Whichever district you choose from this page, remember to arrive late (you might need a siesta to keep up). In Spain you shouldn't dream of going out for dinner before 9pm or drinks before 11pm. Read more about 24 Hours in Spain to make sure you get on Spanish time for your trip.
1. Madrid Nightlife: Malasaña and Chueca
The area north of Gran Via is where the best of Madrid's nightlife can be found. Walking up Calle Fuencarral from Gran Via, Malasaña is on your left and Chueca is on your right. Malasaña is where you will find the alternative music - indie, rock, pop and punk; Chueca is nominally the 'gay' district, but all sexual persuasions can be found dancing to straight-up (no pun intended) dance music.
Though technically illegal, large numbers of young people drink in Plaza de Dos de Mayo. (called botellón).
Read more about my favorite of the Malasaña Madrid Nightlife
- Metro: Tribunal, Chueca
- Where are the bars?: For Malasaña, around Calle de San Vicente Ferrer, Calle la Palma and Calle de Velarde. For Cheuca, the area around Plaza de Chueca.
2. Madrid Nightlife: La Latina
3. Madrid Nightlife: Huertas
The Huertas district, now officially a part of the Barrio de las Letras, is a diverse mix of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. All ages rub shoulders here. There are low-key bars for the older generations and bars offering free shots to the younger crowd. The closer you get to Puerta del Sol the more touristy it gets, with a number of large Irish pubs around there.
- Metro: Anton Martin, Sol.
- Where are the bars?: Around Calle Huertas.
4. Madrid Nightlife: Bajos de Argüelles
If old heavy metal is your thing, venture to where few tourists are seen. These bars are cheap and cheerful but the crowd is enthusiastic. Drink calimocho while you're here, the drink of choice for Spanish metallers since Jimmy Plant first started riffing.
- Metro: Argüelles.
- Where are the bars?: Calle de Andrés Mellado.