Madrid is full of bars, everywhere you turn there is somewhere you can grab a drink and hang out with friends, relaxing and chatting.
Most bars are the standard cerveza on draught or pre-mixed tinto verano kind of Spanish cafe/bar but there are also lots of awesome cocktails bars, music venues and night clubs in Madrid for a big night out.
This is a guide to the liveliest areas or neighbourhoods, known as “barrios” in Madrid Centro. Where you can find the highest concentration of bars, clubs and nightlife in the city centre. A list of some of the most popular venues in each barrio, plus a few of my favourite places to go for a great night out.
Tip: As we’ve talked about in What to drink in Madrid a night out here starts really late. Usually night bars don’t open until 9pm and night clubs don’t open until midnight, so don’t head out too early.
Heres a map of where each of the featured barrio’s can be found:
The liveliest barrios in Madrid
This is the famous tapas bar area of Madrid. You can enjoy tapas anywhere in the city but here there lots of traditional style bars one after the other on the street, Cava Baja. There are also lots of little squares and street side terraces areas for enjoying drinks outside. After a chilled evening of pinchos and caña check out the below fab nightlife spots in the La Latina area.
The neighbour of La Latina barrio and home to the big El Rastro flea market. This area of Madrid is quite residential and culturally diverse. It’s a funky and laid-back area with some great bars hidden away from the usual tourist trail. After an afternoon wandering the market and taking photos of awesome street art be sure to check out the below Lavapies gems.
This is the cool and trendy area and there are lots of interesting, quirky little bars here. Each one being very different to the next but all hoping to be the next popular spot for locals to hang out. This is the place to be seen, where you will find that hip new place that’s been popping up on Instagram. Below are the current top nightlife bars.
This area is known as the gay area of Madrid. The whole city is very LGBT friendly but here you will find the biggest selection of gay bars and clubs. So, no surprises why you’ll find lots of fun and vibrant nightlife here. Rainbow flags are everywhere and the Chueca metro station is even decorated with rainbow walls. Check out the awesome bars listed below.
Plaza Santa Ana is that the heart of Las Letras. It’s a huge square of bars and restaurants and every side street running away from it is full of great places to go drinking. The side near to Retiro park and the art and museum area of Madrid is little more upscale and there are lots of nice Hotel bars. The side closer to Sol is where lots of lively bars and clubs are. See the list below.
The best bars and clubs in Madrid
In La Latina barrio
Hopper – A nice spot to have a mojito or a chilli margarita! The staff are really friendly, make great cocktail recommendations and even check back to see if your drinks are ok (that NEVER happens in Spain).
The Caravan – A tiny little cool bar hidden round the back of Plaza Paja. Quirky décor and well worth hunting down for a decent cocktail.
El Bombon – A really cute tropical themed bar with a fun décor and Salsa nights downstairs.
La Musa Latina – Enjoy a nice Aperol Spritz in the cool, contemporary surroundings.
El Viajero – A popular bar with a fun atmosphere it has 2 levels, a street side terrace and rooftop area.
In Lavapiés barrio
La Playa de Lavapiés – Enjoy a great GinTonic with a laid-back beach vibe.
El Pedal – Craft beer specialists with lots of interesting local beers.
La Noche Boca Arriba – A busy night club/bar, with lots of different rooms, all furnished with colourful, crazy retro furniture.
Kapital – The biggest and most famous nightclub in Madrid. It’s a huge theatre style venue with 7 floors, playing all types of music. Strict entrance rules, so make sure you are well dressed and not drunk already.
In Malasana barrio
1862 Dry Bar – A dark and inviting speakeasy style bar with a fab selection of classic cocktails on the menu.
La Coquette – A cosy Blues bar with live music and a good selection of bottled beers.
Santa Maria la Cocteleria – Nice bar where cocktail mixing and serving is taken really seriously. Excellent quality cocktails and the bartenders know their stuff.
Tuppaware – A weird and wonderful, kind of bar with mad décor and a lively atmosphere.
El Perro – A cavernous underground space, with live music and alternative DJ’s.
Teatro Barcelo – A big nightclub popular with locals. It has a dress-code (no t-shirts) and can be a little strict with tourists. Expect queues from around 2am onwards.
In Chueca barrio
Del Diego Cocktail Bar – Known as one of the best cocktail bars in Madrid. The bar area is small and always packed, has a retro 60-70’s hotel bar vibe.
Bar Cock – A grand French bohemian style bar. Its famous for its cocktails and vast selection of spirits. Nearly always a queue to get in.
El Intruso – A funky bar with Live bands on the weekend followed by a DJ. Most people drinking here are 30+ so a nice, mature vibe.
Why Not – An old school gentleman’s club décor but attracts a young, vibrant crowd for dancing.
LL Bar – Fabulous Drag Queen acts and fun shows.
In Las Letras barrio
Café Central – The place to go for late night live jazz.
Matute 12 – Contemporary bar with interesting décor, nice food menu and fab cocktails.
Baton Rouge – Interesting cocktails designed by awesome bartenders.
Planet Club – A small nightclub with a fun & relaxed atmosphere.
With this amazing selection of places to go out in Madrid you can never have a dull night! Madrid is an awesome city with very vibrant and interesting nightlife. I hope this guide to the best barrios and my favourite bars gives you some ideas for where to have a great night out when you next visit the city.
Have to been out drinking in Madrid? Where did you go? Tell me all about it in the comments box below 🙂
Do you live in Madrid? Where is your favourite cocktail bar or night club? I’d love to hear about it, I’m always looking for a great cocktail!
Check these other Madrid travel guides by Seeking the Spanish Sun…