Nightlife in Barcelona
If you’re planning to move to Barcelona you certainly aren’t planning spending your nights in bed. This city really comes alive at night. From swishy cocktail establishments where you can enjoy a bit of tapas with your Cava to relaxed, beachside sundowners and crazy underground after-parties which keep going till brunch, there’s something for everyone in Barca… and then some.
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Bars in Barcelona
W Hotel (£££)
Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, +34 932 95 28 00
W Hotel a stylish place to start the night’s festivities. A veritable landmark of BCN, this is a hip, buzzing hotel on the edge of the beach with stunning views over the bay and great service in the bar. Expect to pay for all this, of course – but do it in the knowledge that a very affordable night awaits you in Barcelona, if you know all the right places.
Can Paixano (£)
Carrer de la Reina Cristina, +34 933 10 08 39
Sometimes known as La Xampanyeria, this is a riotous, crowded and altogether very Catalan way to kick off your evening. Order your tapas at the bar – you have to order a dish with every drink here, so buy your Cava by the bottle – and enjoy a fun night on the Spanish stuff from as little as £1.50 a glass. Bring your Spanish dictionary or break out your best Spanglish if you want to get served quickly here.
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Clubs in Barcelona
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113, +34 934 41 40 01
Apolo is home to Barca’s hip and trendy crowd, and runs busy club nights Tuesday to Saturday. Tourist friendly as not as intimidating as it might sound, Apolo is actually two clubs – Apolo 1 and Apolo 2 – and between them they cater to a range of tastes. The former is more opulent with red velvet and a bit of a Moulin Rouge vibe; the latter is ultra-modern with a better sound system and big electro beats to match. Both venues host live gigs several nights a week and become clubs from around midnight, so don’t bother getting here too early.
La Macarena (£)
An alternative to Apolo, La Macarena is an underground cavern of frenzied, non-commercial dance music for those who take their clubbing seriously.
Events and shows in Barcelona
Catalans love love love to party, and Barcelona’s calendar is packed with colourful fixtures and celebrations throughout the year – all of which are free to participate in or spectate. Spain has an employee-pleasing fifteen national holidays a year. Beat that, Britain.
Festes de la Mercè on 24th September is a celebration of the city’s patron saint, and the fun lasts well into the evening with plenty of drinking, dancing and merry-making. Expect to find revellers dressed as dwarves, human castles and fishermen as groups fiery of devils parade the street in an awesome pyrotechnic display. Look out for the Flamenco Festival in March, and Carnaval before Lent – a celebration of all pleasures of the flesh before forty days of saintly living leading up to Easter.