12 Unmissable Things To Do In Barcelona At Night
Barcelona is such an exciting city that even the famous Queen lead singer, Freddie Mercury, was inspired to write a song about it. One of the world's most renowned architects, Antoni Gaudi, loved Barcelona so much, he decided to decorate it with his greatest works. That's the effect that this city in the Catalonian region of Spain has on people.
While you may not be inspired to write a song about Barcelona or start designing the city's next eclectic building, Barcelona will leave you awestruck. The amaze effect just gets stronger when you start to discover Barcelona at night. Start to do some of the things there are to do at night in Barcelona and you'll realize that the nocturnal atmosphere of the city is completely different from the daytime. No matter what you've seen and done during the hours of daylight, come dark, it'll be a whole new experience.
You can't fully enjoy any of the things there are to do at night in Barcelona if you're stuck with your bags. The best thing to do is leave your suitcase or rucksack at a Bounce luggage storage facility in Barcelona where it'll be safe in a tagged luggage locker. You'll have your hands free to clap along to the staccato rhythms of a flamenco show and be able to shout ole at the appropriate moment without being distracted because you're worrying about your baggage.
Things To Do In Barcelona At Night
There's one way to be a typical tourist in this Spanish city and that's to fall into the trap of going on a boozy pub crawl, a sunset cruise along the Barcelona coastline, a Barcelona ghost tour, or going to see a Flamenco show.
They're great if you want to spend too much money, drink too much cheap alcohol and end up not remembering anything the next morning or get earache. Make your stay in Barcelona a truly memorable experience by learning about the food, the real drinks, where the local live music is happening, and by doing what someone who lives in the city would do in Barcelona at night.
Walk The Walk
A Barcelona night isn't a Barcelona night, whether you're a local or a visitor, unless you take a stroll down Las Ramblas. The famous three-quarters-of-a-mile-long, pedestrianized avenue stretches from the Placa de Catalunya to Port Vell. It is the real heart of the city and if you haven't walked it, you haven't been to Barcelona.
Along the length of Las Ramblas, there are cafes and restaurants with terraces on the pavement where you can sit for a while to sip a vermouth, the typical aperitif in Catalonia, before continuing your stroll. It doesn't matter which end you start or finish as there's something to see in both the Placa de Catalunya and Port Vell. One of the main features of this avenue is the city's famous market, La Boqueria, which is where you can get some of the best street food in Barcelona.
Pub Crawl versus Tapas Bar Crawl
You don't need to go on a tapas tour in Barcelona with a guide to try tapas. There are tapas bars everywhere in Barcelona, but if you do the Las Ramblas evening walk then the best place to go is La Boqueria. Don't go too late because even though the Spanish usually eat dinner late, the tapas bars in the market close around eight-thirty.
One of the most famous tapas bars in Barcelona, Bar Boqueria, has its food stall in La Boqueria. Bar Boqueria specializes in seafood and paella but also offer a wide range of meat and vegetable dishes. Here you can try chorizo cooked in cider, padron peppers, aubergines with cane honey, and even oysters with ponzu sauce. Bar Boqueria isn't the only tapas bar in La Boqueria or on Las Ramblas by a long chalk. Another three popular with the locals are Bar Central, Tapas Bravas, and La Xerinola.
If you're worried about understanding the menus, don't be. Many of the dishes will be on display so all you have to do is point or ask the servers as Spanish hospitality is first class and they're always happy to explain what a dish is and what's in it. To do a pub crawl in true Spanish style, go tapas bar hopping. Have a drink and a tapa in one tapas bar then move on to another. After three or four, you won't need to think about going out for dinner as you'll already be well fed.
Discover Barcelona's Food and Drink
Cuisine-wise Barcelona has a lot more to offer than tapas, paella, and sangria. That said though, they are three of the main things most people want to try when they visit Barcelona. Rather than just sitting down in a bar or restaurant and being served, one of the best things to do in Barcelona at night is take a class and learn how to make them yourself. Once you're back home you can invite your friends round and amaze them with your self-prepared and very authentic Spanish nights.
- Paella Cooking Class – Paella is a Spanish dish that while it may look like a simple mix of yellow rice and a variety of seafood is actually pretty complex to prepare. Most cooking classes, like Barcelona Cooking, start with a visit to the La Boqueria market to show you how to shop correctly for the required ingredients before heading for the kitchen classroom. Paella cooking classes usually last for around three and a half to four hours and yes, you get to eat the paella at the end of it which, let's face it, is half the fun of it.
- Tapas Cooking Class – There is a certain knack to cooking many of the traditional Spanish tapas dishes. Each individual dish has its own specific criteria to be adhered to during its preparation. Taking a tapas cooking class, somewhere like Eat With Barcelona, is one way of discovering the secrets to being able to make them perfectly yourself. In a few short hours, you'll be making patatas bravas, ali oli, calamares, and frying padron peppers like you'd been doing it all your life.
