Since the Middle Ages, the citizens of Madrid have been known as “gatos” (“cats”), but today this nickname is more accurate than ever: truly, this is a city that never sleeps. But the cliché, often used in other parts of the world, rings specially true in this city.
A little bit of history
Nightlife in Madrid’s has several origins. The climate is one of this tradition’s great motivators: winters are relatively mild and summers are sizzling hot. This heat is one of the reasons for the famous mid-afternoon siesta tradition which helps one to regain energy by the end of the day. Many people in Madrid end up doing many of their activities at night, because the heat prevented them of doing them during the day!
On the other hand, the Spanish capital discovered modern nightlife during the 1980’s: the end of Franco’s dictatorship, the country’s newly found openness to new ideas and trends, and the European integration helped to turn Madrid into an active and cosmopolitan city, a magnet for artists, movie makers, musicians and bohemians. Entertainment and drinking establishments sprouted like mushrooms. This was the beginning of the famous Movida.