Madrid Nightlife

Madrileños tend to make not one plan for the evening but three or four. While the busiest nights are Friday and Saturday (with Thursday a close runner-up), the locals go out every night and miraculously manage to work or study during the day.

Nightlife centres on three major districts - Chueca (Madrid's gay village, which specialises in trendy restaurants), Calle Huertas (traditional Spanish music, jazz clubs and bars) and Malasaña (mainly bars and clubs frequented by a young crowd).

The weekly Guía del Ocio (, available from kiosks, has information on concerts, theatre, film and other entertainment options. It also provides restaurant listings.

Bars in Madrid

Los Gabrieles

A former brothel run by gypsies, this bar has a tiled interior depicting Velázquez's ‘The Drunkards’, and is now a respectable bar for a young, chic clientele. Come early if you want to see the best of the interior décor. Later, the lights are dimmed and a party crowd moves in.

Calle Echegaray 17, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 369 0757.
Museo Chicote

This is Madrid's most famous cocktail bar and has preserved its 1930s interior - it is easy to imagine American novelist Ernest Hemingway relaxing here during the Civil War. It draws a sophisticated, drinks-aware crowd who know what they like. The drinks menu is one of the best in the city.

Grand Vía 12, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 532 6737.
Viva Madrid

A local favourite and popular with visitors thanks to the fabulous interior, with its painted tiles of Madrid scenes from the early 1900s.There is an impressive zinc bar, with a constantly-flowing beer tap and waiters ferrying out drinks. The bar is just off the Plaza Santa Anna.

Calle Manuel Fernández y Gonzáles 7, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 429 3640.

Clubs in Madrid

Serrano 41

True hedonists in the Spanish capital might want to try out some of the locals' haunts. A typical night might begin around 2300 with the exotic elite at this upmarket spot. It’s fairly commercial, and very upbeat, with funk and RnB as well as house.

Calle de Serrano 41, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 68 787 1045.

Live Music in Madrid

Café Central

International acts play regularly here, probably Madrid's top jazz venue. Again, it’s a pleasant café during the day, with live performances in the evenings, with shows generally starting around 2200.

Plaza del Angel 10, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 369 4143.
Café de la Palma

This is the venue of the moment for local, traditional singers, as well as flamenco and Cuban music acts. A regular café during the day, at night it transforms into a Moroccan-style lounge, with early evening concerts and then DJ sets later.

Calle la Palma 62, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 522 5031.
Moby Dick

A medium-sized venue in the Castellana district, it plays live pop and rock on weekdays and hosts DJs (reggae and rap) at weekends. The clientele is a charming mixture of foreigners and locals.

Avenida de Brasil 5 , Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 555 7671.

Classical Music in Madrid

Teatro de la Zarzuela

This theatre is the major venue for zarzuela - a genre loosely comparable to Viennese operetta, which encapsulates the idealised castizo (authenticity) of working class Madrid. The zarzuela season runs from June to September.

Calle de Jovellanos 4 , Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 524 5400.

Dance in Madrid


In the heart of Madrid, near Puerta de Sol, and close to Prado lies Cardamomo, a a great place to have a drink, dine and enjoy live, authentic flamenco. Here, locals and tourists enjoy nightly performances lasting around 90 minutes, with an extra show planned on Fridays and Saturdays.

Calle de Echegaray , Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 369 0757.
Teatro Real

Also known as El Real, this is one of the world’s grandest opera houses. It manages to juggle Spanish and international dance, along with their commitment to music and opera. It is located just in front of the Royal Palace.

Calle Vergara, Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 516 0660.

Theatre in Madrid

Teatro La Abadía

Since opening in 1995, this grand venue has met with great acclaim for its superb performances of international classics. It occupies an impressive space that was formerly the chapel of a boarding school from the 1940s. The season runs from September to June.

Calle Fernández de los Ríos 42 , Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 91 448 1181.