Nightlife, or la marcha, is often drawn out past 6 am in Madrid, and visitors always wonder how locals can get by on (what appears to be) so little shut-eye. Unlike in other European cities, where partying is a pastime geared only toward the young, there are plenty of bars and discotecas with mixed-age crowds, and it's not uncommon for children to play on the sidewalks past midnight while multigenerational families and friends convene over coffee or cocktails at an outdoor café. For those in their thirties, forties, and up who don't plan on staying out until sunrise, the best options are the bars along the Cava Alta and Cava Baja, Calle Huertas near Plaza de Santa Ana, and Calle Moratín near Antón Martín. Those who want to stay out till the wee hours have more options: Calle Príncipe and Calle De la Cruz, lined with sardine-can bars lined with locals, and the scruffier streets that snake down toward Plaza de Lavapiés. But the neighborhood most synonymous with la vida nocturna is Malasaña, which has plenty of trendy hangouts along Calle San Vicente Ferrer, Calle La Palma, and all around Plaza de Dos de Mayo. Another major nightlife contender is is Chueca, where tattoo parlors and street-chic boutiques sit between LGBT+ (yet hetero-friendly) bars bars, dance clubs, and after-hours clubs.

In general, cafés in Madrid can be classified into two groups: those that have been around for many years (La Pecera del Círculo, Café de Oriente), where writers, singers, poets, and discussion groups still meet and where conversations are usually more important than the coffee itself, and Nordic-style third-wave venues (Hanso, Toma Café, Hola Coffee, Federal Café) tailored to hip and hurried urbanites that tend to have a wider product selection, modern interiors, and Wi-Fi.

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  • 1. BarCo

    One of Malasaña's most popular nightclubs, for both its live shows (funk, jazz, and more) and late-night DJ sets, BarCo is a guaranteed good time. Acoustics here are a rung above the competition's.

    Calle del Barco 34, Madrid, 28004, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.–Wed.
  • 2. Bendito Vinos y Vinilos

    This unassuming stall inside Mercado de San Fernando is a wine-industry hangout—one of the city's top spots for sampling hard-to-find natural and biodynamic wines. Pair whatever wine the bartenders are drinking lately with Bendito's well-priced cheeses and charcuterie such as mojama (cured tuna) from Andalusia and ribbons of smoky cecina (beef "ham") from León. 

    Calle de Embajadores 42, Madrid, 28012, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 3. Café Berlín

    For a space so small, Café Berlín packs a huge acoustic punch and draws an international eclectic crowd. Before midnight, catch nightly live music acts in a panoply of styles (flamenco, swing, soul, and more); from around 1 am on, drop in for the disco-inflected DJ sets that ooze good vibes until 6 am.

    Costanilla de los Ángeles 20, Madrid, 28013, Spain
  • 4. Café Central

    Madrid's best-known jazz venue is swanky, and the musicians are often internationally known. Performances are usually 9–11 nightly, and tickets can be bought at the door or online.

    Pl. de Ángel 10, Madrid, 28012, Spain
  • 5. Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco

    Ask a local flamenco aficionado where to catch a rollicking, foot-stomping show and they're likely to recommend this brick-walled tablao, which is intimate enough that everybody feels like they're in the front row. A handful of Spanish dishes are available, but suffice to say, flamenco is Cardamomo's forte.

    Calle de Echegaray 15, Madrid, Spain
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  • 6. Cha Chá the Club


    For trendy twentysomethings, there may be no buzzier place to be than this converted multifloor movie theater that erupts into epic DJ-fueled parties. Buy tickets online ahead of time.

    Calle de Alcalá 20, Madrid, Madrid, 28014, Spain
  • 7. Macera Taller Bar

    The age-old technique of maceration rules at Macera, where bartenders treat spirits like blank canvases, imbuing them with surprising flavor combinations. Gin is steeped with fresh cilantro, lime, and jalapeño until it achieves a zippy grassy piquancy. Whiskey might be infused with almonds, fresh cherries, mint, or vanilla bean.There's a second, clubbier outpost on Calle de Ventura de la Vega 7 in Barrio de Las Letras.

    Calle de San Mateo 21, Madrid, 28004, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 8. Sala Cocó

    This club, with its wild color palette, huge dance floor, and better-than-average cocktails, is best known for its branded DJ nights, some of the most popular in the city. La Discoteca (formerly Chá Chá; tickets via on Fridays and Mondo Disko (Thursdays and Saturdays) rage until dawn with house and electronic music often by international DJs. 

