Gran Via and Sol Nightlife, Madrid (Self Guided)

Citizens of Madrid are famous for being dynamic and very outgoing. Living in one of the liveliest cities in Europe, locals enjoy the nightlife, when Madrid transforms into an array of colors and music. Check out the most popular nightlife spots in Central Madrid in the next self-guided tour.
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Gran Via and Sol Nightlife Map

Guide Name: Gran Via and Sol Nightlife
Guide Location: Spain » Madrid (See other walking tours in Madrid)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Author: emma
1
Larios Cafe

1) Larios Cafe

A fantastic multi-purpose establishment, Larios Cafe features a fabulous restaurant offering inspired international cuisine, while also turning up the heat with live Cuban music late nights where guests really get down on the dance floor. Featuring two distinct spaces, each with its own vibe and music, the award-winning Art Deco interior was designed by Tomas Alia and adds a sophisticated touch to this hip Madrid hotspot. The cuisine draws its inspiration from the Canary Islands, with a local flair to create a unique and savory selection of dishes to suit any taste. Larios Cafe is also a great place to host a private event or corporate function in style.

Operation Hours: Wednesday: 9 pm – 4 am; Thursday: 9 pm – 5 am; Friday - Saturday: 9 pm – 5.30 am
2
Club Joy Eslava

2) Club Joy Eslava

Found inside a former theater built back in the 19th century, Club Joy Eslava features one of Madrid’s most impressive light shows to match the upbeat bevy of dance music. Equipped with a spacious, sunken dance floor, guests will be dazzled by the high-tech lasers and synchronized light show spread across three floors of pure entertainment. The horseshoe-shaped balcony wraps around the stage area overlooking the action down below and offers a place for guests to relax with a cocktail when not cutting it up on the dance floor. Entertainment usually features upbeat dance tunes, techno, and disco, though can occasionally include live music performance from an assortment of genres.
3
El Son

3) El Son

Located in the heart of the city, El Son is a popular Latin dance club where guests can party all night long to hot Latin beats. In addition to salsa, El Son features a range of other Latin-influenced sounds, like bachata and merengue, as well as Caribbean music throughout the week, which makes it a popular spot for Madrid’s Latin American community. Music is served up by both DJs and live bands. Because of its location in the center of the city, El Son attracts a fair amount of tourists from other parts of the world as well. When needing a break from the dance floor, guests to El Son can chill in the tranquil lounge room.

Operation Hours: Daily: 9.30 pm – 6 am
4
Glass Bar

4) Glass Bar

An upscale establishment found inside the ultra-modern Urban hotel in Madrid, the Glass Bar, as its name implies, features a transparent theme throughout the space. The impressive and sophisticated interior includes transparent chairs designed by Phillipe Starck, known as ghost chairs, crystal floors that light from underneath, and an impressive spider-like Moroccan chandelier. Especially famous for its oyster bar, in addition to expertly-crafted cocktails, guests will be delighted by the Glass Bar’s menu of Japanese-inspired cuisine, specializing in delicious seafood dishes in particular like soft-shell crab salad and toro tuna tartare.

Operation Hours: Sunday: 11 am - midnight; Monday - Wednesday: 10.30 am - midnight; Thursday - Friday: 10.30 am - 3 am; Saturday: 11 am - 3 am
5
Mondo

5) Mondo

Attracting a sorted crowd consisting of mainly guests in their early-twenties, Mondo is one of the best places in Madrid to hear a variety of fantastic electronic music, including underground sounds in a variety of flavors unmatched just about anywhere in the city. A popular nightclub located in the heart of the city, guests here routinely get down to a bevy of sounds, including many hues of techno, house, deep house, minimal, drum and bass, funk, tech house, and more. The music is served up by popular local DJs, as well as touring international artists. Mondo’s three resident DJs also rock the house on Saturday nights.

Operation Hours: Thursday - Saturday: 12.30 am – 6 am
6
Museo Chicote

6) Museo Chicote

When you are looking at your list of museums to visit in Madrid, don’t be misled by the Museo Chicote on the Gran Via – it is not a museum, it is the most famous cocktail bar in Madrid. During the Spanish Civil War the bar was a favorite meeting place for the Foreign Press and Hemingway was one of its most regular patrons. It has kept its nineteen thirties Retro style, but has added modern lighting, modern acoustics, a dance floor and some of the top Spanish DJ’s to entertain you into the small hours. The walls are festooned with the great and famous who have (perhaps) sipped refreshing cocktails in the heat of the Spanish summer nights. Here you can see – apart from the famous Ernest – photos of Dali, Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra and Orson Welles, among others.

