From Tapas to Clubs: 13 Things to Do in Madrid at Night
The capital and largest city of Spain, Madrid is known for its rich history, art, culture — and of course vibrant night life. It is said that no other European capitals offer more night time entertainment than Madrid. This city never sleeps — live music, bars, restaurants, and dance venues stay open until late, and no matter what your age is, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re up for some salsa dancing, a pub crawl, or otherwise a quiet evening with a dinner and movie, you’ll find the Madrid night life quite an experience.
In this article, we’ve compiled the best things to do in Madrid at night.
- Travel Tips
- Best Things to Do in Madrid at Night
- 1. See the city skyline in a rooftop bar
- 2. Watch the sunset in Temple of Debod
- 3. Reina Sofia Museum
- 4. Enjoy live music
- 5. Stroll along Gran Via
- 6. Watch a flamenco show
- 7. Go on a tapas crawl
- 8. Eat good food at Mercado San Miguel
- 9. Spend the evening in an amazing cocktail bar
- 10. See a night show
- 11. Dance ‘til morning
- 12. Join a Madrid night tour
- 13. Grab chocolate and churros
- Madrid is a very walkable city, and a lot of its architectural landmarks can be found in a small area between Plaza Espana and Alonso Martinez.
- Madrid has a plethora of attractions to offer, and getting tickets to these attractions in advance can help you save time and avoid long lines. You can purchase tickets online at Madrid Attraction Tickets. Some of the popular attractions in Madrid that require tickets include the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
- The city is generally safe even at night. Most crime includes pickpocketing and theft of belongings such as cell phones, so do not leave your things unattended and be wary of situations where a person will ask for directions while another will go through your bag.
- If it’s your first time in Madrid and don’t know where to begin in experiencing its night life, Puerto del Sol is a great place to start. It is located at the very heart of Madrid and overflows with restaurants, bars, and clubs. The neighborhoods of La Latina and Lavapies also offer fantastic nightlife spots and tapas bars.
Best Things to Do in Madrid at Night
Madrid offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, art, or nightlife. Here are some top things to do in Madrid at night:
1. See the city skyline in a rooftop bar
What better way to start your night in Madrid than watching the sun go down in a rooftop bar with an overlooking view of the city? It’s a good thing Madrid has plenty of great rooftop bars, from the Azotea de Circulo — which offers a 360-degree view of the skyline and architectural landmarks such as the Cybele Palace, Metropolis Building, and El Piruli television tower — to The Principal Madrid, a top-notch rooftop bar located in the 5-star Gran Via hotel.
2. Watch the sunset in Temple of Debod
Another great place to watch stunning sunsets is the Temple of Debod. The Temple of Debod is an actual Egyptian temple located in Madrid. It was originally built in the 2nd century B.C. in Egypt and dedicated to the gods Amun and Isis.
Due to the flooding in the area, the Egyptian government decided to dismantle the temple and gift it to Spain as a token of gratitude for its help in preserving other archaeological sites. Today, the temple stands in Parque del Oeste and is a popular place for people to watch the captivating sunset over an expanse of green and the city skyline.
3. Reina Sofia Museum
One of the amazing things about Madrid is that there are galleries that you can visit on your free evening. Reina Sofia Museum is a landmark museum in Madrid and is home to an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art. A few of its permanent collection includes works by Spanish artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and Juan Gris, as well as international artists like Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, and Bruce Nauman.
The museum’s masterpiece is Picasso’s “Guernica,” a painting that depicts the horrors of the bombing of the Spanish town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
Reina Sofia Museum offers free entry to visitors to the museum collection from Monday and Wednesday through Saturday at 7PM-9PM. Sundays are also free to the public from 1:30PM to 7PM.
4. Enjoy live music
Madrid has plenty of venues for live music at night. For classical music, head over to Madrid’s National Auditorium (or Auditorio Nacional de Música). It is a prominent concert hall and cultural institution offering classical music concerts, symphonies, recitals, and other live performances. For something more casual, see the performances at Circo de Price, the mecca of circus shows in Madrid, or Canal Theater, a modern complex for performing arts.
Dance the night away at La Coquette with its blue sets, Sala Clamores or Cafe Central at Plaza del Angel for jazz, or Cafe Berlin for a little bit of everything — from live music to stand-up comedy and cabaret depending on that night’s theme.
