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Nightlife in Madrid

A guide to Night Clubs in Madrid and Spain including link to a list of the top ten night clubs in Spain as recommended by El Pais newspaper.

Our guide to Rooftop Terrace Bars in Madrid, the best places to hang out if you're in the city during the hot summer and Autumn months.

For some Recommended Clubs in Madrid click here or please choose a theme as presented below:

Jazz and Blues - Magic - Fashionistas - Cocktails - To Take A Coffee - Open-Air Terrazas
To Have A Beer - An Exotic Night - For Those About To Rock - Salsa!
Flamenco - House Beats - For Artists - To Play Games - Chill Out

Sometimes it seems as if Madrileños don't sleep. These guys are bionic when it comes to partying and some say this is how they earned their nickname of The Cats, because they live at night. The younger Madrileños will often dance all night then go home, freshen-up and go straight to work and you can often find wizened oldsters wandering their way home at two or three in the morning after a 'session' as well! A listing of all the night-time venues, bars and clubs etc. would be pointless, there's simply too many to index, but here Madrid-Uno provides an overview of the main nightspots and party places that have come to his attention, plus some useful resources concerning night time diversions in Madrid.

Some useful pointers concerning Night Life in Madrid

Fun Places To Go At Night

Club Moe (or 'Acerca de Moe')

  • What: Night Club / Bar de Copas
  • Location: Alberto Alcocer 32,
  • Summary: One of the best places for live Jazz in the capital (mid-week usually) and at weekends very groovy DJ's.

Presented on two floors this club is possibly the best bet if you're looking to go out in the northern part of the city. Open from 1800 and closing at 0530 in the morning Acerca de Moe - cool night club on calle Alberto Alcocer.Club Moe on C/. Alberto Alcocer, is an excellent choice if you're looking for something a bit laid back but with cutting edge music. The place is best known for its live jazz sessions (including pick-up jam sessions on Wednesdays) but on Friday and Saturday nights you get house DJs on the ground floor and soul-jazz-funk in the basement. There is also a sister club on C/. Santisima Trinidad.

One particular night that Madrid-Uno attended will live long in the memory. The DJ, Marcos Aretio = Markmus (at least, I think it was him) was SUPER AWESOME. Madrid-Uno danced for 4 hours straight, with great abandon, surrounded by equally delighted funksters, and several lady partners who just picked up on the groove straight away. The DJ cannot be praised enough. He played great, rare tunes which were excellently programmed and delivered top-class technical skills. Easily the best session this Englishman has had since he moved to this city.

Calle La Palma

This is one of Madrid-Uno's favourite streets in the city because he's never had a bad night here. It's quite long and on a short visit you won't be able to visit every place on it but here are some of the best:

  • Palma Tres - This colourful, modern bar which starts the street (if you're beginning Tribunal end) is always popular.
  • El Burrito Mexicano - Bright cafe / bar which will fill you up with trad mexican dishes, spanish tapas and very good Caipirinhas.
  • Blue Note - A laid back jazzy feel in this cafe / bar.
  • La Vaca Austera - A proper bar de copas and little further up on the other side of the street there's Gaspar 33 which specialises in cocktails.
  • Cafe La Palma - Hosts concerts and DJs in a relatively small but intimate venue popular for breaking bands and international DJs. Cafe La Palma for concerts and Djs. It's modern in set-up and has a main dance floor with stage at one side and a couple of chill-out rooms with bean bags and comfy chairs etc. From Thursday to Sunday you may have to pay an entrance fee (which will get you 1 drink at the bar) of 3-6 Euroweenies but sometimes it's free as well. Depends on the band / DJ. Very strong on house / techno / minimal sounds. Project Upload is a regular experimental session where they feature modern music and visual artists usually held at the end of the month.
  • El Maño - Seemingly always full this is a tavern offering some fairly priced tasty grub and decent table wines and vermouths. Good for groups because you can shove the tables around where you want them.
  • La Caracola - Do you know what a Mojito is? If not you should go and find out at this compact but lively bar. Each mojito is freshly made, they always crush the ice in front of you, by bar staff who work incredibly hard all-night serving a crowd of twenty-to-thirty something party goers. Abstract art on the walls, tables and chairs at the back, retro but nicely hip sounds on the stereo (lots of Violent Femmes, Rolling Stones, Sonic Youth) and also offers nice snack food such as toasties and a few pinchos. If Caracola is full on either side you have two other good bars to choose from - Estocolmo and Ancla Maria - plus on the other side of the street El Derviche, which is also popular.
  • Other good places to check out on C/ La Palma: Aroma+ (cafe), Lola Loba (bar), Louie Louie (bar playing classic Rock n' Roll from the 50s and 60s mixed with rockabilly and rock-pop - great fun!), 47 (cocktails and tapas), Bar Jose, La Palmera (bar)

    Sala BarCo

    Open most nights it's best known for live concerts on the funky-jazz-blues side of things, with some flamenco fusion. But after 1.00am it's DJ time, playing laid-back funky hip-hop with a latin tinge (think De La Soul if they came from Rio de Janeiro). 8 euros to get in but you get a drink with that. The crowd is mostly 20s to 30s and cool. I mean this in the sense that there's no coke-heads (rare in this part of town) and people are dressed casually but fashionably. Plus, they dig the music, which again is rare because at times, and I say this with a deep love of the people, most Madrileņos are more interested in the sound of their own voice than the entertainment, whatever entertainment it may be. Can get absolutely rammed at weekends, which is a downer.

    One major positive about this place is that it has the best acoustics and best sound equipment. The ceilings have been properly covered with sound insulation materials and the speakers, amps, mixing desks etc. are top drawer. Clear, crisp top notes, satisfying mid-range, profound and well formed bass - it really augments the experience.

    Sala La Riviera

    One of Madrid-Uno's favourite DJs was headlining down at La Riviera tonight - Wally Lopez. Located down at the Paseo Bajo de la Virgen del Puerto this is one of the best concert venues in Madrid, with a most excellent soundsystem, although on the approach it can seem a little unprepossessing since the never-ending building works on the ring-road by the river Manzanares mean the surroundings are one big mess of dust and concrete. Flyer for L'inferno productions night featuring Wally Lopez. 20 Euroweenies entrance fee and once inside you are presented with a large oval shaped hall, with a bar in the middle set-up with palm trees and tropical plants. There are more bars around the side which are set into the tiered ledges (+ more tropical scenery - you feel like you should be wearing a flowery shirt and sandals) and Madrid-Uno takes a cerveza from one of these and takes a perch looking down on the main stage.

    The warm up DJs are playing, Luque and Vitti, but they're not paying attention. Madrid-Uno hates it when a DJ turns his back on the audience and chats to his mates instead. With mp3's and CD mixing software the art of mixology is much simplified and anyone can drop a couple of tunes together, but there's still scope for playing around with the levels etc. and interaction with the crowd. These guys are taking the piss. Not good. Madrid-Uno takes the time to explore the place further and finds a smaller room playing more hard-housey stuff tucked into a corner by the stage. There's also more, err, naughty stuff going on in here and the strobes and UV pick out various sniffing and popping action. Let's leave 'em to it shall we? Mind you, the action back on the main stage isn't getting any better. The music is great, how Madrid-Uno loves 4 to the floor house, but we now have podium dancers, they're called the Demoniaques apparently, and they're thoroughly disinterested too. Why do clubs and promoters insist on employing pro-dancers? Don't they understand that the punters just think they're a bunch of annoying poseurs?

    Eventually, by about 3.00 am, the main man appears. And proceeds to screw up the 1st mix when the sound levels drop very low. Wolf whistles ensue and he's quick to fix it but it's kind of symptomatic of the whole night. Even the reserved area on the main dance floor, where the VIPS get to sit, is rather pathetic - being just a cordoned off area where those who have the right tickets get to be stared at by the rest of us, and they still have to get their drinks from the public bars. LOL. Madrid-Uno gives up by about 4.30 am and is pleasantly surprised to find a hot food fry up stall operating just outside the venue. It's a bitterly cold night, the breath almost freezing when you exhale, but a generously filled bacon sarny for only 2 Euroweenies warms the insides and probably rates the best part of the evening.

    In summer La Sala is transformed into a minimalist superclub (capacity for well over five thousand people) with outdoor terrace area and tropical gardens. Fancy a dance around a flower pot, love? Often features live gigs of latest English and American bands as well as top Spanish acts. Very popular in the summer for the late twenties to thirties disco boppers when it opens at midnight until 5.00am Tuesday to Sunday through the season.

    Fabrik

    Rather than describe it, here's a clip of Tiesto playing Fabrik in June 2007. This should give you an idea of what it's all about.