With the type of nightlife that rivals other major European cities in its variety of unique districts in which to drink, dance, and be social, Barcelona is an excellent choice for your traveling agenda. Choices range from the modern establishments in the old buildings of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) to the clubs of Barceloneta that tempt the ocean to their doorsteps, from the relaxing atmosphere of classic wine bars to the wild and jam-packed Espit Chupitos (think shots- lots of shots) that are found around the city. No matter your style, Barcelona has it.
The most popular nightlife area in the city is the district of Eixample, where stylish superclubs and traditional European pubs are equally present. Carrer del Consell de Cent and the streets nearby are quite popular for gay bars and clubs (Sweet Cafe and Punto BCN are highlights), while Correr de Mallorca has a number of quality establishments close by, including a number of cocktail lounges and an Espit Chupitos location. Monvinic on Rambla Catalunya will make your wine snobbery look small time, while dance clubs like Arena and bars like Obama (South African, with an actual Barack Obama statue) and Wow! (great beer and burgers) are musts for the area. There are a ton of quality choices in Eixample; our suggestion is to find one of the many terraces and start your consumption early.
Probably the most exclusive part of town is in Gràcia, where Sutton Club and Bling-Bling, which sit just off of the Avinguda Diagonal, appeal to the glitzy and glamorous. For those of us without pretension, head a bit further northwest for some great dive bars, beer gardens, and classy lounges, particularly around the narrow streets of Carrer del Torrent de l'Olla. Barcelonés love their cocktails and there are a good number of them here, including L'Entresol and Elephanta.
There is a proliferation of beach bars and clubs that run from Barceloneta to the Olympic Port, meaning that if you're getting some sand and sun during the day you may not have to go too far to find a nightlife establishment. The Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta is the main drag here, home to some of the best clubs in Barcelona. The Asian-inspired CDLC Barcelona, Opium, and the Thai lounge Shoko are quite popular, although all are expensive.
The most highly concentrated area for drinking in Barcelona is also its busiest in general, Las Ramblas. The northern end is popular with students due to its proximity to the university, with the tiny Carrer de les Sitges proving to be an excellent bar street. The southern half, though, is where this tree-lined boulevard and its subsidiary streets are at their most enticing. You'll find great outdoor seating in the beautiful Plaça Reial, touristy flamenco shows, and a high number of bars and clubs. Unique places in the neighborhood include Polaroid Bar (80's movie kitsch), Cassette Bar (the theme is obvious), and the DJ-driven vibes of Factory.
And there's more. Another popular part of Barcelona to get out once midnight hits is the El Born neighborhood of the Old City, around the Passeig del Born and its pedestrian side streets in particular. In Sant Martí, just north of the Olympic Port, there is a small cluster of nightlife establishments centered around arguably Barcelona's best club, Razzmatazz (Carrer de Pamplona). Also, the Barri Gotic has a scattering of cool bars and lounges in its vicinity, especially as you draw closer to La Rambla, but a must for those traveling alone or who need to get their bearings is the Travel Bar on Boqueria.
All of this talk and we've barely scratched the surface of the Barcelona nightlife scene. For further information, take a gander at our activity pages, browse or travel pictures and videos or get in touch with your fellow travelers in the embark community.