Most of my gay friends travel every year to Europe, and one of their favorite places is Madrid. Just like most other Spanish cities, Madrid has a lively gay nightlife with many places to go. Packed with gay bars, it’s a great place for singles, couples or just a group of friends to go out and have a good time. Plus, gay bars in Madrid often have a mixed crowd, so you don’t have to be gay to enjoy them.
LL Bar – If you’re the type who enjoys the retro-style that’s fashionable right now, you’ll love LL Bar in Madrid. Designed in 1980s style, LL Bar is the place for drag shows and strip shows, or for just hanging out and dancing to retro disco. It’s also a largely Spanish crowd, so if you like to hit it off with the locals, why not start here?
Be warned, it’s one of those odd you-must-drink-here places Spain sometimes has, so if you’re not much of a drinker LL Bar isn’t for you, as those who don’t imbibe are asked to leave pretty quickly. But, it’s loud, it’s fun and, if you’re in the mood to party, you’ll have a blast here.
LL Bar is located at C. de Pelayo 11 in Madrid, and easy to get to from Chueca metro station.
Liquid – If you’re in Madrid with a few friends and want to hit a gay-friendly spot that’s loud, packed and hopping, then Liquid is your place – after midnight, that is.
A fun, and stylish bar, Liquid concentrates its music on video screenings of the latest music videos, but covers everything from disco to house, and R&B to alternative rock. While a great place to mingle, Liquid is a bit pretentious, so if you’re at all worried that your style or ‘looks’ might not be up to par, maybe avoid this one and head somewhere less trendy. But, think you’ll make the grade? You’ll have a blast.
Drinks at Liquid aren’t cheap, but there isn’t a minimum, so you can get away with just a couple and lots of posing instead — great for those on a budget.
Liquid is at C. de Barbieri 7, again near the Chueca metro.
El Apolo – Looking for a gay-friendly bar in Madrid, that just happens to be open all day? El Apolo, for sure.
Not just the type of bar where you drink, El Apolo is more a gay-friendly cafe/bar, as it opens at 8am when it serves breakfast,and stays open on into the night. Food and tapas are served all day long, and it’s delicious, and with folks coming and going or just hanging out for hours on end, El Apolo has one of the most welcoming atmospheres in Madrid. It’s also known for its great selection of beers and ciders.
El Apolo has a mixed crowd, gay straight, tourist and local, cool and not so cool, and the bar is happy to have everyone. So if you’re the type who’d prefer to stay away from the typical poser-style gay-friendly hangouts, El Apolo will make your day.
You’ll find them at C. Barco 18, close to the Gran Via metro station.