Spain Guide


Barcelona Nightlife

Barcelona's nightlife is as rich and varied as you'd expect of any major city which attracts tourists, students and Bohemian types. When the sun goes down here you'll find all forms of entertainment from traditional fiestas and world class opera to lesbian bars and drag shows.

The liveliest areas after dark are the Barri Gotic old quarter, La Rambla, the neighbourhood of L'Eixample north of the city centre and Maremagnum and Port Olimpic down at the waterfront.

Rita Blue, Barri Gotic

The Barri Gotic, with its maze of narrow medieval streets, is a lovely district for an evening stroll and there are masses of bars and clubs which stay open until the small hours. This is where you'll find one of the most popular clubs in town, Rita Blue in Plaza Agusti. Upstairs there's a quiet bar and restaurant with Mexican and traditional Mediterranean food while the ground floor is a night club which heaves till 3am at weekends.

The Gothic Quarter is popular entertainment area with tourists and rife with pickpockets so hang onto your wallet and don't leave handbags lying around or hanging on chair backs.

Bars in L'Eixample

L'Eixample also has lots of good pubs and clubs along with a thriving gay scene. Passeig de Gracia is another popular haunt for gays. Martin's on Passeig de Gracia is a nightclub for gays (men only) but if you're not that way inclined head for the Alfa Club in Mayor de Gracia where you'll find a friendly crowd of regulars and great décor.

Down at the harbour the Maremagnum is a bustling shopping centre by day and a lively party spot by night with everything from tourist bars and techno music to Irish pubs and salsa clubs. The mall has 12 cinemas showing original version films with sub titles.

Port Olimpic is another good late night spot with plenty of bars, good seafood restaurants and clubs. The yacht marina is a great place to be on summer evenings when many of the bars and restaurants set up tables and chairs on outdoor terraces.

Fiestas and Shows

The city simply oozes culture and there are regular performances of ballet, theatre, music, dance and opera at various venues such as the Joan Miro Foundation and Greek Theatre at Montjuic, the Placa del Rei and the Liceu Opera House.

Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras were both born in Barcelona which attracts some of the biggest names in classical music along with leading contemporary theatre and dance companies.

You can see Flamenco performed at various venues throughout the city including Tablao de Carmen and Travel Bar Flamenco Guide, both in the centre of the old quarter. Look out for performances of the emblematic Catalonian dance, the Sardana, in which participants join hands and move in circles to the strains of a flute like instrument. Placa de Sant Jaume in the Barri Gotic is one of the many venues where the Sardana is performed on summer evenings.

Fiestas take place throughout the year, turning the streets of various districts into a riot of music, dancing and fireworks. Among the best are the Festa Major de Gracia in mid August and the Festes de la Merce towards the end of September.

Whatever else you do, don't miss the spectacular water and light shows of the fountains of Monjuic, made famous during the 1992 Olympic Games.