LGBTQ+ Guide to Madrid
Barbanarama is a small and friendly gay bar with a positive vibe. The bar is situated in Madrid’s gay district Chueca and visited by a diverse crowd of unpretentious people. The music played here is full of queer pop hits from the 80s, 90s and 00s, and depending on the night, you can watch Eurovision and RuPaul Drag Race as well.
Club 33 (formerly known as Medea) is one of the oldest lesbian venues in Madrid. After 2012, the new owners dropped the lesbians-only policy and now the club welcomes anybody. On Fridays and Saturdays, admission is free until 2 a.m and the club can get very crowded after 3 a.m when the other bars nearby close. A great place to end your night and dance all night long!
LL Show Bar
The LL Show Bar hosts great drag shows delivered by the most talented drag queens in Barcelona. The shows start at midnight and can be visited for free if you buy a drink. The shows are in Spanish, but very interactive, fun and easy to follow, also for those who do not speak the language. Members in the audience are often asked to participate in the show or invited to answer embarrassing questions. Downstairs, you can find cruisy toilets, some cabins and a little dark/playroom to have fun in.
Black & White
Black & White is one of the most enchanting and longest running venues in the gay district Chueca, Madrid. It organizes great parties with pop, house, and dance music on two floors with three bars. The club invites the best artists and guests from all over Madrid and hosts drag shows which start late at night. Open every day 00:00-05:30.
Boyberry is a gay cruising club which is open to men. The club offers a 400 m2 space where music, boys and a welcoming atmosphere mingle together into a place where you can make your fantasies come true, either with your boyfriend, a friend, or a stranger. There is a shop where you can buy new toys, and there are several play areas, cabins, and a chill-out zone for refreshments. The staff is friendly and always makes sure that the rooms are clean and that visitors feel safe. Most men who visit the club are between 20 and 40 years old, and the crowd forms a nice mix of all shapes, sizes and nationalities.
Trans men: Welcome 🙂
Created in 1993, Berkana was the first bookshop specializing in homosexual culture in Spain. The first years were difficult, since there were no books to fill the shelves, and the clients had not yet lost the fear of being visible. After twenty years, the shop is one of the largest LGBTQ+ bookstores in the world and has become a benchmark of gay and lesbian culture. The staff is friendly and enthusiastic, and has knowledge about LGBTQ+ literature in several languages; Spanish, English, French and Italian.
Sauna Octopus is a gay sauna open to (trans) men in the heart of Chueca. The sauna is specifically aimed at bears and chubby men. It has a nice bar with a glass floor, that enables visitors to look down at the pool. It hosts a Finnish Sauna, Turkish bath, heated pool, 20 private rooms, 2 playrooms, a movie theater and an area with cells and swings. The sauna is clean and well-maintained, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.
Trans men: Welcome 🙂
Entrance: €16/€15 Concessions
Sauna Paraiso is a popular and well-maintained sauna that is visited by a younger crowd. The sauna is beautifully built in old Roman style and has 1400m2 to relax in. It hosts a Finish sauna, Turkish steam bath, heated swimming pool with pressure jets, 30 private cabins, 3 playrooms, a cinema and an area with cells, racks and swings.
Trans men: Welcome 🙂
Entrance: €16/€15 Concessions
El Retiro Park
El Retiro is the most popular and famous cruising area in Madrid. It is easily accessible from the city center, and the metro stations Retiro and Atocha are both close by. When you hit the right spots, you will see that a lot of guys patrolling the pathways. The cruising area is located on the south-western side of the park, next to the Fountain of the Fallen Angel. The park is most crowded after sunset. However, make sure to leave the area before the closing time, because the park is surrounded by very high fences! The park closes after 22.00 in the winter (Oktober-March) and 00.00 in the summer (April-September).
Location: 40.412201, -3.684452
Casa De Campo
Casa de Campo is a recreation park further outside the center, but definitely worth a visit! The park includes a zoo, an attraction park, and the lake Lago de la Casa de Campo. If you are curious to meet other queer minded people, you can visit the cruising area located between the lake and the parking spot in the Southeastern side of the park. It is best to visit this area after sunset and action goes on until late in the night.
Location: 40.416717, -3.733241
MADO (Madrid Pride) is a series of street celebrations that take place during the city´s LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) Pride week. It has grown from small Pride demonstrations in the 1980s to the massive celebration of today, without ever forgetting its purpose of advancing the rights the LGBTIQ people. There are outdoor concerts on six different stages, parties, exhibitions, political discussions, culture and sports are all different aspects of Madrid Pride. Especially worth a visit is the ‘Carrera de Tacones’ held in the streets of Chueca. In this high heels race, participants have to run on stilettos with heels over nine centimeters.
LesGaiCinemad is an LGTB Film Festival that is held in seven in Spanish Speaking countries. The festival accepts films of all nationalities with LGBTIQ themes, which may be eligible for the various sections: Feature Films (Official Section and Panorama International), Short Films and Video Art, and Documentaries. LesGaiCineMad has a Digital Catalogue of more than 3,000 independent movies that is the major archive of films on LGBTQ+ subjects in Spain. LesGaiCineMad leads the CineLGBT Network that is the most important network of LGTB Film Festivals in Spanish Speaking countries which involves more than 30 Festivals from Latin America and Spain.
Cogam Madrid LGBT Collective
COGAM is a democratic, inclusive, independent non-profit organisation which promotes the freedom and equality of LGBTQ+ people without the exclusion of particular groups. The organisation hosts a confidential information service and organises group sessions and activities focussing on particular groups: transexuals, bisexuals, lesbians, seniors, migrants, youngers, and parents of LGBT+ persons.
Arcópoli is a voluntary association of the Community of Madrid that works for the emancipation of Lesbians, Gays, bisexuals and Transgender people, and against the eradication of any form of discrimination. The association was born as a university association, but since 2009 the association is open to all people who want to join the project. This has led to the creation of the Madrid Observatory against LGTB+phobia ( www.contraelodio.org ), an entity that Arcópoli coordinates, and in which other associations and institutions collaborate.
Centro LGBT de Madrid
Centro LGBT is a sociocultural center and meeting point for LGBT people in the center of Madrid.