Plaza dos de Mayo in Malasaña
Calle Pez Malasaña

Malasaña is known for its counter culture scene. This all started during the Movida movement that was sparked by Franco’s death in 1975. It is unpretentious offering all types of music from rock, punk, reggae to house.

The area centers around Dos de Mayo square where on summer nights you will often find “botellons” which is an illegal meeting of people drinking carry outs on the street. A great way to beat the economic crisis! You can get your drinks either at a local shop or from the many people selling them directly on the square. Don’t worry they’ll be ice cold. Other notable streets for drinking include: Espíritu Santo, Palma and Pez.

All bars in this zone

La bicicleta café cool bar in Malasaña, Plaza San Ildefonso, 9, Madrd

La bicicleta has a young student vibe with plenty of locals and tourists alike. In the front room you’ll find the bar and a large table. In the back there is a living room type feel with couches and many tables. It is a bit difficult to work out whether they have table service or not.

Bar La Realidad, Malasaña, Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 51, Madird

A young hip crowd and relaxed atmosphere. La Realidad specialises in Gin tonic which is a bit of a fad in Madrid. With every bar trying to out do it's neighbour this place holds it's own. One of the things I like most about this bar is that it is constantly changing.

View of El 2D from Plaza Dos de Mayo, Calle Velarde, 24, Madrid

This is an old bar located on Plaza Dos de Mayo. With its smoke stained walls and old fixtures this place hasn’t really changed since the 70s. The real beauty of this bar is not actually inside.

View of Mercado de San Ildefonso from Calle Fuencarral, 57, Madrid

This is the latest Madrid market just recently opened. Similar to Mercado de San Miguel and San Anton. It differs from the others in that it was never previously a food market but a market for general supplies. It has the usual mix of gourmet tapas and a young hip crowd.

Outside of Pontepez, Calle Pez, 18, Madrid

This small little bar is always packed. Get there early and claim your spot at the bar. It can often seem like the bartender is a little unfriendly but it’s just because he’s extremely overworked. He can manage to memorise all the orders and almost impossibly keeps track of everything.

Outside the Picnic bar, Calle Minas, 1, Madrid

A comfortable relaxed bar with friendly staff. The top bar has a few tables and chairs next to the windows but is largely taken up by the bar. The decoration is a little kitsch but in a good way. For instance, the beer taps are pretty cool.

Outside Lolina Vintage Café, Calle del Espíritu Santo, 9, Madrid

Walking into Lolina feels like being transported to a 70s sitcom. The vintage style is laid on thick. The patterned wallpaper alone is worth the visit. I recommend going to the bar yourself to get a drink otherwise you’ll be waiting forever.

Zombie Bar in Malasaña, Calle del Pez, 7, Madrid

This bar is something unique in an area more known for bars with vintage furniture. The place looks home made by a bunch of skaters. The bar is fashioned from chipboard and you can hang your coat on the hangers made from skateboard wheels.

Outside the Bodega de la Ardosa pub in Calle Colón, 13, Madrid

One of the old traditional bars in Madrid originally part of a chain of bars that was founded in 1892. Bodega de la Arosa was one of the first bars in Madrid to serve foreign beers such as Guinness. In fact for some unknown reason they actually serve the lagers in the same way as Guinness.

Outside Café Isadora, Malasaña, Calle del Divino Pastor, 14, Madrid

Named after the pro-soviet American dancer Isadora Duncan, this bar is a little more sophisticated than most in Malasaña. It is an old fashioned bar that still seems relevant and modern today.