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The Ultimate Nightlife Guide to Madrid

Madrid's nightlife scene has something for everyone  | © Bruce Turner/Flickr
Madrid's nightlife scene has something for everyone | © Bruce Turner/Flickr
The nightlife scene in Madrid is always a happening aspect of the city, regardless of what style of music you’re into. Check out this handy guide to find out which bars and clubs have just the style of music you’re looking for.

For EDM lovers

If you want to dance all night long to techno and house, there’s plenty of spots in Madrid that you should head to. Some of the most famous nightclubs around the city typically have EDM playing, but don’t bother heading over before 1 a.m., as the clubs will be pretty dead. Kapital is one of Madrid’s most well-known nightclubs. It has several floors with various kinds of music, but the main floor is almost always playing some version of house music. Penélope Madrid is another great club if you want feel your heart pounding to the beats on the dance floor. They do have concerts during the week and often play many different styles of music, but usually on the weekends, it’s deep house.

Dance all night long at Penelope Madrid © A + J Fotografos / Penelope Madrid

A little rock n’ roll

Madrid has a solid rock ‘n’ roll scene, and if you want to see live metal, indie and rock bands, check out the lineup at Independence Club. Make sure to sign up on their website in order to get on the list. Tupperware in the hip Malasaña neighborhood plays all sorts of music, but tends to focus on rock music from the 1980s. Plus, their quirky decor will put you in a headbanging mood.

Hip to the hop

Hip-hop isn’t as big in Madrid as in other capital cities around Europe, but it certainly has a cult following. There’s a few different spots around the city that offer one hip-hop night a week where you can hear newer jams, old school hits and even some RnB. Serrano 41 has hip-hop on Sundays and Bogui Jazz will sometimes have a weekend hip-hop night downstairs in the basement. Make sure to check Bogui’s event calendar, as they also do jazz concerts upstairs.

Nightlife in Madrid © Hugo Sanchez.

Spanish pop tunes

Spanairds love their pachanga music, which roughly translates to Spanish pop, with perhaps the occasional song in English thrown in, a little reggaeton and maybe a Rihanna song or two. So many clubs play this style of music, and if you’re looking for something late at night, try La Cartuja or Samsara. If one’s too crowded, try heading to the other—they’re just down the block from each other near the Puerta del Sol.

Salsa your heart out

If you’re dying to hear some salsa and bachata music, or even looking for a place where you can dance along, Azúcar is one of the most famous salsa clubs in Madrid. Get ready for some serious Cuban moves here. El Son is just as fun, and both of these spots stay open until the wee hours of the morning. However, they can both be extremely crowded, so get there early to snag a good spot, unless you plan on occupying the dance floor the whole time anyway.

Salsa dancing is a popular activity in Madrid │ © Vladimir Pustovit/Flickr

Try some a bit different

If you’re in the mood for something musical but not sure what, head to the famous Cuevas de Sésamo, which dates back to the 1950s. This downstairs cave bar offers two things: sangria and a live piano bar. Your best bet is to go all out here and indulge in both. This may result in a sangria-induced hangover the next day, but it will most certainly be worth it. If that’s a little too crazy for you, Amargo Restaurant has live music several nights of the week—usually a duo or soloist singing and playing the guitar while you enjoy your dinner. Check out their schedule to see what’s on and don’t forget to reserve your table ahead of time.