Madrid Nightlife

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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Madrid Nightlife

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Café del Círculo

  • Cafes–Nightlife

Spacious and elegant with large velvet curtains, marble columns, hardwood floors, painted ceilings, and sculptures, this venue inside...

Chocolatería San Ginés

  • Cafes–Nightlife

San Ginés is to Madrid what Café du Monde is to New Orleans. A national sensation, for generations this 19th-century café has been...

Cocó Madrid

  • Dance Clubs

This club, with its wild color palette, huge dance floor, and better-than-average cocktails, is best known for its Mondo Disko nights...

Costello

  • Music Clubs

A multiuse space that combines a café and a lounge, this place caters to a relaxed, conversational crowd; the bottom floor is suited...

El Sol

  • Dance Clubs

Madrid's oldest dance club continues to win over its patrons with all-night dancing to live music (around midnight Thursday–Saturday)...

Joy Eslava

  • Dance Clubs

A downtown club in a converted theater, this is a long-established standby that attracts a varied, somewhat bourgeois crowd of locals...

Elástico

  • Dance Clubs

An indie, hip crowd flocks to Elástico, the Saturday-night (from 1 am to 6 am) pop and indie session at Moon club; it has two different...

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