- Wine Tasting – Catalonia is a major wine-producing region of Spain and can boast, in fact, twelve different unique denominations not including the bubbly fizz known as cava. While you can't go traipsing through a vineyard in the middle of the night, you can take a wine tour with a private guide in the city. NB: If you really want to make the most of a wine tasting tour do it in the daytime on a Barcelona e-bike tour. You'll get to see some of the region’s incredible countryside and have some fresh air, but don't sample too much as e bikes are not self-steering.
- Craft Beer Tour – Taking a craft beer tour can't be compared with going on pub crawls. They are two completely different things. On pub crawls, it's knock the drink back and move on, but on a craft beer tour, it's all about savoring the beverage. After meeting a craft beer-loving guide you'll be taken around a selection of the city's mini-breweries and be introduced to the brews they make which can vary between IPA-type beers to Guinness-like stout.
Get Night Active
Not every night tour in Barcelona has to be about food and drink. On occasion, especially during the heat of the summer months, sightseeing is best done at night. Whether you choose to go on a segway tour, a walking tour, a ghost tour, see Barcelona on a bike tour or go paddleboarding at night in July and August which are the hottest summer months of the year, you'll work up a lot less sweat doing them in the dark. Explore Barcelona like this and you may well come across a great place to stay in Barcelona that you hadn't considered before.
- Barcelona Walking Tour – There really is only one way to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Barcelona and that's on a night walking tour. Most walking tours take in the city's biggest attractions like La Sagrada Familia, the Gothic-looking Barcelona cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, and historic features like the Parc de la Ciutadella as well as taking you exploring the city's narrow streets while the guide narrates interesting snippets of Barcelona's history.
- Segway Tour – If you only want to spend a short time exploring this vibrant city segway night tours can be fun. A segway night tour usually lasts for around an hour and a half so tends to be concentrated on one aspect or another of the city. Forget whizzing around like a speed machine on two wheels as they're a little more sedate than that and can also be educative. If you're not overly confident on a segway, make your first ride on a night tour in Barcelona around the Parc de la Ciutadella where there's no traffic to contend with. Once you're feeling braver you can head over to the Port Olimpic or go around the city to view all of Gaudi's amazing architecture like La Pedrera.
Go Magical or Tragical?
Whatever your taste in live music is, if it's not one of the free concerts held in the city's parks, it'll be happening somewhere on the Barcelona nightlife scene.
- La Pedrera Night Experience – Doing the La Pedrera Night Experience is perhaps one of the most magical things to do at night in Barcelona. La Pedrera or Casa Mila is one of Gaudi's great works and one of the most easily recognizable buildings in Barcelona along with Casa Batllo and the Sagrada Familia. On the immersive night experience, you get to tour the building as there are digital displays, accompanied by music, playing over the walls before taking a seat on the roof terrace for a glass of cava. It is a truly wonderful experience and beats most other rooftop bars hands down.
- Tablao Flamenco – Can you be in Spain and not go to see a flamenco show? It's something everyone should do at least once in their life, which is probably more than enough, and there are some of the best flamenco artists in the country performing in Barcelona so why not do it while you're there? You don't have to go far from Las Ramblas to find the best flamenco venues in Barcelona. Tablao Flamenco Cordobes is an institution in its own right and has been hosting flamenco performances since the 1970s. While Flamenco dance itself originates from Andalucia, this troupe has made the Catalan capital their home and bring the sight and sounds of the stirring gitano folk music to life there every night. Flamenco shows are not free entry, but you're normally given a free drink with the admission.
- The Magic Fountain – Go to see the Magic Fountain music and light show and you won't be the only one there. The Magic Fountain is one of Barcelona's spectaculars and Barcelona's biggest ornamental fountain that draws crowds of both visitors and locals alike. The Magic Fountain show is a lot more impressive during the winter when it's dark early than it is during the summer months. The latest shows start from four in the afternoon and continue until six in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday. The afternoon times are from eleven in the morning until one, or on Sundays they start at eleven and carry on until three. NB: Check which way the wind is blowing before you get too close to the Magic Fountain for that all-important social media photo or you could end up completely drenched.
These are just a few of the amazing things to do at night in Barcelona. But, in the end, it doesn't matter if you go down the tourist route and go on a pub crawl, go on a sunset cruise to see the Barcelona skyline from the water, or scare yourself silly on a ghost tour. Being in Barcelona is all about enjoying your time there doing the things you like best, whether it's bopping until you drop at some of the city's popular clubs, sipping cava in one of the cocktail bars, or trying to get free drinks out of the bartender. Barcelona is a place to visit year-round because once you're there you'll realize when night falls, Barcelona life never stops.