Madrid

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. Cha Chá the Club

    Sol | Dance Clubs

    For trendy twentysomethings, there's no buzzier place to be on Friday nights than this converted multifloor movie theater that erupts into epic...Read More

  • 2. Corral de la Morería

    Palacio | Music Clubs

    A Michelin-starred dinner followed by a world-class flamenco performance in the same building sounds too good to be true, but at Corral de la...Read More

  • 3. Pavoneo

    Chueca | Bars/Pubs

    Tourists have yet to discover Chueca's buzziest new gay bar, which caters to well-dressed creatives, selfie-snapping influencers, and models...Read More

  • 4. Salmon Guru

    Barrio de las Letras | Bars/Pubs

    Regularly featured on best-of lists, Salmon Guru is Madrid's—and perhaps Spain's—most innovative coctelería . Come here to impress your boss...Read More

  • 5. Toma Café

    Malasaña | Cafes–Nightlife

    The originator of Madrid's third-wave coffee revolution, Toma is a Malasaña institution and a favorite among expats and coffee-geek locals....Read More

  • 6. Cocó Madrid

    Sol | 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 (Thursday...Read More

  • 7. El Amante

    Palacio | Music Clubs

    Blocks from Plaza Mayor, this might be the closest thing you'll find in Madrid to a posh private New York club. Its creative and lush spaces...Read More

  • 8. El Viajero

    La Latina | Bars/Pubs

    You can find fine modern raciones here (the ultracreamy burrata stands out), but this place is better known among madrileños for its middle...Read More

  • 9. Radio

    Barrio de las Letras | Cafes–Nightlife

    This bar in the ME Madrid Reina Victoria is split between a bottom-floor lounge, ideal for after-work martinis, and a more exclusive rooftop...Read More

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