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Julie Sheridan
Created byJulie Sheridan
Freelance writer and translator based in Barcelona

A night on the town in Barcelona

Featured Guide

While Barcelona can’t claim, in all honesty, to rival Madrid in the ‘city that never sleeps’ stakes, this Mediterranean hotspot offers plenty of options if you want to party after dark. The Catalan capital is blessed with a particularly clement climate, making exploring the city’s nightlife a pleasure. Whether you fancy sipping Cava in a sociable square, dining under the stars or hitting up a club in the early hours, the chances are you’ll be safe to leave your coat at home.

Catalans don’t even contemplate dinner until well after 9.30pm, while clubs only start to get going from 2am onwards. Despite its cosmopolitan image, Barcelona favours a casual, laid-back dress code, unless you’re heading for the swanky beachfront clubs like Opium Mar or Shoko. Drinks in nightclubs tend to be pricey, although on the upside, if you’re into spirits, the measures are gratifyingly generous.

Read on for some of the favourite haunts and nocturnal adventures that I’ve enjoyed over my last few years living as an expat in this captivating city.
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Ohla Hotel Barcelona

The Ohla hotel is designed for those who like the high life. Classy, contemporary and conveniently located straddling two old-town districts of the Gótico and the Born, this hotel really can’t be faulted on service or downright charm. If you can’t afford the rooms but fancy the upmarket...

Hotel 1898

For somewhere swank - and incredibly central - the colonial-style Hotel 1898 is a gorgeous place to base yourself while in Barcelona. Take a dip in either of the indoor or outdoor pools, gaze at Barcelona’s skyline from the rooftop chill-out bar, and if you’re really going all out, book yourself into...

Quimet & Quimet

Paying a visit to this most hallowed temple of tapas is almost obligatory when in Barcelona. It’s standing room only at this tiny venue, but don’t let that put you off. Gourmet creations line the bar – just point to what you want and wait to be blown away (the salmon is especially good). After you’ve...

Ocaña

Most of the Plaça Reial is tourist-trap-central, and you’d be well advised to give a wide berth to many of its establishments. Shoo away the touts, though – you’re on a mission to the far-off corner of the square, where you’ll find the charming Ocaña. Sit at the outdoor tables on the Plaça itself in the...

Tryp Apolo

The big bonus of staying at the Tryp Apolo is easy access to the buzzing nightlife of the up-and-coming Poble Sec district. On the area’s long, pedestrianised Blai Street there’s not a tourist trap in sight – just a long line of bars and restaurants plying tasty tapas to clued-up locals. Look out in...

L'Observatori Fabra

Suggesting a trip to a mountain-top observatory for a good night out may seem a tad bizarre, but bear with me here. Throughout the summer months, the Fabra Observatory offers ‘dinner under the stars’ – where for around €70 you’re treated to an astronomically inspired slap-up meal on the front...

Can Paixano

You can’t even contemplate coming to Catalonia without sampling some Cava, and there’s no better spot than Can Paixano (aka La Xampañería). Be warned, though - with its hurried and harried staff and constant influx of thirsty clients, it’s not for the faint of heart. To make sure no-one literally...

Barcelona Pipa Club

This intimate little venue on the Plaça Reial is one of Barcelona’s most idiosyncratic spaces. You almost have to play detective to find it – ring the buzzer and you’ll be admitted in covert silence. Inside, it has an inviting, if slightly beat-up, feel, with oak-panelled walls adorned with...

Razzmatazz

On four levels and with five different mood rooms to choose from, the atmosphere – and serious sound system - in Razzmatazz is what keeps the mainly 20-30-year-old crowd coming back. Its location, tucked away in the residential Poble Nou neighbourhood, means that drunken tourists are unlikely to...

SALA APOLO

Most (in)famous for its Nasty Mondays and Crappy Tuesdays sessions, the crowd, mood and music in Sala Apolo vary considerably depending on what night of the week you’re there. If you’re looking for somewhere to liven up a dreary Monday evening in Barcelona, (and don’t mind paying the not...