Gay Guide to MADRID

Gay Madrid has one of the most eclectic party scenes in Europe. Hot guys, warm welcomes and innovative bars, restaurants and party nights guarantee a good time to all who visit!

Gran Via Madrid

Gran Via is at the heart of Madrid, a city that perfectly blends old traditions with new cutting edge design.

Madrid Party Scene

Madrid has a diverse and innovative party scene, from fetish nights to bears events and more.

Madrid – Siestas, Late Nights and Hot Men!

First things first! Madrileños love to party. If New York is the city that doesn’t sleep, then Madrid is most certainly the European equivalent – except maybe for a leisurely disco nap in the afternoon that is! Considering the blazing hot late spring and summer afternoons you would also be well advised to join the Madrileños in seeking a cool place to pass the heat of the day with a little siesta.

The siesta is not just recommended here, it’s essential in a city whose desire for nightlife is relentless and doesn’t even begin until midnight. Nearly 2,000 bars and restaurants create outside terraces in the spring and summer where locals vie for space and the welcome cool night air. Passing the evenings until the early hours is a national past-time, discussing the day’s events over a cool beer and some tapas and watching the world go by.

A party Capital!

This is one of Europe’s most loved capitals, the third largest city in the European Union, and a welcome respite for gay travelers due to the staggering quantity and diversity of gay nightlife. The countless bars, disco bars (with a dance floor, but which don’t charge on the door) and discos in Madrid open, close and change names with alarming frequency. At weekends the scene can still last the full 48 hours, depending on your stamina. Madrileños love to tour the bars and discos, so you might find yourself in a place that’s semi-empty one moment, and packed to the gills the next.

Madrid is a contrasting city of historic sites by day and a thriving, hedonistic venue by night. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in a traffic jam at 4am in the morning!From the time you touch ground at the airport, Madrid feels like one big party – a party with an artist’s soul. Perhaps nowhere else in the world will you find such a spirited harmony of contrasts. Grandeur and romanticism stroll hand in hand down winding 16th-century streets. Beautiful parks nestle up to modern glass skyscrapers, and the River Manzanares flows through the heart of everything with a seductive, lazy arrogance.

  • Where to Stay

    If you want to be in the heart of all the gay action, then look no further than Chueca, Madrid’s hip bohemian barrio, with cool hotels, trendy bars and warm and welcoming locals. Hotels book up early so plan in advance!

  • Up and coming - Malasaña

    Malasaña is the gay hipster neighborhood just west of Chueca and is more diverse having become popular over the past 4 years. Its central location and unique style make it an attractive alternative to the nearby gay barrio!

  • La Latina

    La Latina has been the “up-and-coming” breakout barrio in Madrid for the past few years. We love its diverse range of tapas options and the “Rasto”, the largest Sunday market in Spain. Hotels here are also better priced than trendy Chueca.

Gay Scene in Chueca

Look out for the “PR” boys promoting the various parties and events in the city, often with discount flyers and special offers.

Madrid Skyline

Madrid, Capital of Spain is home to more than 3 million people and is home to more gay bars and clubs than anywhere else in Europe.

Exploring the city

Madrid’s location in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula explains the extremes of climate it experiences, with steaming hot summers, cold winters and much more moderate spring and autumns.

The Chueca quarter is the capital’s fashionable gay neighborhood or “barrio”.

Home to 3 million people, this is Europe’s highest capital city and the countries centre of government, business and home to Spain’s royal household. Madrid has managed to preserve the look and feel of its historic areas, making the neighborhoods really worth a visit. Notable landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Teatro Real (Royal Theater), and the city center’s Buen Retiro park, which was first established in the early 1600’s as private gardens for royalty.

Getting Around

The metro is a quick and inexpensive way to get around. And taxis are handy. But by all means walk! Wander. The city is a walker’s paradise. Its main east-west street is the early 20th century Gran Vía, running from the Prado area to the modern Plaza de España. Roughly parallel, the c. Mayor leads through the city’s medieval heart, from the Puerta del Sol, Spain’s “kilometer zero” from which all of the country’s destinations are measured, past charming Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s prettiest square, to c. de Bailén, near the Royal Palace.

