Chueca, a hip and alternative area of Madrid, came to age when its popularity with the LGTB community grew. Retirees pass by openly gay professionals and hipsters in this wild barrio (district) of the Spanish capital – Madrid. Famed for its annual Gay Pride parade, open-minded people have also brought fortune to this previously traditional district. The Gay Pride parade in Madrid is a huge flamboyant affair, which brings the local streets to life with bands and dancing. LGTB-specific businesses have also sprung up, and rainbow flags can be seen fluttering outside shops and bars.
Chueca lies to the north-west of Madrid’s great Retiro Park, and is an alternative, bohemian area, however it has also managed to keep its traditional charm. A trip to the old market building of San Anton and the spectacular Renaissance Museum looks at times past. The Museo de Cera (Wax Museum) lets you get up close and personal with Spanish celebs, royalty and other notable figures. Once you’re cultured-out for the day, make your way over to Chueca’s meeting hub – Plaza de Chueca, to get ready for a wild night out. Choose from an eclectic mix of venues featuring drag queens, electronic music or chilled, smooth jazz.
INSIDR recommendation highlights on our interactive map of the Chueca area
Prepare your visit to Chueca
When to visit Chueca
Chueca’s streets thrive every year in late June or early July with Madrid’s Gay Pride parade. During this period, music and dancing entertain street-goers, while nightclubs put on elaborate parties for late night shenanigans. Of course you’ll need to book accommodation well in advance for this period.
How long is needed to visit Chueca
The famous Gay Pride event lasts around a week, so to get your fill of excitement, book for that amount of time. If visiting during quieter periods, allow a couple of days to try out the restaurants, go clubbing, and check out the museums in Chueca. Then depending on your interests, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to explore other areas or sights in Madrid too.
What should I wear to visit Chueca
Chueca is an inner district of Madrid, and therefore can get very cold in winter and almost stifling hot in summer. Ensure you bring appropriate seasonal clothing and of course party outfits for the wild nights out you’ll have there.
What is there to see in Chueca
Museum of Romanticism
Relive the Romanticism period by taking a walk through a splendid array of regal rooms with soft lighting. Imagine dining with the high bourgeoisie under crystal chandeliers or listening to a professional piano musician, while warming yourself by the fireplace. This astounding period collection was started by Benigno de la Vega-Inclán’s donation in 1921.
The Museum of Romanticism houses an incredible 16,000 plus Spanish Romantic period items. The spectacularly-preserved items include sculptures, furniture and decorative arts of the highest order. Admire the Isabelino II style rosewood chair with embroidered blue silk or the tongue-in-cheek Sátira del Suicidio Romántico painting.
Madrid History Museum
This originated as the Municipal Museum in 1929, and from that time, collated records of Madrilenian city life. In 2007, the museum was renamed to the Museum of History of Madrid. Set in the 18th century Hospicio de San Fernando, the museum is a spectacular sight of pink brick with an elaborate entrance.
The permanent exhibition, contained in grand, long halls, portrays the history of Madrid life, since Philip II named the city as the capital of Spain in 1561. Through sculptures in glass cases and paintings with ornate frames, it tells the city’s story from the Spanish Court days until the Industrial Revolution.
Museo de Cera
Just a 10-minute walk from Plaza de Chueca, the Museo de Cera was inaugurated on February 14th in 1972. The museum features famous Spanish and international figures, frozen through the medium of wax. Pose with the historic dramatic waxworks of Winston Churchill, the illustriously-clothed Cleopatra or even the modern day Obama. Stand by the famous Spanish author Cervantes or take an air shot at Real Madrid goalkeeper, Casillas.
After getting your essential mouth-agape selfies with the famous celebs and geniuses, take the ‘Train of Terror’, a rickety journey into the darkness, where all sorts of creatures will startle you.