Edited by Matthew Wears
If I could sum up Barcelona in just one sentence it would probably be something like ‘random encounters in a charming but crazy city. I think this applies mostly to the evening time, where meeting up with different people and trying new things is all just part of Barcelona's nightlife! It also helps that there are just so many cool things to do in Barcelona on an evening, whether it’s exploring some undiscovered traditional tapas bars or taking part in one of the cities many unique celebrations, you really are spoiled for choice. On top of that, the city is made up of many different neighborhoods with totally different vibes, meaning you can have a different kind of night out every night of the week! Some of the best nighttime entertainment in Barcelona can be found down the side streets, so don’t be afraid to explore! And if bar hopping isn’t your thing, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered because I’ve included loads of other exciting things that I know you’re going to love. Armed with just this and your Barcelona attractions map, you’re ready to take on the absolute madness of the capital of Catalonia.
Visit Poble Espanyol
If I’m sat in a bar thinking about where to head next for some late-night dancing, there’s one place that I always love to go; Poble Espanyol. This is a purpose built, replica Spanish village that by day is home to quirky shops and art galleries, but by night becomes an intense clubbing experience. This is one of the highlights of Barcelona nightlife, I mean where else can you go clubbing inside a traditional Spanish village!? There are quite a few different clubs here, such as Upload, or my favourite La Terrazza, the only open-air club in Barcelona. Whether you’re into techno, funk, disco or live music, you’ll definitely find something to enjoy at Poble Espanyol. To get there just jump on the Metro lines one or three and get off at Espanya Station, or if it’s late at night flag a taxi! If you’re looking for fun things to do in Barcelona, you’ve come to the right place.
Watch a Sunset at the Bunkers
There are so many places to catch the amazing sunsets in Barcelona, but my personal favourite hidden gem just has to be the Bunkers del Carmel. This area was once used to house anti-aircraft guns during the Spanish Civil War, but now it’s become one of the best free things to do in Barcelona for those looking for crazy city views. They sit at the top of Turó de la Rovira which is over two-hundred and fifty meters high, so make sure you’re ready for a pretty intense climb because there is no public transport to get you there! Also, if you’ve seen pictures of the Bunkers you might be thinking ‘is Barcelona safe at night when you’re this far from the main centre?’ Honestly, I’d recommend going with a group because the area is not very well lit, and the Carmel Neighbourhood is sometimes known to be a little risky after dark, so just be aware of that.
Explore the El Born District
If you’re searching for some things to do in Barcelona on an evening that don’t involve masses of tourists, then maybe you should check the El Born district, a part of the old town that has more of an authentic feeling than the neighboring La Rambla or Gothic Quarter. El Born’s winding streets still possess the quirkiness of the other old town areas, but with cafes and bars that are a little bit cooler with a more sophisticated vibe. Bar Brutal is one of my top venues of all the Barcelona nightlife spots, and is perhaps the best wine bar in town, although it can be very expensive! If you want somewhere a bit cheaper but just as great, try Guzzo Club, a really cool restaurant and bar that often has live music performances! Also, this district is great for Barcelona at night tours and you could spend hours discovering the hundreds of hipster bars and restaurants.
Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barcelona
Get panoramic views at the Barceló Raval
One of the coolest things to do in Barcelona that I love to visit on my tours is the Barceló Raval, a very fancy city centre hotel that has one of the best rooftop bars in the entire city! The views of Barcelona are some of the most incredible you’ll find because you can see for miles in any direction, and they even have binoculars, so you can see all of the main city sights from the comfort of your barstool. Evening entertainment in Barcelona is already good, but Barceló Raval takes it to completely different heights with their selection of delicious cocktails and tapas alongside DJ’s that always bring super chilled out vibes. This is a must do even if you have just a short while in the city, so if you’re nearby the Barcelona beach at night, make sure you take a visit to the eleventh floor of the hotel, you won’t regret it.