A visit to Gran Via is a must where you can explore great art deco and beau-arts buildings, theatres and stores.Madrid features a number of lively, well-defined quarters and you will want to find time to visit all of them. Just a few blocks from the Gran Via, you are in “Old Madrid.” Narrow streets, with old buildings and old-fashioned shops selling anything from military costumes to religious articles seem to catapult you into an era three centuries back. The old cafés at the bustling center attract residents of all ages and persuasions.

Room mate Oscar

The Gay District CHUECA


The Chueca quarter is the capital’s fashionable gay neighborhood or “barrio”. The Chueca is a pulsating neighborhood festooned with rainbow flags and filled with bars, clubs, and stores.The two main streets through Chueca are Calle Horteleza and Fuencarral. Both these streets run parallel to each other, up from Gran Via, making them easy to find, and contain gay bars that are easily recognisable from the gay flag that hangs outside.

Chueca Square

Chueca is the epicentre of gay life in Madrid and is home to the busiest bars and clubs.

Madrid Gay Shopping

The Chueca area is home to some of the city’s most authentic and quirky stores.

Diurno

Diurno, with its floor to ceiling windows makes the perfect place to people-watch in Chueca.

Cocktails at Splash Roof Terrace

Join the hot guys at Splash roof terrace during the Summer Season for cocktails and amazing views.

Gay Madrid – A day in Chueca – Breakfast, Lunch  & Chill out Pool Parties!

The first stop on any gay traveler’s shopping list is Librería Berkana (Calle Hortaleza, 64; +34-91-532-1393; www.libreriaberkana.com), the well-stocked and modern gay bookstore at the top of Plaza Chueca. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will tell you all you need to know about Madrid’s gay life, and the selection of books (many in English), cards, and magazines is quite impressive. Another popular bookstore in the area is A Different Life (CallePelayo, 30; +33-91-532-9652; www.lifegay.com), a two-level bookstore with an annex down the street. The friendly owners will point you in the right direction. Be sure to pick up a gay map of the city and a copy of ShangayExpress to get in touch with the latest in the social scene.

Try taking breakfast at La Austriaca (San Onofre, 3). Here you will find some delicious pastries or why not indulge in the traditional churros with hot chocolate.Spend the morning browsing some of the many art and photographic galleries. Oliva Arauna (Barquillo, 23) has some of the most interesting displays in the city. If you are looking for something authentic gifts or momentos to take home, pay a visit to Mad is Mad (Pelayo, 48) where you can find a range of contemporary pieces signed by the original artists.

Lunchtime and your choice of restaurants is endless. If you are not that hungry yet, why not try a drop of vermú de grifo from Reus (vermouth on tap) at Bodegas Ángel Sierra, in Plaza de Chueca with some delicious tapas, olives, tuna and anchovies. Restaurants we recommend include Polenta (Pelayo, 28, Tel. 91 542 38 95) where you can sample the latest Mediterranen fusion dishes. For those looking for a lighter snack , check out Diurno. Located in the heart of Chueca, this cafe stands out for size –it occupies the entire ground floor of a building– and its glass windows, which let you see what’s going on inside. A quick peek in reveals it is much more than a simple café.

Those looking for something more upmarket should check out “Splash”, the terrace on the 8th floor of the trendy Hotel Oscar Room Mate. Its slick, stylish and very gay-friendly.
Drinks are served from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. Its swimming pool is open during the rest of the day, and you can enjoy it without being a guest at the hotel.

Recommended bars include the Museo Chicote, a very old and fashionable cocktail bar on the best side of the Gran Via. Founded in 1939, it has hosted Spanish and American stars, actors and comedians, politicians, kings and queens. Now it hosts young and posh customers. The cocktails are good, the ambience is perfect. Enfrente and Hot are the two venues of the Madrid’s rich bear scene. Liquid is one of the most crowded bars in Chueca, and PK2 (Pekados) is a club that attracts the younger crowd.

To the west, poets and musicians frequent the “underground” bars, while the gilded youth of Brazil and more than a few straying Chueca denizens pulse to the beat in the charmingly rehabilitated Malasaña quarter.Many new gay-friendly bars and clubs, especially for women, have opened in Lavapies and Latina, two areas south of the Gran Via. On Sunday’s don’t miss on Sunday, the wonderful Rastro market, where you can search for vintage clothes and bargain Spanish memorabilia.

Where to stay in MADRID?

When it comes to finding somewhere to sleep, Madrid offers a broad choice including various price ranges and services. You’ll find it all, from luxurious cosmopolitan establishments with avant-garde designs to hostels where you can enjoy a pleasant stay at great rates.

