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Gay Guide Madrid
Madrid is the sparkling capital of an empire on which once the sun never set. The former splendour of the stern Castillian city blends seamlessly with the noisy chaos of a modern European metropolis. In a central, formerly run-down area around the Plaza Chueca, a gay quarter has been growing and flourishing for years, which in terms of its variety and breadth, stands almost alone in the world. Chueca has virtually become a lifestyle, just as San Francisco's Castro Street was in its day. For the Gay Pride events more then a million people gather here. Tourists only need to leave Chueca to visit the splendid sights and museums around Madrid. Outside the quarter there are some saunas, several mixed clubs which are part of the alternative scene in Lavapies, and several places where harder sex clubs are growing up. Saunas are popular in the afternoon; bars get going after midnight, and clubs after 3am. The beautiful town parks of Retiro and Casa del Campo are cruisy and worth visiting throughout the day and night.