Barcelona is as vibrant and alive by night as it is by day. Many of its most important monuments can be visited after hours, often making for a different, more interesting experience. Check out our guide of our favorite things to do in Barcelona at night.
Visit Casa Batlló by night
Gaudí’s colorful, mosaic-covered masterwork is even more spectacular by night. Unlike daytime, when it is usually crowded with hundreds of tourists, by night La Casa Batlló is quieter, making for a much more intimate experience. After a tour of the building head to the rooftop, lit up with dozens of warm, colorful lights, and enjoy a glass of cava while you listen to live music. Find out everything you need to know about Casa Batlló here.
Barcelona is home to mainland Spain’s most vibrant and active club scene (emphasis on mainland, Ibiza is a realm apart). You can find anything from salsa, to techno, to rock and indie music in the dozens of clubs that are spread all over the city. A personal recommendation: stay away from the establishments along the waterfront near the Port Olimpic – they’re all very touristy, the music is nothing special, and the drinks are overpriced. For a more local experience, go instead to Apolo, Razzmatazz, Moog, Jamboree, Sidecar or Magic. If you’re planning on going to a lot of clubs, the Barcelona Night Card is a good way to save money.
Go on a nocturnal walking tour
The narrow streets of Barcelona’s old city have a different feel by night – they appear older, the weight of history more apparent. There are dozens of tour providers in Barcelona, some offering standard “see the sights” routes, while others have more interesting, less orthodox proposals – like a look into Barcelona’s darker past: the Spanish inquisition, public execution places, and other dark legends of the Catalan capital.
Hit the beaches after sunset
There are hundreds of bars and clubs throughout the city, catering to all tastes and preferences, but another way to spend the night with more chill and less bustle is to go to the beach. Pick up some cerveza or vino at the supermarket, bring your bathing suit, and relax on the warm sand. During the Summer, the Mediterranean stays warm well into the night. A good rule of thumb is “the closer to La Barceloneta, the more people there’ll be”, so choose your spot accordingly. There are also many clubs and bars on the beaches in the Vila Olimpica area, so you can go dancing by the sea if that’s more your style.
Listen to live music in little-known locales
Talk to locals, and they’ll tell you that Barcelona is not a great live music city, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few gems hidden here and there worth checking out. Heliogàbal is one of them. Open since 2001, this small bar in Gràcia is the gathering spot for Barcelona’s hipster music lovers. The music is good, just don’t expect to know any of the very indie acts that play here weekly. Closer to the center, on Plaza Real right off La Rambla, you’ll find Jamboree, a classic of Barcelona’s nightlife scene that puts on concerts daily in genres as varied as hip hop, jazz, rock, world music. Jamboree means tribal reunion in Zulu, and the atmosphere often matches the name.
Climb a bell tower over the gothic quarter by night
The Esglesia de Santa Maria del Pi is a gothic-style church in the center of Barcelona’s gothic quarter which dates from the 14th century. Especially beautiful are its stunning, stained-glass windows, and its lavishly gilded inner chapels. As well as the typical day-time tours, it’s also possible to visit the church by night. The atmosphere is very different after dark, and the low light gives its cavernous interior a solemn, almost spooky character. You’ll also get to climb the church’s bell tower, where you’ll get to enjoy a beautiful view of the uneven patchwork of old rooftops that make up Barcelona’s Barri Gótic.
Attend a classical music recital
El Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the most emblematic buildings in Barcelona, combining modernist exuberance and stylish, contemporary minimalism that blend perfectly together. The inverted, stained glass cupola of its main concert hall is particularly stunning. But not only is the Palau a piece of beautiful architecture, it is also Barcelona’s premiere venue to listen to classical music. Take a guided tour and learn of the Palau’s history and its intricacies, and stay in the evening for a classical piano concert
Hit the bars in the Raval…
The Raval is like Barcelona’s Harlem; multicultural, with cracks showing here and there, but also full of character and charming in its imperfection. It’s also the best neighborhood to go on a bar crawl in Barcelona. Some cool spots you should hit up are Cassette Bar, known for its quality Gin and Tonics and for its good taste in music and Marsella, an old absinthe bar that would fit right into early twentieth-century Paris, peeling wall paper and all.
Tip: Every Saturday night, El Cangrejo holds a drag show — very fun and reminiscent of the Barcelona of the eighties, which was as flamboyant as it was gritty.
…and get a late-night bite to eat
Pizzas L’Avia is one of those establishments that has carved a special place for itself in Barcelona’s nightlife. Open until after 2 AM, it serves simple, cheap, and most importantly yummy comfort foods to bar-goers looking to fill their bellies before going home, or to recharge their batteries before hitting the clubs. You’ll find Argentinian/Uruguayan-style thick crust pizzas, grilled and roasted meats with chimichurri sauce, lasagna, empanadas, and many others. Don’t expect anything fancy — just satisfying “drunk food”. After crawling the Raval’s bars head here for a late-night snack. The food is not only good, but cheap. A couple of pizzas and a bottle of wine will set you back ~15€.