Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Tempo
If you're looking for an alternative to the glamorous club scene, Tempo is a great place for a dance - or a quieter drink in the café upstairs.
Costello
Aside from specialising in an impressive array of live music of all genres, there are even nights of stand-up comedy and short-film seasons. A hip bar for any night of the week.
Kapital
If size was the only criterion, then Kapital would win Madrid's club wars. Quantity is not quite matched by quality, but despite being commercial, it's enormous fun.
Marula
Cramming an enormous amount of fun into one of the smallest possible places, Marula hums with funk and soul, and everyone gets their groove on...
Stars Dance Cafe
If you're out to have a good time, Stars is a safe bet; a café, restaurant and hang-out zone during the day and a great party venue by night, it is all things to all men.
Belvedere Lounge
Specialising in an impressive array of vodkas, the team behind Ølsen have created one of the coolest bars in the city - the perfect place to take advantage of the ample seating and admire all the pretty people...
La Solea
There's little separation between audience and musicians at this fantastic late night flamenco bar; the guitarist accompanies amateur enthusiasts along with the professionals.
Palacio Gaviria
Baroque grandeur is not normally a design ethos associated with clubs, but that makes a night at Palacio Gaviria all the more interesting. Come on Wednesdays for tango night or weekends for more mainstream music.
Cafe la Palma
A great alternative to Madrid's Cavalli-clad, see-and-be-seen clubs, Cafe La Palma is all about fun. Come for great music with plenty of variety.
Demode
Formerly a bar de putas (a hooker bar to you and me), Demode has been transformed into an electronica club that has become popular as the first venue of the night.
Oui
Oui, with its original set-up, dark and atmospheric vibe and experienced management, is well worth a look.
El Clandestino
Regular jam sessions on the bottom floor alternate with smooth jazz, home grown pop, house and ambient music. The vaulted brick dance floor rarely has space to actually dance - but the beautiful crowd ensures you don't mind packing in like a sardine.
La Otra Habana
Unadulterated mojitos and a raft of expertly shaken cocktails await those who choose to move to the Cuban beat. Don't expect to find a lot of space for your dance moves, but do expect a friendly, unpretentious crowd.
Viva Madrid
Open both during the day and at night, it's worth arriving at this beautifully decorated bar early in order to secure a table from which to admire its tiled décor, romantic prints and vaulted ceiling.
Cool
Cool is one of the most fashionable places to be seen in Madrid's hedonistic night scene, but check the night before you go, as the theme nights may not be for everyone.
La Vieja Estacion
Head south to reach this beautiful summer-only venue. With 10 bars, a restaurant, salsa rooms and open-air dance floor, you'll never want to leave.
Moma56
One of Madrid's most popular (and sexy) clubs, Moma's slightly out-of-centre location ensures it is full of smart locals and only the most clued-up tourists.
Cafe Jazz Populart
Jazz aficionardos should look no further than Cafe Jazz Populart. A perennial favourite, this small, intimate bar provides an exceptional mix of atmosphere and live music.
Casa Patas
Small, intimate and intense, this is flamenco up close and personal. One of the most popular flamenco clubs in town, dine at the club and then head over to its sister bar afterwards.
Loft 39
The wallets of the clientele are bulging and the quality of the stock behind the bar is high enough to meet their expectations. A very exclusive vibe and a range of ages and fashion styles in evidence.
Olivera
This Serbian-run venue is popular with artistic types and their beautiful muses who kick back and relax in the subtly lit space to listen to jazz, electro funk and bossanova, as well as music from the Balkans.
Suite
Grab one of the cream-coloured leather armchairs or sofas by the front window, and watch the mainly hetero crowd shout above the trance, funk or house music that seems to get louder and harder as the night wears on...
El Barbu
If you're looking for nooks and crannies, this softly lit labyrinthine bar is the perfect place to disappear for an hour or so...
Sol y Sombra
Inspired by the Spanish passion for the bullfight, the upmarket Sol y Sombra (sun or shade) tries to bring a little class to a neighbourhood full of cheap-shot and disco-house bars.
Susan Club
New to the scene in central Madrid, Susan Club draws a mixed and sociable crowd who are incredibly animated, particularly after a few of the club's special G&Ts.
Cafe Central
A must for jazz lovers, Cafe Central is in an area serried with bars, restaurants and other jazz clubs (Cafe Jazz Populart). Stop by for a mix of international and homegrown talent.

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