As Soho is to London, Chueca is to gay Madrid. And while the LGBT presence is felt throughout many barrios of the Spanish capital, Chueca really is the pulsing heart of gay Madrid. This central...
As Soho is to London, Chueca is to gay Madrid. And while the LGBT presence is felt throughout many barrios of the Spanish capital, Chueca really is the pulsing heart of gay Madrid. This central gayborhood, just off Gran Via, is packed full of gay bars, restaurants, shops, clubs and businesses.
The center of Chueca life is Plaza de Chueca, named after Spanish composer and author Federico Chueca. The Madrid Metro stop of the same name is right by the plaza and it’s a typical meeting point for friends before heading off for an afternoon coffee or evening cerveza.
Chueca, like many central neighborhoods of Madrid, underwent quite a gentrification process, having previously been one of the more unkempt areas of the city. But nowadays, Chueca is the main gay area of Madrid: an LGBT hub, full of life, especially during weekends and warmer months. The queer community rub shoulders happily with the rest of the residents.
Gay nightlife in Chueca is primarily situated around Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, which hosts local faves such as El Paso bar and Bearbie nightclub. Just south, on Calle de las Infantas, you’ll find both Hot and Infrente bars, popular watering holes of Madrid’s booming bear community.
North of Chueca plaza, Calle de San Bartolomé holds a few gems as well, such as the 80s-themed Barbanarama, Bulldog bar and You & Me. Venture over to nearby Calle Pelayo and you'll find laKama Baranoa, LL Bar, Bear’s Bar and a few other gay cruising bars. During the day, this street is also home to many of Chueca’s gay fetish and lifestyle stores, including Boxer, SR and XXX2.
If there's a celebration that’s really made Chueca famous, it's got to be Madrid Pride, which attracts millions to the cobbled calles every summer. For the whole week, Chueca becomes the center of LGBT life and you can drink and dance in the streets, and party in bars and clubs all over the neighborhood.