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Clubs & Bars in Barcelona

Barcelona is known for its vibrant nightlife and has a wealth of entertainment options. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bar to have a beer, want to dance, watch a flamenco performance, or attend a concert by a local musician, Barcelona has it all. From trendy clubs to pleasant terraces and elegant cocktail bars, Barcelona offers entertainment for everyone! The term ‘nightlife’ in Barcelona is to be taken literally, as many bars and nightclubs only start filling up after midnight and continue into the early hours.

An Evening Out in Barcelona

Barcelona’s nightlife is as trendy and diverse as the city itself. While locals primarily go out on the weekends, there’s always something happening in the city; from concerts and musical performances to spectacular events and shows. If you prefer a quieter evening, you can, for example, visit a bar where jazz music is played and order a gin and tonic to spend a wonderful evening. Below are my recommendations for a fun night out in Barcelona:

Bars: Barcelona is home to numerous bars, pubs, music bars, and cocktail bars. They are open every night, often until 3:00 AM, and are a popular meeting spot for locals and their friends. Trendy too are the bars and rooftop terraces of luxury hotels, which welcome a broad audience in addition to their own hotel guests.

Clubs: In Barcelona, you can go out almost every night. Clubs and nightclubs are generally open from midnight until 6:00 AM.

Attend a Concert: For thrilling festivals and performances by national and international artists, you need to have tickets in advance, but if you prefer something cozy and small-scale, you can also go to a music bar where live music is played.

Flamenco Performance: Experience the passion of flamenco up close at one of the many performances held daily.

Classical Music: Concert halls such as Palau de la Música and the Auditori host concerts featuring classical music.

Opera: For a special evening, attend an opera performance at the beautiful Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Cinema: The most family-friendly option and certainly a recommendation for movie buffs. A trip to the cinema in Barcelona is a fun way to spend an evening. Unless you’re fluent in Spanish, make sure you go to a cinema that shows films in their original version.

Theater: A great activity for theater lovers and those who speak Spanish. Cabaret shows à la Moulin Rouge at El Molino are also recommended.

Casino: An evening of poker, French roulette, and blackjack with your friends at the Casino de Barcelona is also one of the entertainment options in Barcelona.

Terraza Alaire Barcelona
Terraza Alaire Barcelona

Going Out in Barcelona

Spaniards love a fiesta and certainly love to go out. In Barcelona, you can also enjoy the best parties until the early hours. It’s no surprise that Barcelona is becoming increasingly popular as a party destination among young people. But what’s the nightlife like in Barcelona, what does going out cost, and what should you pay attention to when going out in Barcelona? Below I give you my tips and introduce you to the bustling nightlife of Barcelona.

What’s the Nightlife Like in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a great city for going out. The numerous parties, music concerts, and clubs make Barcelona’s nightlife very diverse and attractive. Clubs in Barcelona can be expensive and a bit pretentious, but fortunately, there are still plenty of places for those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.

Nights Out

Although there’s something to do every night in the city, most Barcelonans mainly go out on Friday and Saturday nights. Thursday is student night, attracting many students to the nightlife scene, and many nightclubs offer free entry on Thursdays.

Going Out Times

Going out in Barcelona is typically Spanish: people start their evening after midnight. They usually dress up to go out, often first going to a bar for some drinks and then heading to a nightclub or club to dance until the early hours. Unless you’re on the guest list, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee to get into the nightclub.

Door Policy

Clubs in Barcelona always have a doorman who decides who gets in. The door policy at most bars is quite relaxed, but in clubs and nightclubs, you can be refused entry if you can’t show ID, are not dressed appropriately, or have had too much to drink. Groups of predominantly men or (noisy) tourists also run a greater risk of being turned away. Arriving early and sober (around 1:00 AM) in not too large groups can help increase your chances of getting in.

Dress Code

When going out, always consider whether you have the right outfit for the nightclub or bar you’re going to. For example, at club Razzmatazz, everyone wears whatever they want, so it’s very ‘casual’. But if you’re going to Sutton, for example, you need to dress smartly, with dresses and heels for the ladies and a neat shirt, trousers, and decent shoes for the guys.

Where to Go Out in Barcelona?

Barcelona doesn’t have one single nightlife center but several nightlife areas. Among the oldest are Marià Cubí in the upscale Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, the area around the charming Plaça Reial in the Gothic Quarter, and Poble Espanyol in Montjuïc. Many bars and night establishments in the El Raval and El Born neighborhoods are more recent and attract both tourists and Barcelonans, while Port Olímpic, with its restaurants, bars, and beach clubs, is especially popular in the summer. There are also numerous nightlife options around Carrer Aribau next to Avinguda Diagonal, and for those looking for something alternative, there are plenty of fun bars in the Gràcia neighborhood, El Raval, and around the Marina metro station.

Where to Find a Fun Party?

To get a current overview of all parties in Barcelona, it’s best to check the following websites:

You can also register on these sites to get on many clubs’ VIP lists (‘listas VIP’), allowing you free entry.

What to Wear for a Night Out in Barcelona?

Barcelonans generally dress up when going out, although the dress code depends on the nightclub or bar. Since most nightclubs have a chic dress code, it’s best to make an effort to look good when going out. For ladies, this means a nice dress with heels or a festive shirt and pants. Guys can go casual yet neat. In certain nightclubs, you might not be allowed in if you’re wearing sports shoes, sneakers, or flip-flops, so it’s safest to wear smart shoes.

