The hundred-year-old Gran Vía has been Madrid’s nightlife district for ages. Together with Sol, it’s one of the corners you can watch passers-by – a good way to feel you’re a local in Madrid.
The interplay of light and shadow from the theatre marquees on top of historic buildings indicates it’s time for fun in Madrid’s Gran Vía.
The Cine Callao movie theatre unfolds the red carpet whenever there’s a musical or movie premiere – a great place for celebrity hunting. The Rialto Movistar, Príncipe, Lope de Vega, Compac Gran Vía or Caser Calderón theatres run the many musicals that come to Madrid every year. As in any other theatre district in major cities around the world, from Santo Domingo to Plaza de Jacinto Benavente and the adjoining streets, you’ll find an incredible selection of restaurants, taverns and bars to choose from.
Get to the rooftops of modern hotels like the Ada Palace or the Urban for a bird’s-eye view of the sunset over the Madrid skyline. And you can’t miss the panoramic views of the city from the terrace of Círculo de Bellas Artes, open until 9pm.
Being Madrid’s leisure centre and shopping thoroughfare par excellence, Gran Vía-Sol has come to be a popular hag party destination with young people from other Spanish cities and even from abroad. They come to celebrate the ‘last night of freedom’ in the big city. A great venue to hold these parties is Gula Gula, a cabaret club that puts on drag shows that make everyone laugh, even the grumpiest ones.
The nightclubs in the area get alive later at night. Open since 1979, El Sol was at the heart of the vibrant cultural scene of the movida madrileña movement. Today, it‘s a cultural space and concert hall that holds book and album presentations or video clip recordings. More recent venues are the Independance Club, with themed nights and parties, or Costello, which plays rock, indie or funk and is the club of choice of many local bands.
The bell chimes for New Year in Puerta del Sol
If you’re planning to spend New Year’s Eve in Madrid, head to Puerta del Sol. On 31 December, and also for the rehearsal the day before, you’re invited to join the crowds and watch the huge clock tick down to midnight.
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