It opens every day and gathers people from all ages and origins.
- Gabana 1800 (Velázquez, 6): its audience is a bit exclusive and mostly integrated by twenty-year olds. You should dress smartly to avoid the doorman not letting you in.
- New Garamond (Rosario Pino, 14): one of the preferred clubs by thirty-year olds looking for beautiful people. It is somewhat expensive, but worth it.
Now you don’t have a choice, go paint the town red! But before, remember that you’ll have to pay in euros. If this is not your currency, you can exchange it upon your arrival at any of the branches that Global Exchange has at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport.
Pictures: Felipe Gabaldón, Daniele Grasso, Rubén Vique, Rodney.