Barcelona is the perfect city to explore as it has so much packed inside its borders. It has the beautiful beach, the historical Old Town, the new streets with their arty, Bohemian vibe, and the mountains watching over it all. The city’s nightlife too has something to suit everybody whether that’s a classic cocktail bar or a nightclub playing techno music until 6am. Here we’ll take a look at some of the best evening entertainment that Barcelona has to offer, with suggestions to suit every style and budget.
A night in Barcelona starts later than most English-speaking countries, with the crowds not making their way out until 11pm at the earliest. Luckily, the city has plenty of different neighbourhoods to check out whilst you warm up for the night ahead.
Gràcia is an area to the north of Barcelona once you have crossed the dividing Avinguda Diagonal. It feels authentically Catalan here, with a relaxed and creative atmosphere. Situated a little off the tourist’s beaten track, you’ll find something alternative to the city’s main scene back in the centre. It’s a great place to hang out for a drink or two, especially at the hip cafes in Plaça del Sol.
Eixample, or ‘the Extension’ in English, is the grid of purpose-built streets located directly between Gràcia and the Old Town. This neighbourhood has a much more modern feel to it and a cool, classy vibe. It’s a large area which means it can afford to offer a variety of specialist bars, with everything from microbreweries to punk rock to chic cocktails. In Eixample you can afford to indulge and treat yourself.
Down on the beachfront you’ll find a host of chiringuitos, or beach bars, alongside more exclusive places like the beach clubs. Whichever one suits your budget, you can’t beat sipping on a sangria as you watch the sun set over the Mediterranean!
If there’s one thing that the Barcelona nightlife does to perfection, it’s the bar scene. Whether you want a fun and flirty atmosphere or some serious world-class cocktails, the city has you covered.
Head over to Sor Rita in the Gothic Quarter for an explosion of kitsch like you’ve never seen before. This trashy retro bar plays all the hits from the 60s right through to the 90s and serves up a menu of classic but affordable cocktails. With their cheeky Barbie dolls, shrine to cult Spanish film director Almodóvar and quirky décor, a drink at Sor Rita is one that you’ll never forget.
For something a little classier, you can try Dry Martini in Eixample. This refined cocktail bar is one of the best in the world and combines both traditional and modern elements to create an exquisite ambience. The prices here are higher but that’s to reflect the unrivalled quality of the drinks that they serve. Open for over 30 years, this bar is truly the jewel in the crown of Barcelona’s cocktail scene and their eponymous drink must be tasted to be believed.
If it’s fun and games you’re looking for, then you should head over to the Casino Barcelona. This state-of-the-art venue is a major player on the European poker scene and focuses on the world’s most popular card game above all others. With four restaurants, party venues and dinner-shows, this place is a one-stop shop for entertainment and promises to give you the time of your life. You can even spin the wheels virtually online at PokerstarsCasino. Barcelona provides free WiFi across the city so that your favourite games are only ever one click away.
Whilst Casino Barcelona is the biggest of its kind in the city, there are smaller bingo halls in almost every neighbourhood. They provide familiar casino games as well as bingo but tend to be more casual than a full-on casino is. Some of the best include Bingo Billares, with its classy Las Vegas look and 900-person capacity bingo hall, and Bingo Laietana which has the benefits of being modern, relaxed and centrally accessible.
The Spanish may start the party late, but when they do go dancing they like to party hard. Barcelona is home to some great clubs, so if loud music and thronging dancefloors are your thing, you’re in the right place.
Club Astoria is situated in a vintage 1950s cinema building, lending the club itself an arty vibe. It’s a little on the expensive side and boasts a small, exclusive VIP area where the chosen few can watch the festivities from afar. This club really knows how to put on a show and gives you the perfect opportunity to brush shoulders with the glitterati.
A less intimidating choice is Moog, a small but intense techno club in El Raval neighbourhood. This pint-sized place is open every night and boasts decent big speakers and a mixed crowd of enthusiastic revellers. With affordable drinks available from the bar, what more do you need for a great night out?
So, whether your night in Barcelona involves just a couple of cervezas or drinking cocktails until the early hours, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. If you want to sample a classic drink from the region then you could try one of the local delectable cavas for a bit of fizz. Or, if your palate prefers something a little simpler, try a clara which is beer topped off with lemon soda. For the connoisseurs amongst you, Barcelona also plays host to an astonishing array of vermouths. The proper way to take this spirit is straight up and chilled. ¡Salud!