The Best Parties in Barcelona
Where to mix it up, Monday to Sunday…
By Duncan Rhodes
Monday mash ups, summer booze cruises, VIP club nights, Sunday day festivals and electronic music nights… we take a look at the best weekly parties and events in the Catalan capital. There’s always something great going on in Barcelona, and this guide will make sure you don’t miss the boat… sometimes literally!
So you’ve read all about the best party districts and places to go out on our Barcelona nightlife article, and you’ve checked out our drink section for some top bar and club reviews… but there’s still one vital piece of the knowledge jigsaw missing. When to turn up!
As the Barcelona Life team are something of nightlife connoisseurs ourselves, we know that ‘when’ can be even more important than ‘where’, and that’s why we’ve compiled a short list of suggestions of hot parties to check out on each separate night of the week. We hope this party calendar helps you keep on top of all the drinking and dancing action in the city, and as always we welcome – indeed actively encourage – your comments below. Salud amigos!
Barcelona Weekly Party Calendar
Whatever the night of the week it is, there’s always something going on in this town, from one of Europe’s biggest midweek mash ups to a cruise on the high seas courtesy of the legendary Barcelona boat party! Check below for some guaranteed great nights out…
Nasty Mondays at Apolo have been a rite of passage for newcomers to Barcelona for many a year, and still attract a loyal following thanks to the crazy vibes, hot crowd and mash-up of rock, indie and pop sounds, with a second floor of electro. The night is held in Sala Apolo, just by Parallel Metro station.
Not got any friends to go out with? Then nota bene that, come spring, Monday is the first night of the week that the Barcelona bar crawl begins to stagger around the streets… bringing plenty of fun and mayhem en route.
BEST MONDAY NIGHT OPTION: Nasty Mondays!
Didn’t make it to Nasty Mondays? Why not try Barcelona’s Crappy Tuesdays instead? Run by the same crew, it’s a little less hyped, which actually makes it better (less crowded!) in our humble opinion.
Otherwise, as most locals can’t go too wild on a Tuesday night it’s best to hang out with fellow tourists on Plaza Real in the Gothic quarter, where every address is a bar or club. Or during summer you could head down to the Olympic Port where all of the fancy beach clubs are located. During high season they are busy every night of the week.
For the same reasons, Tuesday is also a great time of the week to jump on the Barcelona pub crawl, as every day is basically the weekend for young, up-for-it backpackers and travellers.
BEST TUESDAY NIGHT OPTION: The Barcelona Bar Crawl
During summer Wednesday is one of the biggest nights of the week at Barcelona’s infamous Opium club on the Port Olimpic. This nightlife behemoth invites some of the platinum level DJs from around the world to spin: names like David Guetta, Black Eyed Peas and Tiesto.
For something a bit more alternative you could try Moog club in Raval, a sweatbox of a club with good minimal and techno beats that happens to be popular on Wednesday nights.
A great midweek night out we recently discovered and started recommending is this Cocktail Masterclass with Tapas. For €35 you get four cocktails (which you learn how to make yourself!), and a tapas dinner, and we found it a great way to meet new people to keep drinking with once the class is over!
BEST WEDNESDAY NIGHT OPTION: Cocktail Masterclass & Tapas
Thursdays are the start of the weekends in Barcelona and you should note a marked increase in the number of locals propping up bars around the city. Head to our “drinking” section for some great recommendations!
One event that could be perfect if you’re new in town and want to meet people is ESN (Erasmus Student Network) nights at Belushi’s Bar. Yes these Erasmus kids know how to party, so come join them for some beer pong and insane student drinks discounts starting at 8pm. Later at night, everyone moves from Belushi’s to Apolo, one of the city’s best music clubs.
For upmarket clubbing you could also try Sutton Club, which is usually packed with good-looking locals dressed to the nines.
During summer, Thursday is also the first day of the week that the Barcelona booze cruise launches onto the Mediterranean for a sunset sail….. with DJs, an Ibiza-style crowd and a dangerous amount of beer and sangria on board! Book your tickets early as they fly fast!
The weekend starts in earnest and every den in the Catalan capital will be heaving. Almost every bar in town will be open until 2 or 3am and serving drinks. After that it’s time to move your feet, and on Friday night every nightclub in the city will boast a packed dancefloor from 2am to sunrise.
It’s impossible to list them all here, but the likes of Razzmatazz, Pacha and La Terrazza will be bringing out the big guns when it comes to international DJ acts, whilst you might find live music at more sophisticated venues like Slow Barcelona, which also features DJs spinning more eclectic sounds.
