Madrid sure knows how to party. The city’s nightlife scene is notorious for its lively bars, stronger-than-normal copas (cocktails) and mega clubs that tempt party animals to carouse from sundown to sunrise. Here’s our guide to where to go out in Madrid.
Pregame with beer and tapas
The best way to kick off your night is with some cañas and tapas in the lively Malasaña or La Latina neighborhoods, in particular the Cava Baja strip, where there are numerous tapas bars to hop between (check out our recent blog post for the best places to eat tapas in Madrid). Hang out there until around 10pm when the city’s cocktail bars start to get lively. Then we suggest you try some of these hot spots…
Nightlife venues in Madrid
For a serious cocktail… 1862 Dry Bar
Where: Calle del Pez 27, Madrid
Just a few blocks away from the busy Malasaña hood, chic cocktail establishment 1862 Dry Bar is far from dry. Managed by top barman Alberto Martínez, the staff are well versed in the art of cocktail making and don’t disappoint, offering creative versions of classic cocktails, as well as their own special concoctions and tailor made drinks on requests. The stylish décor also provides the perfect ambience to sip on cocktails and feel all sophisticated, with impressively high ceilings, mahogany wood trappings and exposed brick walls.
Hidden behind closed doors… Hemingway, Casa Suecia
Where: Calle del Marqués de Casa Riera 4, Madrid
This clandestine bar reminiscent of the prohibition era is only accessible to those in the know, hidden behind an unassuming door in the toilets of restaurant Casa Suecia. Beyond said door is a bar oozing with style with plush red sofas inviting you to lounge around and enjoy a cocktail or three.
For drinks with a view… The Hat
Where: Calle Imperial 9, Madrid (The Hat) / Calle de la Luna 2, Madrid (Gymage)
The only place to be on a balmy summer’s night in Madrid is a roof terrace and The Hat hostel’s rooftop bar is one of the coolest in the city. Look out over the buzz of activity on Cava Baja below as you sip on a gin and tonic served in a jam jar. Gymage’s terrace is another hot favorite sitting above a gym and lifestyle center. With fake grass, white loungers and an infinity pool, it brings a taste of Ibiza to the city.
If you need a power nap before the club… Siesta and Go
Where: Calle de Orense 10, Madrid
They say that a 20-minute disco nap is all you need to recharge your batteries and you can do just that in Madrid’s new nap bar Siesta and Go. There are both dorm and private rooms available ranging from just 4 euros to 7 euros per half hour. And they couldn’t be more accommodating, offering coffee, newspapers, slippers, nightshirts and wake up calls. And don’t worry; you won’t be sleeping on dirty sheets, as they’re rigorous about changing sheets between clients.
For live music… Marula
Where: Calle Caños Viejos 3, Madrid
This funky little nightlife haunt is both a club and live music venue in one with a rotating mix of hip hop, soul, R&B and jazz acts, or a DJ spinning the perfect tunes for getting your groove on.
And when the clock strikes 3am (and not before, unless you like being the only loser on the dancefloor) it’s time to hit up one of the city’s super clubs.
For those who like to party every night of the week… Joy Eslava
Where: Calle del Arenal 11, Madrid
This historical theater turned dance club has been around since 1981 and it’s still going strong, boldly claiming to have been open every night since its inception. It attracts a devoted crowd of party goers every night of the week to its giant dance floor, mixing it up with various club nights that range from house music to hip hop to international DJs and the odd live cabaret show.
To rub shoulders with the VIP party crowd… Gabana Club
Where: Calle de Velázquez 6, Madrid
If you’re feeling more spend thrifty, this swish club is one of the most exclusive in town and promises the VIP treatment with reservation-only tables attracting the who’s who of the party crowd and a lineup of top DJs from around the globe. They’re strict on the door so go early to gain entry and be sure to dress to the nines.
To see and be seen… Palacio Fortuny
Where: Calle de Fortuny 34, Madrid
This grandiose 19th-century palace turned nightclub claims to ‘be the place to be’ in Madrid and while that sounds a bit pretentious, we have to admit, it is a pretty cool spot. There’s a restaurant, garden, terrace and trendy nightclub that’s particularly popular during the summertime and attracts a slightly older crowd.
And if you STILL want to party… Ballesta Club (Permanently closed)
Where: Calle de la Ballesta 12, Madrid
In the heart of Malasaña this hipster club is a newbie on the scene and one of Madrid’s top dance venues, where you can truly let your hair down and get hedonistic on the dance floor. Leave your sneakers at home as the dress code here is also smart casual.
Hit up any other good nightlife spots in Madrid recently? Share them with us in the comments below.