A Guide to Bars & Booze in Barcelona
Leah Walker January 9, 2013

I’ve written about how I didn’t step foot inside the Sagrada Familia, and I’ve talked about how my travel style is about doing things and not just seeing things. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that while in Barcelona I got a good dose of the city’s night scene.

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I discovered that locals embrace the work hard, play hard mantra and that there’s something going on every single night of the week. So, what does that mean for you and me as visitors? No matter if you’re interested in a lux or a low cost Barcelona holiday, there are places to fit every price range and taste. Whether you’re visiting with friends in a relaxed music venue or partying the night away, Barcelona has a place to suit. Pack your most stylish clothes and get ready for an awesome experience at some of the best bars Barcelona has to offer.

Princesa 23

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If you’re anything like me, it would be a good idea to have a meal before you set off to explore the local bars and sample the wonderful Spanish cocktails. You may even like to start off with some tasty tapas before diving into the traditional lasagna at this restaurant. And if you stay here long enough then you’ll be able to take advantage of late-night drinks deals.

Shoko

If you’ve been to Barcelona at any point during the last few years then you’ve probably heard about this chic evening place. It was refurbished recently to a generally positive critical response. Some people have been impressed by the Mediterranean cuisine that is served, while others have had the pleasure of attending parties such as MTV Sound System and Club Tropicana.

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Club Catwalk

Step through the doors of this popular nightclub beside the Gran Casino and you will hear house music being played by DJs such as Bob Sinclair. And when you’ve had enough of the booming, pulsating music, you can head upstairs for some smooth Hip Hop and R&B.

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Harlem Jazz Club

Those of you with a love of fresh and funky jazz will definitely enjoy an evening at this uber-cool venue. You might even have the chance to see top performers such as Chino and the Big Tet showcase their incredible musical talents. The night will be rounded off with a magical music concoction created by local DJs.

Sala Apolo

This old theater, complete with viewing galleries and a great sound stage, has been used as the venue for sellout performances by bands including La Pegatina and Maria Rodes in recent times. After cheering on their favorite acts visitors are sometimes tempted to head to the adjacent La Space bar for techno and electro beats.

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Mac Arena Mar

You should include at least one visit to this beach hotspot as part of your time in Barcelona. Here you’ll be able to sample delicious seafood delights cooked up by skilled local cooks before getting your groove on to tunes played by Mobilee and Kompakt.

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Just because the sun goes down in Barcelona doesn’t mean that the city shuts down. If you want to do Barcelona like the locals, be prepared to see the sun rise. Many bars stay open until 3:00 am and clubs even later, which makes the night life in Barcelona not for the faint of heart.

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don't extend to speaking French. Yet.

28 Comments

    1. Clothes and booze combined? That could get dangerous for my credit card. I’ll be back in Barcelona in March. Perhaps I’ll stop by Soda.

  1. To me, nightlife and drinking are the central attractions of Barcelona. Although the city’s coastal setting and a lot of its architecture are nice, what really sets it apart is its party scene. Nice post!

    1. Thanks, Robert. I look forward to returning to Barcelona in March so I’ll get another dose. I was shocked at how alive the city was even so late.

  2. Barcelona sounds like a big party city. I’d probably need to pace myself on the drinks because I’d want to visit as many places as possible. Bar crawl til 3 am!

    1. I’m with you, Scott. Pace is the key and a full stomach before starting. I’m getting a bit old for staying up until 3:00 am, but I’ll give it the old college try.

  3. we’re not big liquor drinkers, but barcelona is the place to break out of our old beer/wine habits, hmm? ideally with a chaperone, as liquor may or may not make us sloppy.

    1. I’m not a huge fan of gin, but they make great gin and tonics in BCN. I’m not sure I’ll be able to drink them anywhere else. I’m pretty sure I could babysit you two for at least one night. You must experience Barcelona and liquor at night. 🙂

    1. Ahhhh, yes, DJ…the famous siesta. If you’re staying out until 4 or 5 am then you might not be awake by 2 pm. Problem solved!

    1. You know how things change in regard to what’s cool and such. That just means that you’ve got to get there quickly before all these places go out of fashion. 🙂

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