During summer, a great way to kick off your weekend in unforgettable style would be to get on board the Champagne Sunset party cruise, where you will feast on paella and Cava and listen to live music and DJs, as you glide along the Mediterranean with cool sexy people.
For a guaranteed great night out check out this Barcelona Life-endorsed VIP night tour, which runs every Friday and Saturday from April ’til October and finishes in the upmarket Opium Club on the beach at the Port Olimpic.
NEW. If you are looking for something a bit more alternative the so-called Hipster’s bar crawl runs every Friday night and is a good option for those who want a less touristic night out…
Ditto Friday night. Everywhere around Plaza Real and the Port Olimpic will be heaving. Best to get to clubs a little before the Catalans to be in with a better chance of getting in, as the queues get nasty around 2am generally. That’s another reason, why we recommend the VIP Nightlife Tour, because it all but guarantees getting into Opium (arguably the best nightspot!), and also includes several sexy venues for warming up, such as the unique Mirablau, with night views over the whole of Barcelona.
Our guide to nightlife in Barcelona is probably the best place to start for an overall look at the scene, and the different districts to choose from.
If you want to be sure of getting into all the best clubs, and skip the lines, a great idea is to buy a VIP Club Card – just send an email to email@example.com with your dates and we’ll send you full details of what’s included and a booking link. They can be delivered to your hotel or apartment. At 27 euros per card, if you plan on going to more one than one venue it usually works out cheaper as well.
BEST SATURDAY NIGHT OPTION: VIP Party Tour
The music never stops in Barcelona, and whilst parties on Sundays can be clandestine affairs, there are certainly a few big events to check out. The aforementioned Pacha and Opium will both be open at night time, and always draw a large crowd of tourists and internationals. Electronic music lovers meanwhile will enjoy the vibe at open air weekly festival Brunch In The Park which takes place on Montjuic mountain during the day during summer, and in Poble Espanyol during winter.
Another great new party that takes place every Sunday, in one of Barcelona’s most stylish, openair venues – La Terrrazza – is Poble de los Freaks. As the name suggests, it’s not for the faint-hearted or the close-minded. Confetti cannons, stilt walkers, body paint, circus acts and glitter and wigs galore make this a festival version of the Rocky Horror Show, and the perfect party for shedding pretty much all of your inhibitions. Meanwhile DJs from Ministry of Sound in London, as well as from Ibiza’s superclubs, fill the floor with non-stop bangers, from thumping house, through to hip-hop and dubstep. As you probably guessed, dress like you’re Noel Fielding on your way to Nowhere festival, but if you’re travelling through Barcelona without the required party accessories don’t fear… the party boasts it’s very own Freaky Make Over booth, where you can pimp your look to perfection. The party starts at 5pm and finishes at 10pm. You can read more and buy tickets on the organiser’s website.
Finally, there’s also a chilled BBQ boat party for those that want to finish the weekend with a some sausages and beers in the sun, and a dip in the Mediterranean. It’s also a great way to mingle and meet new people.
Getting On The Guestlist
A lot of the more popular club nights operate a strict door policy – if your name ain’t down you ain’t coming in! Read our article about guestlists and free entry to Barcelona nightclubs to ensure your big night out doesn’t come to a premature end.
As we mentioned, a good option on Friday and Saturday nights is to sign up for the Barcelona Party Nights tour, which includes free VIP entry to Opium and takes the hassle out of having a great night, as well as introducing you to some like-minded hedonists!
Or for more independence the VIP Club Card is a great product that lets you club-hop to your heart’s content.
Electronic Music: Party Promoters
Underground clubbers and/or electronic music lovers have plenty of options in Barcelona, and clubs like Sala Becool, The Loft at Sala Razzmatazz (ie. the top floor of this five room club), Sala Apolo, Moog, and City Hall have beeps and blips aplenty. Some of the best parties however are thrown by passionate independent promoters keen to expose Barcelona to the most exciting trends in house, techno and electronica. Some post their events on this Facebook page.
Other Great Events
Epic booze ups on a nightly basis are not the only things going on in the Catalan capital, so if you’re broadminded about your nocturnal entertainment you might want to keep an eye on our monthly event listings, whilst our list of top festivals and our guide to the city’s live music bars should also be of interest.
And if you fancy something a little more cultural how about checking out a flamenco concert? We’ve got the lowdown and can help you get affordable tickets.
Finally we list the 23 best things to do in Barcelona after dark right here.
About the Author
Duncan established Barcelona Life in 2009, whilst freelancing for the likes of Conde Nast, The Guardian, Easyjet Magazine, CNN Traveller and many more. From interviews with Ferran Adria to revealing the secrets of the city’s poetry brothels, he knows the city inside out… and shares all his best tips right here.