| Print |

Though often overshadowed by Barcelona, the Spanish capital is one of Europe's most exciting gay destinations. Explore it using the 60by80 gay guide to Madrid with Club, Queen and King-sized recommendations on what to see and do, and where to eat, shop and go out.

Suite at the W Barcelona


Friday afternoon.


DiurnoCLUB-SIZED
Get acquainted. Settle in to the city's vibe with nibbles at Diurno, Chueca's fave daytime hangout, before checking out the remodelled shopping strip Fuencarral. Then head over for a vermut at Angel Sierra.

Dos PalillosQUEEN-SIZED
Do like the local hip crowd and have a Home Burger. From the Malasaña outlet of the mini-chain, you've got Madrid's hippest shops in spitting distance. Don't miss peSeta, vintage gem Corachan y Delgado, or Grupo Sportivo's shops.

The Modern at MoMAKING-SIZED
A combination of tapas bar, restaurant and shop, Sula is all about gourmet food in super-sleek surroundings. That should put you in the mood for some luxe shopping in Salamanca; hello Loewe, hello menswear heaven Gallery Madrid.

MORE SHOPS AND AREAS IN OUR MADRID SHOPPING SECTION


Friday evening.


Bazaar restaurantCLUB-SIZED
The Catalan masters of fancy budget restaurants, delivers what they do so well at Bazaar: decent Mediterranean food in a fab setting for those on a budget. Buzzing and smack in the heart of Chueca.

Vi Cool by Sergi ArolaQUEEN-SIZED
More affordable than his self-named restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Sergi Arola's Vi Cool serves up gourmet burgers and traditional cocas at his casual-cool wine bar-restaurant.

AlboroqueKING-SIZED
Every city has its mad-scientist style chef and Madrid's is Andrés Madrigal. Having spent two decades re-inventing Spanish cuisine, he opened Alboroque and is now packing it with gastro-pilgrims out for the next big thing.

MORE DINING REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN OUR MADRID RESTAURANT GUIDE


Friday night.


Paris TokyoCLUB-SIZED
Get your bearings at Room Mate Óscar's Paris Tokyo lounge bar. Wonderfully sceney and pose-y, it’s the perfect place to knock down a cocktail or four. Explore the town and end the night at Club Kaiser.

Why NotQUEEN-SIZED
Chueca nightlife is mostly about small dive bars. Explore the streets around Plaza Chueca or settle for a safe choice like Why Not. Not big enough? Head to dance club La Boite, or Ohm for a more studenty gig.

Skynight bar at Puerta AmericaKING-SIZED
In an awkward part of town, the Skynight rooftop bar at the architecturally wondrous Puerta America has nonetheless managed to become one of the most fashionable hangouts. Smooth bossa nova beats and overpriced cocktails.

MORE SUGGESTIONS FOR GOING OUT IN OUR MADRID GAY NIGHTLIFE SECTION


Saturday morning.


IsoléeCLUB-SIZED
Begin the day at Isolée. More of a multi-faceted stop off point for the area's cool kids to hang out than an actual restaurant, the place mixes café, music, clothes and lifestyle bits and bobs. Snacky sushi and bagels, and excellent coffees.

Mercado San MiguelQUEEN-SIZED
Like Cinderella, Mercado San Miguel was given a fairy godmother-like makeover, transforming it into Madrid's coolest market, selling everything from fresh fish to design objects. Start your day with fresh pastries from Pastelería Austriaca.

SegoviaKING-SIZED
A weekend may seem too short for out-of-town excursions, but the stunning town of Segovia and its iconic Roman aqueducts are only half an hour away by AVE, the Spanish high speed rail. Get up early and be back in time for lunch.


Saturday afternoon.


Centro de Arte Reina SofiaCLUB-SIZED
Head over to Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, home of Picasso's Guernica and the mainstay of most modern art exhibitions in Madrid but an equally pleasant place to just hang out. When you get peckish, the cool Cafeteria Nouvel is onsite.

CaixaForum MadridQUEEN-SIZED
Power up on tapas with a global spin at Olsen, finger food from a Scandinavian perspective, before a visit to the stunning Herzog & de Meuron-designed postmodern art gallery CaixaForum.

