Night time in Madrid - the city that prides itself on never sleeping - is more than a ritual: it is a way to begin to understand the character of the people who live here, to have fun and experience their way of life. Recently, it has also become associated with the latest trends in fashion, design and urban life. In summer, the nights have the perfect setting of the terraces and pavement cafes - located throughout the city but particularly along the Castellana. The hottest terraces, such as the top floor of the Hotel Urban (Carrera San Jeronimo, 34), are combined with old favourites, such as Castellana 8 (Castellana, 8) or the terrace of Cafe de Oriente (Plaza de Oriente) and the Circulo de Bellas Artes (Alcala, 42). The almost ritual custom of tapas - going out for drinks and snacks - or going out for a late meal (many restaurants start serving afresh at eleven o'clock) is one of the best ways of experiencing Madrid.
Every day, but especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Madrid offers the chance to hear live music from artists of all styles. Flamenco can be found in establishements such as El Corral de la Moreria (Morería, 17), Casa Patas (Canizares, 10), Torres Bermejas (Mesonero Romanos, 11) and El Corral de la Pacheca (Juan Ramon Jimenez, 26) and jazz has its home in clubs such as Cafe Central (Plaza del Angel, 10), Clamores (Albuquerque, 14), Galileo Galilei (Galileo, 100) and Populart (Huertas, 22). These are perhaps the most typical musical experiences of the capital, but a far wider range is available; check the papers for details of what's on and where.
Fashion and design come into their own in Madrid at night. The atmosphere, the choice of music and the style of drinks and cocktails help mould this world where cutting edge trends are defined. Since the days when Ava Gardner drank cocktails at Casa Chicote, celebrities have been an integral part of Madrid nightlife. Many discos and clubs - Cafe Larios (Silva, 4), Joy Eslava (Arenal, 11), Moma56 (Jose Abascal, 56), El Parnasillo (Prince, 33), La Posada de las Animas (Lagasca, 31)... - offer a world of fashion and fun where there's no telling what surprises the night may bring.
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