    Calle de Alcalá 20, Madrid, 28014, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed.
  • 9. Sala Equis

    This trendy cinema-bar hybrid occupies a former adult-film theater. The first floor is a high-ceilinged bar with bleacher seating, deck chairs, cushy sofas, and an ivy-covered wall. Upstairs, there's a quieter lounge with velvet walls and warm neon lights; continue to the top floor and you've reached the main attraction, a 55-seat cinema with cocktail service that plays art-house films (buy tickets online in advance). The Spanish movies don't have subtitles, but there are frequent screenings of undubbed English films. 

    Calle del Duque de Alba 4, Madrid, 28012, Spain
  • 10. Teatro Kapital

    Madrid's most famous nightclub, Kapital has seven floors—each of which plays a different type of music (spun by top local and international DJs, of course)—and room for 2,000 partiers, plus a small movie theater and rooftop terrace. Dress to impress: no sneakers, shorts, or tanks allowed. VIP tables overlooking the dance floor (approximately €200 for four people) are a worthwhile splurge if you can swing it. 

    Calle de Atocha 125, Madrid, 28012, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 11. Viva Madrid

    The Argentine celebrity mixologist behind Salmon Guru has converted one of Madrid's oldest tabernas, built in 1856, into a see-and-be-seen cocktail hot spot. The building's architectural bones remain, from the carved-wood bar to the arched doorways to the tiled walls, but the rest, particularly the flamboyantly garnished drinks and well-dressed crowd, feels distinctly current.

    Calle de Manuel Fernández y González 7, Madrid, 28014, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 12. 1862 Dry Bar

    One of Madrid's swankiest and most skilled coctelerías, 1862 Dry Bar shakes and stirs immaculately prepared cocktails that incorporate sherries and unconventional aromatics. The only snag? On busy nights, drinks take forever to arrive.

    Calle del Pez 27, Madrid, 28004, Spain
  • 13. Bar Cock

    This classic—if hilariously named—bar (est. 1921) resembles a gentlemen's club with dark-wood interiors and cathedral-like ceilings. It serves a variety of cocktails to an older, business-y crowd.

    Calle de la Reina 16, Madrid, 28004, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 14. Bling Bling

    This glitzy ever-crowded nightclub attracts a well-heeled local crowd with house, reggaeton, and remixed pop tracks. Dress to impress: this isn't an easy door.

    Calle de Génova 28, Madrid, 28004, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 15. Bocanada

    Blink and you could miss this tiny, dimly lit wine bar presided over by a trained sommelier with a predilection for oddball bottles. Go on a weeknight, when you're more likely to snag a stool, and don't miss the modern tapas, which punch above their weight.

    Calle del León 5, Madrid, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 16. Cadavra Club

    Opened in 2022, Cadavra is a bumping underground nightclub with something for every type of reveler, from live music lovers (Wednesday jam sessions and concerts Thursday–Saturday) to techno-heads (Thursday–Saturday starting around midnight). 

    Calle del Caballero de Gracia 10, Madrid, 28013, Spain
  • 17. Café Belén

    The handful of tables at this rootsy bar are rarely empty on weekends, thanks to the cozy candlelit atmosphere and picture windows that open in summer. Expect a young, mixed crowd. Weeknights are more mellow.

    Calle de Belén 5, Madrid, 28004, Spain

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 18. Café La Palma

    This feel-good nightclub with a bar, chill-out area, and medium-size dance floor draws a mixed-age, LGBTQ+-friendly crowd with live performances and DJ sets that rage until 6 am.

    Calle de la Palma 62, Madrid, 28015, Spain
  • 19. Café la Palma


    There are four different spaces in this divey local favorite: a bar in front, a music venue for intimate concerts (pop, rock, electronic, hip-hop), a chill-out room in the back, and a café in the center room.

    Calle de La Palma 62, Madrid, Madrid, 28004, Spain
  • 20. Café Libertad 8

    Almost every classic Madrileño songwriter, musician, and poet has passed through this timeworn hangout, which opens at 3:30 pm (entertainment generally starts at 9). Acoustic guitar concerts priced at less than €10 a head are fantastic—and virtually devoid of tourists. Many shows are free (check the website for details).

    Calle de la Libertad 8, Madrid, 28004, Spain

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