Madrid is packed with a variety of bars, cafés and terrazas and there’s no better way to experience authentic Madrileño life than in these thriving watering holes. Take your Madrid city break to the next level with these fantastic bars.
María Pandora is an incongruous mix of champagnería (champagne bar) and library, where quality cava can be enjoyed with the perfect accompaniment of chocolates and mellow jazz. Admire the decor of crammed bookshelves and colourful walls lined with unique paintings.
Popular little wine bar serving a vast range of domestic wines by the glass. A great place to discover your favourite Spanish vino – and the tapas are excellent too. Check out the hundreds of bottles of wine on display behind the bar, too!
Located in Madrid de los Austrias, this bar lets you enjoy a cold drink while taking in fantastic views of the city and its environs. This popular terraza is great for a relaxing drink while enjoying the vistillas (little views) over the cathedral and mountains, but avoid the overpriced tapas.
Traditional bar whose layout, furniture and decorative tiles have changed little since its foundation back in 1909. Well-poured beer, vermút, a decent selection of wine and some good tapas add further to the appeal.
Located in Lavapiés, this stylish bar serves a great range of drinks. Once an old furniture shop, now a mainstay on the Lavapiés bar scene, La Inquilina is a deceptively large, bohemian bar. It serves an interesting range of beers, ecological ciders and vermouth as well as some Portuguese and French-influenced tapas, too.
Traditional old beer house, and you can rest assured that there’s space for everyone here. This pub was once frequented by Hemingway. Order a caña (draught beer) and go easy on the tapas, as the bill can mount up fast.
Intimate and relaxed little bar in the Huertas area where you can chill out in their comfy chairs, sip on a mojito, and escape from the hubbub of the city outside. It’s all pretty darkly lit inside with a red ambience and live music to top it all off.
This glamorous cocktail bar has become a favourite with the well-heeled in-crowd. Designer tapas such as sushi, wild salmon and oysters accompany drinks. In summer, a terrace bar opens on the sixth floor.
A fabulous tiled bar with a popular terrace that is a longtime stalwart of the Madrid night scene. Refurbished and now offering a wide selection of food and tapas, but still best for a drink.
One of the most original and fun Madrid bars, this long, narrow coffee shop/cocktail bar is designed to look like the interior of a luxurious old train carriage, while landscapes are projected onto the “windows” to create the sensation of movement. There is an extensive cocktail menu in the evenings and occasional live music too.
Perched on the edge of the plaza, this is one of the great bars in Madrid, where everyone drinks vermút accompanied by free, exquisite pickled anchovy tapas. Raciones are also available in the seated area, though they are a little pricey. Of all the bars in Madrid, make sure you sit down to a drink at this one!