"Come for the shows, but stay for the drinks and dancing" seems to be the motto. With its retro outlook and miscellany of live entertainment, Berlin Cabaret draws a diverse crowd (old, young, preppy, alternative � everyone seems represented there) for dancing, drinks and a variety of shows � it seems like there's a new one almost every night. Most recently Berlin Cabaret has had flamenco dance, burlesque, Bollywood dance and drag queen performances. However, while the live shows are scheduled for almost every day, the place still works as a nightclub and bar even when there aren't.
Local Expert tip: Check the live performance schedule on the website.
Fulanita de Tal is loud, proud and overwhelmingly feminine. Although known for its primarily lipstick lesbian clientele, the small Chueca bar and nightclub welcomes all patrons who are respectful of others and looking for a good time. Here the music favors popular Spanish and international hits picked to get people pumped and dancing. As a result, people aren't afraid to dance in the reduced amount of space available in the nightclub's two floors. Besides the club scene, Fulanita de Tal also occasionally has events like karaoke nights, live music, live comedy and watching important local soccer matches.
Local Expert tip: Perfect for girls night out.
Madrid is one of those rare cities where the goth scene is still going strong. And you'll find plenty of proof of that at Dark Hole, Madrid's best and longest-running goth club. Side by side, die-hard goths and black-clad club kids dance to their hearts' content down in the depths of the club's rooms while resident and guest DJs spin music that skews heavily to gothic, industrial and dark 80s hits. While for many years it was located at Mesonero Romanos off Gran Via, Dark Hole's newest home is in the heart of Chueca on Pelayo.
Local Expert tip: Wear black.
Located in the Malasana neighborhood, Tupperware is a pop culture themed alternative rock bar that is popular among Madrid's twentysomething crowd. Tupperware's resident and guest DJs spin mostly rock and pop music that run the gamut from yesterday's mainstream to today's indie. You will know you are in the right place when you reach Tupperware's colorful facade and then step inside for the bright decorations featuring lots of pink colored accents, including the old hollowed out televisions that serve as the base for dioramas with different plastic figures. Do check out the interesting mural on the lower floor's back wall.
Local Expert tip: Come for the guest DJs.
A stone's throw away from the Puerta del Sol and open every night of the year, the Joy Eslava theater is part nightclub and part venue with regular dance sessions as well as occasional live shows and concerts of varying musical styles. The place has several bars distributed over three floors, which wrap around the main floor area - a design no doubt due to the building's origin as a 19th century theater. But now a giant disco ball hangs from the ceiling. During the regular dance sessions, pop is the most prevalent thing you'll hear.
Local Expert tip: Dress smart if you want to fit in.
This cavernous old industrial warehouse has been kitted out with all the latest gadgets to please a youngish, house- and techno-loving crowd. Expect a throbbing 60kw sound system and a main hall with a triple-level stage for the extravagant dance groups and go-gos. Add megatrons to squirt freezing nitrogen into the crowd, colored lasers, six giant video screens and even an outside terrace complete with a river running through it. Fabrik's out-of-the-way location is not ideal, but at least noise complaints don't dim the sound. METRO: Fuenlabrada, then bus 496 or 497
Local Expert tip: Don't miss the monthly Goa session.
Kapital is Madrid's mega nightclub with seven floors of bars, dance floors and recreational space. They regularly have different theme nights and sessions, including an early evening session for teenagers. The first floor is Kapital's largest dance space, which plays house music and regularly features go-go dancers. The second floor is where the karaoke happens and the third floor has the hip-hop dance space. The fourth floor has a bar area and fifth floor the pop music dance floor. The sixth floor is dedicated to chill out with chairs and films playing while the last floor is in the open air and has billiards.
Local Expert tip: Be sure to dress nicely.
Another giant hit from the Trip Family stable, this long-running night knows exactly what Madrid's clubbers seek and dishes it out without snobbery. Expect the characteristic "impossible mixes" from resident DJs Smart and Luiliminili who somehow make leaps from Blondie to Beck to the Soho Dolls and Ladytron sound entirely feasible. The main vibe is eighties and nineties, but there's also a smattering of electro pop and New York rock.
A line snakes round the block by the old Palacio de Prensa cinema around 3am. Follow the queue to Ohm, one of a variety of club nights held at this 3000-capacity venue. Although everyone is welcome, Ohm nights mainly attract a gay following. A trendy, muscled-up and label-conscious young crowd flirts and boogies to very danceable sweet and soft house music. Much of the same crowd turns up on Wednesday nights here for a rather outr� 1am cabaret show. METRO: Callao
Local Expert tip: Don't think about showing up until at least 2 am.