8 Things to Do in Madrid at Night (That Don’t All Involve Nightclubs)

Spain is notorious for great nightlife, and the capital is no exception. Madrid comes alive at night and buzzes with energy until the sun comes up. 

Whether you’re looking to spend a relaxing night out or to dance the night away, we’ve got you covered with this guide to our favorite things to do in Madrid at night. Read on for some of our top recommendations and must-visit spots for a night in Madrid you’ll never forget! 

List of some fun things to do in Madrid at night

1. Visit a world-famous museum

What better way to start your evening than with free entry to one of Madrid’s most famous museums? The Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid’s quintessential modern art museum and home to Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece “Guernica” offers free admission between 7 and 9 p.m. most days. We recommend arriving early, as the lines can get long. 

One of the top Reina Sofia Museum highlights is easily Picasso's Guernica.
You can’t leave Madrid without seeing Guernica! Photo credit: Saint Louis University Madrid Campus

2. Watch the sun go down on a rooftop

There’s no better place to watch the sunset and soak in the city lights than at a rooftop bar. Luckily, Madrid has tons to choose from, one of the most popular being atop the Círculo de Bellas Artes located right off of bustling Calle Alcalá. 

This rooftop bar has an incredible 360-degree panoramic view of the city. However, it can get crowded and the lines to enter can be long. If that’s the case, check out Casa Suecia right around the corner from Bellas Artes on the top floor of the NH hotel. It offers equally incredible views, delicious cocktails, mixed drinks, and music. Entrance costs €12, but those €12 are converted into a voucher, which you can use to purchase drinks. 

View from the Círculo de Bellas Artes rooftop terrace in Madrid
The view from the Círculo de Bellas Artes rooftop looks like a real-life postcard.

3. See a flamenco show

A trip to Spain isn’t complete without seeing flamenco, which has its roots in Andalusia. But if the south of Spain isn’t on your itinerary, why not see a show in Madrid?  

Many of the best flamenco artists from all over the country come to Madrid to perform, providing unique, passionate and exciting shows. However, given the number of tablaos that have opened up, it can be a little tricky to find a good, authentic show in Madrid. Check out our picks for the best flamenco shows in Madrid so you don’t fall into a tourist trap.

Flamenco dancer's skirt
Flamenco has become one of the most iconic symbols of Spain throughout the world.

4. Sip some cocktails 

Madrid’s drink scene goes far beyond just beer, wine and gin tonics. There are tons of great cocktail bars to visit for a pre or post-meal drink. 

One place you don’t want to miss is Macera Taller Bar in the hip Chueca neighborhood. They only serve house-infused specialties, many of which change based on the seasonality of fruits and herbs. Another great place to check out is Viva Madrid, one of Madrid’s oldest bars, opened in 1856. It was recently restored to its former glory and reopened as a beautiful cocktail bar serving traditional cocktails with a modern twist.

Bartender mixing cocktails
Few things compare to the simple joy of sipping beautiful cocktails at a classy Madrid bar.

5. Go out for a tapas crawl

Spanish dinners are notoriously late, often starting as late as 10 p.m. Instead of opting for a traditional sit-down dinner, why not embrace one of Spain’s most beloved traditions: a tapeo, or tapas crawl?

A tapeo is more than just jumping from bar to bar, ordering small plates to share. It’s a social experience, revolving around good food and even better company. The go-to area downtown for tapas is the La Latina neighborhood, where you can check out Calle Cava Baja and its surrounding streets for endless options. But if you want to really rub elbows with the locals, head to Calle Ponzano, a tapas lover’s paradise in the Chamberi neighborhood. 

Group of people toasting with red wine at a tapas bar
A late-night tapas crawl is always worth the wait past what your usual dinner time might be!

6. Catch some live music

Going to a live show is always a great way to spend your evening, and Madrid has no shortage of amazing venues. 

If you’re looking for traditional or classical music, visit the Auditorio Nacional de Música, home to Spain’s national orchestra. Here you can find everything from orchestral flamenco to Mozart.  If you’re looking for more casual venues where you can dance the night away, check out La Coquette for blues sets in a cool underground cellar, or Sala Clamores for jazz. Another great option is Café Berlin for a little bit of everything: from jazz,  flamenco, funk, pop and DJ sessions, to theater performances,  stand-up comedy and even cabaret, depending on the night.

READ MORE: Where to See Live Music in Madrid

7. See a show

From operas to musicals, Madrid has a show for every taste. Catch a traditional Spanish folk comedy at Teatro la Zarzuela, a family favorite like “The Lion King” at Teatro Lope de Vega, or even an edgy modern show at Teatro Español. Check out the Madrid tourism board’s website for a full calendar of performances and events.

8. Dance until dawn

If you’re looking to dance, there are endless options for nightlife in Madrid. But there’s one thing to keep in mind: madrileños will often head out to the clubs around the same time that people in other countries would be heading home, so don’t be surprised if you can’t get into a nightclub until 1 a.m. 

Be sure to check out Joy Eslava, a legendary 150-year-old theater and nightclub in the heart of Madrid. One of the best parts of going to Joy Eslava is that Chocolatería San Gines is right around the corner and open 24/7. What better way to end a long night than with 6 a.m. chocolate and churros?

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