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Madrid Travel Guide

10 Best Bars and Nightlife in Madrid

From historic taverns to iconic super clubs, Madrid doesn’t hold back when it comes to having a good night out.

Most trips to a bar will leave you with fun (albeit blurry) memories, but an exploration of Madrid’s bar and nightlife scene will have you waving goodbye with a new-found appreciation of the capital city’s cultural, historical, and gastronomic highlights, too.

Undoubtedly one of Europe’s most vibrant and diverse nightlife spots, Madrid has a huge range of bars and clubs to suit all tastes. Whether you prefer rock, indie, electronic, jazz, flamenco, or anything in between, you’ll find it sprinkled throughout the city’s eclectic neighborhoods.

Famed for its late nights and lively atmosphere, you could start your evening with a Spanish beer and a tapa in a local taverna dating back 100 years and end it as the sun rises at an iconic after-hours party on the other side of town. Ready to head out and see the sights? Read on for all of Madrid’s best bars and nightlife spots.

1 OF 10

Inclan Brutal Bar

WHERE: Centro

A mandatory stop when you visit Madrid, Inclan Brutal Bar was named after the writer and dramatist Ramon del Valle-Inclan, known for his avant-garde (and a little grotesque) style.

This eclectic cocktail bar sits in the heart of the city in the Centro neighborhood and makes good use of unusual drinks served in mini bathtubs, bird cages, and skulls (amongst many others).

While the menu here is small, it’s most definitely delicious: try the Bloody Mary with bacon, or the Gin and Tonic, which comes with edible rose petals. For those with an eye on the industry, tableware here comes courtesy of José Piñero.

2 OF 10

La Ardosa

WHERE: Malasaña

La Ardosa is the epitome of Spanish character and charm. You’ll want to be able to speak a little Spanish when visiting, although later in the evening, you’ll likely end up gesturing rather than ordering your next beer with words.

Famed for both its tapas and its cheap drinks, La Ardosa dates back to 1892 and sits in the neighborhood of Malasaña. This famous tavern also has a secret back room: keep an eye on the people limbo-ing under the bar, and you’ll find it pretty easily.

While it’s a historic spot, it’s also a place that championed the import of many popular beers, so you’ll easily find your favorites here.

3 OF 10

Del Diego Cocktail Bar

WHERE: Chueca

Del Diego Cocktail Bar might be Madrid’s most famous cocktail bar, largely thanks to its founder, Fernando del Diego, who started his career at the legendary Chicote bar. This is the place to go if you’re a fan of curated cocktails and a New York vibe.

Del Diego leans into that vibe with its NYC-inspired interiors and wide range of classic and signature cocktails. The Dry Martini and the Gin Fizz are two of the most popular drinks served up at Del Diego, but the hand-crafted Old Fashioned will always be our top choice. Come here for a classy cocktail pre or post-dinner, as it doesn’t tend to get super busy until after midnight.

4 OF 10

OpenBar Madness

WHERE: Chamberí

The clue’s in the name when it comes to OpenBar Madness. This network of bars makes up one of Madrid’s most popular nightlife spots, where you can access (you guessed it) an open bar of unlimited drinks for a set period of time.

OpenBar Madness is a ticket system only available on the weekend, allowing you to hop from one bar to the next and drink your fill at each place. One of the best value for money options if you’re all about quantity rather than quality, the best thing to sample at OpenBar Madness is their aptly-named Madness Shot, which changes every week. As well as being strong and colorful (which we all know from the animal kingdom is a sign to stay away), it comes with a challenge or a dare to complete.

5 OF 10

Medias Puri

WHERE: Centro

Struggle with dress codes when it comes to Madrid bars? At Medias Puri, the only requirement is “you can wear anything you want, as long as you have socks on.” This disco venue is tucked away under the appearance of a typical neighborhood haberdashery and sits in the basement of the historic New Apolo Theatre.

Inside, you’ll find three dance floors with a mix of live shows, electronic music, R&B, 1980s disco music, and lots more. While it’s a little trickier to access (its entrance is only revealed on the QR code of your ticket), it’s worth it for the unique experience inside.

INSIDER TIPWatch acrobats, dancers, and actors while sipping a Puri Colada served in a glass shaped like a sock.


6 OF 10

Barbara Ann

WHERE: Salesas

Not sure where the name Barbara Ann comes from at this Madrid hotspot? Wait until the bartenders start singing the lyrics (it happens pretty frequently here) to the much-loved song by The Beach Boys, and you’ll start to understand why.

A haven of creative cuisine, live music, and plenty of atmosphere, Barbara Ann is the sort of place you’ll head for dinner before accidentally-on-purpose spending the whole night there. On the food front, you’ll find fusion cuisine (including Mexican, Asian, and American), while the drinks front has everything from unique cocktails to the classic wines, beers, and spirits list.

INSIDER TIPOn the weekends, this spot is open until 6 a.m. for those who like a late night.


7 OF 10


WHERE: Malasaña

If you’re an indie music fan, you’ll definitely enjoy Ochoymedio. This club sits in the former Sala Paqui, a legendary venue that once hosted Nirvana, Oasis, and Radiohead.

As well as live concerts, Ochoymedio has a great range of DJ-ran nights, including a weekly party called Tres a las Tres, which means “three at three,” where the bar plays three songs by three different artists at 3 a.m.

While it’s more in the “fun” party category rather than the “classy” one (as shown by its top cocktail, the vodka-based Cherry Pie), Ochoymedio promises plenty of memories no matter who you visit with.

8 OF 10

Bar H Emblemático

WHERE: Salamanca

Bar H Emblemático is a new bar inspired by old bars, to put it simply. Paying homage to Madrid’s most classic spots, this relative newcomer is owned by the same family behind the Hevia and La Máquina restaurants and comes with the cozy, elegant atmosphere to match.

Set in the stylish Salamanca neighborhood, Bar H Emblemático blends leather stools and vintage posters with a solo-traveler-friendly long wooden bar and a range of unusual tapas dishes that’ll make you schedule a return trip for dinner.

The perfect pairing? A portion of the croquetas de rabo de toro (bull tail croquettes) and the gin-based H Emblemático cocktail. While this spot closes a little earlier by Madrid standards (usually before 1 am), it’s well worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a classy drink.

9 OF 10

Harrison 1933

WHERE: Salamanca

You’ll take a trip back to Prohibition times when you visit Harrison 1933, a cocktail bar that pays tribute to the past. A haven of jazz, blues, soul, and funk bands, you can make yourself at home on its aged leather sofas, amongst vintage posters, and in close range of the piano and stage.

Inspired by the style of an English club, this sophisticated spot is famed for its Harrison’s Martini but also offers a range of other premium, signature cocktails. Drinks come curated by different themes, like the fine arts. One thing to note: the menu here changes pretty frequently, which means if there’s something you want to try, it may not be available in the future.

10 OF 10

Salmón Gurú

WHERE: Cortes

Don’t be confused by its name: Salmón Gurú is very definitely a cocktail bar rather than a fishmongers, although it does have a fishy origin. The name Salmón Gurú comes from the owner and bartender Diego Cabrera’s nickname, which he got from his love of salmon and his expertise in cocktails.

Often considered one of the best bars in the world, Salmón Gurú’s unique decor comes inspired by different themes, including 1950s tropical, Japanese, and comic books. Not all at once, of course. Each room has its vibe and music to match, along with innovative cocktails that use fresh ingredients, homemade syrups, and exotic garnishes. If you’re hungry, you’ll find a range of Indian dishes and desserts on the menu.