Madrid by Night: a handy guidebook for exploring the city's nightlife

The Madrid night has been the inspiration of many singers and poets. And Madrid is a magical city that at sunset shows its cheerful and captivating side.

Carolina Morales

Carolina Morales

9 min read

Madrid by Night: a handy guidebook for exploring the city's nightlife

Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid | @hermenpaca

Summer or winter, dusk or dawn, Madrid never rests. This is a city famous for its lively nightlife, where you can start with a quiet walk, enjoy the wide gastronomic offer of the city with a dinner in a restaurant and finish dancing until you can't go any more.

If you are looking for what to see and do in Madrid at night you will find everything, for everyone and at any time. It is common for people to go out during the week for an "afterwork" to reduce the fatigue of the day and meet in pubs, terraces, or bars to have a few drinks and eat an appetizer before dinner. But these are just some of the many alternatives for nightlife.

1. Enjoy a Flamenco show

Flamenco Show| ©Sebastian R
Flamenco Show| ©Sebastian R

If dancing is not your thing, Madrid also offers a number of alternative experiences for all tastes. And, of course, Flamenco shows are a must.

One of the classic customs that can be experienced in the heart of Madrid are the tablaos flamencos that abound in the city. When you book your ticket to a flamenco show you will live an immersion in the deep Spain that was tanned in an Arab and gypsy heritage.

Cantaoras, tapas, a good wine.... This is a show that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Buy your ticket to a flamenco show

2. Take a ghost tour or other night tours

Ghost Tour| ©A Muñoz
Ghost Tour| ©A Muñoz

Madrid is a city full of secrets that you can discover by booking a ghost tour. This type of activity will take you to discover the darker side of the Spanish capital, where ghost stories and tales of atrocities that once filled the cobblestone alleys abound.

This nocturnal expedition takes you through the city's oral tradition to relive the legends related to a tragic and bloody Madrid. Normally, the guides are dressed in medieval style clothing and the light of oil lamps make this a highly recommended experience.

Another suggestion I can give you is to check the schedule of several of the museums in the city, as sometimes they offer visitors night tours as, for example, the one organized by the Wax Museum.

Book a ghost tour in Madrid

3. Take a tapas tour through the most representative neighborhoods of Madrid

Metro exit, Chueca neighborhood| ©JA Abad
Metro exit, Chueca neighborhood| ©JA Abad

If Madrid' s best museums take you on a journey through art and history, the neighborhoods invite you to connect with urban stories and breathe a more bohemian and relaxed air.

I tell you about some of the most classic neighborhoods of the city that you can include in your evening plans and that are usually included when booking a historical tour of Madrid with tapas.

La Latina neighborhood

La Latina is very close to the city center, making it a perfect neighborhood to stay and enjoy the Madrid night walking through its narrow streets with squares and terraces where you can enjoy a good tapa or a drink.

It is also famous for having served as a set for most of the movies that have been filmed in Madrid. So it is not uncommon that, in its theaters or bars, you can meet movie stars, singers or television personalities.

As a curious fact, this neighborhood in Madrid owes its name to Beatriz Galindo, who was responsible for teaching Latin, among other things, to Isabel the Catholic and her daughters. Over the years she was respectfully nicknamed "La Latina" and her memory lives on in the name of this mythical neighborhood of the city.

Malasaña Neighborhood

Today it is considered one of the most alternative and avant-garde neighborhoods of the Spanish capital. This neighborhood was the axis of the so-called Movida Madrileña, a countercultural movement that emerged in the late 70's.

Malasaña is home to a large number of bookstores, bars, markets and restaurants. Curiously, it also owes its name to a woman, Manuela Malasaña, called by history heroine of the resistance during the Uprising of May 2, 1808 against the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Chueca Neighborhood

I also recommend the mythical neighborhood of Chueca, which for decades has marked the tradition of nightlife and became popular for being one of the spaces of expression of the LGTBI community in the city.

Among squares, art galleries, exclusive fashion stores, tattoo workshops, specialized bookstores or sex shops, you will enjoy a glimpse of Madrid's underground. It is no coincidence that Chueca is among the neighborhoods where the best wine and tapas tours in Madrid take place.

And while you're there, don't forget to visit the Casa de las Siete Chimeneas, with its ghost stories, or have a cocktail at the Chicote Museum, which was a meeting place for great artists such as Dalí, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Hemingway, among others.

Book a historical tour of Madrid with tapas

4. Visit the Santiago Bernabeu

Santiago Bernabéu by night| ©Cisco Pics
Santiago Bernabéu by night| ©Cisco Pics

The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is one of the icons of Madrid, especially for soccer fans, especially now that it is completely renovated and is an absolute work of engineering both inside and out.

Besides being able to book tickets to see a Real Madrid match at the Bernabeu and many other evening or afternoon shows, you can also simply stop by to see it from the outside and contemplate its magnitude in the middle of the city. Or even, if you prefer, you can book the Bernabeu tour to learn all the secrets of one of the most important soccer clubs in the world.

Book the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Tour

5. Enjoy the illumination of the Plaza de Cibeles and other places of interest

Cibeles Square| ©kuhnmi
Cibeles Square| ©kuhnmi

If due to time or itinerary issues, it was not possible for you to see all the magnificent places of Madrid during the day, do not worry, the night can also be the right time to see the main sights of the city, either on your own or by booking a night tour of Madrid.

