Nightowls wil find Madrid a paradise every night of the week. A typical night would begin at about 11pm at a club, with the most serious clubs starting around 1am and staying open until well beyond dawn. Street life reaches rush-hour proportions at 4am. While the busiest nights are Friday and Saturday, with Thursday a close runner-up, the locals go out every night and, miraculously, manage to work or study during the day. Perhaps the secret to endless energy lies in the tapas snacks throughout the night or could it be the thick hot chocolate, accompanied with sweet, fried churros downed at dawn after a long night out on the town?
Nightlife converges in three major districts: the Chueca (Madrid's gay village, also a trendy location for straights); Huertas (traditional Spanish music and smart clubs and bars); and around the Plaza del Dos de Mayo in the Malasaña district (favoured by a hip young crowd). Small streets off Gran Vía form the city's red-light district.
The nightlife scene is varied, with music halls, clubs, cafés, cocktail bars and flamenco tablaos all playing a role.
Madrid's bars range from dark, wooden-panelled taverns to fabulous establishments decorated with painted tiles of typical Madrid scenes from the 1900s or Velázquez's The Drunkards.
The best tapas bars are clustered in the narrow central streets. As dawn breaks, try Chocolatéria San Ginés, a mecca for hot chocolate and churros.
Madrid moves to the sound of Latin American music, world music, mainstream disco, flamenco, salsa, jazz. Most tourists converge on the clubs around the Sol and Gran Vía, but you may want to try out some of the local haunts instead. There is no admission charge and chic dress is recommended.
Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
June 8, 2004
My favorite of all is Finbar’s in the neighborhood of Argüelles. It’s cattycorner from the El Corte Inglés store at the corner of Princesa and Alberto Aguilera on Marques Urquijo. The bartenders are all Irish, so it won’t be hard ordering anything you want. They have Murphy’s Red, Guiness and Heineken on tap, as well as several in bottle and a full bar of spirits. A pint of Heineken runs 4,80€, a bit pricy for Madrid, but the atmosphere is worth it. The bartenders hail from Ireland, so they have great accents and great stories. It’s THE place to go for Irish rugby and football (soccer to us) matches, with the crowd being majority Irish, with some of us Americans thrown into the mix with the Spaniards. If you’re English, I advise against going to the bar during the Six Nations tournament when Ireland plays England. You’ll be in a very small minority.
Also, make sure to check out the bar on Tuesday nights when they have live Irish music. My flatmates from Ireland agreed they felt at home and they were back at home in a small country pub.
O´Connell St. in Sol is the Americanized pub. Filled to the brim with stateside folk for the Super Bowl, it allowed all of us to let our hair down and thoroughly practice our English. With a giant screen on the wall, sitting in the upper part is best for big matches, but the two bars and five small TVs help to capture every sporting event. You can be sure to find at least one of the TVs with Amerian sports all the time. The best deal I found was a bucket of six beers, all Corona or all Heineken, or a mix of both, for 14€. When staying for a two-hour game, you’ll probably go through a couple buckets before the final buzzer. As for Kitty O’Shea’s, it’s a chain of Irish pubs around the city and I think Europe. They boast the traditional Irish memorabilia, but with not as much warmth as Finbar’s.
From journal All things madrileño
First off, if you look like an American in your 20s, start your night off at Puerta del Sol. Every club has recruiters prowling the streets with offers for a free chupito (small shot) or caña (small beer), free entry, and coupons for drinks (copas). The shots are generally weak and the beer a bad Spanish brand, but it’s free. That’s the best part. Blackjack, Bash, B/A, and Joy are some of the best I’ve seen in the area. This is more of a college area, so you’ll be in the right age group.
It’s easy to spend the entire night prowling around Sol and it’s neighboring areas finding free entry and chupitos, but for more fun, head over to Moncloa (metro: Moncloa, yellow and gray lines). Start off at what the students call Meter Bar on Joaquín María López right off Isaac Peral. For 12€, you’re provided with a meter long tube on a stool with a spiggot and as many cups as you want. Choose between beer or kalimotxo (pronounced ca-li-mo-cho), a combo of cheap wine and Coke, to drink. 12€ sound a bit expensive? Not for five liters of drink it isn’t!
Other clubs for the dance scene are Chesterfield’s (Alberto Aguilera and Blasco de Garay), although it’s a bit American, The Inn, SoHo, and Copernicus. There aren’t as many recruiters in this area, so you do have to do a bit of a group search for clubs.
Big tip: avoid the open-air club complex situated between the streets of Gaztambide, Rodriguez San Pedro, Alonso Mellendes and Méndez Váldes. From the start it looks shady and it is. This is the high-school hotspot that has overly-drunk girls puking in the bushes and guys doing lines in the corner of the courtyard.
espanola, New Mexico
May 23, 2002
After the fireworks died down, so did the energy. The people from my hostel went for a walk, and I went to make a phone call. As i was coming out of the phone booth, the group from my hostel came running and shouted that a mob was behind them and we had to get the hostel as soon as possible. We thought we weren't far away, but we must have taken a wrong turn. the next thing I knew I was running in a crowd of people, and i couldn't see anyone i knew. I felt a hand grab mine in a death grip i couldn't pull away from, as hard as i tried. then i heard the voice of a guy from my hostel yelling, "don't try to pull away, I'm trying to help you!" he had me by one hand, and another girl by the other hand, and was pulling us down an alley, away from the direction of the crowd. We ran and ran, taking a million turns, trying to lose the crowd, until we had no idea where we were. We could hear police sirens and shouts all around us. A bus came speeding down the back street we were in and the driver stopped and yelled at us in Spanish to get in. We jumped in, and gave him the address of our hostel. He took us right to the door and sped away into the night.
The next day we learned that the celebrations had somehow errupted into clashes with the police. mobs of people had flooded the streets of Madrid that night and we were all grateful to that bus driver.
From journal madrid madness
October 5, 2001
From journal Madrid, the city that never sleeps
January 16, 2001
From journal Semester in Mad Madrid
London, United Kingdom
October 15, 2000
To experience the Spanish capital to the full - you must partake of the nightlife. In the height of the Castile summer were the heat does not die down until 11.00pm the Madrilenos begin their nights on the town. But to have a really good night out you must stay up until dawn. There are so many places to experience this in Madrid. The best is probably Malasana and Cheuca - two working class districts north of the Gran Via. The best way to enter them is from Call Hortaleza, its southern end is the Gran Via metro stop. Calle Hortaleza will take you through the heart of Cheuca which is the most flambuoyant part of Madrid. Leading up this street were Tapas bars, gyms, restaurants, sex-shops, discos and alternative bars. The residents stood on balconies and enjoyed cigarettes while watching the circus down below.
Cheuca and Malasana have quite a buzz. If you want direction to your wanderings (and be careful this is still the red-light district)then head for Plaza de Cheuca. This is the heart of the gay community in Madrid and numerous bars around attest to this. But Madrilenos of all persuasions gather here to have a good night out. During the day there is are cafes and fishmongers, when night falls it becomes alive with fire-eaters, musicians and while we were there an inpromptu fashion show occur with scantily clad hunks and women parading up and down.
If you really want a true taste of Cheuca and to get a feel of the bizarreness of the Almodovar movies - head for the LL Bar. At midnight they have entertainment. And I'm telling you, you have not lived until you have seen a flamenco drag queen! Viva Cheuca! Viva Madrid!
From journal Madrid: The most exciting city in Europe!