This article tells you all about the Madrid club scene. There are hundreds of clubs, and we've just listed 5 popular venues here. You'll also find out a little more about what kind of music to expect in each club, together with details on how to find them. You'll find links to their official web pages where available. Prices vary depending upon the night, so it's always best to check in advance on their web pages.
The people of Madrid are known as 'gatos' meaning cats. They've earned this nickname because of their ability to literally stay out on the tiles all night. Many clubs don't close until 06:00, and even then everyone is still full of life. You'll find that nightlife starts later in Madrid, with most people heading to the bars at the earliest of 22:00 or 23:00. Clubs generally open at about midnight. If you go in any earlier you may find it quite empty.
If you're not used to partying all night, then be sure to pace yourself. The Spanish don't drink excessively, and you rarely see them staggering around in a drunken stupor. Remember also, that spirit measures are much larger (double of triple) than they are in the UK.
The Madrid Club scene supplies music for every taste. The largest, flashiest venues tend to specialise in dance music and there are some excellent DJs playing. There's also a big gay community in Madrid, and consequently there are clubs to cater for this market as well.
The Spanish are well known for their style, and they always dress for the time of year. If it's cold outside, then they will cover up with winter coats. Once inside a dance club, you will see more scantily clad party-goers, but you'll never see anyone shivering in the street in a mini-skirt and tiny t-shirt during the winter months! There aren't too many dress code rules for entering clubs however, and my advice would be to look smart and steer away from trainers for the bigger clubs.
We've been out dancing the night away in several of Madrid's most popular venues, and have put together a list of good clubs. There's also links to their web pages where available, so that you can check up to date entry prices and themed nights.
Club: Palacio Gaviria
Street: Calle Arenal, 9
Metro: Sol (Red Line, L2) Plus 2 minutes walk
This is a stunning club, still decorated as a lavish 16th century palace, complete with sweeping marble staircase. There are several rooms to explore inside, including two dance floors with different music. There's a mix of Spanish pop, dance, R&B and other commercial sounds. The only problem you'll have is decided which dance floor you want to be on!
On Thursday nights the Palacio Gaviria has special nights for foreigners. It's a great way to meet new people.
Street: Calle Arenal, 11
Metro: Sol (Red Line, L2) Plus 2 minutes walk
Joy is a well known club across Europe, and it attracts at multi-national crowd. Its central location makes it easy to find, and it's popular with tourists as well as locals. It plays a mix of popular dance music.
Street: Calle Barcelo, 11
Metro: Tribunal (Light Blue Line, L1) or (Dark Blue Line, L10) / Alonso Martinez (Brown Line, L4) or (Green Line, L5) or (Dark Blue Line, L10)
Opening nights: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: from 23:30 - 06:00.
This Madrid club is famous due to its sister clubs of the same name in cities around the world. You can find Pacha in locales as far and wide as Ibiza and Marakesh. There are differing dance music styles from night to night. If you're looking for a night of glitz and glamour, this is the place to go.
Street: Atocha, 125
Metro: Anton Martin (Light Blue Line, L1) Plus 5 minutes walk
This is an enormous club with 7 floors, and 3 different forms of music playing simultaneously. There will definitely be something that you want to dance to!
Club: El Sol
Street: Calle Jardines, 3
Metro: Gran Via (Green Line, L5)
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday: 00:00 midnight - 05:30
Entry including a drink is €9.00
A popular Madrid club with the 20 - 30 age group. It plays a mix of 70s, funk, and bossanova sounds. There's no special dress code, but people do tend to look cool as opposed to scruffy.
Madrid is famous for its nightlife and so if you have time, you should try at least one of the hundreds of clubs available. Many clubs don't operate a strict dress code, although you'd be wise to stay smart and skip on the trainers. Some of the bigger clubs have become famous across Europe, and offer 2 or even 3 dance floors, all playing different music, so you can be sure that you can find music to suit your tastes. The locals normally spend a couple of hours in bars socialising and warming up. To help you fit with the local scene you may want to read our Madrid bars guide.