At A Gay Glance: Madrid
¡Que fuego! The Spanish capital sizzles.
Words and images by Riley-McFarlane Photography
Spain’s capital is situated in the very centre of the country. It’s overflowing with history, culture and beauty – and while Barcelona may have the circuit parties and the beach, Madrid has all the gay muscle in Spain.
Cocktail bars and rooftop terrace bars, drag bars, bear bars, rentboy bars, cruise bars, saunas, saunas with rentboys, big night clubs, small night clubs, event parties of 2,000-plus people – you name it gay Madrid has it, including one of the biggest Gay Pride events in the world. And did we mention the men are hot, Hot, HOT!
Visit the Royal Palace, The Prado National Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Plaza de Toros de las Ventas, Buen Retiro Park, Royal Botanical Gardens, Oeste Park and Temple of Debod and ride the Cable Car.
• Dine, drink and party in the area known as Chueca.
• Everyone eats late. If you’re at a restaurant at 9:30pm, most likely you’re the first one there. Because they eat late, they also club late – right through to the morning. Arrive before 1:00am and you will probably be dancing alone.
• There are bars to go to after dinner and before the clubs, but even these don’t really start until 11:30pm.
• There may be a copa – a cover charge which often includes a drink.
• For the cultural stuff the Madrid Card is good value (especially the 3-day card). Buy one at madridcard.com.
• PK2 is a play on the Spanish word for “sins” (pecados). A large club in an old theatre with very hot barmen, clientele and live shows.
• Karma Bar for afternoon coffee or cocktails, night-time drinks and more hot barmen.
• LL Bar is a small bar with drag shows. It’s lots of fun even if you don’t speak Spanish.
• Oscar Hotel for its rooftop bar and accommodation.
• INNSIDE Madrid Génova is another good option for accommodation.
• Grab the local free gay press available at restaurants and bars in Chueca for listings of the most up-to-date happenings.
English is not widely spoken. If you don’t speak Spanish, consider downloading a translator app such as iTranslate Voice on your phone.
© DNA 185