Room Mate Oscar

Best in Chueca!

With sweeping views of the city, the Room Mate Oscar offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi access. Located in Puerta del Sol, this 3-star hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Espanol.
Facilities at the hotel include luggage storage, meeting rooms and a 24 hour reception. The hotel also offers a tour desk, a safe and limited hours room service.

Check for the lowest rate for the Room Mate Oscar and book now.

Urban Hotel Madrid

Best Outdoor Pool

This 5-star hotel is located in Centro and has an outdoor pool, air conditioning and a steam bath. It offers uninterrupted views of the city, stylish rooms with mini bars and personalised service. The Urban Hotel Madrid offers a convenient 24-hour reception as well as valet parking, a fitness centre and 24 hour room service. Wi-Fi is provided in the hotel, making sure you’ll have no problems staying connected during your trip. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s shuttle service and the tour desk services.

Each room at Hotel Louren has a luxurious marble bathroom, a minibar, a safe, and individually adjustable air conditioning.

Check for the lowest rate for the Hotel Urban Madrid and book now.

Silken Puerta America

Best Design Hotel

Featuring a heated pool and a Turkish steam bath, the Silken Puerta America also offers a fitness centre and air conditioning.This luxury 5-star hotel offers a variety of superior services and facilities, including valet parking. The hotel also offers an executive floor, a nightclub and an express check-in and check-out feature. The hotel offers room service 24/7.

Each of the 12 floors of this five-star hotel has been designed by a different architect, with starkly different rooms from level to level.

Check for the lowest rate for the Silken Madrid and book now.

Hotel Abalu

Great price for the location!

Tiny, with only 15 smallish rooms, this nice little boutique hotel has put a lot of design and comfort into what used to be a humble hostel. Still a little rough around the edges, it isn’t unlike a stylish guesthouse with hotel services. Depending on which of the rooms you get, there are beds hanging from the ceiling, Mac entertainment systems, free-standing tubs, faux-baroque accessories and gentler, toile de jouy-like accents – all products of fashion designer Luis Delgado’s eye. You can even pre-select an in-room scent from white roses, figs, chocolate or jasmine.

The in-house Beauty Bar is becoming a bit of a buzz spot, and with its location in Malasaña and proximity to Chueca and Gran Vía, you’re never far from places to continue your evening.

Check for the lowest rate for the Hotel Abalu and book now.

What to See & Do IN MADRID

Madrid has some of the finest art museums and architecture in Europe, all within easy walking distance from each other.

Experience the unique Tapas nightlife with a night tour. Take a private running tour. Head to Toledo for an afternoon of breathtaking beauty. The choices are endless.

Madrid Royal Palace

Madrid as a royal capital is home to some of the most important buildings in Spain, including the stunning Royal Palace.

Madrid Streets

Explore the grandeur of the city’s architecture by night when the city bustles with energy. The boys of Madrid love to party hard and late, so a siesta is recommended,

Lavapies and Latina

Don’t be afraid to explore beyond Chueca. Lavapies and Latina are two districts that have an up and comming alternative hipster scene.

Madrid Pride

Madrid hosts one of the world’s largest pride at the beginning of July each year, attracting more than 1 million participants.

What to explore? Culture and more.

The Paseo del Arte, the arts’ walk, is home to four of the best Spanish museums. And The Museo del Prado is an unmissable highlight of anyone’s visit to Madrid. Save time queuing and book the Madrid Card in Advance. Gain entry to over 50 museums, partake in a “Discover Madrid” walking tour, enjoy a theater show or visit the Bernabeu Stadium Tour. With the choice of a 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour or 120 hour card, you can also enjoy discounts on shopping, restaurants and nightlife such as a flamenco show.

The Palacio Real (or Royal Palace, also referred to as the Palacio de Oriente) is the lavish site of royal events, but is not home to the royal family (they have lived in the smaller Palacio de la Zarzuela for some time).The Palacio Real is still a fascinating place to walk through though, with its maze of 50 themed rooms decorated in the finest metals and richest fabrics – though this is only a small sampling of the total 2,800 rooms of the palace. On the guided tour, you will also learn much about the interesting history behind the Bourbon dynasty, during whose reign the palace
was most in use.

Book a sightseeing skip-the-line-tour of the palace in advance and save.

Booking.com

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