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Temple of Debod, Madrid

Ideas for summer nights in Madrid


Looking for an oasis in Madrid nights

Do you want to keep having fun even when it gets late? We have a few suggestions for your summer holiday in Madrid.

Tapas for dinner at a pavement café

Summer holidays are times to be informal. You can start the evening with a “picoteo” dinner, where you share some raciones and tapas in a jolly atmosphere. In summer you can do this at outdoor cafés practically everywhere in Madrid. Some of the best-known areas are the districts of La Latina and Malasaña or around the Plaza Olavide and Calle Ponzano. Some of the most fashionable spots include the terraces of the gourmet food markets such as San Ildefonso, Barceló and San Antón.


Outdoor shows

There is a vast programme of summer concerts, theatre performances and shows in Madrid, and many of these take place outdoors. Good places to look are the Matadero and Conde Duque centres, which offer acoustic concerts, DJ sessions, street art workshops, exhibitions by underground artists, dance evenings and so on, around their outdoor terrace cafés.

There are also shows in open spaces like the Buen Retiro Park, the Sabatini Gardens or the Plaza Mayor on some summer nights.

Outdoor café on Plaza Santa Ana, Madrid

Cocktails up high

There’s a Madrid saying which seems to make more sense on summer nights: “De Madrid al cielo” (from Madrid to heaven). It’s easy to understand why if you decide on cocktails at one of the city’s fashionable rooftop bars. Apart from the iconic ones at the Círculo de Bellas Artes and the Cibeles Palace, several hotels and restaurants in the area of the Gran Vía and Calle Alcalá boast modern rooftop bars for enjoying a drink with incredible panoramic views of the city. Look up when you are in the area of las Letras as well, as here you can find some of the most popular rooftop bars frequented by locals and tourists hidden away. 

A night at the races

The Hipódromo de la Zarzuela, a racetrack on the outskirts of the city, has plenty to do when the sun goes down. It has a large outdoor café and park area, a restaurant and a cocktail bar perfect for cooling down on a hot night. Additionally, on most Thursday nights in the summer there are the Noches del Hipódromo, featuring horse races and the chance to place your bets.

Nights at the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela, Madrid

Summer cinemas

Open-air, often in the original language, they may show the latest films, classics, or theme nights. Every summer Madrid offers more cinema choices. These three are very special: Cibeles Palace, for its themed programming  and the place where they are held (in the building’s glass gallery); the Centro Cultural Conde Duque, for the pleasant surroundings; and the Parque de la Bombilla, the city's classic summer cinema which has been running for over 30 years.

Glass Gallery, Madrid
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