As Barcelona is substantially smaller than Madrid, it tends to seem a more vibrant city at night. Stumble down Las Ramblas and you will soon discover you are not stumbling alone. Barcelona’s famed strip is the most active part of the city after dark, but not necessarily where you should set your sights on when you first go out.
Ask any local where is they believe to be they believe to be the place to be seen on any given week and they will tell you the ‘El Born’ district. Not far from the atmospheric, labyrinthine streets of the Barri Gotic, it’s main street Passeig del Born is laced with bars, some serving cocktails, others serving beers.
The west side of the Las Ramblas is El Raval and, while it is slightly grimier than El Born, it is also home to a good selection of bars.
Jazz music is also quite popular with Catalonians, and there are a number of jazz clubs around the city. Classical music is also popular, with concerts staged at Palau de la Música Catalana, and the Liceu Opera House.
Pasaje de la Banca, Barcelona, Spain
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would’ve been like to go out for a night with Frodo in Middle Earth you need to visit this unique drinking hole. In this bar tucked down a small alley at the bottom of Las Ramblas (look for the sign to the wax museum), it’s not people you have to weave your way through, its trees you have to watch out for! Busy at the weekends, there is a good atmosphere here.
Open daily from 10am-1.30am.
C/del Rec, 49, Barcelona, Spain
While there are many bars located in Barcelona's trendy El Born district, this one sticks out from the rest of the bunch, even though (like so many bars in the Catalonian capital) it doesn't get going until after midnight. Once it does though, it attracts a cool clientele who enjoy laid back tunes while having a few beers.
Open Tues-Sat from 7pm-3am.
C/deu i Mata, 105, Barcelona, Spain
With three rooms to choose from, most people will find something to please them in one of Barcelona's biggest clubs. It has different themed nights also. BKN (the main room) is packed every night as thousands dance to the best tunes, while Arutanga is where you can get down to more traditional Spanish tunes.
Open Tues-Sun midnight-5.30am; admission €14.
C/de Sant Pau, 65, Barcelona, Spain
If you like absinthe then this is where to go. 80% of people who drink here have the toxic liqeur in front of them. If you like paint, however, you should steer clear. It looks like it hasn't seen a paintbrush in years. This only adds to its 'rustic charm' I suppose.
Open nightly from 10pm-2.30am.
Las Ramblas 74, Barcelona, Spain
There are many places to enjoy a beer or coffee on Las Ramblas, but this one opposite the Liceu Opera House is the best of the bunch as there isn't a nicer place to people watch on Barcelona's famed strip.
Open daily from 8.30am-2am.