Madrid, the City That Never Sleeps
Madrid nightlife is a world reference. It is one of the world's liveliest cities, a city that never sleeps. Madrid nightlife is known because of its wide choice and its extensive schedule, unique throughout the world: it goes on all night until the sun rises! Madrid clubs and pubs are open all year, all week around. While in most European countries the party finishes around 3 am, in Madrid it extends until the small hours. Madrid's nightlife has something for everybody, whatever your preferences, age or nationality.
Spanish nightlife starts very late, no matter if you are going out for dinner or to party. Restaurants start serving dinner at 20.00 pm until 23.30 pm, and pubs don't get busy until 24.00. In fact, if you go at 24:00 to a club, you will find it empty. Madrileños like to be on the street all the time, going from bar to bar, from bar to nightclub, and from nightclub to after-hours.
After the fall of Franco's dictatorship, in the mid-eighties, Spain experienced a visceral change, going from a strong repression to a complete freedom. Currently it is raising the popular term "movida madrileña", which is related to a change in Madrid's nightlife.
Nightlife is so plentiful in Madrid that the city can be divided into night districts. Each one carries a special style, music or people.
Chueca (metro Chueca)
Chueca is the gay neighbourhood of Madrid, where gay and straight people can freely mix. It has the most diverse atmosphere of the city. Chueca nightlife is sleek and refined. The most fashionable restaurants in Madrid are located in this area.
Huertas (metro Sol)
Huertas is the Madrid tourist centre. This is the land of Irish pubs, pop music and foreigners and the perfect area to go and party from Monday to Thursday. There are some authentic tapas bars around.
La Latina (Metro La Latina)
La Latina is in fashion. It is the oldest part of the city and the perfect neighbourhood to have a quiet drink. La Latina is a Sunday afternoon favourite. You will find madrileños packed into the bars, drinking beer in the squares or chilling out at sought-after terrace spots. It is also a great area to try tapas, and have some drinks on any night of the week. It has a laid-back vibe.
Malasaña o zona de Fuencarral (metro Bilbao o Tribunal)
In Malasaña you'll find young, alternative, rocker and punk people. This is the most alternative area of the capital. Many people compare Malasaña with Camden Town in London or the East Village of New York. Malasaña may not be the counterculture hotbed it was during "La Movida", but it still packs a punch all around Plaza Dos de Mayo and its surroundings.
Lavapiés (Metro Lavapiés)
If you want to enjoy a multicultural atmosphere, head to Lavapiés. It's inhabited by hippies and a large immigrant population, but places to have a drink or a meal with a sleeker look are sprouting up everywhere. The prices here are a bit cheaper than the rest of Madrid. From Indian restaurants and Brazilian bars to clandestine chill-outs and flamenco locals or heavy metal pubs, Lavapiés is, hands-down, the city's multicultural scene.
Argüelles - Moncloa (metro Moncloa)
Located in the north west of the city, it is the prime university area. Here you'll find a young atmosphere from the early afternoon in the tapas area and cafes till night time. It is famous because of the "bajos de Argüelles": they are the basements or ground floors of the buildings, full of bars and pubs. Close to Argüelles there is Moncloa, with most of the electronic music clubs of the city.
Most nightclubs open from Thursday to Saturday from midnight. Closing time depends on the club, but usually it is stretched until 7:00 in the morning. For those who love to party, the after-hours are open until 12:00am the following day.