If one of the things to do in Madrid that you want to explore is the city's never-ending nightlife, you're in luck. From Monday to Sunday, you can go out until the early hours of the morning and end up eating churros with chocolate for breakfast in any café, along with taxi drivers starting their shift. You'll have no trouble finding just the right spot to fit your mood among the myriad bars, big nightclubs, and small pubs that have earned their place on the scene. Here's our selection of the best clubs in Madrid so you can head out and not worry about a thing except having a good time, whatever your taste in music and ambience.
This place is hot. It's that simple. So hot that it's the best nightclub in Madrid. So good that we gave it the Time Out Award for Best Club in 2017. What appears to be an everyday haberdashery with a great location next to the Apolo theatre in Plaza de Tirso de Molina is really a thriving nightclub with three dance floors that can hold a thousand party people. They play all kinds of music, host high-quality shows, serve top-notch cocktails, and even offer gourmet food in this 'secret' spot that's been uncovered thanks to word of mouth that's made it so well-deservedly popular.
Ochoymedio is the perfect stop on your hedonistic tour of the town if you're looking for an alcohol-fuelled mass of party energy. DJ Smart makes it all sound very '80s and '90s, thrashing out an eclectic mix of indie, electro-clash, electro-pop, new wave and New York rock. It takes a master to meld Blur and Depeche Mode.On arriving here you’ll be met by a sea of flannel shirts and horn-rimmed glasses since this is Madrid’s hipster haven. You’ll also find interesting concerts by local and international bands like La Habitación Roja.
The Godzilla of Madrid clubs, with splendid views of the main dancefloor from many of the upper balconies: dance voyeur heaven. Of seven storeys, each has something different to offer – the main dancefloor and bars are at ground level; the first floor has karaoke; the second, R&B and hip hop; the third, cosy cocktail bars; the fourth is Spanish disco; the fifth has a cinema and more cool sounds; and at the top is a terrace with a retractable roof. Though you'll be doing a lot of walking, wearing trainers will leave you standing out on the street.
A steady flow of top live acts passes through El Sol, another remnant of the Movida. The décor is not up to much, but the vibe and the programme make up for that. A mixture of rock, rhythm and blues, punk, soul, and hip hop from national outfits are complemented by visits from international acts such as the Bellrays, Snow Patrol and Gigolo Aunts. After the concerts, at weekends, you can stay until dawn enjoying a drink and a dance to classic rock and pop mixed with more current music. The average age of the clientele is late-20s to 30s.
Legendary Madrid nightclub Costello is the spot where you always end up hanging around for drinks after watching your favourite band. They always bring in quality acts, and it's not uncommon to come across musicians among the audience as well. Stay tuned to their Facebook and Twitter pages so you don't miss a thing. It can get wall-to-wall at weekends, but overall it's quite the comfortable venue. Bonus: they serve tasty cocktails.
The musical programming here runs from reggae on Thursdays to black music sessions on Fridays, and features plenty of local and Spanish soul singers and bands. Sirocco has two very different environments at weekends: more relaxed on the upper level and more intense, dance-oriented electronic sessions below.
One of the best clubs in Madrid for rockers, the Wurlitzer is not just a rock bar where you can enjoy the best sessions of all areas of the genre – power pop, punk, country, alt-folk, no-wave, etc. – it's also a concert venue where you can see great alternative live music. They're open every day of the week from 10pm, so it's the perfect place to meet up whether it's a Saturday or a Tuesday, and hear some top rock.
One of Madrid's clubs converted from an old theatre, Changó never falls out of fashion in the city. They've got a session for every night of the week, with a different DJ hosting each, where you can find whatever you're into: deep house, break beat, funk, indie, pop or trance. Though not elegant, this place is a lot of fun. Instead of rich boys dressed in shirts and posh girls wearing top brand names you’ll find a more varied crowd, some even on the grungy side. That explains why the spectacular go-go dancers show off all their muscles and the dancers’ intimate areas are covered by the skimpiest of thongs.
This club on the banks of the Manzanares is a major player on the Madrid music scene and is ranked by many as the city's best medium-sized venue. It's certainly popular, and comes equipped with an excellent sound system. All manner of acts have passed through in recent times, among them Missy Elliot, Yo La Tengo, Bloc Party and Jet. After the concerts, this multipurpose venue becomes a club with a solid reputation. It’s large and has a great light show, plays commercial sounds and is favoured by the under-30s crowd.
An iconic bar from the Movida madrileña era, Penta is a must when you’re out on the town in the Malasaña neighbourhood. It’s managed to adapt perfectly to new times and combines the aroma of a traditional bar with modern touches that give it a special feel. You’ll find Spanish music from the 80s and 90s and a good atmosphere in a bar that’s ideal for the early hours of your night out.