Barcelona at night. Where to go?
Posted by edux127 on November 20, 2006
After dark, Barcelona changes and you must know where to find the best places to enjoy the night . There are a wide range of nightclubs, bars, coffee shops and ice cream parlours, (Some smoking, some non-smoking) theatres, shows, street entertainers, a casino and sporting events. If you know how to move around, you Barcelonacater for all tastes, young or old, jazz fan or goth, gay or straight, and keep people entertained until 6am every day of the week. See http://www.barcelonatips.wordpress.com for a list of the main events of the week. A good tip is that tickets for most theatres and musicals can be bought at the cashpoint machines in
La Caixa bureaux. Please heed the following warnings, but don’t be put off by them, you will still have a fantastic time.
- Vendors walk up and down La Rambla selling individual cans of beer from the six-packs they carry for about a euro. IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL BEER IN THE STREET, AND TO DRINK IN THE STREET THEREFORE THE SELLERS HIDE THE BEER IN THE BINS AND SEWERS. SEVERE STOMACH BUGS DO HAPPEN.
- After about 2am you will see many lady (and ladyboys) of the night in
La Rambla, so don’t be shocked!
- Around La Rambla, Raval in particular, are more crime prevalent areas – pickpockets, muggings etc. Have your wits about you and use common sense (don’t act like a blatant tourist with maps, valuables and cameras on show) and don’t stare at prostitutes or someone in a very drunken state.
- When visiting nightclubs please remember that you are in a large European city and keep your wits about you. Don’t be shocked to be offered drugs. Be on the lookout for drink drugging incidents.
- Be aware that the metro system stops operating at around 1am Sun-Thu and 3am Fri/Sat. You can take a taxi in the beggining of Ramblas, but during the weekends, between 2.00 am and 4.00 am there is a 1hr cue…
- Final warning: Don’t pee on the street!! Again it is now illegal to urinate in the street but it seems to be too common a habit to irradicate, meaning the narrow streets are often highly smelly! The council do wash them down every night in an attempt to make it slightly more pleasant.
Fridays and Saturdays are dominated by a cosmopolitan mix of tourists, and stag & hen parties, specially in the Old
Town area. Sunday nights are busy with locals as many shops and restaurants are closed on Mondays. Most of the action is centred around La Rambla, the wide boulevard stretching from Placa de Catalunya to the Port Vell. There are usually street entertainers wowing the crowds – mime artists, clowns, acrobats, flamenco dancers etc. Wandering the streets adjacent to La Rambla – the Gothic district, Raval and Born will reveal many fun bars, often aimed at students and budget travellers. Port Vell itself has a modern complex of 5 clubs and bars at the top – they start to fill at 1am and continue until about 5am. Port Olympic has the Casino and many little bars and clubs around the Marina – most relatively downmarket and cheesy, but good fun. If you walk along Barceloneta beach from the Casino there are 3 very lovely restaurants that turn into modern classy lounge bars/clubs at 1am. There is also BaJa beachclub infamous for it’s scantily clad dancers (both female and male) and a magnet for the hen/stag do crowd. If you are looking for non-tourist nightclubs, you might go to Upper Diagonal, to the area called Santaló, to the corner of Diagonal and Aribau, etc. There are many nice clubs there, non-touristic at all, as Luz de Gas, Sala B, Bucaro….
- Razzmattazz is a very large and popular nightclub with lots of events – Missy Elliott played recently – and is widely acclaimed to be great fun with a choice of 5 different music types.
- City Hall nightclub off Placa Catalunya has 2 different music areas and a large outside area – perfect for late night chatting. International Night on Mondays is good fun with a variety of nationalities wearing their country sticker with pride!For people in their 30s (or who think that way!) top bar recommendations are:
- Shoko (on the beach near the Port Olympic Casino – particularly good to lounge on the day beds on a Sunday or to go to the club after 1am)
- Bar Lobo (behind Hotel 1898 at 109 La Rambla, modern with great fusion food and service, and good cocktails – try the mojito)
Patagonia (great ice-cream, below and 1st floor bar is a fantastic place to sit and watch the world go by on
- Bar 111 (just opened on the corner of Le Meridien 5* hotel La Rambla)
- Sinatra (off Placa Real, off La Rambla – a modern Irish bar with great service and excellent fusion restaurant above)
- Hotel 1898 Bar at 109 La Rambla (good for sitting at the bar from midnight until 2 and chatting to people).
- Bar Marsella, located on the Carrer Sant Pau, opened in 1820 and looks like it hasn’t been changed much since then. The place is usually crowded as people pack themselves in to enjoy the bohemian ambiance. The bar is known as a place to drink some absinthe, a powerful drink popular when the bar first opened its doors. A slotted spoon, a sugar cube and small bottle of water are served with your order of absinthe to facilitate the ritual of drinking the liquor. This involves placing the sugar cube on the spoon, dipping it into the absinthe, lighting it on fire and then extinguishing it with the bottle of water so that the sugar drips down into the drink. There are a great number of live music jam sessions, jazz music, blues, rock and flamenco. Many people see in the latter a great number of business opportunities and, hence, they charge ridiculous amounts of money for a flamenco session – and usually, it’s not even good! Instead, look around for local flamenco bars and sessions – they are waiting to be found. If you are into more “alternative” bars and events, and want to steer clear away from the tourist crowds in Puerto Olimpico and Las Ramblas, this site, http://www.barcelonatips.wordpress.com has weekly info, news and listings on what is happening in the “real”
On weekends, all places in Barcelona are crowded and it is really easy to enjoy the night. Here there is a list of some places to expend all night long inBarcelona during the week:
- On Mondays: Try Jamboree, at the Plaza Real. It is the best place where to have a real nice party on Mondays. They close at 5.00 am and I am sure everybody will have fun
- On Tuesdays: The best place is the Buda Bar, in Pau Clarís. It is both a bad restaurant (expensive and bad) and a great club opening till 3.00 am. The ambience is modern and quite posh. Drinks are expensive, but music is nice and it is full of beautiful people. Then, when they close you can try Up&Down, opening until 6.00 am. Just remember to dress very fashion and pass by the cash machine…
- On Wednesdays, the best discotheque is Bikini, by the Illa Diagonal, in the upper area of the city.
- Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are all very good days to go out, so you can manage to find good places by your own.