Early hours of the evening (between about 8 pm and 11 pm )
Plaza de Oriente square
Here are a few ideas to guide you when you set out in the early evening to enjoy a night out on the town in some of the top Spanish cities for nightlife.
Musicals and theatre: Madrid offers the chance to spend an unforgettable evening in the theatre with a whole range of musical shows every season. Some are completely original, and you’ll only be able to see them in Spain. Others are versions of classics that are well worth seeing, and which in Madrid can be enjoyed in unique style. To get an idea of the wide offer of musicals you’ll find, just stroll down the Gran Vía avenue and take a look at the theatres lining both sides of the streets.
Going out for tapas: Madrid is the ideal city for enjoying the popular custom of “going out for tapas”: moving from one bar to another with your friends and enjoying delicious bite-sized portions of typical local specialities (potato omelette, spicy fried potatoes in sauce, croquettes, squid, cod, bull’s tail…) accompanied by a refreshing glass of beer or a good wine, and interesting conversation. In the historic centre (mainly in the neighbourhoods of Huertas and La Latina, near the Plaza Mayor) you’ll find classic taverns (with their unmistakeable tile-covered façades) and modern venues where in addition to tapas you can order “raciones” (more plentiful dishes to share).
You’ll also have the chance to sample the typical gastronomy of each Spanish region, as well as cuisine from all the five continents. You won’t need to go far to find all the best-known dishes from any of the world’s countries, as there are numerous international and regional restaurants to choose from. Many of these are located in the Huertas area, near the squares of Jacinto Benavente and Tirso de Molina, and in the streets around Fuencarral and the Plaza de España.
Haute cuisine: you'll be able to indulge yourself in some of Madrid’s top restaurants, where meticulous attention to every last detail guarantees diners an exquisite and sublime experience. The original presentation of the dishes is only the start; the best part comes later, when you discover a whole new world of exceptional and surprising tastes. This is all thanks to top chefs and cooks such as Santi Santamaría, Sergi Arola, Ferran Adrià and Paco Roncero, among others.
Early drinks: you can spend relaxing evenings in Madrid enjoying delicious cocktails in designer venues while you indulge in a little quiet conversation, without the need to raise your voice. You'll find places serving a wide range of cocktails, both with and without alcohol, to enjoy in good company while music plays in the background. We recommend the streets of Gran Vía and Reina, home to bars and cocktail lounges with years of tradition and glamour which have been frequented by numerous celebrities over the years.
On days when the weather is at its most pleasant, you’ll find a whole host of terraces throughout the city. These are generally located in the historic centre and near squares such as the Plaza de Oriente, las Descalzas, del Ángel and Santa Ana. There are all kinds of places, ranging from the most typical where you can have a “caña” (small glass of beer), to exotic tea rooms or live music venues –special highlights include the clubs offering jazz concerts in streets like Jacometrezo, Alburquerque or the Plaza del Ángel square; and live flamenco shows accompanied by dinner.
For dinner: in Barcelona you'll be able to enjoy exquisitely prepared modern Mediterranean cuisine at the hands of some of Spain’s greatest chefs such as Martín Berasategui and Santi Santamaría. What’s more, Barcelona’s restaurants offer the chance to dine in unique and original venues, including an enormous glass dome with views over the city or a large tower in the harbour overlooking the sea. You’ll also be able to treat yourself to this cuisine in one of the restaurants frequented by Dalí, or in a building designed by Gaudí. All in all, you’ll find over twenty exclusive restaurants where you can see for yourself “in situ” why expert food critics hold Barcelona in such high esteem. Try the neighbourhoods of the Eixample, Gràcia, Saint Gervasi and Ciutat Vella. You won’t be sorry. The city’s line-up of restaurants also includes numerous places where you can surprise your palate with a whole range of different tastes and flavours imported from other continents. Oriental, Arab, Indian, vegetarian, creative, fusion… Every day you’ll have the chance to try a new and exotic menu. You’ll also find places full of character, where the décor and special atmosphere will guarantee a pleasant dining experience. You’ll come across many of these restaurants while you stroll around the Barrio Gótico or El Born neighbourhoods; or if you visit the areas of El Raval or the left part of Eixample. Early drinks: the city of Barcelona is the perfect place to enjoy a few drinks while looking out over the Mediterranean, strolling through its streets or dining in any of its restaurants. A good area for this is the Port Vell harbour which has numerous bars and restaurants overlooking the sea, and outdoor terraces in summer. The Gothic quarter has designer restaurants, tea shops and traditional beer halls which are ideal for whiling away a few pleasant hours. It also has some of the best-known live jazz venues in the whole city, as well as classic indie sounds. Then there’s the area around the Barrio de Gràcia neighbourhood, packed with cosy bars and restaurants with a bohemian atmosphere and offering a varied gastronomy. Another sure-fire choice is the Raval neighbourhood, where you’ll find an abundance of multicultural venues, and streets teeming with life. Or else you could opt to take a bus tour that also includes dinner and a flamenco show.
Ibiza's nightlife is famous the world over. Besides its fashionable bars and night clubs, there’s also a host of other activities that get underway once the sun goes down: street markets, pavement terraces, cultural activities in the open-air, concerts and music performances… So important is the island's nightlife that during the day there are creative parades and street shows in the area near the port to highlight the evening’s attractions in the various clubs. But fascinating as these are, they're only a taste of what's to come later.
You’ll be able to enjoy a lively night out before moving on to have fun in the town’s large casino. Here in this city you’ll find internationally acclaimed restaurants which are ideal for dinner, personalised transport in limousines and spectacular sports cars, and leisure venues with a select atmosphere. You may even bump into a celebrity or two, as Marbella is one of the preferred holiday destinations for many members of the jet set.