Barcelona's Hippest, Trendiest and Liveliest Clubs for Dancing the Night Away
By Sam Mednick
Barcelona Local Expert
Not only is Barcelona well equipped with rustic tapas joints, outdoor patios where wine and sangria are cheaper than water and a variety of trendy, hipster bars, but the city runs rampant with some of the best night clubs in Spain. Attracting famous DJ's during renowned festivals such as Sonar and Primavera Sound amongst others, if you're ever in the mood for lights, noise and a lot of dancing, Barcelona has plenty of options.
Whether you feel like staying in Ciutat Vella (Old City) and exploring the many clubs in Plaza Reial, or want to dance along the beach, or see gorgeous panoramic views atop Montjuic, Barcelona will deliver a night that you'll never forget.
If you feel like partying until the sun comes up and want to step out into daylight along the Mediterranean, check out Cat Walk, Shoko and CDLC which are all situated along the boardwalk. If you'd prefer an even better view from 36 floors up, the W Hotel's Eclipse bar and club is a swanky place to drink innovative cocktails with the VIP's and elite clientele.
But if you'd rather experience a night on the town like the locals do, make your way to the Raval where the clubs might be small, but they know how to rage.
10 Club Apolo/Nitsa
This hot dance club located in an old theater stays rocking until six in the morning. In the main room, you will find a crowd that loves to groove to techno but if that's not your style, you can try the Picnic Bar where they play Pop or the Def Room where you'll hear Hip-Hop. On the weekends you are likely to find a dance-a-thon here. In addition to the many rooms with its varying music genres, Apolo club also hosts live music venues and well known DJ's on a weekly basis. It's one of Barcelona's greatest and most popular clubs. (93-441-4001)
9 La Terrazza
You can literally party till the break of dawn at La Terrazza. There is even a terrace where you are privy to great views of the sunrise. The outdoor patio is ideal for dancing with locals and foreigners alike. This is one of the city's best dance clubs, especially in the summer. Located in the small makeshift 'pueblo' of Poble Espanol, La Terrazza is situated atop Montjuic and is one of the only late night dance clubs on the mountain. It's a great place to see well known DJ's and during festivals there's always something special going on, just be sure to book tickets online in advance. (93-423-1285)
Indie rock with the occasional live music gig, Sidecar is sheer late night fun. You can't get more central than Plaza Reial and this hip, unpretentious two-storey space (restaurant and bar upstairs, club downstairs) is a great way to dance until the sun comes up. Located right off La Rambla, in Plaza Reial, Sidecar is surrounded by plenty of other clubs which makes the bar hopping experience that much more enjoyable. If you don't like the line up at Sidecar, head to Jamboree or Marula Cafe and try your luck there. But it's hard not to enjoy an amazing night at Sidecar. (933 021 586)
See and Be Seen at Carpe Diem Lounge Club (CDLC). Posh, chic and trendy if you're up for an expensive and elegant night out this is the place to be. This bar, restaurant and lounge has an exclusive VIP area, often frequented by football players but available to anyone as long as you buy a bottle of alcohol (usually 130 Euros minimum). If you're in the mood to experience a more sophisticated evening with great views of the boardwalk, loud music and tons of people, then this is an excellent choice. If you're in town for a while it's worth checking out just once. (932-240-470)
Come rock the night away at Penúltimo, one of the funnest gay bars in the city. The music varies from soul and funk to Latin and reggae, and DJ Marta is sure to keep you guessing at which tune will be played next. Funky live performances make for an exciting night of Spanish fun. Although Penultimo starts the night off as a relaxed bar catering to gay clientele, once the clock strikes 12am, the chairs are put away and this small bar becomes one of the greatest places to dance in the Raval. Although it has a mostly gay customer base, straights frequent the bar as well. (93-310-2596)
This club, bar, restaurant, cocktail lounge and above all one of Barcelona's greatest party venues is just a stone's throw from the beach and hosts some of Barcelona's most beautiful people nightly. Once the sun goes down the restaurant transforms into a lively club featuring well known resident DJ's and very often themed parties. The space is large and the atmosphere is intense and full of excitement, especially if you're looking to party until the sun comes up. Shoko is beside CDLC and Opium club and is both the cheesiest and least pretentious of the three. Yet you still need to dress accordingly if you want to be let in. (93 225 92 00)
4 Marula Cafe
Relatively new to the Barcelona Club scene, Marula is a vibrant space, ideal for hosting concerts, live music and parties. It specializes in funk and rap but features rock, pop, jazz and other genres as well. Centrally located in the Gothic Quarter, right off of Plaza Tripi and La Rambla, this is a great late night party especially on weekends. Marula is sandwiched between a host of other discos and bars including Tequila, Factory, Macarena and Jamboree, all within a few minutes walk of each other if not closer. So if you've had enough of funk, there are plenty of alternative options. (913-661-596)
3 Otto Zutz
Otto Zutz offers three stories of nighttime fun with funky DJ's that keep the place rocking until 6am! The dance floor is usually full and there is a separate room for softer and funkier tunes if that's more your style. This is one of Barcelona's largest, loudest and poshest clubs with several stories of non-stop music and noise. Located near Sarria and Sant Gervasi, in the more residential and modern areas of the city, Otto Zutz attracts a local weekend crowd with the occasional tourists who manage to find their way there on a week night. Be sure to dress the part though, or they'll turn you away at the door. (93-238-0722)
If you're looking for swanky, sexy and chic, then Barcelona's Hotel W is your best bet on any given evening. Eclipse, known not only for it's innovative and delicious cocktails, but also for it's gorgeous views overlooking the Mediterranean and Barcelona's coast line, is the place to be if you want to be seen with the 'IT' crowd. Although their cocktails are slightly on the pricier side, they're more than worth it. The recipes for each drink are so secretive that you often have no idea what you're sipping on - you just know that it's good enough to order seconds. (4 93 295 28 00)
A vibrant new restaurant situated in Barcelona's trendy Gothic neighborhood, in the exceptionally lively, Plaza Reial. This is a great place to kick off the evening with dinner and drinks, overlooking a beautiful plaza with a sculptured water fountain and a host of 'entertainers'. Once the clock strikes midnight, the tables move to the side and Ocana transforms into a happening dance club and cocktail bar. If you're looking for VIP tables, be sure to call in advance as the place gets packed and on weekends they've been known to cap attendance at the door. (NA)
About Sam Mednick
Sam’s passion for the sea and the mountains makes Barcelona the optimal living destination. Sam's passion for traveling has taken her around the world including Fiji, Argentina, Lebanon, Uganda, Ghana, Israel the Philippines, and Canada. Before moving to Barcelona Sam worked in Ghana as a foreign correspondent for a Canadian NGO, as well as a the Executive Radio Producer for an internationally syndicated lifestyle show based out of New York City. In addition to freelancing Sam works as a professional Life and Executive coach. She also hosts an English Radio Show every Friday. Read about Sam's coaching philosophies at: www.blueprintcoaching.ca. And listen to her podcast: http://blueprintcoaching.podomatic.com
Read more about Sam Mednick here.