Enjoy live music in the Gothic Quarter
There are loads of cool places to catch awesome live music in Barcelona, but you really can’t beat the Gothic Quarter. There are countless bars and restaurants that put on everything from acoustic to traditional music, all the way to DJ’s playing the best house and techno into the early hours of the morning. For some great live rock’n’roll music, try Nevermind Bar, a favourite amongst locals that plays a selection of classic 90’s alternative hits. Another favourite of the Barcelona nightlife scene is Marula Café, a cool underground club that plays all kinds of electronic beats for you to end your night with. Exploring the Gothic Quarter at night is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Barcelona because there is just so much going on, and I just love exploring the all of the amazing bars and mixing with all of the crazy people!
Feast on Pintxos on Carrer de Blai Street
If you were to think of Spanish food that is enjoyed alongside a cold beer or wine, you’d be forgiven for thinking only of tapas, however, pintxos is also a really popular way to present food in Spain. The only real difference is that pintxos is generally smaller and served on a cocktail stick, and of course, Barcelona has countless authentic spots for you to discover it. Carrer de Blai is a legendary area amongst Barcelona nightlife, a street consisting of plenty of tiny and traditional restaurants for you to squeeze into and enjoy some truly mouth-watering food. There’s no standout venue here, the way to approach this is by simply jumping from bar to bar at your own pace, trying different things as you go. If you’re exploring Barcelona at night, tours of this area with the help of a local would be an awesome idea!
Take part in the annual ‘Night of the Museums’
One of the most popular and interesting free things to do in Barcelona is Night of the Museum, a night taking place on the 19th to the 20th of May where many of the city’s top galleries and museums open their doors late into the night with free admission. This is an event set up by the European Council and therefore takes place all over the continent, but spending it in Barcelona is up there with the best because there’s just so many cool venues! You can expect to find live music, performances and workshops, as well as Barcelona at night tours that allow you to see inside some of the best-loved buildings in a totally different light! Literally! Participating venues include the CaixaForum, CCCB and the Picasso Museum as well as lesser so many known ones, and you can find a Barcelona attractions map showing exactly where the venues are from their website.
Watch some traditional Flamenco Dancing
Originating in Southern Spain, Flamenco dancing has spread to become one of the most widely recognised icons of the entire country. I would say one of the most fun things to do in Barcelona for those who want to discover traditional Spanish culture would be to go to a Flamenco Show, the passion and the colours are what I love most about it! There are many Tablaos (where Flamenco takes place) around the city, but again the old quarter has many of the craziest! Venues such as Tablao Flamenco Cordobes and Los Tarantos are sure to transport you to a world full of passion and dancing, so be prepared for an authentic Spanish experience you definitely won’t forget. Flamenco is one of the most exciting forms of entertainment in Barcelona or even the whole of Spain, so much such that you might just find yourself dancing along too!
Watch a sunrise from the Beach
Walking down to the Barcelona beach at night and watching a sunrise has become somewhat of a ritual for both locals and tourists, especially after experiencing the crazy Barcelona nightlife. Coming here after a night out is, in my opinion, one of the coolest free things to do in Barcelona, because you’re sure to be mixing with loads of other people who have the same idea as you! Or, if you’re more of a morning person, waking up to catch the first rays of sunshine as they hit the Mediterranean is sure to be an experience you won’t forget. You could even go for a refreshing morning swim, or bring your breakfast along and enjoy one of the most beautiful meals you’re ever likely to have anywhere in the world. Remember to bring your phone or camera as well because you’ll definitely want to take plenty of pictures!
Have Dinner with the Stars at the Fabra Observatory
What could be better than spending a night under the stars eating delicious food and drinking amazing champagne from inside an observatory? Not much, I’d say! Things to do in Barcelona don’t get more unique than an evening at the Fabra Conservatory, a stunning building that is over one hundred years old with unparalleled views of the city below. Every Summer, the public is invited to enjoy a dinner on the terrace at dusk before heading inside the building for a guided tour of the building which includes a look through one of the oldest telescopes still in operation in Europe. Prices start at just over seventy Euros, but for the gourmet option you will be spending over one hundred per person, which might seem like a lot, but dinner at the Fabra Observatory really is an experience you will remember forever!
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