Every city in Europe has their own night scene and competes for the best nightlife. Those who have roamed the streets of Madrid, however, know the Spanish capital has no real competition.
Madrileños take their nightlife seriously, and when they say the city’s nightlife never stops, they mean it. Every day of the week, from Monday to Sunday, you can go out until the early hours of the morning.
Everywhere you turn your head, the city is filled with bars. So much so that the city government placed a limit on the number of new bars, and in fact there’s one bar for every 132 inhabitants. The worst part is deciding which ones you’re going to check out!
Thankfully, Madrid’s nightlife (and Spain’s, in general) is all about roaming the streets, hopping from tapas bar to tapas bar, hitting the nightclub, and ending with a churro with chocolate for breakfast. All this bouncing around for a while will help you know (almost) every one of the countless bars, nightclubs and pubs around Madrid.
To start enjoying la noche, here is Uniplaces’ own selection of the best clubs, bars, cocktails bars, pubs, tapas bars, and coffee shops just steps away from a Madrid Metro station!
Click on the map to see it in full size:
There’s something for everyone in Madrid. Whether you just want to have a nice chat over a drink or party until your feet beg you to stop, here is a mini dictionary for your night out in Madrid:
Clubs and bars = Discotecas y bares de copas
Bares de copas offer beer, mixed drinks, and sometimes cocktails. It’s where you usually head to around midnight after hitting the tapas bar.
Our favourite: Kapital
Cocktail bars = Coctelerías
A coctelería is the place to go to fend off your cocktails cravings. Here you can find the typical mojitos, margaritas and caipirinhas. It’s a great place for nice chats over a Bloody Mary.
Our favourite: 1862 Dry Bar
Pubs = Cervecerías
Just your usual pub.To ask for a beer, just ask for una cerveza or un tercio. You’ll end up with a bottled beer in hand, most likely Mahou, Cruzcampo and Estrella Damm, the most common national brands.
You can also ask for una caña, an almost half pint-sized draft beer that usually goes for about €1. You can also order un doble (a pint-sized draft beer twice the size of a cãna), un tubo (in a tall skinny glass) or una jarra (a big glass tankard or a pitcher).
Our favourite: Taproom
Tapas bar = Bar de tapas
The go-to place for the authentic Madrid nightlife experience is the tapas bar. Tapas are small food portions and are usually ordered a few at a time to share among friends. You can also order bigger portions, or raciones.
Sometime around 9:00pm, this is where Madrid’s nightlife usually begins, and there’s even a name for it — tapear. To tapear is to hop from one bar to another, asking for something to drink and eating a few tapas. Once you try it, you won’t want anything else in life.
Our favourite: Bar El Envite
Coffee shop = Cafetería
Everywhere you turn to in Madrid, there’s bound to be a cafetería in sight. In a cafetería you will always have the possibility to order sandwiches (bocadillos), tapas and raciones. They’re popular for meriendas, a mid-evening snack Spaniards will often order to keep them going until their late dinners. They are also full mid-morning, serving coffee or orange juice with croissants, toast, or churros.
Our favourite: La Infinito
Tip: Remember to hit the open-air terraces, or terrazas, when the sun is shining, especially around the Parque del Oeste and Paseo de Castellana. Get ready to hit the Madrilenian streets!
To know more about the Spanish capital’s nightlife, check out the best places to eat tapas in Madrid, know the 5 drinks you have to try when you get there, dance like there’s no tomorrow at the 5 clubs that definitely rule Madrid nightlife, make sure you know how to be a local in Madrid, and if you’re a serious foodie, stop by these 20 restaurants in Madrid that are to die for.
Thanks for reading this post!
Which places are you dying to get to know during your nights out in Madrid? Drop a line in the comment section to let us know!