SamarkandaKING-SIZED
AVE train station Atocha oddly enough has a botanical garden. Enjoy that view while lunching at Samarkanda, then walk up to the Prado or Museo Thyssen and get treated to more eye candy from the old masters.

MORE MADRID ATTRACTIONS IN OUR THINGS TO DO SECTION


Saturday evening.


MadriliaCLUB-SIZED
Gutted to find out Spain is tapas, not pizza, and gracias, not grazie? Fear not, Madrilia serves up cheap and tasty home-cooked food for a pittance in Chueca, just a hop and a skip from all the bars.

Luzi BombónQUEEN-SIZED
Book ahead for Luzi Bombón, the hottest table in town at the moment, packed with everyone from politicos and artsy-fartsies to the fashion lot and ladies-who-lunch.

Dassa BassaKING-SIZED
Head to Dassa Bassa, Darío Barrio's eponymous restaurant, and get treated to an exploration of tastes and textures, combined with the classic Spanish consideration for fresh market produce and local ingredients.

MORE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EATING OUT IN OUR MADRID RESTAURANT SECTION


Saturday night.


LiquidCLUB-SIZED
Warm up at the perpetually packed video bar Liquid. Later, Saturday's PK2 SeXion at Sala Wind and LOL at Cool are the buff boy sessions. Want your boys more manly? Then there's Kluster at Chango.

MuseumQUEEN-SIZED
Big on electro, Charada is where hipsters of the ironic cool and skinny jeans mould go on Saturdays. Get in the mood with drinks at one of the city's DJ bars like Stromboli.

Banker's Bar at Mandarin OrientalKING-SIZED
Having entertained the likes of Johnny Depp and Naomi Campbell, for authentic flamenco you won't find better than Casa Patas. Reserve for a midnight show and try to get a table in the front row.


Sunday day.


Cafe OliverCLUB-SIZED
Recover from Saturday's excesses at the top floor restaurant of Mercado San Antón in Chueca. Bag a terrace seat. When you feel you're ready to rejoin it, the Parque del Buen Retiro is the best place to watch Madrid play.

El Rastro marketQUEEN-SIZED
Sunday morning is the time to to trawl, haggle, and cling tightly to your man purse at El Rastro, Europe's largest market. Stay in the La Latina for lunch at El Viajero, then proceed to Matadero to find out what Madrid's creatives are up to.

Glass Bar at Hotel UrbanKING-SIZED
Madrid's first and only oyster bar, the super cool Hotel Urban's Glass Bar attracts a high-end clientele come Sunday brunch. Digest on a bespoke sightseeing or experience tour from Madrid & Beyond.


Sunday evening.


Restaurante PublicCLUB-SIZED
Public is another institution on the local cheap eat scene, with its fabulous value-for-money balance, dishing up perfectly edible nosh, elegantly presented at rock-bottom prices.

Bar VelódromoQUEEN-SIZED
Dig into comfort food in the very best sense of the word at Chueca's Come Bien, with old favourites like croquetas, garlic chicken and Cordoba-style salmorejo. The presentation is beautiful, and the prices won't wobble your wallet.

RamsesKING-SIZED
With Philippe Starck at the design reins at Ramses - quirky touches include rocking chairs, furry stools, huge candelabra and an homage to the Oscar statuette - the waitlist can long for the lavish Bistro though you'll get snackier options in Petit.


Sunday night.


SpaceCLUB-SIZED
If you're looking to dance shirt-off, arms-in-the-air, then you'll be right at home at Space, a massive dance hall with an incredible sound system, and Sundays can usually be relied on to pull in the party boys.

Splash at OscarQUEEN-SIZED
Round off the weekend with drinks at Rommate Oscar's rooftop Splash bar, if the weather permits. Alternatively, Zombie Bar beckons, Madrid's hipster attraction that serves great Bloody Marys in artfully distressed surrounds.

The Penthouse at MEKING-SIZED
Find the exclusive elevator to The Roof at hotel ME Madrid and step out to a deck of low slung Balinese beds, flickering candlelight and gauzy curtains. The cocktails are supreme, if drinking in the views of the city isn't sufficient.

FIND RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHERE TO STAY IN MADRID IN OUR HOTELS SECTION

 

We'd love to hear your opinion. Please do This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any tips, feedback and recommendations.