But ¿dónde están los mejores bares y clubs? (where are the best bars and clubs?)

It’s certainly true that the madrileños (people from Madrid) love a good night out. According to official statistics, there are almost 18000 bars, restaurants and clubs in the city! When you’re learning Spanish, one of the best ways to improve is to get out and about and interact with the locals, so we thought we’d run through where to go and what to in la capital española (the Spanish capital).

When to go out in Madrid

This is muy importante (very important) as Spanish timetables can differ hugely from other countries. Most Spaniards don’t usually eat dinner before at least 9pm so make sure you reservar una mesa (book a table) at this time or after to get a more authentic experience. If you go any earlier, you’ll probably find most restaurants are full of tourists and you won’t get a lot of chance to practise speaking Spanish to anyone!

After you’ve finished your cena (dinner), it’ll probably be around 10 or 1030pm. Now you might be thinking it’s time to salir de fiesta (go partying) – but you’d be very wrong! This is when the gatos y gatas (cats – a nickname for madrileños) will find a table in a bar to have some cañas (small beers), dobles (large beers) or some vino (wine). Don’t bother going to any clubs yet as they’ll be almost entirely empty.

Once the clock strikes medianoche (midnight) then you’re ready to go to one of the huge number of clubs all over Madrid. These almost invariably remain open until 6am – so make sure you wear zapatos cómodos (comfy shoes)!

Where to party in Madrid

But ¿dónde están los mejores bares y clubs? (where are the best bars and clubs?). There are several areas of the city which are focos (hotspots) for Madrid nightlife. Let’s look at a few of them.


This central barrio (neighbourhood) has always been de moda (trendy). Just behind the famous Gran Vía in the city centre, it is filled with hip bars and clubs for you to enjoy a copa (spirit and mixer) or bailar toda la noche (dance all night). Some of the establishments in this area have been around for deacdes and were famous during la movida madrileña – a period in the 80s of huge cultural change. Any self-respecting Spanish student should go and pasar el rato (hang out) in any of the bars in this area to get in some practice listening to Spanish and you’ll probably make a friend or two while you’re at it!


A little to the south of the central Puerta del Sol, this part of Madrid has a great mix of new and traditional bars, restaurants and clubs. Certain streets can be a little bit touristy, but given that you’ll be here to learn Spanish you’ll quickly be able to identify the sitios para turistas (tourist traps) – and anyway, you can speak to the locals when you’re studying Spanish at Hablamos and get some tips off them too. The streets around Plaza de Santa Ana are particularly full of great places to try.

La Latina

This is, by far, one of our zonas favoritas (favourite areas) because of the sheer quantity of places to eat, drink and party. The most famous street in this area just a short walk from Plaza Mayor is the Calle de la Cava Baja. In just 300 metres, there’s a total of 53 locales (bars/restaurants/clubs)! On weekends, La Latina is lleno de madrileños (full of Madrid residents) who want to party all night so check it out!


These areas are just south of Sol and Huertas and contain some of los clubs más grandes (the biggest clubs) in the city. Lavapiés is also home to a huge number of bars and restaurants in its own right in which you can taste both sabores auténticos (authentic flavours) from Spain, but also it’s famous for the huge range of international cuisine on offer. You can easily walk from one neighbourhood to the other, so you can start in the heart of Lavapiés and then visit one of the megaclubs on the border between one area and the other.

Clearly our short guide is just to get you started thinking about your aventura española (Spanish adventure) that you’ll embark upon if you come and join one of our range of Spanish courses here at Hablamos. We’ll help you con cada paso (every step of the way) and make your you get to enjoy Madrid’s nighttime culture to its fullest.

Hablamos - full-on Spanish!