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Madrid Pride: Why it’s one of the Biggest and Best

If you want to experience the largest gay pride in Europe, then Madrid Pride (Madrid Orgullo in Spanish or MADO for short) is an absolute must.

In fact, Madrid currently holds the record for the 3rd largest pride event that has ever been held worldwide!

In 2018 we spent 7 months in Madrid and we have never felt so at ease and so at home as a gay couple.

Madrid is well known for being one of the most welcoming cities in the world for the LGBTQ+ community and we could not agree more.

The city so much to offer, with beautiful parks, outdoor pools, incredible cuisine, a thriving gay scene and of course the biggest gay pride in Europe.

Read on for our full guide to Madrid Pride so that you can plan your visit! We can not wait to go back ourselves.

Madrid pride gay guide

Us at Madrid Pride 2018

Madrid Pride Background

Pride demonstrations did not happen in Spain until two years after the passing of their notorious dictator, Franco. The first was held in Barcelona in 1977.

The following year the very first pride demonstration in Madrid was held and has been held every year (apart from 1980) since.

Now, Madrid Pride is the largest pride event in Europe and considered to be one of the best prides in the world.

EuroPride was held in Madrid in 2007 and was hailed as the “best EuroPride in history”.

In 2017 Madrid hosted WorldPride with over 3.5million people in attendance. Bearing in mind the population of Madrid in 6-7 million, having so many people attend is incredible!

The only pride events that have exceeded these numbers to date are New York WorldPride 2019 (4million) and Sao Paulo Pride (4million).

Basically, Madrid Pride is huge!

When is Madrid Pride?

Madrid Pride is usually held in the first week of July and lasts for 7 to 10 days.

The week leading up to the main weekend (when the Pride Parade happens) is full of cultural events, shows, music performances, festivals, parties and competitions.

Madrid Pride Parade

Madrid pride guide

Parade just about to start!

Madrid Pride Parade is usually on the final Saturday of the week and starts around 6pm and runs until around midnight.

This might seem late compared to other countries but with temperatures soaring in July and the late night culture, it makes a lot of sense!

The Pride Parade runs from Atocha Station to Plaza De Colon along one of Madrid’s main streets, Paseo Del Prado.

Expect huge floats from all different types of associations, companies, bars, hotels, charities and sponsors proudly flying the rainbow flag.

With over 2 million people in attendance at the parade, expect an incredible atmosphere and to party in the street to the music from the parade!

When we first went we had no idea it would go on so late, make sure you bring plenty of drinks and snacks with you – we had to leave to go to KFC!

Madrid Pride Parties and Events

Madrid pride parade

In the week leading up to the main weekend and pride parade you can expect a full schedule of international circuit parties including Circuit Barcelona pre parties, the We Pride week and more.

Pride is not just contained to the gay district of Madrid (Chueca), it sprawls across the entire city with multiple stages and concert areas.

The main stages include musical performances, Mr Gay Pride Spain competitions, ceremonies and parties.

During the week you will also find other events taking place such as the hilarious high heels race!

When you get to the main weekend you can expect the pride parade as well as huge pride party nights from all the main gay bars and gay clubs in Madrid.

We highly recommend checking out the nights run by Tanga! And Churros Con Chocolate.

Where to stay during Madrid Pride

With Madrid Pride being so popular we encourage you to book accommodation well in advance and take advantage of free cancellations if need be – do not leave it until the last minute. Check out:

Axel Hotel Madrid -Adults Only

Madrid pride hotel

Having stayed at Axel Hotels in Berlin and Gran Canaria this would be our first choice, especially since it is specifically aimed at gay travellers and brands itself as ‘hetero-friendly’.

The rooms are stylishly decorated, insta-worthy and come with the very cheeky ‘do disturb’ signs if you want to hang them on your doors!

The hotel has a small rooftop pool with a trendy rooftop bar to go alongside it.

It is also adults only which we like when we travel.

Check availability here.

Room Mate Oscar

Madrid pride where to stay

Located right in the gay district of Chueca and with one of the best rooftop bars around, Room Mate Oscar is another great choice.

Check availability here.

Woohoo Hostal Madrid

gay hotel madrid

If you are travelling on a budget and want a more social experience check out this hostal in Chueca.

Check availability here.

Lusso Infantas

Madrid pride hotel

The Hotel Lusso Infantas is a 4-star boutique hotel located in Chueca and in close proximity to all the main attractions.

The building itself is protected by World Heritage Community of Madrid for its architectural value so if you are looking for something stylish and historic, take a look at this one.

Check availability here.

madrid gay pride

Whilst there are so many incredible gay prides around Europe, Madrid is definitely one of our favorites.

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For more on Madrid and the rest of Spain check out: