Barcelona has developed a reputation as an international party destination. But you knew that already, right? After all, that's why you're headed to Spain's second largest city. The clubs, bars, restaurants, theaters, and street scenes are all part of the larger party atmosphere that awaits those who know where to look. Finding the right party for you might be a challenge, though, as the options are diverse and plentiful. Many of the touristy areas cater to international visitors, but also charge high prices and have an inauthentic feel. If you really want to stay up until sunrise with the locals, then read on.
Nightlife in Barcelona can be conveniently categorized into three time frames: dinner and shows, bar crawling, and then clubbing and dancing. Whether you want to take on all of these activities or just one, you're sure to have fun.
For many, the early part of the evening starts off with dinner and then a show before moving on to eating Tapas at a bar. See our guide to Food & Dining in Barcelona for more information about any culinary adventures that you might be interested in. As for shows, plenty are available, and if you're in the mood for something cultural, why not check out a Flemenco Dancing show
. Some include drinks and dinner as well.
Bars and Clubs
Once dinner is consumed and you're ready to hit the town, plenty of bars await in Barcelona's many neighborhoods, or barrios. Each area has its own atmosphere and personality, and the drinking and dancing establishments in each part of town can be quite different from each other. Keep in mind that many bars and clubs in Barcelona don't draw a crowd until midnight, so if you arrive earlier, expect it to be quiet. And for more great info, check out these Barcelona hacks
for dining, drinking, and more.
Also, the dress code at many bars and clubs is not super-fancy, but also not too casual. You should not dress as if you just came from the beach. For the men, a smart and clean style with decent (non-athletic) shoes will allow entry into most of the establishments in town. Some neighborhoods are more casual than others.
For an overview of the drinks you might want to try (as well as the food), check out the "Drinks" section of this list of travel tips for Spain
. It has plenty of delicious and fun options.
Razzmatazz is the largest club in the city. With five rooms, you will definitely get lost, but that's the fun part. Each room has a different theme, and they are open every night. Expect smaller crowds during the week, though. Dress is very casual, but expect a mixed crowd.
La Terrazza is an open-air dance club that only runs during summer months. Located at Montjuic, the DJ's here pump out electronic music that keeps the party strong all night. This is one of Barcelona's most popular places at night for both locals and visitors.
Being on the water, Barcelona offers a great opportunity to party on a boat for the entire night. Several clubs and companies charter these boats which sail out of the harbor. Advance-purchase tickets are almost always required, especially for the more lively and popular boats. Many of these cruises depart in the evening and offer a full buffet and bar before the music starts heating things up. Some of the trips are more relaxed, while some are more lively.
Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter
The heart of Barcelona is Las Ramblas and the nearby Gothic Quarter. This old town area is where most of the tourists visit during the day, and where many stay to party at night as well. Here the bars can be fun and lively, but sometimes overpriced. Street performers, Tapas bars, and pubs are found on every block. You'll usually be drinking and dancing with other visitors, so if you're looking for a more local and authentic feel, then this is not the neighborhood for you. However, with the always constant influx of international visitors, a party is guaranteed here. If you're staying nearby, wandering around the Gothic Quarter or Las Ramblas in the evening is an easy and fast way to find some fun. Marula is a favorite of many visitors, so check it out.
On the other side of Las Ramblas from the Gothic Quarter is Raval. This neighborhood has a more edgy and grimey feel. Here the bars and clubs are casual and even a little "hipster." Despite the common appearances of skateboards and tattoos, an interesting mix of bars and clubs can be found here. Some are edgier than others, while some are very chic. Relaxing pubs are mixed in with loud and lively discos where DJ's play until dawn.
Port Olympic and Barceloneta
Closer to the shore and along Barcelona's beach lies some more higher-end neighborhoods that cater to both locals and visitors. Here the bars and nightclubs have a trendier, lively feel, but can also be a little pricey. The clientele dresses nice, and you should too. While some close at 3 a.m. check out Opium, Pacha, or Catwalk which all stay lively until 6 a.m.
If you're looking for something more laid back and casual near the water, plenty of beach bars are around as well.