Must-see nightlife in Madrid

  • People are walking at Joy Eslava theater under Christmas decorations on a sunny day in December next to the Royal Theater and Puerta del Sol central square downtown Madrid

    Teatro Joy Eslava


    The only things guaranteed at this grand old Madrid dance club (housed in a 19th-century theatre) are a crowd and the fact that it’ll be open (it claims…

  • Café Comercial in Madrid was established in 1887, this bi-level restaurant & bar offers Spanish fare in an old-world setting.

    Café Comercial

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    The city’s oldest cafe has a special place in the hearts of many madrileños. Open for more than a century, it’s still pulsing with life. Any day of the…

  • Museo Chicote: cocktails & bar snacks in an iconic 1930s locale with old photographs & live music performances.

    Museo Chicote


    This place is a Madrid landmark, complete with its 1930s-era interior, and its founder is said to have invented more than 100 cocktails, which the likes…

  • Madrid's La Violeta is a quaint bistro

    La Violeta


    This breezy little Chamberí bar has many calling cards – among them, great music and a sense of being a real old-style Madrid neighbourhood bar. But we…

  • Diurno Cocktails & global dishes served in a sophisticated restaurant & bar with a DVD rental service.



    One of the most important hubs of barrio life in Chueca, this cafe-bar has become to modern Chueca what the grand literary cafes were to another age. It’s…

  • MADRID - JUNE 28, 2013: Churros and hot chocolate at the Chocolateria San Gines; Shutterstock ID 1678244413; GL: 65050; netsuite: 65050; full: poi; name: erin

    Chocolatería de San Ginés


    One of the grand icons of the Madrid night, this chocolate con churros (Spanish doughnuts with chocolate) cafe sees a sprinkling of tourists throughout…

  • Café Belén in Madrid

    Café Belén


    Café Belén is cool in all the right places – lounge and chill-out music, dim lighting, a great range of drinks and a low…

  • 1862 Dry Bar features signature & classic cocktails served in an elegant street-level bar or in a cozy vaulted cellar.

    1862 Dry Bar

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    Great cocktails, muted early-20th-century decor and a refined air make this one of our favourite bars down Malasaña's southern end. Prices are reasonable,…

  • Delic

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    We could go on for hours about this long-standing cafe-bar, but we’ll reduce it to its most basic elements: nursing an exceptionally good mojito or three…

  • La Venencia


    La Venencia is a barrio classic, with manzanilla (chamomile-coloured sherry) from Sanlúcar and sherry from Jeréz poured straight from the dusty wooden…

  • Taberna El Tempranillo

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    You could come here for the tapas, but we recommend Taberna El Tempranillo especially for its wines, of which it has a selection that puts numerous…

  • Plaza Menor


    Killer cakes backed by killer cocktails served in a subterranean cavern frequented by in-the-know locals – Plaza Menor is a fab place for an intimate…

  • Macera's entrance on Calle San Mateo.



    This bar defies labels – literally. Macera’s crew distils all of their own spirits, which makes for both an impressive cocktail list and a striking…

  • The view of Madrid from Nice to Meet You.

    Nice to Meet You

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    This rooftop bar occupying the top floor of Dear Hotel has a spectacular view of Plaza España and Malasaña. Come any time of day to sit down with a…

  • Salmón Gurú


    When Sergi Arola's empire collapsed and the celebrated Le Cabrera cocktail bar went with it, Madrid lost one of its best cocktail maestros, Diego Cabrera…

  • Gran Café de Gijón


    This graceful old cafe has been serving coffee and meals since 1888 and has long been favoured by Madrid’s literati for a drink or a meal – all of Spain’s…

  • Saint Georges Cafe


    Javier and Zoë, a Spanish-Australian couple, named their cafe after St Georges Road in Zoë's native Melbourne, and the Aussie legacy doesn't end there…

  • La Hora del Vermut


    Out in the otherwise sedate streets east of El Retiro, this fine neighbourhood bar is one of the best places in Madrid to try vermut (vermouth), from the…

