Ciutat Vella's Hippest Places to Spend a Night on the Town

Barcelona's Ciutat Vella (Old City) is the place to be if you're looking for a fun, exciting and action packed night on the town. Between the rustic Raval, trendy Born and popular Gotico neighborhoods, there are more bars and nightclubs than most people know what to do with. Depending on what you're looking for, there are a variety of late night options as well including after hour bars, which are usually open until 2 or 3pm the next day - if you can last that long. 

In terms of great clubs, some prime areas to consider scoping out include Plaza Reial in the Gothic Quarter, right off La Rambla, Passeig Del Born in the Born neighborhood and Rambla Del Raval in the Raval. Plaza Reial is home to an abundance of night clubs and even if you don't feel like going inside the clubs, the square itself is a lot of fun to spend time in as it's always packed and full of eclectic characters, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. Another great area of Ciutat Vella to explore is on the edge of Barceloneta neighborhood. Some of the fanciest and most well known clubs are situated along the boardwalk including Shoko, Cat Walk and the CDLC. So no matter where you end up in Ciutat Vella, you'll never be left without a lively nightclub at your fingertips. 


Poblet Sec

Not only does Robadors 23 feature great live music venues and incredibly cheap tapas, but they also have Flamenco shows depending on the evening (usually Fridays and Saturdays are good bets). Located on the edge of the Raval neighborhood and close to the up and coming Poble Sec bario, Robadors 23 is a rustic, off the beaten path restaurant/bar/live music and performance lounge. Their mix of jazz, blues and local Flamenco provide for a fun and intimate atmosphere. The bar itself is fairly small so it's best to show up as early as possible if you want to get a seat. Be sure to order their patatas bravas tapas.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Robadors 23 is one of the hippest live music venues in Ciutat VElla

Sam's expert tip: No entrance fee if you order food

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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. And if you've had enough of Sidecar, you're ideally situated in the heart of Ciutat Vella, amongst a plethora of clubs. Walk around the plaza and check out Jamboree or go to Escudellers street where you'll find Factory Club and Marula Cafe. This is one of the liveliest late night areas in the Old City, it's sure to be a great night.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Sidecar is the most popular club in Plaza Reial, with a great mix of tunes throughout the decades

Sam's expert tip: Show up before 2am if you want to avoid a line.

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Ginger Bar

With its hanging disco ball, plush leather seats and wooden tables, many Ginger fans have coined this trendy wine and cocktail bar as an 'airport lounge'. It is however, rather known for it's innovative cocktails, wide selection of amazing wine and high quality tapas. This is a Barcelona gem, ideal for weekend adventures, intimate drinks and lively evenings on the town. Ginger is nestled behind Plaza Sant Jaume, in Plaza San Jus a little hard to find if you don't know where to look, but once you stumble upon it you'll be sure to mark the spot and keep on coming back for more.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Ginger is the Gothic Quarter's best cocktail bar and a relaxed alternative to an Old City Club

Sam's expert tip: Try their Gordito Red Wine.

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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. Once you leave the bar, head to the Born neighoborhood, just a short walk away and check out Passeig Del Born and some of the after hours clubs, such as Seven Crowns.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Barcelona's fanciest late night club, Shoko is the place to be and be seen

Sam's expert tip: Put your name on the list via Facebook or their website, in order to skip the lines, especially on weekends.

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Sant Pere-la Ribera

Six Euros buys you admission and a drink to one of the liveliest clubs in Barcelona. The downstairs space is divided into two areas; one for the bar and a separate dancing room directly adjacent to it. If you're looking for a mix of 50's, 60's, 70's 80's and 90's tunes, this is the place to be! Situated at the edge of the Born, the line at the door doesn't seem so bad at Magic, as you're slightly removed from the busy late night noise that you'll find in the rest of Ciutat Vella. But don't be fooled, for once you step inside it's a whole other world.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Magic is one of the funnest 80's and 90's clubs in Ciutat Vella

Sam's expert tip: Watch out for insanely long lines on the weekends, so try to arrive before 1:30am.

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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, 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. It's on one of the busiest cities in Ciutat Vella, so be sure to arrive early so you're not waiting in line with the rest of Barcelona's late night crowd. Marula usually has excellent line-ups so check the website to see who's playing.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Marula is perfect for those who are into funk and reggae

Sam's expert tip: There's an excellent pasta place for late night food right next door to the club

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Factory Barcelona Club

Trendy New York style nightclub in the heart of Ciutat Vella (Old Vella), Factory Barcelona Club caters to those who don't mind shelling out a bit of cash to jam with Barcelona's finest. About three steps off La Rambla, you can't miss this late night club as there's always a line up until the wee hours of the night. Be sure to get there early and/or put your name on the guest list so you can enjoy your time in the club, as opposed to waiting on the street. Factory is a lively, club with an electric vibe, tasty drinks and good looking people.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Factory is one of Ciutat Vella's 'poshest' clubs and it's super central.

Sam's expert tip: Put your name on the VIP list via Facebook or their website to avoid the lines and paying higher prices at the door.

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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 and if that's not your style, you can try the Picnic Bar where they play Pop or the Def Room where they play Hip-Hop. On weekends, Apollo is well known for its Dance offs. The club is most renowned however for it's incredible line up. Usually featuring popular Dj's, indie bands as well as more mainstream ones as well, there's always something exciting going on at Apollo, almost every night of the week, all year round.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: For those who love music, Apollo has the greatest line ups on a regular basis

Sam's expert tip: Apolo II is right next to Apolo I and often has excellent concerts

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A Barcelona staple, Macarena Club has been around for years and to locals and tourists alike it is a late night gem. But be sure to arrive early (by 1:30am) as the club is tiny and once it reaches capacity, the doors shut. If you're looking for a mix of house and electronic beats this is the place to go. Centrally located in the Gothic Quarter, it's easy to find and easier to stumble home from, especially if you're staying downtown. Right around the corner from Macarena is Plaza Tripi and Escudellers Street, both of which are excellent places to hang out after the club closes.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Macarena is the Gothic Quarter 'go-to' club and where most people end up after a big night

Sam's expert tip: Great place for a private party

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Live music in one of the Gothic Quarter's most rustic bars, Harlem Jazz Club is one of the most well known and renowned Barcelona hang outs. Always ripe with a killer weekly line up of funk, blues, Brazilian music, Cuban pop/rock and jazz and all featuring incredible up and coming musicians, this is an excellent place to get a taste of the 'real' music scene in the city. Depending on the night, you'll either be able to see a live show or witness stellar djs, but no matter which night you decide to go it's always a lively and electric atmosphere.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Nightlife because: Amazing and authentic live jazz, blues and funk in Barcelona's rustic Gothic Quarter

Sam's expert tip: For more well known bands be sure to get tickets in advance via the website

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Meet Sam Mednick

Sam’s passion for the sea and mountains makes Barcelona the optimal living destination. 

Sam's love for traveling has taken her to Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Before...  More About Sam