Barcelona has plenty of things to offer to its visitors – from its beautiful architectural gems to attractive restaurants, bars, and colorful markets. As most cities become quiet when night falls, Barcelona’s streets are equally busy. It’s safe to say, Barcelona’s nightlife is an attraction on its own! These are the things you truly need to experience if you want to make your night in Barcelona a night to remember!
1. Admire the Magic Fountain Show
Every day around 21.00 people start gathering on the Plaça de Carles Buïgas – from toddlers running around to elderly couples walking slowly on the stairs, everyone is trying to find a perfect spot for the upcoming show – the Magic Fountain spectacle. A magical symphony of colors and music to which the fountain starts to “dance“. I cannot completely describe the complete experience of watching the streams of water perfectly coincide with the melody under a pink-colored sunset sky – this is why I captured it on video.
But I can, however, suggest the best spot to make this experience even more majestic.
To have a complete view of the Magic Fountain show, the best viewpoint is very high – in fact on top of a hill called Montjuic – referred to as the birthplace of Barcelona because of its strategic position. On top of Montjuic stands the national palace Palau Nacional – an extensive palace that overlooks the square with the Magic Fountain. Today it is a host of Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and a popular viewpoint for the city of Barcelona When standing in front of Palau Nacional you feel as if the whole city of Barcelona is extending in front of you. Despite its grandiosity, the area in front of the palace is usually packed with travelers from all around the world. Some of them trying to find a perfect spot to sit, others buying a bite from a food truck parked nearby. Be prepared for the crowd and come to the spot at least 30 minutes before the show.
Check out this amazing performance by the dancers in front of Palau Nacional:
To have a spectacular overview of the city on your ascent to Montjuic take the gondola aka Montjuic Cable Car. You can also reach the top of the hill by a funicular railway (Funicular de Montjuïc) or by bus (the most on-budget option).
2. Have Dinner at 10 pm
Typical Spanish dinner starts between 21.00 and midnight. Although it is a smaller dish, its size does not undermine the taste. While walking around the streets of Barcelona by day, you will encounter many promoters who advertise various restaurants. Let’s be honest, Barcelona is not a small city and the most visited restaurants are the ones around tourist spots, leaving smaller enterprises behind. If you want to give a new restaurant a chance, taking up a suggestion from the promotor is a good idea. If you prefer to be in the mids of touristic vibes, opt for a restaurant on or nearby the infamous La Rambla.
Eating under the stars
Barcelona has a lot of squares, which turn into an extended outside restaurant during warm Summer evenings. Each restaurant on the corners of the square puts on chairs and tables – which get taken very quickly! In the center of the square, there is sometimes a fountain or just space in which children play, or occasional performers steal the spotlight. No matter if you eat a salad or a more filling dish, dining outside at night is a wonderful experience.
Typical dinner dishes
If you want to fully experience Spanish cuisine, here are some ideas for an unforgettable dinner:
The traditional Spanish dish with tomato soup which is served cold might be met with raised eyebrows at first – but wait until you try it on a warm Summer evening! A traditionally made gazpacho with bread slices on the side will leave you wanting more!
I have been hesitant in trying this dish, but now I cannot point out a better meal for late dining in Barcelona.
- Pulpo a la Gallega
Simple but elaborated, this light dish consists of octopus placed on sliced potatoes. The unique preparation of the octopus brings up its special flavor.
- Gambas al ajillo
Another dish for sea-food lovers, which consists of shrimps cooked in olive oil, garlic, and a bit of chili. Perfect to spice up your evening!
3. Take a Tapas Tour
Taking a tapas tour is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are traveling solo. These small bites were initially served in bars (esp. bottega) as an appetizer. Today tapas are known and loved all over the world. Did you know that tapas differentiates based on the part of Spain.
A typical tapas in Barcelona consists of dry meats and cheeses. Barcelona is a massive touristic destination, therefore there are many more tapas choices to pick from.
There are many tapas tours in Barcelona however three of them stand out among the competition.
The Tapas & Wine tour from Food Lover Tour will show you the best places in Eixample, where you will have the possibility to taste cold and warm tapas.
With Barcelona Evening Tapas experience you will experience 3 famous tapas bars in Barceloneta and El Born. Besides spoiling your tongue with delicious home-made tapas, you will also receive a free soft drink or a glass of beer or wine.
While the Wanderbreak tour stands out by taking you on a walk among the best places for food and drinks in Barcelona.
4. Be Amused by a Flamenco Show
Flamenco is a unique art form that binds together dancing, clapping, playing on guitar, and singing. Recognized all over the world it originates from Spain where it remains one of the most popular touristic attractions. If you want to finish your evening with a cultural note, watching one of the Flamenco shows is a definite must-do!
The most famous flamenco shows are taking place in Tablao Flamenco Cordobes on La Rambla. The unique shape of the auditorium allows artists to perform without having to use microphones. The audience is positioned close to the stage, which makes the experience more intimate. Popular among tourists is Palacio del Flamenco Barcelona which has a bigger venue and can welcome up to 360 people on one show. There are many more theaters and venues that offer frequent flamenco shows, so you will have no problem finding one that matches your taste. The most attractive to me was Flamenco Art at Palau de la Musica because of its artistic interior, representing Modernism.
5. Dance The Night Away
The club scene in Barcelona is a chapter on its own. The vibrant city offers plenty of spots for dancing or enjoying a concert. Here are the most popular clubs in which you will dance all night:
- Apollo – open from Monday to Sunday, this club offers a variety of music genres. Depending on the day you can listen to concerts, R’n’B or dance to techno rhythms.
There is no dress code, although you will see original styles in Apollo.
- Razzmatazz – the huge venue of the club is divided into five different spaces. Its industrial atmosphere welcomes you every day of the week.
- Pacha – the famous brand has its own club in Ibiza and in Barcelona. Its elegant interior, good music, and a view on the beach make up for a one of a kind experience. Dress code: smart-casual
- Opium – a typical “beach bar” with a big terrace that extends to the beach is a place to be if you like EDM music. Some of the most famous EDM DJs have performed here.
- INPUT – ideal for those who love electronic music, INPUT offers the best sound system. A small, dark venue can accommodate up to 1000 people, making the atmosphere cozier.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to organize an amazing night in Barcelona. I am sure, no matter what you do, you will make it a night to remember!