Bullfight in Madrid, Spain (Corel)

Columns in Madrid, Spain (PhotoDisc)

Street cafe near Plaza Mayor at night, Madrid, Spain (Peter Adams/Digital Vision/Getty)

Palacio Real, Madrid, Spain (Corel)

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What to do in Madrid

While there’s no shortage of things to see in Madrid during the day, this city hits its stride with nightfall. Dinner typically starts around 9 p.m., and it isn’t unusual for the meal to stretch past midnight. From there, it’s warehouse nightclubs, sports bars showcasing their beloved soccer team, and dance halls full of flamenco . These night-owlish tendencies lend well to a vibrant tapas scene, where small plates of local Spanish cuisine accompany easy conversations and the country’s famed wines. Then roll into Chocolatería San Ginés, the city’s best-known spot for the Spanish staple of chocolate con churros . The deep-fried pastries are the ideal way to end the day—or night, as it were. From there, fortify yourself to visit such hallowed grounds as the Prado art museum, then siesta, and gear up to do it all over again.

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