With its grid of streets packed with bars, live music venues, and alternative shops of every kind – all centered around the picturesque Plaza del Dos de Mayo – the neighborhood of Malasaña is home to one of the hottest and surprisingly most affordable nightlife scenes in Europe.
The area inherits its fame from La Movida, the cultural explosion of art, music, and sexuality that was unleashed in the late 70s and early 80s after decades of oppression under the Franco dictatorship. The revolution rages on in this edgy but welcoming barrio where people both posh and poor, cosmopolitan and counter-culture come to party all night, every night.
And just next door to Malasaña is the open and tolerant neighborhood of Chueca, an equally vibrant area considered the heart of Madrid’s gay community and an oasis for gay visitors from around the world.
But like Malasaña, Chueca offers something for everyone, from raucous, good-humored drag shows to chic, upscale lounges and some of the best ethnic restaurants in Madrid.
Reviewed by Shelby G.
"My Take: Bazaar is one of the most unique (and inexpensive) dining experiences in Madrid. As guests approach the restaurant, a line out the door usual ..." more
Calle de la Libertad, 21
Party Earth Review Tapas have dominated Madrid’s gastronomic scene since before it became the capital in the sixteenth century, but La Musa has taken that tradition and run with it. Part of a small population ... more
Calle de Manuela Malasaña, 18
Party Earth Review Tucked away on a tiny street near the main square of Chueca, Café Belén is a snug but suave little bar where young and trendy locals gather to chat softly over cocktails, especially ... more
Calle de Belén, 5
Reviewed by Tansy B.
"My take: In my opinion Bristol Bar is the only restaurant in Madrid that serves good quality, authentic British food. I went here for my birthday beca ..." more
Party Earth Review Halfway between the heart of Chueca and the historic Calle Alcalá is Libertad 8 Café, a surprising little haven for artists tucked away on the narrow street that gives the place its ... more
Calle de la Libertad, 8
Party Earth Review Although there are still a handful of bars and clubs in Madrid that were at the forefront of the counter-culture upheaval of La Movida after the end of the Franco dictatorship, few ... more
Calle de la Palma, 20
Reviewed by Shylean J.
"Stop Madrid, in Chueca, is a great place to literally “stop” by and have a drink. It is more of a wine bar as it is known for its large selection of w ..." more
Calle de Hortaleza, 11
Party Earth Review From its dignified steel sign and austere stone façade to the shining hardwood floors, dim orange lighting, and soft jazz and funk music, Del Diego successfully sets the mood for a ... more
Calle de la Reina, 12