Nightlife: Austrias

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Classic cafés, restaurants, cocktail bars, legendary nightclubs, a former market turned into a gastronomic space, and the grand Teatro Real - Opera House. All in Madrid de los Austrias, one of the areas with the greatest architectural heritage in the city.

Surrounded by Calle Segovia and Calle Bailén, the Cuesta de San Vicente, the Plaza de Ópera, Calle Arenal, the Plaza Mayor and the Plaza de la Villa, the district of Austrias is another good example of how classical Madrid sits harmoniously alongside the city's more avant-garde persona.

The area's nightlife is largely based around bel canto music and the operas performed at the Teatro Real - Opera House, which has its own restaurant, including a novel proposal for an express menu for the intervals. However, the area known as Madrid de los Austrias offers much more.

The refurbished Café de Oriente has a broad programme of live music at the weekends, as well as many highly original proposals for pairing dinners.

Just a stone's throw from the Plaza de Oriente you will find La Bola famous for its traditional stew and one of the best restaurants to enjoy traditional Castilian fare; and the established flamenco 'tablao' restaurant Café de Chinitas. In the surrounding area, you can visit the Taberna del Alabardero, a charming place located in Madrid de los Austrias; and the area's latest Michelin starred restaurant, La Candela Restó.

The former San Miguel Market, dating back to the early 20th Century, was converted in 2009 into a modern gastronomic space that is highly popular with tourists on account of the conservation of its period glass and iron structure and the variety of stalls selling select products, bars, tastings, and events hosted daily, until midnight during the week and until 2am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The terraces of the cafés and restaurants – where you simply must try the famous calamari sandwich - are located under the archways of the Plaza Mayor where, day and night, crowds of urban artists congregate, forming huddles of curious onlookers.

Joy Eslava, on Calle Arenal, is one of the most important venues in the history of Madrid's nightlife. It first opened in 1981, and it became one of the first macro-clubs, welcoming many of the key figures in the cultural movement known as la Movida. It opens all year round, and its extensive programme includes concerts, stand-up comedy, and even a ‘light’ – alcohol-free – session for teenagers, until 10pm.

Going underground, Madrid is home to many vaulted basement venues, where you can on occasions enjoy flamenco shows and dinners, for example in Las Carboneras, a flamenco 'tablao' venue in the Plaza Conde de Miranda. Very close by you will also find Botín, which lays claim to being the oldest restaurant in the world.

More flamenco, but also jazz and dj sets until the early hours of the morning await us in Café Berlín (Costanilla de los Ángeles, 20). Another option if you are looking to dance until 6 in the morning is El Amante (C/ Santiago, 3), a very popular place among the over 30s. Located right by the Teatro Real is La Coquette, one of the last temples of blues music in the city, with live performances every week.

The latest trends in the city's nightlife are defined by exquisitely decorated bars and tearooms, such as Anticafé, on Calle Unión, with vintage style furniture, and Yambala on Calle Coloreros, an Arabic style tearoom.

With the Plaza de Oriente and the Royal Palace as the backdrop, nightlife in Madrid de los Austrias is as versatile and varied as the arias performed in its opera house.

 

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  • Unwind over a drink, dance till the small hours, have a great evening out at the theatre… Anything goes when it comes to having evening fun in Madrid. Choose your style and get carried away!

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  • Find out why Spaniards tend to eat later than the rest of the continent, when it's traditional to munch on a "saint's bones" and where you take in a flamenco show with a drink or a meal

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