What to Drink When Going Out in Barcelona?

You’ll soon discover that Barcelonans don’t order sangría, nor wine or cava. Most locals drink mixed drinks (‘cubatas’) like Vodka with Fanta, Vodka with lime, Rum with Cola, or Whisky with Cola. Others prefer cocktails like Mojitos and Gin-Tonics. Shots (‘chupitos’) like Tequila con limón are also popular, and of course, there is beer and soft drinks available.

Popular Cubatas

Not sure what to drink when going out in Barcelona? Below is a list of the most popular cubatas in Spain.

  • Vodka Lima (lime vodka)
  • Vodka con Fanta (Fanta vodka)
  • Malibu con piña (pineapple juice with Malibu)
  • Ron con Coca-Cola (rum cola)
  • Licor 43 con Coca-Cola (Licor 43 with cola)
  • Whisky con Coca-Cola (whisky cola)
  • Whisky con Red Bull (whisky Red Bull)
  • Martini con limón (Martini with lemon juice)
  • Tequila con limón (Tequila with lemon)
  • Ginebra con Fanta (gin with Fanta)
  • Ginebra con Coca-Cola (gin cola)
  • Whisky con 7Up (whisky 7UP)

Cost of Going Out in Barcelona

Going out in Barcelona can be as expensive or as cheap as you make it. A bar crawl in the more alternative bars of Marina and Gràcia is often much cheaper than more expensive but incredible cocktail bars and nightclubs in luxurious atmospheres.

In Barcelona, you usually have to pay entry fees to enter clubs and nightclubs. Entry can cost you about €10 – €15, but that often includes a drink of your choice. Given the high prices for drinks in the nightclub (between €8 and €12 per drink), it’s sometimes not so bad to pay an entry fee if you get a free drink with it.

Prices for a mixed drink in Barcelona are around €8 to €12. Shots cost €3, and soft drinks or beer cost about €4 to €8. Unlike in the Netherlands, everyone pays for their own drinks in Barcelona. And if you’re drinking collectively, the amount is divided among the number of people there. So, don’t order a round if you’re going out with Barcelonans, unless it’s agreed upon, as others might not return the favor.

Budget-Friendly Nightlife in Barcelona

Going out in Barcelona can be expensive, but not if you use the following tricks.

  • Drinking at home or in a bar is always cheaper than in the nightclub.
  • If you arrive before 2:00 AM, you often get free entry to the club.
  • Register in advance on the list of the nightclub you want to go to so you can enter for free.
  • Take advantage of the flyers with discounts offered by promoters on the street and found in many stores, bars, and cafes.
  • Ladies, take note: you often get priority and discount on entrance tickets at certain nightclubs.
  • The nightclub entry fee often includes a free drink of your choice.
  • After a night out, go home by night bus or metro instead of a taxi.

How Do Barcelonans Themselves Go Out?

A typical party night usually starts with a hearty dinner at a restaurant with friends, some drinks at a bar, and then partying in one of the many nightclubs.

Another version of going out in Barcelona is to meet with some friends at home for drinks, then head to a bar and later to the nightclub to dance.

Given the high prices of drinks in Barcelona, locals don’t buy rounds: in most nightclubs, you get a free drink with your entry price, and when you order drinks, you usually only get them for yourself.

When the party is over, it’s typical to grab churros at a street stall before going home.

To get home, most locals take a taxi. Other options include public transport, especially the night bus, and on weekends, the metro.

Tips & Tricks for Going Out in Barcelona

  • Legally, you must be over 18 years old to drink alcohol and enter a nightclub. In certain clubs in Barcelona, this age limit is even higher; at 21 years. But there are also ‘light discos’ in Barcelona, where the minimum age is 14 or 16. Therefore, always bring your ID card or proof of identity if asked for it in a bar or nightclub, or else you may not be allowed in.
  • Drinking alcohol on the street is legally prohibited in Spain. The police take strict action against those who participate in ‘botellón’, street drinking parties. This is also why more and more young people prefer to go to a cheap bar or drink at someone’s home. Illegally buying alcohol on the street is also forbidden and can (sometimes) have serious consequences for your health.
  • Although Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular nights out and Thursday is known as the student night, you can go out at various clubs in the city throughout the week (such as at Moog and Sala Apolo).
  • Don’t arrive too early at a club or nightclub. Nightclubs are almost empty until 1:00-2:00 AM. The real party only starts after 2:00 AM, and most partygoers stay until closing time (at 6:00 AM).
  • The dress code in Barcelona depends a bit on the nightclub or bar you’re going to. But to avoid any trouble, it’s best to just dress nicely when going out.
  • Use the flyers offered by promoters on the street. These flyers can also be found in many stores and bars, and some cafes have racks full of flyers. These flyers give you a free drink, 2 drinks for the price of 1, or free entry to the nightclub.
  • Register online on the list of the nightclub you want to go to for free entry. Once at the entrance, make sure you join the line for the guest list and let the doorman know under which name you’re registered and with how many people.
  • Men, take note: large groups of men can sometimes be refused at the door of the nightclub. So, split your group in two or make sure you connect with ladies to ensure you get in.
  • Watch your belongings when going out and use the cloakrooms.
  • Going out is a fun way to meet locals. Spaniards are very social and will generally be open to a chat.
  • On weekends (from Saturday to Sunday), the metro in Barcelona operates all night. Other transportation options are night buses and taxis, of course.