White-waistcoated waiters serve cold beer from huge pumps in oak- panelled Cerveceria Santa Ana and Cerveceria Alemana, two of many atmospheric bars on lively Plaza Santa Ana. Bring the kids – a children’s playground blends seamlessly into the square.
Cerveceria Alemana, Plaza Santa Ana 6, 28012, Madrid
Dance the night away under a fresco-decorated ceiling in a 19th- century Renaissance-inspired ballroom in the converted castle of Palacio Gaviria, near Puerta del Sol. Madrid nightlife starts late – this club opens at 11 p.m. but gets busy even later.
Calle Arenal 9, 28013, Madrid
Tapas-tasting and bar-hopping are synonymous with a Madrid night out. In the La Latina district, south of Plaza Mayor, over 40 bars line Cava Baja, many serving cocina creativa or ‘creative cuisine’. At bar-restaurant-club La Musa Latina, try the soy-marinated frogs' legs.
Costanilla San Andrés 12, 28005, Madrid
Match nights in Madrid are electric. Ask your Madrid hotel concierge or book advance tickets online to soak up the atmosphere at Real Madrid’s Bernabéu stadium. Alternatively, join the crowds at Atlético Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium.
Avenida de Concha Espina, 1, 28036 Madrid
Paseo Virgen del Puerto 67, 28005 Madrid
Madrid’s 1970s counter-cultural movement (la movida) was born in Malasaña, north of Gran Via, an area that retains its alternative vibe. The best people-watching spots overlook Plaza Dos de Mayo square – sip a coffee in the faded elegance of the renowned Pepe Botella bar.
Pepe Botella, Calle San Andrés 12, 28004 Madrid
Corral de la Morería restaurant by the Royal Palace serves up flamboyant flamenco in style. Traditional Spanish cuisine and tapas dishes are available from 8 p.m. before world-class dancers twirl, spin and clap during the 10 p.m. and midnight shows.
Calle Morería, 17, 28005 Madrid
Dress up for a trip to the Teatro Real, Madrid’s 19th-century opera house and home to one of the world’s largest stages. Look up in the Arturo restaurant at the fibre-optic ceiling, which recreates the Madrid sky in a nod to to the courtyard theatre tradition.
Plaza de Orientes, 28013 Madrid
Late-night coffee and chats is integral to Madrid‘s nightlife. During summer, enjoy a nightcap on the Paseo de Recoletos terraces to the sound of a tinkling piano, or huddle inside the Chocolatería San Gines tucking into churros (fried doughnuts), and thick hot chocolate.
Chocolateria San Ginés, Pasadizo de San Ginés 11, Madrid
They’re not everyone’s idea of a good night out but bullfights remain a popular Spanish pastime. To see traditional costume-clad toreadors (bullfighters) in action, head to Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring on Sunday evenings between March and October.
Alcalá street, Metro: Las Ventas
In Madrid, even the shops are open until late. Find fabulous Spanish fashions and foods at the enormous Principe Pio entertainment complex, open till 10 p.m. ..Near Sol, the flagship El Corte Inglés department store is also open until 10pm.
Paseo de la Florida, 28008, Madrid