No shortage of what to do at night in Madrid.
Madrid is one of the liveliest cities in Europe when it comes to nightlife. Many bars don’t start to get busy until at least 10pm (with larger clubs not even opening until midnight), but most stay open until the small hours to make up for the late start. Puerto del Sol, Gran Via, Huertas, Malasaña and Alonso Martinez area are popular nightlife hubs in Madrid.
1. Go nightclub hopping
Madrid's nightclubs go on until the early hours of the morning
Madrid’s clubs don’t get busy until at least midnight onwards, with many remaining fairly quiet until 1am or 2am. Take your pick from one of the city’s dozens of top-quality clubs. My favorites:
A cavernous former 19th-century theatre, Joy Eslava was converted into a nightclub in 1981 and has since become one of Madrid’s most popular. A short walk from Puerta del Sol, music playing to the crowd on the huge main dance floor includes hip-hop, house, and reggaeton.
Some nights Joy Eslava hosts live performances instead of DJs, so it’s best to check their website before you go.
Kapital is a seven-story super club with a merited reputation as one of Europe’s biggest and best. Its huge main dance floor features impressive pyrotechnic displays and dancers, with the club’s smaller rooms catering to everything from Spanish disco to karaoke. Its reputation means it’s often busy with a lot of fellow tourists, though that only adds to the international atmosphere.
New Garamond offers clubbers a huge dance floor as well as sofa chill-out areas to take a break from the action. The crowd here tends to be younger, and the music caters towards that: expect a lot of pop mixed in with Latin dance.
2. Madrid's best nightlife is flamenco
Traditional Flamenco has seen a surge in international popularity in recent years, and as the Spanish capital, Madrid is at the heart of it. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or know absolutely nothing about Flamenco, a live performance of the iconic art form is a must-do for anyone visiting the city. Many venues offer an optional Spanish dinner with the show, and some tickets already include it.
The well-established Casa Patas is arguably the best places to experience an authentic Flamenco show. There is a single performance on weekdays and two per night on weekends. Get there early and have dinner and chances are you’ll be seated on one of the tables in front of the stage.
Cardamomo is a smaller, more intimate venue offering an atmospheric, energetic and professional show. Seats towards the rear are slightly elevated so you can still see the stage.
For a local-style night out in Madrid
- If you’re looking to experience Madrid like a local, be prepared to go with the flow and expect a late night!
- Start your evening off with a few beers and a bite to eat at one of the city’s thousands of tapas bars. The streets around the La Latina and Malasana neighborhoods are peppered with small taverns popular with locals, and some bars include a free tapas dish with every drink.
- Madrilenos don’t tend to eat until late, and on a night out, dinner (from 9pm onwards) is often accompanied by a cocktail.
Usually, Spanish people spend the nights in bars. Here are 4 areas that you need to visit
- Huertas / Barrio de las Letras area near Puerta del Sol is a very famous area of madrilenian nightlife. In this area Populart Jazz Café and Café Central, two of the best places to see live jazz in the city.
- La Latina also is a very popular choice full of bars, restaurants, and pubs.
- Malasaña, is the alternative area in Madrid. Indie/60s/Rock Music.
- Chueca, gay area of Madrid is an excellent option. Singular restaurants with very good taste and decoration and very lively nightlife.
If bars and nightclubs are, not your scene, you still have lot of options
- El Matadero, former a slaughterhouse reconverted in a multipurpose place (exhibitions, concerts, pubs, theatre…) has become recently in a reference for the night in Madrid.
- I would recommend to go to the opera house or to watch a VO movie in Cine Renoir.
- If you like dinner and a good show, you’d like Café Central. It is a place when you can have dinner and enjoy good Jazz music, flamenco, and other types of music. Well known artists have performed here.
You can also sign up for the night tours. Some of the interesting ones are
- Guided tour of the city center to look at the city lighting at night. It is a beautiful experience you can get for free just walking around the city center at night.
- Guided visit of Los Amantes de Madrid: It is a very interesting option. You’ll get a detailed tour of love’s history of Madrid. Falling in love, breakups, sex, cheating, all types of anecdotes surrounding historical figures’ love lives.
- One Saturday a month, there is a thematic tour of the Palacio de Linares. They guide you through the halls of the palace while you can get a pretty good idea of how it was in the 19th century with the theatrical representation.
Best areas for nightlife in Madrid
Madrid comes alive after dark. Here's the best of Madrid's neighbourhoods for nightlife
Malasaña - For a Bohemian experience
Malasaña is the hippest neighbourhood and easily one of the most popular nightlife neighbourhoods of Madrid. Malasana attracts young crowd looking for rock and indie music.
Streets for nightlife within Malasaña : The area near the Tribunal metro is clearly younger while an older crowd can be found closer to the Gran Via part of the district near Calle del Pez and also in part of Plaza Dos de Mayo.
Popular Nightclubs /bars in Malasana : Teatro Barceló, Ocho y Medio, Tupperware and El Penta
Huertas - Lively and a tourist favourite
Most tourists start their night at central Puerta del Sol, and then move towards Plaza de Santa Ana and finally end at Huertas (Barrio de las Letras) for more action.
Nightclubs in Huertas : Kapital , Mondo
Chueca - Gay and Hip
Chueca is Madrid's gay district as well as one of its most modern. Here you can find nightclubs, bars, boutiques and designer restaurants
Streets for nightlife within Cheuca : Barquillo, Hortaleza, San Lucas, and Infantas Streets
Famous nightclubs in Chueca : Black & White and Delirio
La Latina is my choice
The best areas for the late evenings are La Latina and Malasaña. Both are very typical, very relaxing, with tons of options for bars and outside terraces. I like La Latina better, as I find it more genuine. Malasaña is a bit more on the trendy side.
All the Madrid city center is full of nightlife options, Madrid has a very active nightlife (some say the most active in the whole of Europe!)
For Clubs and Concerts
I’m not much of a club person, but I know Joy Eslava is a very famous venue for nightlife. I like the Café Central for its top notch jazz concerts.
Another one I enjoy is Platea, a massive indoor amphitheater filled with great restaurants and bars over a stage in which diverse concerts and spectacles take place (different styles, but all good).
My favourite Bars
I like Casa Labra for a quick vermouth and a typical cod croquette, and the Jazz Bar for good music and great drinks. The rooftop bars in the Círculo de Bellas Artes or the Hotel ME in Plaza Santa Ana are both gorgeous, a bit on the fashionable side and a bit expensive.