Madrid is renowned for its brilliant nightlife, and one of the highlights of any visit to the Spanish capital is exploring the city’s bars. From converted independent cinemas to stylish rooftop bars, we take a look at some of the trendiest bars around.
Madrid is home to one of the highest number of bars per capita in the world, so visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to excellent places to grab a drink. From bespoke cocktails to a unique cocktail setting or incredible views across the city, we’ve got you covered with our list of the trendiest bars in town.
Until recently, Sala Equís was an erotic cinema, set back from the street just off the pretty Tirso de Molina square. Now, it has become one of the city’s coolest recent bars, its formerly seedy spaces transformed into a huge bar area, where the owners have kept the staggered cinema seating but added plants creeping up the walls, swings descending from the ceiling and a huge screen onto which they project old Hollywood films. One screening room remains, which now shows old classics and new independent releases.
Take the lift to the seventh floor of this cultural centre, just off Madrid’s Gran Vía, for one of the city’s best views. The 360-degree vistas from the rooftop bar are incredible and take in everything from the terracotta rooftops of old Madrid to the skyscrapers of its business district. Grab a comfy bed-seat and relax with a cocktail while watching the sun set over the city. It’s open all day, too, so consider going during the afternoon when the crowd is smaller and you’re more likely to get a good seat.
This cool, industrial-chic bar in Chueca specialises in homemade spirits and has arguably pioneered the artisanal cocktail in Madrid. Drinks are made with natural products through a process of maceration – soaking ingredients in a spirit to make artisanal cocktails like gin with red fruit, whiskey with cherries and vodka with lemon and lime.
One of the coolest new openings of 2018, Ginkgo Sky Bar is the cherry on the top of the VP Plaza España Design, a new hotel on Madrid’s Plaza España, just off the Gran Vía. It blends modern design with fantastic views over the city, from both the indoor bar area and the outdoor terrace, which borders the rooftop pool. The ideal place for a summer evening tipple.
Madrid might be hundreds of miles away from the nearest beach, but this bar, in the trendy Malasaña neighbourhood has found a unique solution: creating its very own city beach bar complete with a beach hut, low tables and – of course – plenty of sand. Head downstairs and enjoy some summer cocktails alongside a range of snacks from tacos to burgers, in what is surely one of Madrid’s most unusual bar experiences.
With its neon, lightning-strike ceiling and leopard-print lamps, Salmon Guru brings a big dose of fun to Madrid’s literary quarter. Located just off Plaza de Santa Ana, the bar is the brainchild of mixologist Diego Cabrera, who has combined serious cocktail craft with a creative spin on the genre offering both old favourites and cool new inventions. Tell the bartenders your favourite flavours and they’ll whip you up a bespoke cocktail.
1862 Dry Bar brings an old-school glamour to the streets of Malasaña. This cute cocktail bar packs in the crowds – especially at weekends – for its range of excellent classics and trendy new creations. Its name refers to the year the very first book of cocktails was published, and its ambience channels the classic drinking dens and speakeasys of old New York. Prop up the bar upstairs or head downstairs to the intimate seating area. Classic cocktails include the mint julep, old fashioned and margarita.