You’ve already arrived in Madrid. Just for that, you deserve a congratulations hug. We don’t know if coming to the capital was your intention, or if it was a casualty. In any case, one thing is clear: you’ve got it right. The capital of Spain is literally crowded with places to have a drink, have lunch & dinner with friends and, of course, party. Have you come to enjoy Madrid to the fullest? Don’t get too far away from us; we’re your people.
Bars: where to drink
Salmón Gurú is a bar decorated with Spanish ’50s style. There, you can breathe a tropical air, as tropical are also the cocktails they prepare. These are so excellent, that the bar has been awarded several times because of them. The level of their food, in case you want to have a bite to eat, is also very high. And it is located in the centre, so, at Salmón Gurú, you will always find a super vibe.
Address: C/ Echegaray, 21 – 28014 Madrid
The Hat is one of the most beautiful and eye-catching hostels in Madrid. Its young and international atmosphere and its modern aesthetics make this corner a MUST for any student who visits or lives in the city. The whole building is powered by biomass energy and, in addition to enjoying a glass greenhouse, The Hat hides a secret terrace with unbeatable corners to stretch, sunbathe and have a drink. A must!
Address: C/ Imperial, 9 – 28012 Madrid
The ME Reina Victoria Hotel is known for many things, but above all, it is famous for its spectacular terrace. The views are incredible and allow to capture the essence of the beautiful urbanism of a city like Madrid. It is precisely those views that make it worth paying a little more for a drink. And yes, we are on the terrace of a hotel and that always inflates prices. The fact that there is live music, usually with DJs playing electronic records, is also a great added value.
Address: Pl. Santa Ana, 14 – 28012 Madrid
If you are going to live in Madrid and you still don’t know Espit Chupitos, we are happy to present it to you. This franchise has several establishments in most major cities in Spain. And Madrid, of course, is not an exception. Espit Chupitos offers more than 600 different types of shots. Also, on Mondays and Tuesdays, they are served for 1€. The rest of the days, for 2€. An absolute present, yeah. You will find them classified by categories, flavours, amount of alcohol included… and type of tests. Yes, there are shots you can only try if you pass a test (and they’re usually pretty ridiculous, so if you have the typical friend you want to chill down, you now know what to do with him/her).
Address: two venues in Madrid
We wanted to leave you a more punk and rock option. La Vía Láctea is a very famous bar in Madrid, precisely because of the rock and old-school atmosphere. It was a reference in the 80s. In fact, it still maintains its decoration since then. That’s its main feature, although you’re probably more interested in knowing that the drinks at La Vía Láctea are quite cheap.
Address: C/ Velarde, 18 – 28004 Madrid
Restaurants: where to eat
Actually, it’s a cider house, but anyone from Madrid will tell you people go to El Tigre to lunch or dinner. El Tigre has 3 stores in Madrid, and all of them will give you a tapa every time you order a beer or, of course, a cider. In the tapas you will get potato omelette, ham, bravas… Each tapa will be different. And each tapa will be bigger. 3 or 4 rounds and you’ll see that you’re not hungry anymore. We promise.
Address: several venues in Madrid
If it’s the best-known market in Madrid, it’s for a reason. The Mercado de San Miguel has up to 33 food stands with all kinds of tapas and drinks. It’s an incredible and truly unique place to both eat and drink. It’s almost always full of people and sitting is impossible. But you must know that to sit it’s not what people are looking for either. The Mercado de San Miguel is one of the great defenders of the culture of eating standing, something very typical of Madrid’s tapas places.
Address: Pl. San Miguel, 5 – 28005 Madrid
Did someone say churros? We know you can find them throughout the country, but Madrid has the privilege of having one of the best chocolate shops -here known as “chocolaterías”- (if not the best) in the country. And, yes, they also prepare churros. We’re talking about San Ginés, chocolate masters since 1894. With people like these in charge, it’s not surprising that people from Madrid lose their heads for a good ration of chocolate with churros. Centrally located (next to Puerta del Sol) and open 24 hours a day. What more could we ask for?
Address: Pzo. San Ginés, 5 – 28013 Madrid
Hindu food is not the most popular in Spain, but it is growing more and more over others such as Japanese or Italian as the years go by. If you want to try Asian food and get out of the norm, Indian Aroma is your place. It’s also close to Puerta del Sol, offers very, very cheap prices, has vegetarian options and is always quite full. It must be for a reason.
