While one of the joys of Barcelona's nightlife is simply walking around the ancient cobblestone streets and going with the flow, it's always helpful to know some of the local's favorite hangouts. Even though not all of the locals speak English, they do know how to have a great time and going to Barcelona's world-class clubs is the best way to mingle. Besides, dancing is a universal language, so don’t be afraid of leaving your inhibitions behind. The following places are not to be missed, but after enough sangria, they may not be entirely remembered.
The sun begins to set around 6.30, so after finishing a day seeing all of the essential sights, watch as the night comes out while standing on the beautiful rooftop of La Casa Battlo. Afterward, walk right next door and have a snack or meal at Mussol. Here, you will find tasty tapas and perfectly sweet sangria. If you're looking for a fuller meal, try the Reserva Iberica for some of the best Iberian ham in town. These thin, salted, and aged slices of ham are a Spanish staple, and no place does it better than here.
One of the joys of Barcelona is its high energy and eclectic offerings. Don't be afraid of stopping in a random restaurant to see if it hits the spot. Luckily, many of the meals in Barcelona are smaller than elsewhere, so should the meal be less tasty than expected, you can easily stay hungry and try again somewhere else. To find the best cafes, simply avoid anything that has a large sign promoting deals in English. A truly great restaurant will likely cater to locals or to travelers in the know. However, many menus and waiters are bilingual and you should have no problem finding something you want.
Dancing and Drinking
No matter what you're after, Barcelona has it! From sweaty clubs to smooth and sultry lounges, the city is full of places that will fit your every mood and desire. If you want a night reveling in the sand, head on over to Opium Mar in Barceloneta for one of the city's liveliest clubs. The wait can sometimes be long, but it's worth it once you're inside. The energy here can only be described as contagious, and even the shyest of the shy will soon be dancing with the best of them. With two levels for dancing and drinking, plus an outside patio with a great view of the beach, you will never want to leave.
Of course, if you do want to leave, then change your scenery by heading into the historic Born district and check out La Fianna. While the interior might be a little overwhelming for a long dinner, the satin decor truly shines at night and it's the perfect place to collect yourself before the next event. Try one of the many cocktails, as they are easily the best in town. If you're looking for something a little more daring, then take a trip to Bar Marsella for some locally renowned absinthe. If the absinthe here was good enough for Picasso and Hemingway, then it's good enough for us all.
Beach Beer Bums
If you want a nice little kick for just one euro, then simply respond to the immigrants yelling "cerveza! cerveza!" as they walk up and down the boulevards and beaches. They'll sell you a cold can of off-brand beer, and while it may not be tasty, it gets the job done.
Stumbling Through History
La Rambla is one of Barcelona's most famous attractions, and it's easy to see why. The nearly mile-long pedestrian-only street is filled with local artists and entertainers, plus its streets are lined with flowering trees and breathtaking architecture. The street also provides direct access to some of Barcelona's most exciting districts such as the Gothic quarter. Although the center of the Gothic quarter is a bit touristy, there are many hole-in-the-wall bars just off of its winding side streets. Go in for a shot, and then enjoy the buzzed walk down the quarter's ancient cobblestone streets. The lights on the streets are dim, and what lights remain cover just enough of the landmarks to make this an incredible nighttime destination.
While most of the cafes along La Rambla are tourist traps, the street itself makes for a great walk at night. Walk towards the pier Rambla de Mar and witness one of the many free live concerts held there each weekend. If you're feeling brave, head down one of the side streets off of La Rambla to find more bars and cafes that are guaranteed to be full until the sun comes up.
After a night of song, dance, and strong drink, there's nothing better than indulging on some chocolaté con churros. You can find them sold from a food truck on any major street, and you'll know the quality depending on how long the line is. If the line is long, there is a reason for it, so grit your teeth and trust us, it will be worth it.
No matter how you spend your night in Barcelona, it's guaranteed to be unforgettable. The city's energy continually peaks, and there are surprises at every turn. From spontaneous concerts on the beach to all-night clubs, Barcelona's nightlife is not to be missed!