You will not understand the pleasures of life until you live through the carnival pleasures of night time Madrid. There is much to love about a night spent on its wild, whirling streets.
As they stand grouped round old fountains and busy plazas, or on doorsteps across from loud bars on graffiti-ridden side streets, the young inhabitants of Madrid embrace the debauchery of the night, drinking can after can of cheap beer, shouting to the sky and revelling in their youth. Just as many, however, spend their time in the clubs, from the massive, seven story club Kapital, to the newly opened Zoologica, which on its opening night was so popular that the line to get in snaked down multiple blocks.
To those who do manage to get into the clubs, and who just like in St Andrews then find themselves drunk, tired, and ravenously hungry, there is a better alternative than our own beloved Empire. Near the centre of Madrid lies the infamous chocolate con churro joint of San Gines, the walls of which are papered with black and white photographs of the celebrities who took refuge within its elegant marble confines.
Alternatively you can reject the plush interiors of San Gines and instead choose to sit outside watching the progression of the night with more permanent residents of Madrid. They make a drizzly mess of churros and chocolate, and talk in low-toned Spanish, unconsciously creating peace within the chaos.
Madrid at night parallels Madrid during the day. It is a grotesquerie; a little dirty, a little wild, and altogether human. Humanity, in essence, is what Madrid embodies, shown in the illuminated night, and the joy of the revellers who make night in Madrid their own.