The NewSLU

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University Madrid Campus

The NewSLU

The NewSLU

Vanderbilt Students Witness Nightlife Bounce Back Post-Covid

The EDM music is blaring in your ears and your shoes slightly stick to the hard ground. With red lights strobing in and out, the confetti gun is shot into the air and the crowd around you goes wild. The red sign on the wall near you reads “F*** Tuesday mornings.” This is no longer Nashville, it’s F***ing Mondays.

“A night out in Madrid is like a night on Broadway on steroids,” says Max Fischer, of Vanderbilt University, who studied abroad at SLU Madrid in Spring 2023. “The time adjustment is insane,” he added. “I go to bed at five in the morning and then wake up and go to class with a serious hangover.” He says that he has never gone out so much in his life.

Every semester, thousands of study abroad students from Vanderbilt flock to Europe to learn to stay awake until 6 a.m., dancing to Spanish pop and EDM music, throwing back shots of vodka, and arriving home just in time to watch the sunrise. Their priority is not schoolwork, but just having fun.

Coming from Nashville, adjusting to the nightlife in Madrid can be difficult. It is useful to know what to expect before arriving in Madrid because it is a unique experience. As many students travel during the weekends, the weekdays are when most study abroad kids go out; however, the clubs will still be crowded every night of the week. Kapital, F***ing Mondays, Icon, and Teatro Magno are some of the main clubs that students frequent.

“Fraternity basement” can’t compare to Madrid clubs

“Going out in Madrid has made me never want to go to a fraternity basement ever again,” says Charlotte Lange, a current student at Saint Louis University in Madrid. She describes what a typical night out looks like at her favorite club Teatro Magno.  “I usually get dinner with my friends around 9:30 p.m. somewhere near my apartment and then we all go somewhere to pregame,” she said. Some nights they pregame at bars and for others, they all gather at someone’s apartment, usually heading to the club at 1 a.m.

As Charlotte recalls, Teatro Magno at 1 a.m. entails a long line outside for General Admission ticket holders. “My friends and I usually buy a table, so we get to skip the line,” she explained. A table ends up being around $35 a person for a table of eight. The DJ changes every week, but she recalls the typical songs that play, which is a mix of Spanish Pop and EDM. Charlotte loves Teatro Magno because it is close to her apartment and she typically goes there on Wednesdays.

Nearly 6,000 bars to choose from

Teatro Magno is just one of many bars and clubs scattered around Madrid. According to the World Cities Culture Forum, in 2014 Madrid had 5,877 bars. It is difficult to find a street that does not have a bar on it.

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, students have become even more desperate to go out. Local student Sophia Ramirez says, “It feels like everything has returned to normal, the nightlife is much more crowded than it was before COVID.” She continued, “I have met more study abroad students this semester than ever before.”

El Barrio de las Letras is a popular neighborhood in Madrid that is filled with many different bars and clubs. It is home to the #15 best bar in the world, Salmon Guru. Salmon Guru has many different fun cocktails and is filled with neon signs that give it an incredible vibe. Many tourists flock to Salmon Guru to try their world-famous drinks.

For study abroad students, there are many benefits to being in a big city like Madrid. “The city really comes alive at night and it’s almost like there’s always something going on,” says Kelsey Corwen, a student in CIEE’s engineering program. She believes that it would be very difficult to get bored in Madrid. Even if partying is not for you, there is so much food and history to explore.

There are also many different types of people in Madrid. The city offers many opportunities to interact with not only locals but also other study-abroad students.

Ryan Schaufele is a student at Saint Louis University who has loved getting to meet students from many different colleges.

“Every time I go out I’ve been able to meet kids from schools like UVA and Michigan that I would normally never get to meet,” he says. He has also loved getting to interact with local students that know special places to go. He described his favorite night going out as when “I made friends with a local student and he took me out to his favorite bar.” He continues, “I had so much fun and then I got to introduce him to all of my friends.”

Student: “I wish I could live at Kapital”

Schaufele also recalls his first night going out in Madrid: “I went to Kaptial on my first night in Madrid and I met a group of guys who went to Michigan.” He said that after drinking the night away, they ended up at the McDonald’s down the street. He said, “I loved bonding with new people in a new country and now I get to see those guys at least once a week.”

Another famous club that is incomparable to anything in Nashville is Kapital. Located near Gran Via, this iconic club has been around since 1994 and is one of the most popular spots for students looking for some late-night fun. Kapital’s seven floors offer something for everyone: from hip hop and house music on the ground floor to Latin rhythms on level 4. The many different bars scattered around the floors keep study abroad students full of liquor until the sun rises. Student David Mishkin put it best: “I wish I could live at Kapital.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The NewSLU Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *