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Gay Madrid

Gay Madrid

A guide to Gay Madrid

A gay guide to Madrid


What Madrid lacks in landmarks it makes up for with fun. The Spanish capital is a charming, elegant city with wonderful palaces and squares but no outstanding world landmarks to match Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. But it does have amazing nightlife, great museums and galleries, a thriving gay scene and sunshine galore.


The great thing about Madrid is that the centre is compact. You can easily walk from one attraction to another taking in the architecture, the culture and the bustle of a busy capital city without wearing yourself out.


And you will need your strength because the nightlife starts late and goes on till dawn. Spanish people seem to eat dinner when most others would be thinking of bed. And the bars and clubs only get busy when, in most other countries, they would be closing down for the night.


Madrid is dominated by its royal history with money from its former overseas empire spent on palaces, cathedrals and public buildings that provide its grandeur. It has world-class art galleries and museums, beautiful parks and a mix of big modern shopping streets, like the Grand Via and warren-like backstreet blocks like the gay district at Chueca.


Cut off from much of the world during Franco’s dictatorship, the city has flourished into a truly liberal city and a great place to visit.


Our top sightseeing tips for Madrid

  • Prado Museum - One of Europe’s most important museums, it hosts one of the world’s finest collections.
  • Madrid Royal Palace - A majestic palace located in the centre of Madrid with magnificent views and impressive architecture. It offers free and guided tours.
  • Mercado de San Miguel - Built in 1913, Madrid’s most important food market is worth a visit even if you’re not planning on shopping.
  • Puerta del Sol - Not far from Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol is Madrid’s most famous square.
  • Plaza Mayor - One of Madrid’s most beautiful squares, hosting shops, restaurants and cafes.
  • Plaza de la Villa - Historical square with architectural gems from the 15th, 16th and 17th century.
  • The Debod Temple - You will be surprised to find an authentic Egyptian temple from the second century BC in the middle of Madrid.
  • Catedral de la Almudena - A huge cathedral by the Royal Palace.
  • Chueca - Square and underground station located in the middle of Gay Madrid.
  • Flamenco, Madrid Flamenco Shows - Do not miss one of Spain’s dance legacy. Here are some of the best dance venues: Cafe de Chinitas, Las Tablas, Corral de la Moreria, Tablao Flamenco Cardamomo.



The Chueca, Fuencarral Street and Sol-Salamanca areas are the most important shopping areas in Madrid. Spain’s largest department store, El Corte Ingles is found in many locations throughout the capital. The Fuencarral Market is also an interesting and central option. The Gran Via has much to offer as well, but for the gay tourist the Chueca area may prove the most appealing.


Getting There

Madrid Barajas Airport is one of the largest in Europe, and is conveniently connected to the city centre either by train (line C1 Cercanias Commuter Train) or by Metro (line 8, pink. In addition, an inexpensive express bus service runs 24 hrs a day.


If you are arriving by train, you will arrive at one of Madrid’s two train stations: Chamartin or Atocha. Both have excellent connections with either the Metro or Cercanias. Modern high-speed trains connect Madrid to Barcelona (2,4hrs), Seville (2,2hrs), and Malaga (2,30hrs), as well as other European capitals such as Lisbon and Paris.


Most international buses arrive at Estacion Sur de Autobuses, one of eight bus terminals in Madrid. Bus arrivals from Bilbao and Barcelona come in at Avenida de Americas bus terminal. All these stations are accessible by Metro.


Getting Around

Your best tip is to use the MadridCard that will give you access to a wide range of cultural and leisure activities, such as museums, monuments, palaces, etc – via the use of public transport. The Underground (Metro) is safe and efficient as well as buses. You may find cabs difficult to hire at late hours on weekends and, unlike other European cities, there are fewer taxi stands.


NEXT: Gay Madrid >

Gay Madrid

Gay Madrid


Events in Madrid


The Spanish capital has become one of the top gay destinations of the world. Its liberal and open-minded spirit reflects on its gay pride which was voted the best in the world by Logo/MTV. Over 2 million people take part as the parade makes its way through the city’s majestic avenues. At night the gay district of Chueca is packed with revelers with performers on stages in every one of its squares.

Throughout the year Madrid has a large gay scene, located mostly at the Chueca area and most recently at Lavapies and Latina neighbourhoods. If you’re looking for gay hotel Madrid, then this is probably the area you’ll want to be closest to. The city has loads of gay saunas, bars and clubs, many with backrooms but watch your wallet.


NEXT: Gay Accommodation in Madrid >

Looking for gay hotels Madrid? Well you’ve come to the right website. Like many city-centres in Europe, Madrid doesn’t offer that many gay-only hotels. But Spain is a relatively liberal country when it comes to sexuality, so you’ll find most of the city’s hotels are at least gay-friendly. We’d recommend staying as centrally as possible, and close to the La Chueca gay area – so that you don’t have to stagger home too far after a night out! You'll find a selection of gay and gay-friendly hotels in Madrid to the right. Should you want to search using a map and more criteria, try out more powerful Accommodation Search Page. The La Chueca area is also marked on the map on that page, making it even easier to make the best choice. Happy searching!


NEXT: Top Madrid Links >

Links to the best Gay Madrid links

So many Gay Madrid destination guides attempt to list the top restaurants, bars, shops, events, and websites for a given town - but their suggestions quickly become out of date, because such information is constantly changing. So instead of trying to list our own suggestions, we've listed the best websites or 'apps' for finding out what's hot in Gay Madrid. That way, you get the best information possible. Simply click on any of the logos below to visit any of our recommended sites.


Best gay hook-up websites

If you're looking to meet friendly locals or other visitors, then we'd recommend the apps Grindr and Scruff, as well as more Euro-centric apps such as PlanetRomeo.

GrindrScruffPlanet Romeo


Best tourist information sites

For ideas on what to do and where to go from a gay point of view – we’d recommend the ‘Gay tourism in Madrid‘ section of the site. They’re also the best site for more general tourism information.

ES Madrid


Best gay and non-gay events

We recommend you check out the Gay Welcome Madrid Events page for the very biggest gay or gay-friendly events in the city. If you want a broader listing, the’s ‘What’s on in Madrid‘ pages are probably your best bet.

Gay Welcome

ES Madrid


Best restaurants

here’s some great restaurants in Madrid – especially if you’re looking for good Spanish or Tapas. We’d recommend either TripAdvisor, TimeOut Madrid or Frommers.

TripAdvisor Madrid

TimeOut Madrid

Frommers Madrid


Best shopping websites

We’d recommend the ‘Simon Seeks‘ website for shopping advice in Madrid. It covers the best shops, and information on all the main shopping areas. Also try TimeOut.

Simon Seeks MadridTimeOut Madrid


Best local gay magazines

The best magazine for local gay listings (to find the best bars, clubs, saunas etc) try the Spanish Shangay magazine and website.



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