  • Café-Restaurante El Espejo


    Once a haunt of writers and intellectuals, this architectural gem blends Modernista and art-deco styles, and its interior could well overwhelm you with…

  • Boconó Specialty Coffee

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    Close attention to every detail makes Boconó special – coffee is roasted on-site and fanatics have a choice of styles: espresso, AeroPress and Chemex,…

  • Arima


    Yes, the tapas here are outstanding, but they play second fiddle to the vermouths – the selection of one of Madrid's favourite tipples from across Spain…

  • El Eucalipto

    La Latina & Lavapiés

    This fine little bar is devoted to all things Cuban – from the music to the clientele and the Caribbean cocktails (including nonalcoholic), it’s a sexy,…

  • Vermutería Chipén


    In a lovely bar flooded with natural light, Chipén serves up more types of vermouths than you knew existed, as well as cavas, champagne and spirits. It's…

  • La Tape

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    Long before craft or artisan beers took hold in Madrid, La Tape was onto it. The menu has dozens of Spanish and international beers, as well as a…

  • Lola09


    A happy Madrid crowd packs this place out on weekends. The food's good, but it's the designer cocktails that make the bar stand out. If you get here any…

  • Catarsis


    We like a cocktailier who mixes things up a bit. Among the more than 30 cocktails he produces, Carlos Moreno here does some really cool stuff – try the …

  • Malpica Bar

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    Taking a modern slant on the idea of an old Madrid taberna (tavern), Malpica has white walls, strategically placed greenery and wood furniture. Great…

  • La Azotea


    Order a cocktail, then lie down on the cushions and admire the vista from this fabulous rooftop terrace. It's a brilliant place to chill out, with the…

  • El Sainete


    Craft beers from around Spain and elsewhere, some on tap, make this place stand out, although the tapas also caught our attention – a fine combination if…

  • The entrance to Taberna Averías.

    Taberna Averías


    This tiny bar boasts a mighty wine list, with over 400 wines from nearly every region in Spain. Chalkboards highlight recommended sips by type, including…

  • Antigua Casa Angel Sierra.

    Antigua Casa Ángel Sierra


    This historic old taberna (tavern) is the antithesis of modern Chueca chic – it has hardly changed since it opened in 1917. As Spaniards like to say, the…

  • Ricla's Facade near Plaza Mayor.

    Bodegas Ricla


    Bodegas Ricla is so tiny you might be rubbing haunches with other customers as you sip your wine. For more than 100 years, it's been serving tasty…

  • Chocolatería Valor's outdoor patio on a weekend morning.

    Chocolatería Valor


    It may be Madrid tradition to indulge in chocolate con churros around sunrise on your way home from a nightclub, but for those who prefer a more…

  • The no-nonse, slightly gritty entrance to La Bicicleta.

    La Bicicleta

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    Combining a slew of hipster passions – bicycles, urban art and good coffee – this trendy place has become one of the hottest places in Malasaña. It…

  • Some of the delicious cookies at Coffee & Kicks.

    Coffee & Kicks


    Coffee & Kicks is the place for aficionados. You can get your flat white on or try one of the pastries while perching on a stool and flipping through a…

  • The list of beers on tap at The Stuyck Co

    Stuyck Co

    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    With a list of craft beers on tap that changes weekly, Stuyck Co is one of the best places in town for connoisseurs to sip a pint or two. The bare brick…

  • Areia's bar restaurant facade.



    The ultimate lounge bar by day (cushions, chill-out music and dark secluded corners where you can hear yourself talk or even snog quietly), this place is…

  • Gorila's exterior, complete with Malasaña pride.


    Malasaña & Conde Duque

    Gorila is one of those multipurpose Malasaña bars that's as good for breakfast as for a night-time beer or cocktail. The split-level space is watched over…

  • Anticafé


    Bohemian kitsch at its best is the prevailing theme here and it runs right through the decor and regular cultural events (poetry readings and concerts)…

  • Teatro Kapital


    One of the most famous megaclubs in Madrid, this seven-storey venue has something for everyone, from cocktail bars and dance music to karaoke, salsa, hip…