5. Stroll along Gran Via
Dubbed as the “Times Square of Madrid,” Gran Via is a bustling avenue surrounded by impressive skyscrapers and buildings. Take a walk down this main street to see the beautiful architectural pieces lit up, shop until you drop at its luxury shops and department stores, or visit one of the numerous theaters, cinemas, and music venues lining the avenue.
6. Watch a flamenco show
The nightlife in Madrid wouldn’t be complete without a flamenco show. Flamenco is the most famous style of dance and music in Spain, and many artists come to perform in Madrid for its excellent establishments. Corral de la Morería is the oldest flamenco show in the capital, offering nightly performances and a Michelin-star dinner. Other good options include Casa Patas, Torres Bermejas, and Cardamomo — which has been recognized by the New York Times as the best tablao in the capital.
7. Go on a tapas crawl
One of the must-things to do in Madrid at night is going out for a tapas crawl. A tapas crawl isn’t your regular pub crawl — it is a social experience where you hop from bar to bar, enjoying the company of friends or new acquaintances while ordering small plates to share. Experience an array of flavors and ingredients, from classic Spanish dishes like patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy sauce) and jamón ibérico (cured ham) to regional specialties and innovative fusion creations.
You can customize your tapas crawl based on your preferences, hopping between traditional bars, modern gastrobars, or trendy spots known for their innovative tapas creations.
You can find numerous tapas bars in Madrid. La Latina neighborhood including Calle Cava Braja and its surrounding streets are known for its excellent tapas bars. Another area that you can check out is Calle Ponzano, a popular local street for tapas in the Chamberi neighborhood. The neighborhoods of Lavepies and La Letras are also worth checking it.
8. Eat good food at Mercado San Miguel
Whether you’re solo or with friends, one of the best things to do in Madrid at night is visiting a food market. Madrid has many of those and one of the best ones is Mercado San Miguel. It is a bustling place filled with a wide variety of local food. Try some local favorites including seafood, mini sandwiches, croquettes, and sweet treats. Different beers and alcohol are also available. If you don’t feel like eating for the night, just take a stroll around the food market and witness the culinary scene.
Mercado de San Miguel food market is open from 10AM to 12 midnight and up to 1AM on Friday and Saturday.
9. Spend the evening in an amazing cocktail bar
Another thing you can do in Madrid is spend an evening sipping good cocktails. Madrid has numerous bars and lounges, ranging from traditional to trendy and modern spaces which offer traditional classics and innovative mixology.
Museo Chicote is the first cocktail bar in Spain, opened by Perico Chicote in 1931 — a time when few Spaniards knew about cocktails. Dry 1862 is another cocktail bar worth checking out, as are Quinto Elemento restaurant’s sky bar and Jack’s Library, a cocktail bar tucked in a bookstore. Other local recommendations for cocktail bars in Madrid include La Macera, El Especial Taller Bar, and Savas Bar.
10. See a night show
Madrid has shows for everyone, from classic plays to musicals, modern dramas, comedy shows, and even experimental performances. Royal Theater (or Teatro Real) is Madrid’s premier opera house, hosting world-class opera, ballet and classical music concerts. Teatro Lope de Vega is known for its popular shows such as “The Lion King,” “Mamma Mia!,” and “The Bodyguard.” Teatro de la Zarzuela is a historic theater that specializes in zarzuela, a form of traditional Spanish musical comedy.
11. Dance ‘til morning
You’ll be surprised by how much the locals in Madrid love to party. Here we’ll talk about the best clubs in Madrid where you can dance ‘til the morning.
Joy Eslava is an iconic 150-year-old nightclub at the heart of Madrid. Meanwhile, Kapital is the biggest nightclub with seven floors and different dance floors playing different music. Medias Puras and Barco are also amazing options. Finally, head to Barcelo near the metro stop Tribunal if you want to dance in fancy dress.
12. Join a Madrid night tour
What better way to know about the history of a city than a guided tour? There are Madrid night tours where you can learn about the most fascinating stories about the Spanish Inquisition, as well as the ghost stories and legends in Madrid.
13. Grab chocolate and churros
Chocolate and churros is one of the most loved treats in Spain. As your night is winding down, head to any churros café in the center of Madrid while you enjoy freshly made churros dipped in a mug of hot chocolate. For specific recommendations, Chocolateria San Gines is one of the most famous churro spots in the country and they make everything fresh on the spot.
Madrid nightlife has something for everyone. Do you have other recommendations for things to do in Madrid at night? Let us know in the comments section below!
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).