I recommend you to visit the Plaza de Cibeles, which is illuminated at night and from where you can see other symbols of the city as the Cibeles Palace, now the headquarters of the City Council of Madrid.

Back to the center and near the Plaza of Spain, you can see the Temple of Debod, one of the best hidden secrets of Madrid. It is an Egyptian building more than two thousand years old, which was transported and rebuilt stone by stone, maintaining the orientation of its place of origin in the city of Aswan.

Book a night tour of Madrid

6. Visit Casa Botin restaurant

Inside Casa Botin Restaurant| ©Tamorlan
Inside Casa Botin Restaurant| ©Tamorlan

Can you imagine dining in the oldest restaurant in the world? Well, it is also one of the evening plans that Madrid has to offer.

Founded in 1725, Casa Botín is one of the most prized exponents of traditional Spanish cuisine and the perfect place to savor a roast suckling pig or lamb Castilian style, its two specialties. In addition, great figures of world history have been seated at its tables.

Being so emblematic, you can also get to know it when booking a night gastronomic tour of Madrid, as it is sometimes part of the itinerary of this activity.

Book a gastronomic night tour in Madrid

7. See Madrid from above

Rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid| ©Camilo
Rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid| ©Camilo

Although imported from New York, the trend of terraces and roof tops have become popular throughout Madrid and are a perfect option for those who enjoy open spaces to have a drink and share with friends. Here are some recommended ones:

Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid

I highly recommend going up to enjoy the beautiful view of the city from the rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, which also offers a varied program of exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances, and film seasons.

From here you will have a panoramic view of emblematic places, such as the Puerta de Alcalá or the lights of the Gran Vía, while you have a drink, as there is a restaurant service on the rooftop.

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 12:00 to 01:00 hours.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 10:00 to 02:00 hours.
  • Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 01:00 a.m.

Hotel Riu in Plaza España

And if adrenaline is your thing, you can't miss the vertigo as you go through the 100-meter-high glass passageway of the Hotel Riu in Plaza España.

And if after the scare you still have energy left, you can visit the famous skybar De Madrid al cielo, with a 360-degree panoramic view of the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, the Gran Vía and other iconic buildings of the city, while enjoying a good cocktail.

  • Last access: at 10:00 pm.

El Viajero

El Viajero, located in Plaza de la Cebada, offers what is probably one of the best windows to old Madrid. It is a pleasant space that invites you to enjoy one of its famous mojitos.

It also has a small market where you can get exclusive products and offers a menu that stands out for presenting tasty and healthy dishes.

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday: 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Weekends: 12:30 to 21:00 hours

Doña Luz The Madrid Rooftop

Doña Luz The Madrid Rooftop is proof that terraces are not just for summer. With an exceptional view over the Puerta del Sol, this place is equipped with modern heaters that will temper the worst winter.

It brings the flavor of the Caribbean with a menu inspired by the delicacies of South America, offering different types of fried foods, tacos and salads to delight any palate.

I recommend you try to book in advance, as the capacity is usually controlled to avoid congestion at the access.


  • Monday to Thursday: 18:00 to 24:00 hrs.
  • Fridays: 14:00 to 01:00 hours
  • Saturdays: 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Sundays and holidays: 13:00 to 24:00 hours

8. Visit one of the many cocktail bars in Madrid

Casino Gran Via Cocktail| ©Mariano P
Casino Gran Via Cocktail| ©Mariano P

Visiting one of the city's cocktail bars is another plan that I recommend for your night out in Madrid. More than just having a cocktail, you will live an experience in charge of expert bartenders and with a lot of creativity to make you have a great time.

The cocktail bar of the Casino Gran Vía, for example, is a good option to enjoy a signature cocktail with your favorite drink. The place has large windows, from where you will have great views of the city.

Another recommended place is the Hemingway Cocktail Bar in Casa Suecia. A classic-looking place that seems suspended in time, where you can enjoy a daiquiri, the favorite drink of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway.

9. Have fun in the nightclubs of Madrid

Uñas Ching Lee Nightclub| ©Acosta J
Uñas Ching Lee Nightclub| ©Acosta J

If you are one of those people who are always looking for something different, Medias Puri or Uñas Ching Lee can be the extravagant experience you have been looking for.

  • Medias Puri: located in Tirso de Molina square, it looks like a haberdashery from any neighborhood in Madrid. However, upon entering you will find a space with three dance floors, live shows and cabaret shows with a varied musical offer that has earned it the title of one of the best nightclubs in the city.

  • Uñas Chung Lee: an exotic and surreal experience that mixes theater, circus, acrobatics and cabaret, with an oriental decor full of bright and colorful colors.

And if you want something more typical I recommend what is considered one of the best nightclubs in Europe, the Kapital Theater, or also Joy Eslava and the Barceló Theater.

10. Experience a night of theater in Madrid

Teatro Real de Madrid at night| ©Contando Estrelas
Teatro Real de Madrid at night| ©Contando Estrelas

Just walking along the Gran Via in Madrid you can already realize the amount of theaters that the Spanish capital has. My recommendation is that you do not miss the programming they have throughout the year to enjoy a great night of theater in Madrid.

Depending on the play or show you want to see, you can find tickets from about 12 €. If you are looking for a more sophisticated evening, I recommend you to check the opera program at the Teatro Real in Madrid, so you can experience a night as you deserve in the Spanish capital.

I hope these options can help you plan a good night tour for every day you spend in Madrid.