We’re all drawn to anything forbidden or clandestine. And this is exactly what happens if you track down the hidden bars in Madrid… Be warned: you won’t find some of these secret, hidden and highly original bars unless you’re taken there by a regular, and others will only open their doors to you if you know the password. Follow us on our tour of clandestine bars in Madrid, where not everything is as it seems.
CANNIBAL RAW BAR. Calle Almirante, 12.
The Cannibal Raw Bar restaurant is famous for specialising in raw and semi-raw food. What most people don’t know is that downstairs is one of the city’s top clandestine bars, the Cannibal Club, with DJs, cocktails and concerts that go on until 6 am. It can also be booked for celebrations and special events. All you need to know is the password (which changes every month)…
MEDIAS PURI. Plaza de Tirso de Molina, 1.
More than a hidden bar, Medias Puri’s backroom is full of surprises. A club with three dancefloors and live shows where you can discover the most original side to Madrid nightlife. Outside, you’ll only see a sign for a haberdashery (probably the first you’ve seen that opens all night…). Enjoy its 15-minute mini-shows. One of the city’s not-so-well-kept secrets. Check it out for yourself!
LAS CUEVAS DE SÉSAMO. Calle del Príncipe, 5.
This secret bar in Madrid has a style all of its own. As its name suggests, it’s an underground bar in an old wine cellar that is now an emblematic piano bar in the heart of Madrid much loved by locals. The most popular drink is large jugs of sangria. They also serve food, but the experience is all about listening to the amazing music from the old piano in the corner while you sip your drink.
KIKEKELLER. Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 17.
This art and vintage furniture shop also sells metal creations made by the owners, as well as exhibitions by local artists. But what few people know is that by night Kikekeller turns into one of the city’s clandestine bars serving fine cocktails. At the back there is a small space for having a drink, called Puro Triball. A great example of living a double life!
HEMINGWAY. Marqués de Casa Riera, 4.
Ernest Hemmingway was a regular guest at what was once a hotel and is now a secret Madrid cocktail bar, decorated with leopard rugs, red leather armchairs, mirrors, golden decorations… and filled with an inspiring retro atmosphere. You gain access to its delicious cocktails through the toilets of the NH Collection Madrid Suecia hotel.
El PALENTINO. Calle del Pez, 8.
Did you know that this bar inspired Álex de la Iglesia’s film El Bar? Years back there used to be lots of bars like El Palentino, typical “old man’s bars” that hadn’t changed since the 1970s. Well, El Palentino is one such bar that has survived and now attracts people with its authentic feel. The current owners are specialists in creating their own drinks and the bar has become one of the city’s classic clandestine cocktail bars.
You reach this clandestine bar in Madrid through one of the walls of the bar next door, so only those in the know will ever find it. It’s hidden on the ground floor of an old building, with brick walls, retro decoration, old furniture and black and white photos. A great bar for a cocktail if you’re interested in hidden places and fancy a trip back to the time of speakeasies during Prohibition.
JAZZ BAR. Calle de Moratín, 35.
If you love pure jazz, this is the place for you. But even if you don’t, you’ll love this clandestine bar for a night, especially if you’re in good company. Why? Imagine small, dimly lit rooms with sofas and windows overlooking the street, old photos of jazz artists on the walls, charming music at a pleasant volume… What more could you ask for? In summer they open up a small terrace which they like to keep quiet. As ever, hidden places are the most exciting!
Now you know some of the hidden places off the beaten track in Madrid, there’s no excuse for staying in! Join the most exclusive party, but shush, keep it to yourself!