Transform “fast food” into “good food”. That is the main task, the motto with which Bacoa burst onto the culinary scene in Madrid. Most (if not all) of Madrid’s people agree that Bacoa makes the best gourmet burgers in the city. The Asturian hamburger with blue cheese, the Manchega hamburger with its Manchego cheese, the Gran Vegana with chickpeas and avocado… The repertoire has no limits. Gourmet cuisine, more than affordable prices, vegan options… Bacoa has it all; just you are missing!
Address: Ca. San Jerónimo, 3 – 28014 Madrid
Clubs: where to party
Party? In Madrid? Don’t worry, you’ll be here for a while. You could plan the whole year going to a different nightclub every night and, maybe, your course would end and you wouldn’t have been able to go to all of them yet. One of the most important, great and impressive ones is Fabrik. Actually, it’s not in Madrid, but on the outskirts, in a town called Humanes de Madrid. Is it lazy to go there? Maybe the first time. Once you’ve visited Fabrik, you’ll want to come back every weekend. It’s one of the largest macroclubs in Spain (the only one in Madrid) and its line-ups range from hardstyle dates to the craziest and most multitudinous university parties, passing, of course, through techno and EDM genres.
If you prefer to stay in Madrid city, you will also find a variety of musical styles and atmospheres. Commercial music in an elegant, smart and international atmosphere is at Teatro Barceló (formerly Pacha) and Teatro Kapital, while Madrid’s lifelong citizens tend to meet at Liberty and Graf. The concerts and parties at La Riviera, the daytime parties at Florida Retiro, the ode to indie-rock in the Ochoymedio sessions at But and the madness of Tuesdays at Bling Bling are also good examples of what Madrid offers at night. Prepare your best clothes.
If you want to know more about each party or nightclub, read some tips on how to dress, what day and what time to go and what music to expect in each place and time, we recommend you to spend 5 minutes on this other article, in which we tell you much more about the best nightclubs in Madrid. Lack of information won’t be your barrier problem!
If you’re looking for underground music and clubs in more intimate environments, where appearances don’t make a difference, Madrid also has a lot to offer. There are 2 underground clubs that stand out above the rest because of their powerful artistic line-ups and their authentic rave atmosphere. One is Ekho, hosted by the famous multi-purpose hall La Riviera. The other one is NOX, at LAB Espectáculos, on whose DJ booth many of the greatest DJs of the house and techno scenes have played.
We talked about Fabrik before. The Humanes de Madrid macroclub becomes an underground festival mainstage during Code and Natura Sunday parties. Both usually last about 12 hours, and feature line-ups with numerous headliners. As we say, that makes Fabrik become a festival. If you want to dance on Sundays and in the city, the After Brunch party at Florida Retiro (yes, a club in the middle of Parque del Retiro) is the best option. Other underground spots in Madrid are berlinClub, Mondo Disko, Stardust at Sala Cool, Upper Club and Goya Social Club.
If you want to know more about each of these parties and clubs, we recommend this article, in which we tell you more precisely the musical style and concept behind each party or brand, as well as the days on which you can visit each of them and the mood with which you must face them. Do you dare?
What you see in the image is the terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes. Relaxing and having a drink while enjoying a sunset with Madrid in the background is an unbeatable experience. But it’s also possible to find a DJ there, perhaps unknown to you, but with an enviable record collection. What if you discover your new idol?
Anyway, dancing in the heights of Madrid is something very recurrent, so there are countless alternatives. Another rooftop where you can spend great afternoons and even nights is the ME Madrid Reina Sofía, of which we have already spoken before. Here, having a DJ playing live is also common. The rooftops of Nubel and Terraza Atenas also offer small big corners where live electronic music is an indispensable condition to open doors. Whether it’s on weekdays and afterwork hours or on weekends and extended hours, here you’ll be able to dance with proper volume and, always, visually surrounded by one of the most precious urbanisms in the whole of Spain.
Finally, we’d like to talk to you about the rooftop of Hotel Puerta América. If you’re looking for more alternative electronic music, in an open-air and during friendly hours, this is the right choice for you. The roof is semi-open, which helps to create a feeling of club and, at the same time, outdoor terrace. Whether it’s the Deeplomatic parties or the vintage Back to 80′ & 90′ proposal, Hotel Puerta América is always an option to spend a good afternoon with friends and, who knows, to start what could end up being an unforgettable night somewhere else.
(Cover Image: © Xceed)