If you spend time in Madrid, you’re likely to find tropical DJ Malaria of the Moto Kiatu and Conspiraciones Tropicales collectives pumping African electronic music at Sala Caracol and other clubs around the city. Whenever he brings in international DJs for his parties, he makes sure to show them his favorite spots around Madrid – always far off the beaten path, of course. From squats to secret parties and gourmet markets, here are DJ Malaria’s top ten spots for dancing until dawn in Madrid…until his next parties at Sala Caracol on May 25 and June 16, that is.
Malaria is 30 years old and lives in Lavapiés, but he is originally from Villalba, located about thirty minutes northwest of the city center. “In our hometown, if you were looking for cultural alternatives, you had to go to the local squat or take a train or bus to Madrid. But now we find ourselves in the middle of the gentrification process. Landlords are selling all their properties and throwing people out of the neighborhood, but the area still has a lot of good food, drinking and dancing.”
This is an old-school must in the ‘Las Letras’ neighborhood offering gourmet ‘tostadas’ (toasted baguette) with a variety of Spanish ingredients, and an infinite wine list. The perfect place to go on a Sunday to finish off your weekend in style.
Calle del León, 12 | Metro: Antón Martín
If you visit Spain, Asturian food is a must, and Cachopo is the jewel in the crown. You can try northern natural cider here, along with traditional meat-based dishes from Asturias. Casa Antonio is located right in front of the Mercado de la Cebada, which is also a really good area to spend the day eating and drinking. You will need a reservation on weekends.
Plaza de la Cebada 12 | Metro : La Latina
El Rincón de Manolo
As an alternative to the Mercado de La Cebada, on the other side of Lavapiés, check out the Mercado de San Fernando. If you like meat, definitely go and have a look and order an ‘entrecote’ or any of the meat sandwiches (“bocadillos”), along with a beer in a “botellín”. It’s cheap and delicious, but be patient around lunchtime and at night, as it gets crowded. Also note that it’s standing room only.
Mercado de San Fernando, Puesto 68-69. Calle Embajadores, 41 | Metro: Embajadores
Located right in the middle of Lavapiés, this is the perfect place to go before Sala Caracol. All the tropical DJs who travel through Spain stop by Amor Voodoo for a groovy Saturday afternoon set. It is also highly recommended if you have a big hangover on Sunday. Order some ‘Sancocho’, a hot soup with chicken, corn, yucca and other tasty ingredients to kickstart your Sunday afternoon and recover from the previous night.
Calle Lavapiés, 56 | Metro: Lavapiés
This is a squat in the middle of Madrid offering an excellent program of events with good people and strong social awareness. It’s one of the best places to start the night and meet people interested in social movements such as Feminism and Antifa.
Calle del Gobernador, 30 | Metro: Atocha
Esta es Una Plaza
This is an oasis in the middle of the city, an urban garden created by the locals in a neighborhood without parks or gardens. The community hosts a variety of activities and events here, but it’s also just a nice spot to enjoy a beer or chill with friends.
Calle del Doctor Fourquet, 24 | Metro: Lavapiés
Vaciador 34 is an alternative venue in the suburbs, located near metro stop Oporto. You’ll need to follow their page on Facebook to keep track of their upcoming events. This is a place for open-minded people who are respectful of the space and the artists who come to share their work. The prices are donation-based, meaning you pay what you can. The best of Madrid’s underground artists come here to mess around with their synthesizers!
Calle Matilde Hernández, 34 | Metro: Oporto
This is definitely the place to be – the headquarters of Madrid’s tropical musical movement. There’s always a big mix of worldwide sounds put on every weekend by Guacamayo Tropical, Psicosis Tropical, Meneo and my collective Moto Kiatu. I’d say this is the best nightclub in the Lavapiés area.
Calle Bernardino Obregón, 18 | Metro: Embajadores
This is a throwback to the old-school sounds of Madrid in the 90s: hardtrance, goa, techno, ebm and synthwave in an underground area near Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. When I come here, I feel like I’m in a cyberpunk scene.
AZCA – Calle Orense, 26 | Metro: Santiago Bernabeu
Utopia is a secret place in the suburbs, right in the middle of an industrial area. It offers a nice clubbing experience with alternative collectives and clubs like Halley. To get here, you need to follow the parties on Resident Advisor or Facebook. This is a great place to experience the Funktion One sound system.
Adresse secrète | Métro : Virgen de Guadalupe
Discover more alternative and cultural spots in Madrid with our city guide Indie Guides Madrid.
Article translated and edited by Andrea Perdue