If Ava Gardener ever frequented the place, you would have a hard time proving she didn't – a well positioned photo suggests that she did; but in these days of airbrushing software, who really knows? Only the bar-tenders and they are keeping mum! The cocktails aren't very cheap, around 7 Euros a glass, and a lot of people don’t find them up to the high standard the fame of the bar requires they should be, but you should visit the place to form your own opinion. You should know, however, that at night the cocktail bar is a favorite haunt for gays, the music is very loud and the place is often over-crowded. If you want to have fun, then it’s a great place to spend the evening; if you want a bit of peace and quiet, it would be better if you chose another bar – or spent the evening at your hotel with a good book!

Operation Hours: Monday - Saturday: 17.00 - 03.00. Sunday - closed.

Walking Tours in Madrid, Spain

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Hemingway's Walking Tour

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There have been many writers who express a love for Madrid, but one who did so quite famously was Ernest Hemingway. During his life, Hemingway was a frequent visitor of Madrid, finding in it his muse, popular success and critical acclaim. Don Ernesto, as he was called in Spain, was a frequent visitor to specific sites in Madrid that became major tourist attractions. The majority of those sites are...  view more

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Madrid is the economical, political and cultural center of Spain. Founded in the 9th century, this city is one of the most relevant destinations that Spain has to offer to its visitors concerning culture and history. Madrid is a vibrant metropolis full of taste, vigor, and wealth. This walk starts in the city's most prominent areas - Gran Vía and Sol. The latter is Madrid's epicenter...  view more

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City Orientation Walk I

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Madrid is a vibrant metropolis full of taste, vigor, and wealth. This walk starts in the city's most prominent areas - Gran Vía and Sol. The latter is Madrid's epicenter and popular meeting place. Gran Via ("Great Way") is a high-end thoroughfare in the heart of the capital, nicknamed Spanish Broadway for world-class shopping and nightlife. The walk follows through Plaza Mayor...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
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La Latina Entertainment Walk

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Madrid's oldest neighborhood, La Latina is one of the city's most fun to explore. The place where the old meets the new, and historic blends harmoniously with the modern. El Rastro, Madrid's oldest and most iconic street market is located here. When the night falls, the area comes alive with the multitude of bars, cafes and pubs opening up for tourists and locals eager to go out on...  view more

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Travel Distance: 1.7 km
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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.2 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Madrid for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Madrid has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Madrid's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as iVenture Card, Madrid Flexi Attractions Pass, Madrid Unlimited Attractions Pass, Madrid City Pass and Madrid City Card.

A city pass combines all or multiple Madrid's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Madrid hotels that are conveniently located: Hotel Liabeny, Petit Palace Posada del Peine, Quatro Puerta del Sol.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Madrid, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, as a guided tour typically costs from US$25 up to US$100 or more per person:

- Hop on a “hop-on hop-off” double-decker and enjoy sightseeing of Madrid from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – these usually last from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and allow you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Madrid on a bike tour for 3 hours visiting the most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them (for 5-20 minutes) to get rest, watch the surroundings, and learn much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Satisfy your hunger for historical knowledge and culinary delights of Madrid on a walking tour with food tasting and dinner to experience the unique flavor and culture of the Spanish capital and to soak up its nightlife atmosphere.

- If your passion for food pairs with that for fast-paced choreography, then you definitely may enjoy a night of flamenco dancing at one of the most esteemed flamenco venues in the heart of Old Madrid.

- If you take a keen interest in royal matters and history, consider taking a 3-hour sightseeing and Royal Palace tour of Madrid to explore the city's most important architectural sights and Royal Palace (Palacio Real), learn about Madrid’s Moorish origins, observe its famous Habsburg and modern-day monuments, and see what has shaped the Spanish capital into what it is today.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Madrid, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Toledo, Segovia or a combo of Toledo and Aranjuez. For as little as circa US$60 to US$120 you will get a chance to discover historical highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites being picked up straight from your hotel, or any other place in Madrid, and transported either by train or a comfortable air-conditioned minivan to the destination of your choice and back again. Also, you may wish to take a chauffeur-driven tour of Madrid Wine Region visiting several wineries for a chance to learn about the region's wine making traditions and to taste a dozen of local wines. This excursion will set you back around US$140.