First, a confession: I may be the world's dullest man, and when it comes to entertainment, I'm usually satisfied with a good book, a DVD, or a snuggle with the señora. So don't count on me for advice on clubbing and carousing in Castile.
However, I can tell you that isn't uncommon to see Madrileños pushing strollers through the downtown entertainment district at 11 p.m., and Sunday night in Madrid looks busier than a Friday or Saturday night in most European cities. Even the promenade by the Royal Palace is often busy after dark, when couples are out enjoying the romantic atmosphere.
For many locals and visitors, entertainment means bellying up to a tapas bar for conversation, cerveza, and little plates of edibles.
For others, it means heading for the Gran Vía with its movie palaces and live theatres. (Want to practice your Spanish? Attend a film in the local lingo--either a Spanish movie or the latest dubbed release from Hollywood.)
Tourists often want to see flamenco in Madrid. The Corral de la Morería tablao flamenco restaurant is a long-popular venue near the Royal Palace; it's listed in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. For other listings, see Esflamenco.com: Madrid.
Opera mostly takes place at the Teatro Real, which also stages other types of concerts. For a more authentically Spanish experience, you can attend a performance of zarzuela (Spanish operetta) at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, which has been entertaining Madrileños and visitors since 1856. If you'd rather listen to orchestral music and the occasional choir concert, try the Auditorio Nacional de Música or the Teatro Monumental.
For entertainment guides and articles about culture, shows, clubs, and events in Madrid, see Madrid Links: Entertainment.
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